Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Condensed Soup - Conference Highlights



            Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy and all this blogging community for the Tuesday Slice of Life!  Looking forward to the March SOL Challenge!

             Here's a quick summary of some sessions I experienced at my conference. Because it includes hours of talk and listening, observing and participating, I can't "tell all".  I'm going to share some highlights, hence "condensed soup" and perhaps that will be enough, at least today. 



  • Although I just drove across Denver, it was like a mini vacation, checking in Wed. night at the Mariott, enjoying my own room, and two and a half days of "not worrying/thinking about school". My substitute and my assistant did great with the class without me.
  • The Mariott has a Starbucks and a larger restaurant on site. I was grateful.
  • I saw some old colleagues who are now teaching in other places. I met some new educators that were fun to sit by and discuss whatever was happening.
  • Four hours of Kylene Beers was wonderful. Of course I loved her references to charts from Notice & Note, but also that she spoke of the differences between the last century and this new one we are living in. She spoke of the 20th century as one where things were 'taken apart'. And of this 21st century: time to put them back together in 'new' ways, a synthesis of old into new.
  • I liked this also from Kylene. "Three things when one reads: What's in the text? What's behind the text? What touches you in the text?" The questions simplify enough of the ideas when reading that they will readily reach students. Sometimes there's a struggle of how to differentiate between plot and theme. 
        There is more, and more, from several authors, illustrators, and this from Kelly Gallagher: he stresses the vocabulary that is 'right'. I loved that he focused on the use of the word "story" since I really believe that is meaningful for all ages. He said things like "find a story to support your claim" instead of find the facts. He has a new book coming in March, and the e-book is available now! The title is In The Best Interest of Students
         Have a great week everyone!
Vendors were generous, plus of course I bought some others.

12 comments:

  1. Conferences can be like mini-vacations when the speakers challenge and inspire and there is plenty of time for conversation with colleagues...a stay at the Marriot, that was a very nice bonus! And all those new books!!

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  2. I've never seen Kylene Beers, but I'd love to. I have seen Kelly Gallagher, and I could listen to him all day. I love that concept/distinction of using story to support your claim. How exciting that he has a new book! I will be attending conferences for the next three weekends. I'm excited about getting recharged! I'll also be presenting, so that'll be fun (but a little stressful - ha). Thanks for serving us some condensed soup this morning!

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  3. Thank you for this. I love these words from Kylene …"Three things when one reads: What's in the text? What's behind the text? What touches you in the text?" You are so right! Simple, meaningful and transferrable to students (and teachers). These are thought provoking and easy to hold on to. And Kelly Gallagher. How does he do it? Can't wait to see his new book.

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  4. I love Kylene Beers and Kelly Gallagher. I am hoping to go to NCTE in November, and I would definitely be looking for sessions with them. I saw Kylene the first time at her Heinemann Boothbay Literacy Retreat, a highlight in my PD experiences. Then I saw her again at NCTE a couple of years ago. I am glad that you enjoyed your conference/mini-vacation.

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  5. Sounds like you had a worthwhile and exciting conference. I have always found conferences to be energizing.

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  6. Thanks for this peek into CCIRA, Linda - so glad that you had a chance to learn from Kylene in person. Such a wise and gracious person!

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  7. What a great conference! I love Kylene's 3 questions that you shared. I'm going to definitely borrow those! Thanks for sharing, Linda.

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  8. "Three things when one reads: What's in the text? What's behind the text? What touches you in the text?" Simple yet powerful words! It is fun to come back with so many ideas and thoughts that can be implemented with students!

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  9. Such a fabulous conference! I saw Kelly Gallagher (twice) but didn't get to see Kylene Beers. I love Kylene's questions, will be sharing them tomorrow! You are a lucky duck to get to stay at the hotel!

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  10. Sounds like a great conference! Kylene Beers is so inspiring, and I love those questions. And look at all those books! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about them. Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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  11. Thanks everyone, long day and evening! I appreciate you enjoyed the bits shared-such a wonderful time learning some new approaches, or the same ones looked at differently.

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  12. Linda, I like the idea of a condensed soup packaging for your updates. Kylene's comparison of the centuries is one to remember: "the 20th century-one where things were 'taken apart'. 21st century-time to put them back together in 'new' ways, a synthesis of old into new." Her 3 prompts when reading will be useful information for the teachers I work with: What's in the text? What's behind the text? What touches you in the text?" Thanks for the news from your conference.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!