Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Year - New Plans

It's been a whirlwind end to 2010. My school was in the middle of a Quality Review when I received a call to take a position at another school. It was such a hard decision to leave, but it was the right thing to do. I am now an administrator at a small school on Staten Island. The day before I was to start, my father-in law passed away. He had been struggling with Alzheimer's disease for many years. It was, as Ronald Reagan said, the long goodbye.

So, now that 2011 is here I am ready for some new discussion and dialogue. I am working through professional development on the new Common Core State Standards and would love to have a dialogue about the work you all are doing around them. I still would like to do the book study on Comprehension and Collaboration that kind of got derailed with my personal situation. I do believe that this book thoroughly supports the kind of teaching we need to meet the CCSS. I know that Keith has set up the mailring for the discussion so look for a post in the next few weeks. I just need to get the book out and reread the beginning.

I hope you all have a productive new year. If you have an integrated curriculum unit of study that you would be willing to share, please let me know. We are working to revise our curriculum maps and I would love to see an example.

Laura Kump

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raising Money for Multiple Sclerosis

It's that time of year again.

Every September my brother George does a 100 mile bike ride to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you can help I would appreciate the support. It's a GREAT cause. Any amount, no matter how small will help. If you use this site often consider all the free resources available to you. Consider giving back by donating to this great cause, even if it's just pennies. They will all add up. Let's hope that no one will have to hear the words, You have MS in their lifetime.

THANKS! You can make a secure donation at this site -

The National Mutliple Sclerosis Society

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comprehension and Collaboration

Our next book discussion will be of Harvey Daniels and Stephanie Harvey's book Comprehension and Collaboration. I was introduced to this book at a study group for my Teacher Center. I must say I was blown away by the book, not that that surprises me. Harvey and Stephanie have each established themselves as individuals on the cutting edge of instructional practices. Putting them together is a dream team to say the least.

At my school we have been working towards inquiry based reading instruction. It has been a journey to say the least. We have established some current units, but now with this tool I feel we can take it to the next level. It is so motivating to watch the DVD clips that can be purchased separately. It really gives you a total vision of what this would look like in the classroom. The sessions on the tape were incredible, and yes I found myself wishing I were a student in their classrooms.

Having a concrete model of what inquiry based learning looks like will be a powerful tool for many educators. As you study the new Common Core Standards, you will see how the instructional practices discussed in this book will help teachers heed the call to deepen students knowledge base.

I look forward to reading and discussing this timely book with you all. I will post an outline shortly for our discussions.


Comprehension & Collaboration

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Book Whisperer

We are currently reading and discussing The Book Whisperer on the Mosaic list. The discussion has been interesting and is focusing us on beginning the school year. Donalyn Miller focuses on creating a passion for reading in our students.

I have always been an avid reader. Reading this book makes me wonder what my spark for this was. I often wonder, is being a "reader" a gene we are born with, or is it something that is created. I would have to say that in my family there are many avid readers. I credit my dad with sparking this interest in me, as well as my grandmother. My whole life I watched them read and devour books. I have many memories of my dad taking me early on Sunday mornings to the "big" Barnes and Noble in Manhattan. Remember, years ago there wasn't a "big" Barnes and Noble in every neighborhood. I always loved the smell and feel of a new book. In any event, I read so many great books in my childhood, and never was told that I couldn't.

The sad thing is that I don't have any memories of school being involved in my passion for reading. Not one! I can't even recall books I read in school. Isn't that sad. It truly makes me wonder about the role of school vs home in developing readers. While I realize that not all students have the homelife I did, I still think that it is critical for students to have some support at home. We can't possibly do it all for our students in one year. We can, as Donalynn outlines in her book work our best to spark the interest, but we have to rely on others to cultivate it.

For great ideas on how to spark that interest in our students I hope you drop by our book discussion. We would love to hear your ideas!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Book - Nonfiction Mentor Text

Since I had to go into the city yesterday to work at an Early Childhood conference, I had the opportunity to read the newly released Nonfiction Mentor Texts by Lynne Dorfman and Rose Capelli. Riding the train and ferry gave me ample time to peruse the text. In the same fashion as their first book - Mentor Text, this book is chock full of great ideas, and titles of text to use. I love the resource at the end that listed every text mentioned throughout the book by chapter for ease in finding. This is a must have resource for all who are trying to incorporate more nonfiction reading and writing into their day. The On Your Own section at the end of each chapter gives you a nice starting point for implementing lessons. I can't wait to share the ideas with the teachers in my building. If you have read it let me know your thoughts.


Nonfiction Mentor Texts is available from Stenhouse publishing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

National Board Certification

Recently Barack Obama discussed the value of National Board Certified Teachers. I am happy to see that he is supporting excellence in teaching. Having gone through the process of National Board certification I can attest to the impact it had on me. National Board certification is an intense and personal journey that many teachers have decided to embark upon. Those that achieve it feel empowered to better meet the needs of their students. So, just what is National Board certification anyway? Here are two links I suggest you visit to get further information on National Board certification -


National Board Council of New York

National Board website

I would like to offer support to you as you work toward your certification. I am available to answer questions you may have about the process. I also would love to network with other NBPTS teachers and candidates.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bike Ride to Support Multiple Sclerosis

Every year my brother George rides with more than 1,000 other people to raise money to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This year the society hope to raise $1.6M. George hopes to raise $1,000. He will ride on September 13th and 14th, 100 miles each day in support of those that can't. As you know all the resources available on my website are free of charge. If you find it a helpful resource I ask that you consider making a donation to this worthy cause. No donation is too small and all are tax deductables. This disease has impacted our family and close friends. Thank you so much for your continued support.

For information, and to make a donation using your debit or credit card go to -

Have a great day!