Thursday, October 17, 2013

My experiences from the Fall Conference

It was inspiring to be around fellow learners teaching the same grade level and sharing of ideas and expertise.  I love hearing about other curriculum and ways of teaching that are new to me and that I haven’t studied or used personally.  I’m so curious about how to perfect everything that I do in teaching that it is more useful to me to hear about it from a colleague who is using it successfully.  Teaching writing has always been an unknown for me.  Other than training in Step Up to Writing I have little experience and our writing curriculum is currently weak.  I hope to take back to the classroom with some ideas that include doing more shared writing experiences in the beginning of the year and a gradual release to independent writing.  I’d also like to use the idea of using address labels for “response to reading” ideas (favorite part of the story, if you could be a character who would be and why, etc) in their writing journal.  Student choice is a high motivator and I know they would love to pick what to write about it.  My only dilemma is that can’t read them so maybe numbering them would be helpful.  Lastly, I’d like to look into the Ran chart by Tony Stead which is similar to a KWL chart but more comprehensive and uses higher level thinking.

The Lasallian  AGAPE principles were addressed in several ways throughout the conference.  First, association was established in our cooperative environment where we shared with one another, worked collaboratively in teams, and generated ideas and thoughts together about 21st century literacy, backwards design and our personal action research.  Second, generativity was shown by allowing us to work in a team environment that was comfortable and accepting.  Ideas were respected and everyone was given time to share and their answers were validated in concept mapping and through responses by other colleagues or professors.  Third, adaptation was shown by allowing us all to think critically of why we need literacy and the importance of it in our role as an educator.  We created concept maps to show our thought process while also encouraging us to be different and use our creativity in the creation of it.  Fourth, the concept of presence was seen throughout the experience as we all thoughtfully shared with one another our personal ideas and struggles of teaching.  We will further build on this concept as we work collaboratively in a blogging community.  Lastly, we showed engagement in the ideas and concepts because we were allowed to apply the ideas of literacy in the 21st century specifically to our classroom.  I thought it was beneficial to work with others teaching the same grade level to further enhance the conversation and understanding.  Clearly the Lasallian concepts were highly sought out by all learners in the conference.

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