Posted on 10/27/2015 at 08:33 AM by Blog Experts

Last week, I attended the UNI's Literacy Academy in Cedar Falls.  I encourage any elementary teacher to attend this two-day conference. The Keynote speaker was Doug Fisher!  What an engaging speaker.  Below are some highlights that resonated with me, confirmed my thinking, and agreed whole heartedly.  Hopefully some of these statements will with you, too. 

  • Struggling is situational....it is not a part of a child's identity.
  • Interacting with others keeps you motivated, clarifies information, and extends understanding.
  • On Purpose:  The established purpose focuses on student learning, rather than an activity, assignment, or task.  This is very relevant!  Kids should be able to answer WHAT are you learning and WHY?
  • You have to model in the discipline.  You can't be an "ELA teacher" when you teach science, you have to be a science teacher and model in the discipline.  You have "to be" in the content.
  • On Text Dependent Questioning: When you ask personal connection questions before you read a story,  kids add personal connections/information to the text that really isn’t there. Don't ask those questions before you begin a story! This doesn’t mean kids don’t make personal connections while reading. 
  • On the order you ask text dependent questions: The question order serves as a scaffold for thinking about the text - the order matters - first literal, then structural, then inferential.
  • When you are finished reading a text, what does the text inspire you  (students) to do?  Write, research, have a conversation, present, investigate?
  • On Collaborative Conversation: Ideally 50% interaction-->reality is just 10% in the classroom 
  • On Formative Assessment: Errors need instruction; mistakes need noticing.
  • Practice makes permanent.
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