Tag Archives: Nancie Atwell

Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week of November 8–14

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It's the week before this year's National Council of Teachers of English Conference (NCTE). We hope to see you there in Minneapolis. Remember to leave enough room in your suitcase for books, and to pack a light snack during the conference. It gets rough out there, walking around all day. Time for some links!

These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

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The Teacher You Want to Be: Tom Newkirk On Thinking Small But Always Thinking

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I personally don’t find this human limitation at all something to be discouraged about. I remember years ago visiting Nancie Atwell’s classroom in Edgecomb, Maine. Her teaching practice, of course, is the most compelling method documented in American literacy education, with her In The Middle extended and modified in three editions. It’s our equivalent to Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass." She had clearly made some major changes in her teaching over her long career, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that her greatness, if you will, seemed an accumulation of small excellences, of attention to craft, intentionality at every point—the way she introduced activities, selected material, invited and extended student comments.

It wasn’t the overwhelming charisma of her personality. It didn’t seem magical, just really good at every point. And I knew that it was her attention to small and lasting improvements that drove her practice for thirty years, right up to the end. I suspect on her last day of teaching, in June 2014, she was still inspecting herself, and saying, “I could have done that better.” As so often happens to me, William James has covered this territory better than I have, and has said it better. In a letter written to a friend in 1899, he said: "I am against bigness and greatness in all their forms, and with the invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, stealing in through the crannies of the world like so many soft rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water."

He is against “big successes and big results” and in favor of the “eternal forces of truth which always work in the individual” way. It is precisely that form of truth that I feel teachers create, working “from individual to individual.” It is the real research of practice—the creation of provisional insights, often fleeting, intuitive, and local, rarely articulated, resting on intuition and prior experience, modified by student reaction.

Thinking small—but always thinking.

—Tom Newkirk

The Teacher You Want To Be: Essays About Children, Learning, and Teaching, edited by Matt Glover and Ellin Oliver Keene, is out now.

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Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week of October 4–10

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It's another week and another round of education links! That's a nice picture above, isn't it? I took it.

These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

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Larry Ferlazzo posted the first in a series about grit. Authors Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz were featured. Here's a sample of their response:

If grit is an ability to sustain interest and effort in something for a long period, we also need to teach a system of checks and balances for children to ensure that the thing they pursue is worthwhile and healthy- not only to them, but also to the world at large. Grit, in and of itself, can result in positive or negative outcomes. Sustaining interest and effort in a long term criminal enterprise demonstrates grit, but not many people would say that is a good thing. We, as teachers, should not just teach grit, but also the equally important traits of empathy, optimism, flexibility, and a practice of reflection to decide if the path we are on at given point is good for us, and good for the world.

Click through to read the entire post

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Frank Serafini (Reading Workshop 2.0) wrote about picture books in the digital age:

Readers of digital picturebooks must work through the presentation of a fictional narrative using physical, cognitive, visual, emotional, and embodied capabilities, among others. As picturebook narratives in digital formats evolve and become part of the reading curriculum in more classrooms, picturebook scholars, literacy educators, and classroom teachers will need new lenses or frameworks for analyzing these texts and developing pedagogical approaches that support classroom instruction and readers’ transactions across digital and print-based platforms. In this article, we will consider the features and designs of picturebook apps and some challenges and possibilities these digital texts offer elementary grade teachers and students.

Click through to read his full post

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At Moving Writers, Rebekah O'Dell quit grading. She explains:

I quit grading individual assignments — classwork, participation, annotated Poems of the Week, even papers. I make notes in the gradebook and leave copious feedback on each assignment. But, I don’t assign a grade value to their work. Students are encouraged to use the feedback to revise any work they would like to revise — it’s about getting it right, getting it better, not about getting a higher grade.

Read the full post

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"It's time to take a hard look at how we teach reading," says Nancie Atwell for The Telegraph:

Methods matter. So do the findings of literacy research. We have almost a quarter century of studies that document how literacy blooms wherever students have access to books they want to read, permission to choose their own, and time to get lost in them. Enticing collections of literature—interesting books written at levels they can decode with accuracy and comprehend with ease—are key to children becoming skilled, thoughtful, avid readers.

