Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
—Anthony J. D’Angelo
[Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!]
Courses Special Issue
This week we offer a special issue of the Big Fresh, highlighting our course offerings. After spending the winter working closely with our web designer we can’t wait for you to access these top-notch professional learning experiences.
- The Deep Dive courses are the most intense learning experience, with new content in the form of keynote presentations from our contributors. They are packed full of related articles and videos and lead you on a learning journey through a specific topic.
- We are pleased to share our new Process Play courses, which allow you to learn through the reading and writing process. Grab your notebook and prepare to have practical ideas to use in your classroom tomorrow!
- You will find Curated Content courses that round up our best content on the site around a topic and put it together in an easy-to-use series.
- We believe some of the best professional learning comes from being in classrooms. Our Field Experience courses provide a virtual observation experience around a variety of topics and grade levels.
- All courses include a certificate of completion indicating a number of professional learning hours.
- Our courses are now included with membership. Literacy Leader members have access to all of the courses on the site, and Classic Classroom members have access to many of them. You have access for the duration of your membership.
- Courses for purchase regardless of membership status—even for nonmembers—and, once purchased, come with lifetime access.
You will find new courses released regularly. Like all of our new content, you can rest assured it will be delivered to your inbox each week in the Big Fresh.
Editor, Choice Literacy
This month’s Featured Contributor is Dana Murphy. We made a donation in Dana’s name to Knitting, ILY. This is a community organization founded by high school students who love to knit and are focused on spreading love and making a difference through charitable projects.
Dana has been an educator for over two decades in Illinois. She has served as an elementary teacher and instructional coach. Dana wrote for the Two Writing Teachers blog for several years and is now teaching elementary school in the suburbs of Chicago. Follow Dana on Twitter @DanaMurphy__ or Instagram @murphy_teaches. This month you’ll find her on the Big Fresh podcast and offering Choice Literacy courses. Find all of Dana’s articles and videos on the site by clicking here.
On the podcast, The Choice Literacy Book Club discusses Neville by Norton Juster and G. Brian Karas.
Join the Choice Literacy Book Club! Dana Murphy selected the May pick. It is My Hero Academia, Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi. This new manga series is popular in classrooms and a new reading experience for our book club. Grab a copy, and join the conversation using the hashtag #ChoiceLiteracyBookClub.
The Choice Literacy Book Club is a free for all. You can get a feel for our courses and access more content on our site. You’ll also enjoy the community you discover when reading a book together.
New members-only content is added each week to the Choice Literacy website. If you’re not yet a member, click here to explore membership options.
Deep Dive: English Language Learners and Literacy Instruction: Stella Villalba provides tools, strategies, and wise advice for literacy instruction for children with native languages other than English. (Course created in 2019.)
Deep Dive: Meaningful Reading Conferences: Christy Rush-Levine takes you into her middle school classroom, and shares the strategies and techniques she uses with her students to deepen their reflection and understanding of books while conferring. (Course created in 2018.)
Deep Dive: Gradual Release of the Primary Classroom Library: Bitsy Parks takes you into her primary classroom for a close-up look at how she organizes and then gradually releases the library to students over days, weeks, and months. (Course created in 2018.)
Process Play: Choice in Elementary Workshops: Tam Mulligan, Bitsy Parks, Matt Renwick, and Stella Villalba share ways to empower choice even in uncertain times like the 2020–2021 school year. We know choice is the heart of teaching readers and writers. Enjoy this roundup of practices to hold true to our roots of choice, even in the midst of chaos. (Course created in 2021.)
Process Play: Choice in Secondary Workshops: Leigh Anne Eck, Christy Rush-Levine, and Gretchen Schroeder share ways to empower choice even in uncertain times like the 2020-2021 school year. We know choice is the heart of teaching readers and writers. Enjoy this round-up of practices to hold true to our roots of choice, even in the midst of chaos. (Course created in 2021.)
Field Experience: General Workshop Routines: This field experience invites us to consider the routines of opening the day, workshop norms, meeting areas, and transitions to make workshop run smoothly.
Field Experience: Classroom Tours: The Classroom Tours field experience cracks open classroom design and goes beyond trendy spaces. Spend time noticing the details that reflect beliefs and influence instruction.
Field Experience: Writing Notebooks: Writers’ notebooks are important tools for writers. This field experience showcases how elementary teachers use notebooks with students.
Deep Dive: Literacy Walks: Seek, Name, and Strengthen Promising Literacy Practices: Matt Renwick leads instructional leaders in implementing and strengthening instructional literacy walks. (2021)
Deep Dive: It’s a Cycle, Not a Hamster Wheel: Getting the Most Out of Coaching Cycles: Dana Murphy takes you into the nitty-gritty of coaching cycles with examples and advice from experienced literacy coaches from across the country. You’ll view videos of an initial meeting of a coach and teacher to plan a cycle and sample demonstration lessons within a cycle, and get quick video tips for getting organized and taking good notes throughout the cycle. (2019)
Curated Content: Virtual Coaching: Working with Individuals: Experienced literacy coaches led by Ruth Ayres share their strategies for adapting their one-on-one coaching techniques to remote environments.
Field Experience: Social-Emotional Learning in Workshop: Compassion and understanding are as important to workshop instruction as strategies and routines. Understanding the social-emotional needs of students (and ourselves) allows for safe learning environments. This field experience gives consideration to the social-emotional needs of students in all grade levels.
Field Experience: Craft Moves for Elementary Writers: This field experience invites us to consider a handful of craft moves to teach young writers in minilessons, conferences, and share sessions.
Field Experience: Kindergarten Writers: This field experience focuses on kindergarten writers. Spend time with the youngest writers and you will be mesmerized by their writing processes.
Field Experience: Supporting Independent Reading, Choice, and Stamina: Learning to choose books and growing stamina are important steps in the development of independent readers. This field experience offers opportunities to see small-group instruction, a share session, minilessons, and team meetings that support independence in readers.
Field Experience: Small-Group Reading Instruction: Small-group reading instruction is an important part of elementary literacy. This field experience is a sampling of a variety of examples.
Field Experience: Book Talks to Empower Independent Reading: Finding books they want to read is at the heart of students becoming powerful, independent readers. This field experience chronicles the way book talks put books into adolescents’ hands that have them begging for more independent reading time.
Field Experience: Picture Books and Older Students: The value of picture books with secondary students is often questioned. This field experience allows insight into the depth and power of picture books for adolescents.
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
—Harry S. Truman
That’s all for this week!