“Children want to write.” These words are just as true now as they were twenty years ago when I first wrote them, at the beginning of Chapter 1. I would only add, “If we let them.”
–Don Graves, 2003
By Jaclyn Karabinas
Teaching is hard. Writing is hard. Teaching writing can be extremely hard, especially when you believe so strongly in the value of combining these crafts, but you feel isolated and lack the community to support this hard work. Perhaps you have never taken on Writing Workshop with your students but know this is what will spark engagement and growth in your students. Maybe you have been at it for awhile… but feel as though you keep hitting roadblocks. We all have a story. Together, we can make this happen in the name of growing student writers.
"If we teach a child to read, but fail to develop a desire to read, we will have created a skilled non-reader. A literate illiterate.
And no high test score will ever undo that damage." —Kylene Beers
Our final morning at Boothbay Literacy Institute was filled with artwork, reflection, and goodbyes.
Some folks just knew they wouldn't want to leave—so they didn't—and lingered behind for what Penny Kittle named a lagniappe. 'Lagniappe' is a Louisiana French word meaning "something given as a bonus or extra gift" so this time to share more thinking, writing, teacher stories and a few roasted marshmallows is aptly named. Take a look at the photos and nuggets of learning in the Storify below.
"The smartest person in the room IS the room." —Kylene Beers and Bob Probst
This was one of the most popular tweets from the Boothbay Literacy institute, Day Two. We've been practicing this every moment as we think, write, talk, and reflect on what this mean for our students, how this empowers them as thinkers, inquirers, and learners.
From early morning writing workshop with Linda Rief, to critical conversations prompted by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, beautiful book recommendations by Teri Lesesne, and hearing from our legendary, beloved guest speaker Nancie Atwell, Boothbay Day One imparted nothing short of solid foundation for real change.
This year marks the tenth year of the annual Boothbay Literacy Institute, hosted by Kylene Beers, Robert Probst and distinguished faculty. Sunday night's opening session began with Kylene and Bob igniting thinking and conversation along with a panel including Penny Kittle, Linda Rief, and Teri Lesesne. Kylene posed questions for us all to hold close this week: What needs to change? What assumptions make that change hard?
In a video blog below, author Colleen Cruz describes what she believes to be something great happening in schools today: teachers building relationships and working together. We agree—and this is why we look forward to hosting a summer book study!