Monday, July 8, 2013

A Great Finale for All-Write!


        The Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers, where many link their posts to share what’s going on in their lives, both personal and educational.  Come visit everyone's posts to check out their writing about their summers!
                After all the earlier sessions, all the talk at breakfasts, lunches and dinners, I attended one more session, that of Dr. Tim Rasinski, now teaching at Kent State University.  You can access his website here!  He also sent other sources of readings for students to use.  If you are interested, let me know.  I have them on Google Docs and can easily share them.  


             Dr. Rasinski's talk concerned reading fluency, and the effect of using reader’s theater on that fluency.  I didn’t record the actual research project’s title, but thought this session’s entire focus was interesting enough to tell all of you about it.  Whether you are a teacher or a parent with a child who needs to improve his or her fluency, Dr. Rasinski convinced me enough to want to try his idea in the classroom.  The ideas were simple, do readers theater fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, and fluency will improve.  When students practice reading aloud repeated times, studies show that there can be vast improvement in fluency.  That’s it, just practice.  Considering there has been a thread throughout the conference that those 10,000 hours discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers were important in order to gain expertise, this session seemed to be a terrific ending.  In addition to sources on the website, here is one fluency lesson he sent to us personally.


             I was impressed with this idea.  Those who work with different kinds of readers in a any setting will find this helpful.  One thing that I took note of is that Dr. Rasinski said that older students who were already reading and who did the fifteen minutes a day showed as much as two years' growth after some weeks of practice. 




         And finally came The Ending Keynote, given by Lester Laminack.  It was inspiring enough that one wanted to run up on stage and hug him (I didn’t!)  It was inspiring enough that I wanted to run and buy his books. (I did, at least a few.)  His talk this time was about turning even such a small thing as a smell into something important to capture in writing. He spoke of pausing and taking in the memory.   As he entered a store with a bakery, the smell carried him back to his Saturdays with Mammaw, spending that splendid time with her as they did Saturday chores, had lunch, and then set about making something sweet, the teacakes that Lester adored so much.  In his talk, he shares that this is where he learned to crack eggs, and when they first slopped out onto the floor, his grandmother would just say to get another and clean it up.  In this house, everything he did was accepted as who he was, someone who was learning and growing. 

         It was a time to lean back at this end, relax, and enjoy this wonderful storyteller.   It was magical, him offering us a slice of his life to take with us and savor. 
        You’ve been so patient as I’ve written these words about the All-Write Conference.  It was a gift I gave myself, and in turn, I hope my sharing has resulted in some small wrapped up gifts of knowledge for all of you.  
===============================================
       Something exciting!  I'm also visiting and honored to share a bit of how and why I use notebooks over at Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog, Sharing Our Notebooks! Come see me there too!

32 comments:

  1. Thanks for the fluency lesson -- I just printed it out to do a one-on-one tutoring variant. Now I'll go see your notebooks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terrific! So glad that you found it useful! Thanks Tabatha!

      Delete
  2. You were so lucky to learn from such amazing presenters. I, too, had an experience with reader's theater in my session with Sarah Weeks at the writing institute at TC. I am sold as well. I'd love the resources you mentioned. Can you see my email from this post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would have been a good session to see! No, I can't see your e-mail. Does the elle & number connect with g-mail? Thanks Elle, just reply here & I'll send them to you!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing the information from Rasinski. So simple, but awesome results. Every time I hear Lester speak I marvel at his storytelling style. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elsie, time to move to other things now! Lester was terrific!

      Delete
  4. Yes, Linda, it was magical to sit back and listen to Lester's words. I got very caught up in his storytelling and his ease with putting together beautiful words. I remember thinking to myself while I was sitting there that his story was like a slice of life. Great minds, huh? Thanks for sharing more of your learning. I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on this wonderful All Write experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robin, and yes, great minds!

      Delete
  5. Laminack presented at TC one year....I had so much fun just listening to him! I've tried reader's theater, Linda, and I can see the connection it would make to promoting fluency....but, it took time to do on a regular basis, and I was not regular about it. Your post has me thinking, though. Maybe it's time to return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was terrific! I've done reader's theater before too, but never thought it was 'that' helpful. It was amazing to hear him speak about this. I would guess a little would be helpful too. Don't really know. Thanks Tara.

