I looked at N and said, "What do you wear to meet your literacy hero?"
He, of course, gave me the blank look. :)
I have met so many of my favorites! I met the Sisters in Orlando. I met Lucy Calkins and Kathy Collins in New York. I met Ralph Fletcher. I met Dr. Jean pretty early in my career. That was quite embarrassing. I was almost speechless! I have even met Ellin Oliver Keene. I mean, I have a lot of bases covered. All except....Debbie Miller.
Today, October 24th-I met her! I spent the day in a small group with three amazing literacy leaders! I met Georgia Heard, Debbie Miller, and for a second time-Lester Laminack. I am a big fan of Lester's work in children's literature (Saturday and Teacakes and Three Hens and a Peacock) and professional literature. I am a fan of Georgia's poetry but always considered her intermediate-until today! More on that later! Then I met................. Debbie Miller <insert chimes ringing.>
I can not tell you how thrilled I was to meet Debbie Miller. There are no words. I mean, Reading with Meaning is my reading handbook. Teaching with Intention is a book I recommend to all new teachers. It is powerful stuff! I love her. I love how when I read her books I feel like she is talking to me. I love how she includes pictures, I mean what teacher doesn't love pictures! Here we are!!
Debbie shared a lesson on big ideas. My take away-big ideas and the main idea are different. There can be many big ideas in a story. Side note-watching her teach was amazing. The children were hanging on her every word. (I was too.)
Georgia Heard opened my eyes to the idea that little people can think big when it comes to poetry. I am purchasing her book (Climb Inside a Poem-cowritten by Lester) and plan on exploring real poetry with my first graders and T! My takeaway-I need less hinky-dinky poetry and more thought provoking poetry!
Lester, as always, was telling it like it is. He, like Debbie and Georgia, make you feel like they are on the same team. They are teachers. They love what they do. They are real. I love it! Lester guided us on the journey that is Common Core. He brings it with honesty and excitement. I hope that catches on across the nation! My takeaway-there are some new things, but best practices never go out of style.
What a day! I have to much to ponder in coming days. How will this change my teaching? How will my school take on the Common Core standards? Where will I frame my picture? :)