I’m pretty sure today was one of the best days ever for me in terms of professional study. I mean, I have blog post drafts titled Patricia Pollacco, Carl Anderson & Kylene Beers. I sat in sessions with these literary giants today, and Lucy Calkins introduced the whole day in the awe-inspiring Riverside Church. I had coffee and a late lunch with my first professional developer and mentor, Shana Frazin. Got to sit in the company of Two Writing Teachers’ own Tara Smith. Chatted and enjoyed the one and only Resourse full, Fran McVeigh, and the ever lovely Reading To The Core, Catherine Flynn. This isn’t even mentioning my superbly supportive and delightfully fun traveling colleagues, Julieanne Harmatz & Emmalee Briggs.
And also …
wait for it…
I got to go into Grace Dodge, room 285 at Teachers College and present some of the work I have been doing, invited by the amazing and energetic Cornelius Minor who embraced me with open arms, honored my learning, thinking and work with teachers in Los Angeles. Then he pumped it up and put it on literacy steroids.
I have been hesitant to give too many specific directions when working with teachers in professional development settings. Cornelius leaves little to chance. He creates a safe environment for learning by setting up the work by calling out of the meta-teacher-learning-then-doing step by step increments of teaching.
I really want to review the protocols he shared today. One was a protocol for using devices in class. Part of the work we did together today was internet research. Participants got to use a minute or two to search for information on a text we shared. Actually, they multitasked pretty much the whole time because the incredaMisterMinor taught in again and again to what it is they were doing. There was teaching into how to manage the use of screens, “Screens UP! Then face down on the left corner of your desk.” There was more. Must review. Learning for me always requires review.
Another was a writing protocol. Setting participants up to write about the text, their questions, and thinking, they wrote for one minute. Timer on the screen. This makes us know what we are doing, helps us feel cared for, gives us understanding of where we are in terms of time. Then they chose one sentence that was their best. I was surprised how quickly people touched down on that best sentence. They shared the sentences and then Cornelius asked them to write another one as good or better than that one. I loved his explanation for this. We can be our own mentors. We know what is good. We start there and make it better.
What an incredible inclusive energy you exude Mr. Minor! Thank you so much. I had a great time and learned so much. And now for my best sentence of this post.
It was an amazingly wonderful, all good, extremely awesome day.