A Workshop Provided by Academia Cotopaxi for Elementary School Teachers and Parents, from Pre-Kinder through Grade Five.
Great Experience with students, teachers and the whole Community!
Kathy Collins, expert literacy consultant and author of Growing Readers, Reading for Real, and I am Reading visited our learning community. She met with our whole Early Childhood Division and Grades 3-5 teachers and instructional assistants to kick off what would end up being an amazing week of learning for our educators, parents, and students. From the moment she began her opening presentation she had teachers engaged, laughing, and reliving the joy of reading in which we hope to inspire in our students.
Throughout the week she held grade level meetings with in class demonstrations of the Reading Workshop, shared reading, and interactive read aloud in all grade levels. She presented at an all day Saturday workshop on the Reading Workshop with over 120 educators from around Quito. Her expertise allowed teachers and parents to understand that together we can grow strong readers who can read and love to read.
"One of the big things was "It's not what you read, it's how you read." We've actually talked about that in class with the kiddos. Also, having students get into a ready reading position like athletes do (runners, swimmers)." - Nichole Sanchez, 4th Grade Teacher.
"One of my biggest takeaways is that the Balance Literacy curriculum is equally fun and rigorous. Teachers should not be afraid of making the read aloud experience a fun moment where both teachers and students interact, dramatize, imagine, predict, etc." - Belén Paredes, Kindergarten Teacher
"I loved watching her do an interactive read aloud with a book that has only a few words on each page… so inspiring! Also, loved her idea of students getting their reading areas ready before the mini-lesson. And her “love-notes” during conferences. Such great ideas!" - Lindsay Becker, First Grade Teacher
Kathy is seriously a never ending resource whether from watching her at work, listening to her present or just chatting with her about reading. She shared with the community ideas such us:
- The importance of using the types of books children are actually reading as mentor texts as well as exposing them to high reach/ high quality children's literature. Modeling deep talk with little books.
- Making sure that you're sharing your own rich reading life with the children.
- Intertwining reading and writing together as part of the same process.
- Reading is about making meaning.
- Having a plan for your read aloud but always being open to where the kids interest/noticing might take it. Then connect it back to what we've learned.
- "Just Right" books need to be checked to ensure they're also "just right" for meaning.
- The importance of educating parents to help them see there is so much more to reading than just decoding/ sight words.
Parents had great takeaways too!
Many parents commented on how great it was to have an expert in literacy share with them many tips to help children to love reading:
- Help their children create a social network where they just talk about books.
- Start planning trips with books.
- It's important to continue reading aloud to children after they knew how to read themselves
Teachers and parents were grateful for the opportunity to learn from Kathy Collins. We look forward to her new book on Homework that will be coming out in the Spring and also when she returns to Academia Cotopaxi to visit us again. Her focus in the spring will be on talk in the classroom, partnerships, and book clubs.