Last summer I participated in #CyberPD and our text was DIY Literacy by Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts. To say this text was transforming to my classroom would be an understatement! My students and I embraced literacy tools that really helped our teaching stick!
As I finished the book study, I had an inspiration for the ‘anchor charts’ my students would access. Wall space is always a premium, so I purchased a decorative “screen” for my classroom that became an interactive resource! Students could take down charts and use them while they worked.
Bookmarks were the next tool I was excited about bringing into my classroom and the bookmark initiative I launched was a huge success! I armed my students with precut tagboard strips and sharpies. They did the rest! In fact, one of my student’s bookmarks on K. Beers and R. Probst’s “big questions” from Nonfiction Reading: Notice and Note was featured in the authors’ new book Disrupting Thinking (see “Alessandra’s bookmark on page 67)!
As my students made bookmarks, I took photos of them (see my collection here)!
Microprogressions also excited me but I have to admit that my enthusiasm for them waned a bit as I was faced with the largest caseload of students ever…I saw almost 90 8-10 year olds every day! I’m still excited about them but need to rethink how those might look. I had a few and they were incredibly helpful to students, but just didn’t take the time to break down more skills to create more.
My biggest “surprise” however was my building of a demonstration notebook! This was the tool that I felt less confident with, and yet the one that I am currently most interested in. It wasn’t until mid school year when I started finding value in the simple yet effective tool! I started to set up notebook pages for small group or individual mini-lessons to review or reteach skills and strategies. So far my demonstration notebook collection includes:
- Asking/answering questions
- Being a “RACE” responder
- Plot vs. Theme
- Determining Importance (to identify main idea and details)
- Inferring a main idea from details
- Examining the difference between text structures and connections/relationships (this is great for reading literature standards 3 and 5 as they are similar and yet very different!)
- Analyzing a character
- Point of view and Perspective
I cannot wait to continue building my DIY Literacy tool kit and am forever grateful to #CyberPD for the support and encouragement!