Tag Archives: Summer

Establishing a Vibrant Community of Readers: Fostering Partnerships, Independence, and Courage

Calkins_9780325043128

Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille

In reading workshop classrooms, many goals that teachers have for students and that students have for themselves are tangible and measurable. These include being able to read books at higher levels of text complexity and becoming more skilled in areas such as inferencing, predicting, and thinking critically. There are other goals that workshop teachers keep in mind that are perhaps less tangible and measurable but are nonetheless just as important when helping children to develop thoughtful, rich reading lives. These include working well in partnerships, developing greater independence in managing the reading process, and bravery when tackling the challenges that arise when becoming a better reader. 

Continue reading

Helping Families Understand Units of Study & Workshop Teaching: Working Together to Support Students All Day & Year Long, K-5

Calkins Read AloudWritten by Anna Gratz Cockerille

To move a child to become a lifelong reader and writer takes commitment, passion, resources, and teamwork. The most powerful teams extend beyond the child and her classroom teacher to include other students, other teachers and administrators, and, not least, the child’s parents and caregivers. Certainly, in most cases, everyone on the team wants the child to succeed at reading and writing. But on the best teams, everyone shares an understanding of what success looks like and what it takes to get there. 

Continue reading

Accessing Units of Study, Narrative: Tips from the Co-Authors of Up The Ladder

CalkClassLib611px26 (1)

Written by By Anna Gratz Cockerille

Above all, we want you to know that the Up the Ladder: Accessing Grades 3–6 Writing Units of Study series embodies the one mission that is closest to the hearts of all of us at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. For us, the most important word in the title of this series is this one: access. Nothing matters more than the mission of giving all young people access to the beautiful, important work that happens in reading and writing workshops.

 – Lucy Calkins and the Co-Authors of the new Up the Ladder Units of Study 

Continue reading

Gearing up for a Powerful Launch to a New Year: Reflecting on the August Teachers College Reading Institute

anna-demianenko-12400

Written by By Anna Gratz Cockerille 

Search #TCRWP on Twitter this week, and you’ll see scores of Tweets brimming with enthusiasm, learning, and energy from participants of The Reading and Writing Project’s annual August Reading Institute. These Tweets include snippets of wisdom from workshop leaders, featured speakers, fellow participants, and of course, from Lucy Calkins herself. (Some of the most tweeted lines from Lucy’s Monday keynote include: “Reading is no longer reading if you try to control my mind while I do it” and, "Does your book club forge relationships, take you out of your bubble, enrich your sense of self?"—Lucy Calkins.) 

Continue reading

Gearing Up for a Powerful Launch to a New Year: Reflecting on the August Writing Institute K-8

Calkins Read AloudWritten by By Anna Gratz Cockerille

This week, the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project August Writing Institute is here. Thousands of educators from all over the country and world have descended upon Teachers College to learn, to talk, and to write. There is nothing quite like a TCRWP Institute. An institute is a week-long opportunity for participants to completely immerse themselves in a study of one aspect of literacy instruction. It is a chance to not only learn invaluable fundamentals and best practices, perhaps even more importantly, it is a chance to become a learner, to get to know a subject area inside out because of daily practice and reflection. 

Continue reading

Setting up Strong Reading and Writing Partnerships at the Beginning of a New School Year

CalkClassLib611px12 (2)

by Anna Gratz Cockerille​

In most reading and writing units, students work in partnerships to support and extend their work. Over time, even very young students can learn to turn to a partner as the first line of defense when trouble arises. When they encounter a tricky word in their reading, for example, they can ask a partner for help rather than running to a teacher. Or, when they aren’t sure what to write about, they can ask a partner to spend a couple of minutes brainstorming. As Lucy Calkins writes in A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades, “Partner time is designed to give young readers a second wind, renewing their energy to continue on” (p. 52). The same is true for young writers, too. With a bit of extra instruction and time, partners can learn to act as confidantes, sounding boards, and cheerleaders for each other, spurring each other on to do their best work. 

Continue reading