Thursday, June 19, 2008

Professional Thinking

This summer I want to push my professional thinking by reading more! One book that I am currently reading through is Assessing Writers by Carl Anderson (Normally I would have underlined the book, but the Control U does not make it underline).

I am just a few chapters in, but already I have a page of notes. This year I tried something new. I began collecting randomly throughout a unit the students' writing. This allowed me to take notes of their strengths, weaknesses, and goals for each student as well as seeing who I could group together and teach a focus lesson. I was also able to see who was doing what, who wasn't doing anything, and future focus lessons for the class.

I feel that one area of weakness (and there are many) for me during writing workshop is finding the best focus for a student's conference. I want to make sure when assessing their writing, I know who they are writing to and for. Also, looking at the MEANING of their writing. What's important? What is the point they are trying to make? I think if I do this, my students will have a stronger purpose for writing and it will lend itself to having a stronger voice present.

I still have several chapters to go. This is just the beginning. Feel free to leave comments and share what you are reading this summer. Next on my list will be Lucy Calkins - The Art of Teaching Reading...


TeacherMom said...

I am reading Reading Essentials by Regie Routman. I LOVE it. I am about halfway through the book and I already have my head full of so many thoughts about next year.

She really stresses that we, as teachers, need to take control of our learning and our classroom. Follow what we know to be best for our kids.

She has a new book out called Teaching Essentials that is on my list for this summer also.

Post more about Carl's book. I may have to add that to my already long list.

Christi.Overman said...

I'm reading The Essential 55...not very far in yet, but good so far.

Also, I'm reading "Rules" by Cynthia Lord...about a little girl who's brother has autism. Very excellent, particularly if you have students like's given me more insight into what families go through with these awesome kiddos.

I'm sure after I go to All Write!!! next week I'll be reading more! And I re-read Harry Wong's The First Days of School every year too...but not until right before school starts.

Unknown said... I post new reading and writing lessons daily on my blog. I also write about professional books frequently. I noticed that you are reading books that I have read. I thought that you might be interested.

Sarah Amick said...

Cathy, I so missed you at the conference this year. Heard that you were in Florida, coastal I hope! Anyhoo, hope to hear from you soon. If you want to stop in Fort Wayne for coffee I could be rounded up you know!!!!

Prodigal Jon said...

Cathy -
Thanks for the comment on my site, stuff christians like. I encourage you to tell everyone about it. I'm pretty sure you get a bigger house in heaven when you do that and a jacuzzi in the backyard. I don't know that for certain but it is probably true.