I am leaving a very satisfying position in my district as a former district instructional specialist and as a Lead iCoach (similar to a district literacy specialist) where I worked with curriculum, teachers and schools to share the latest strategies that enhance instruction. I have worked on the district level for seven wonderful years. I have decided to leave that position and join a great 4th grade team at Westwood Elementary to teach. It is refreshing and totally exhilarating to return to my first love, teaching elementary students. Because of this, being at this conference is truly inspiring. I really enjoyed a refresher on comprehension, but have learned a lot about how group collaboration must be taught and how it goes hand in hand in teaching all subjects. It will work especially well with project based learning and blended learning. The videos were very informative to watch and debrief.
Stephanie Harvey is no technological pushover either. I loved how Stephanie encouraged us to tweet using the hashtag #RITX2015. She is into Twitter like I am. It is nice to see that!
I had the great opportunity to talk to Sara Holbrook while waiting for coffee. We had a great discussion about writing and teaching poetry. It was nice to speak to a fellow poet. High Impact Writing Clinics. She also blogs too. We have much in common.
As if my day could not get any better, I looked at my Twitter notification and read that Katie Muhtraris coauthor of Connecting Comprehension and Technology is following me on Twitter! Is that cool or what? Please don't say what. We watched a video of Katie in her 5th grade classroom. She uses technology seamlessly in her classroom. I cannot wait until tomorrow's breakout session. Katie will be presenting to my group. I will learn from someone who does this everyday. I will take copious notes. There is so much to learn and it is right in front of me. I expect to walk away with so many ideas of how to blend technology with comprehension study. This upcoming school year, I won't be watching teachers get to do what I love anymore. I will be able to get first hand, extended opportunities and you can bet you bottom dollar that I will take the plunge and do it. I know it won't be perfect, but a great work in progress. Like Stephanie Harvey said today, " I am going to go slow to go fast."
What is my reflection on today? I am still taking it in and processing. I need to sleep on it and let the brain process all of this into my working memory and hopefully arrive at long term memory. It was certainly meaningful. Chances are, as David Sousa stated from How the Brain Learns, if learning is to have a high likelihood to be retained and stored in long term memory, it has to be meaningful (relevant) and make sense. This training is definitely relevant and makes total sense.