Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Debbie Miller's New Book

"In these times of scripted programs and prepackaged materials I know it may be tempting to surrender," Debbie writers. "But who among us is going to keep up the good fight? Who among us is willing to stand up for what we know is right? I'm in, and I hope you are , too."

This quote came from Debbie Miller's new book -
Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practices and Taking Action K - 5
available through Stenhouse Publishers

You can preview part of the text online for free at -

I for one know how hard it is for teachers to resist the temptation to find that quick fix. The one program that will make teaching that much easier. Teachers are overworked and underpaid, and in most cases in NYC drowning in paperwork. Then along come the publishers touting their program as the answer to all prayers. Everything in one place - right at your fingertips. Don't believe the promises. There will never be a one size fits all program that will solve all your problems. Children are diverse learners and need diverse instructional practices. I think we should feel honored that we have the opportunity to create our own road maps even if it is hard work.

I for one will be waiting patiently to read the rest of Debbie's book. Please post your thoughts on the opening preview after you read it.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mentor Text for Launching 3 - 5

Launching in these grades looks very different from launching in the primary grades. We actually don't need to even launch in the traditional sense. The children should have a foundation for the workshop when they arrive at our doorsteps in September. So... what do you do to start your year? What text do you use to get the year off on the right foot? Feel free to share your ideas here so we can get a good collection together. I look forward to reading your thoughts.


Mentor Text For Launching K - 2

Now that we have some time to reflect I'd like to start organizing for the coming school year. In thinking about one of the challenges we face each day, finding the right materials to match lessons is high on the list. I thought I would start a notebook for next year with sections in it for each unit I teach. In there I would keep notes on text I use, copies of any clippings I find, etc. I'd like to start this first blog entry around the first units we will be teaching in September - Launching. What mentor text have you all used to get the year off on the right foot? Please remember to include the full title of the text you are discussing, the author's name and any other information you feel we should know. I look forward to reading your entries.