News from Lucy Calkins

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Earlier today author Lucy Calkins shared an update with readers on the #TCRWP hashtag, Facebook page and Units of Study Facebook groups. Below is Lucy's update:

 

‪#‎Tcrwp‬ From Lucy: Colleagues, It has been really helpful to hear about your successes and to brainstorm support for your challenges as you teach the units. I’d love to hear more about what is working, and about ways you are tackling the hard parts. Know my colleagues and I come onto the site to help (and to learn) as often as we can. Just to fill you all in on news. We have some projects underway. There will be a new book for second grade next year—it probably will become the new unit two. It is on information writing, and is meant to be a welcoming, accessible unit that can set kids up for success later in the year. It could even become a first-unit. There will also be a literary essay unit for fifth grade. This unit could come any time in fifth grade, though we imagine it as unit two in writing mostly because it would follow unit one in READING really well. This unit will be especially important so that kids are ready for high stakes tests, but we are also trying to make it inspirational. There are also two new units in reading. In addition, we are just about ready to tackle the issue around the writing CDs—substituting that with digital resources that are more like those in reading. I think the plan is for the writing digital resources to include more of the student work etc, as the reading resources do now. We are also making post-its and anchor charts for writing that resemble those that have been so helpful for reading. I’m not sure how those will get to you—I sort of assume they will need to be sold as it actually takes our art team months to make them—but in any case, they are coming. Finally we are working on resources to help teachers who are teaching these units in classes full of English language learners. I think those resources will include mentor texts in Spanish, charts in Spanish, post-its in Spanish, and the assessment texts (Pathways texts) in Spanish. There is much more to do, but that will be a start. The biggest project of all is that we are developing state-of-the-art libraries for k-8, each containing 600 books, The books will be in collections so someone could conceivably purchase just the fantasy books for 4th graders, or the emergent storybooks for kindergarteners. We actually will develop two k-8 collection of libraries—for every grade save k, we will have a library for kids who are reading significantly below benchmark levels as well as one for kids reading roughly at benchmark. I’ve had about 25o teachers and literacy coaches and the literature experts (those I can locate) all channeling lists of books to us and we will soon have 40,000 books coming in to TCRWP and hundreds of teachers involved in helping us to whittle the recommended books into the actual choices. Heinemann will distribute those libraries, starting, we hope, this spring. So that’s our news! Lucy Calkins

Posted by The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project on Sunday, January 31, 2016

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