Thanks to Cathy Mere, Laura Komos and Michelle Nero for this great PD opportunity!
Reflections on Chapters 3-4 of DIY Literacy by Kate and Maggie Roberts
I have to say that I LOVE this book. It is one of the best PD books that I have read in awhile. I think that the thing that most appeals to me is the problem-solving nature of the teaching. Teaching reading is a problem-solving activity! We know where we want students to be, and we can figure out where students are. The rest of the work is problem-solving how to get there. The hard part is that journey might be different for every student because each one is an individual with their own strengths and weaknesses; their own interests and habits. Luckily for us, Kate and Maggie have given us universal tools that we can use to help us move students down that literacy continuum!
I loved how Kate followed a student in her graduate studies and heard what we have all heard (and even said), “I taught this already,” “You should know this by now.” It is so frustrating when students aren’t implementing what we taught them! But she is exactly right when she says that “if we had really taught it, then the kids would be able to do it.”
When students aren’t incorporating the strategies that we taught them, it’s important that we problem solve why that is. Is it because they aren’t sure of the expectations? Is it because there are so many strategies that they forget? Is it the whole class not implementing? A few of the students? Those are questions that teachers can ask themselves to figure out how to address the gaps in learning. Are students unsure of expectations? Micro-progressions can help! They can show students the end goal for their reading and give them the steps to get there. Are students forgetting strategies? An anchor chart can help! Is this a whole class problem that can be solved in a mini lesson? Or do just a few students need support? Bookmarks can help those students remember which strategies they should focus on. Whatever the problem, teachers can use the tools in this chapter to help students retain and use important literacy strategies.
This chapter deals with rigor and what that really means. The authors think of rigor as a behavior rather than a task. That is so important. Giving kids harder books or harder work won’t create better readers or kids that will want to read. But teaching kids to work harder, and building internal motivation will increase their performance and their achievement.
My favorite part of this chapter talked about how to build that intrinsic motivation. The authors listed 5 ways to cultivate it.
- Challenge – students need a challenge that is attainable. The book compares this to video games. Students need to see that levels will get increasingly harder, but they will be able to do it with practice!
- Curiosity – Creating visually stimulating and engaging tools can help pique student interest.
- Control – Students need to feel some control over what they are reading, writing, working on, in order to the feel intrinsic motivation to work hard.
- Cooperation and Competition – Students love to work together. Learning is a social activity! Allowing students to work in partnerships and small groups will keep their motivation higher.
- Recognition – Flattery will get you everywhere! Praise students for their hard work and their improvement. They want to please!
I love this opportunity to reflect on my reading! Thanks again #cyberPD creators and all of the contributors! I have enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts and learning along with you!