Tag Archives: Teachers College

We are Readers and Writers! Setting Up a Literacy-Rich Summer

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille

For many teachers and students, the summer months are a chance to change pace, to dig into projects of personal interest, and just…breathe. But for many kids, summer is also a time when learning grinds to a halt. Students in lower socio-economic households in particular have little opportunity to practice the academic skills that began to take root and gel by the end of the year. One particular area of well-documented summer decline is in reading. When students don’t read during the months of summer, the effects on their academic progress are disastrous. 

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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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Cultivating a Love for Reading Through Fantasy Book Clubs

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille  

I have come to love fantasy novels, particularly young adult fantasy. There’s no doubt that the Harry Potter series stirred this love. Who couldn’t adore a book that got millions of children to read? The teen fascination with Twilight and The Hunger Games did the same thing—literally millions of teens are reading and talking about these books. They join blogs, they dress up like the characters, they attend the film releases, they compare the books to the movies. Fantasy has been a force for good in literacy.

Mary Ehrenworth, in Learning from the Elves: A Genre Study of the Complexities and Themes of Fantasy

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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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How Reading and Writing Workshop Can Support STEM Learning

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille​

For the past several years, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects have stepped into the spotlight. And for good reason. James Brown, the executive director of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C., has said, "The future of the economy is in STEM. That’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be.” According to the website of The STEM Education Coalition, "Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) support [Brown’s] assertion. Employment in occupations related to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022." 

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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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