Click through to read Nancie's full editorial

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That's it! Be sure to check back next week for another round of links. If you have a link or a blog, be sure to mention them in the comments below. You can also email them to us or tweet at us. We're pretty available over here. Cheers to your weekend!

*Photo by Cameron

Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for the Week of September 28–October 2

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Welcome BACK to the Heinemann Link Round-Up. Your intrepid rounder-upper was on vacation last week, and thus nothing was lassoed, nothing was harangued. Here we are again with a full pen of links.

These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

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The official Global Teacher Prize blog wrote out "3 Life Changing Lessons from Teacher Prize Winner Nancie Atwell’s Keynote at CGI."

Nearly a quarter of American children fail to achieve minimum levels of literary. For Nancie, the solution is books. She says “book reading is just about the best thing about being human and alive on the planet.” For this reason, children cannot be allowed to discover the joys of reading by accident – an enticing collection of literature is central to the children becoming competent, voracious and engaged readers. This collection must include writing at a variety of levels, from a variety of genres and to appeal to every taste.

Click through to read the full post

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NPR's Weekend Edition did some research on homework. Here it is:

 In 2012, students in three different age groups—9, 13 and 17—were asked, "How much time did you spend on homework yesterday?" The vast majority of 9-year-olds (79 percent) and 13-year-olds (65 percent) and still a majority of 17-year-olds (53 percent) all reported doing an hour or less of homework the day before. Another study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students who reported doing homework outside of school did, on average, about seven hours a week.

Click through to read or listen to "Homework: A New User's Guide"

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In NCTM’s “Teaching Children Mathematics,” Children’s Mathematics coauthor Susan Empson looks at the strategies used by fifth-graders to solve division-of-fraction problems set in the context of making mugs of hot chocolate.

Children in the elementary grades can solve fraction story problems by drawing on their informal understanding of partitioned quantities and whole-number operations (Empson and Levi 2011; Mack 2001). Given the opportunity, children use this understanding to model fractional quantities, such as 1/4 of a quesadilla, and reason about relationships between these quantities, such as how much quesadilla there would be if 1/4 of a quesadilla, 1/4 of a quesadilla, and 1/4 of a quesadilla were combined.

Click through to read the full post

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Both chums in the Chartchums (Marjorie Martinelli & Kristi Mraz) have had busy years with other projects, so it's always great to see them back with a blog. This week: organizing charts.

When projects come to an end and before new ones begin, starting off with a fresh clean start helps one move forward. Whether you have taught for one year or twenty, the amount of paper and stuff accumulated can become mountainous. Inspired by the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Ten Speed Press 2014) by Marie Kondo, who suggests discarding as the first rule of tidying, we thought about how we could apply this to charts so that we start off the year with a fresh and tidy start. Marie Kondo’s only rule about what to keep is to hold each item in your hands and to ask, “Does this spark joy?” For a teacher to be able to answer this question you need to also ask, “Can I use this again?” “Will this save me time?” “Will this engage my kids?”

Click through to read "The Magical Art of Organizing Charts"

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And we have a round-up competitor in Dana Johansen at Two Writing Teachers! It's a great round-up of tweets about writing from September. Click here for it! 

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That's it! Be sure to check back next week for another round of links. If you have a link or a blog, be sure to mention them in the comments below. You can also email them to us or tweet at us. We're pretty available over here. Cheers to your weekend!

*Photo by Matt Lee

Nancie Atwell’s Talk With Teach For All – Live-Tweet Archive

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On Tuesday, September 29, Nancie Atwell sat down with Wendy Kopp of Teach For All for a discussion on her career, the Global Teacher Prize, and her vision for the future of teaching. Below, check out an archive of the tweets during the conversation.

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Grant Assistance: The Global Teacher Prize

The Heinemann Resource Support Team is here to help educators who are looking to purchase Heinemann Curricular or Intervention Resources but do not have the funding available to do so. Our new Grant Assistance portal provides the support you need to apply for grants. Click here to visit. This post looks at the Global Teacher Prize.

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