Category Archives: Guided Reading

Engaging Readers: Lucy Calkins discusses the TCRWP Classroom Libraries

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In the first two installments of this blog series, we discussed why particularly chosen books matter and how the TCRWP Classroom Libraries were selected. In this final part of the series, we will explore additional, innovative ways that the team focused on driving reading engagement.

One such way is through the tools and resources that accompany the libraries. A vast collection of brightly colored, attractive book bin labels and book level labels lure kids to bins with irresistible topics. Additionally, student sticky-note pads help promote close, active reading. Students can identify “Must-Reads” and “Watch Out!” sections for others by leaving these helpful sticky notes in the book. Watch the video below to check out these amazing resources:

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An Unprecedented Curation Process: Lucy Calkins and Colleagues Discuss the TCRWP Classroom Libraries

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Last week in the first installment of this three-part series we discussed the inspiration behind the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Classroom Libraries and began exploring the vision that guided the curators, a team made up of TCRWP staff, literacy coaches, renowned librarians, mentor teachers, and children’s literature experts such as Anita Silvey. This week we dive deeper into the fascinating story of the curation process.

The setting: Thorndike Hall, an enormous sub-basement at Teachers College, Columbia University. Hunkered down in their makeshift headquarters, TCRWP staff members sorted through boxes upon boxes of books recommended by over eight hundred educators and librarians from around the world. Over the course of a year, they meticulously reviewed tens of thousands of books using multiple selection criteria and consulted with dozens of the world’s leading experts in literacy and children’s literature. Lucy gives her first-hand perspective of the collaborative process here:

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The Importance of Choosing the Right Book: Lucy Calkins Discusses the Classroom Libraries

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Lucy Calkins recently sat down to discuss the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s groundbreaking Classroom Libraries for grades K-8. Throughout this three-blog series, Lucy answers your most frequently asked questions about the TCRWP Classroom Libraries. In the following video Lucy talks about "What Inspired the TCRWP Classroom Libraries project?"  where she asserts that she and her TCRWP colleagues began the project with the conviction that,  “the particular book matters.” In other words, children are drawn to read more when they are enjoying the particular book they’re reading.

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Teaching Empathy: Using Read Aloud and Text Sets to Think and Talk about Social Justice K-5

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille 

In the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch teaches his children, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings, plight, or situation of another. It is recognizing and valuing perspectives that are different from one’s own. It is the basis for relationships and, some would even argue, is vital to survival.

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Teaching Interpretation: Individual Instruction and Independent Students

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In their classrooms, Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry-Paul use flipped lessons to create a kind of "controlled chaos" learning environment. The classroom is more productive, more energetic, when students have the chance to explore their independence and, according to Sonja, "move in the direction he or she needs to move in."

 In today's video, the coauthors of Teaching Interpretation discuss how they've evolved their classrooms.

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How Do You Teach Theme?

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When Dana Johansen first started teaching, her students would describe the theme of a work as "family," or "friendship," or "love." She wasn't ok with those answers so, with Sonja Cherry-Paul, she started thinking about how to actually teach theme. In today's video, the coauthors of Teaching Interpretation discuss their process.

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