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!