      Delete
  6. Linda, I love how your posts are so full of ideas and resources. I have so many more new ideas and thoughts and possible lessons, it makes my head spin to think about incorporating them into my teaching. Thanks for all the sharing you've done about All Write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny to be replying since I'm going to see you this am, but thanks. I'm so glad you're able to take something away from this. Fun to look forward to the new year!

      Delete
  7. Linda, I was really surprised by Dr. Rasinski's comments about older students. It definitely gives me something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jaana, me too. If it's that simple, why doesn't the world know?

      Delete
  8. Glad I was able to meet you, Linda, at the Wednesday dinner--not enough time. I think AllWrite and Two Writing Teachers are a meeting place for the world's nurturing souls who truly make a difference in so many lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Tam, our meeting was all too brief. Happy to hear from you!

      Delete
  9. Linda, I have enjoyed learning from you as you share your experiences at AllWrite. It is encouraging present practices and inspiring new ones. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm happy when someone can take something sharing and use it!

      Delete
  10. I have loved these glimpses into the All Write conference! Thank you! I would love to attend one year soon. Love this idea of reader's theater - reading aloud. I wonder if the preschool version of this might be having flannelboard and other story props for favorite stories, so that children re-tell the story over and over? Interesting to think about cultivating "fluency".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea, Maureen--the re-telling a story over and over, and also learning and singing songs or reciting rhymes. There must be some crossover! Thanks!

      Delete
  11. I haven't heard Lester Laminack speak in a few years. He's a great keynote speaker. A perfect choice for a closing keynote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to say I've never seen him before, and he was wonderful.

      Delete
  12. I have heard Rasinski and he really just makes sense! I wish that I could have heard the closing keynote by Lester...I'm so glad that I have his books to read his words. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you've heard both before so you understand what I'm trying to convey, Nancy. I have never heard of Rasinski so am so glad I went to this session. Thanks!

      Delete
  13. I have loved following along with your posts! I love Rasinksi (and thank you for sharing the lesson!), but Lester just makes it all seem like it is going be ok! I smile just thinking about the speech he made last year in our County. Thank you again! My email is mymommyreads@yahoo.com if you have time to share the other readings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So great you've seen them both. They made the ending of the conference worthwhile! I sent you a notice to be able to access the documents on Google Drive. Let me know if it doesn't work for you. Thank you!

      Delete
  14. Rasinksi was a presenter at Indiana's reading conference two summers ago. I loved his presentations and have used several of his ideas in my classroom. One of the things he talked about was having the student read the same passage three times. This gives the students a clear picture of how much better their reading becomes when they reread text. Many of them were surprised at the results.

    I also read your post about your notebooks. I have just started using one and I can't believe what an impact it has made on my "writing life." This will make it so much easier when we return to school because now I can actually use my experiences....why didn't I do this before!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow-so glad to hear about your experience with Rasinski's work. I will keep that practice of 3 times in mind & certainly share it. I'm so happy you're working in notebooks. It will be wonderful when you can share with your students in the fall!

      Delete
  15. My beginning ELLs really enjoyed and found success with Reader's Theater this past year, and I plan to do it more with them this year. The research about more accomplished readers showing growth also is intriguing as well. Lester Laminack sounds like a lot of fun to listen too -- I hope I get to hear him someday!

    P.S. I loved your post on Sharing Our Notebooks! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. I was just reading and enjoying your wonderful post! How great to hear that you had success with reader's theater. As I've said several times today, I loved hearing about this work to help fluency. And yes, Laminack was terrific!

      Delete
  16. Linda,
    Hi! Thanks for sharing about All Write! I love Dr. Rasinski-I've heard him speak several times as he is a nearby resource that we tap into at Kent! So glad you got to hear him!
    Hearing you share about Lester's Slice made me want to go read Saturdays and Teacakes-which also made me think of my grandma!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy. It was really a special time. I didn't know Dr. Rasinski so he was a wonderful surprise!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!