How are you noticing the emerging stories of your life?
My Summer Vacation
August makes me nostalgic, mostly because when I was a little kid, it was the best month of summer. School didn’t start until after Labor Day, so August was filled with Popsicles under the shade tree, lazy lake days, and lots of books, because it was too hot for much more. It was all part of preparing to return to school to write about “My Summer Vacation.”
As I was reading this week’s collection of content, I was dreaming about first-day-of-school introductions. I giggled as I imagined spinoffs of the old-time essay.
- My Summer Vacation in a Meme
- My Summer Vacation Repped by an Emoji
- My Summer Vacation via My Camera Roll
This week’s newsletter has me thinking about how images permeate the way humans make meaning. I know that the definition of text is evolving. No longer is it just words; the definition can be expanded to anything that communicates meaning, including images and sound alongside words.
This week we take time to consider the role of image in reading and writing—plus more, as always.
Ruth Ayres is the editor in chief of the Choice Literacy site and the director of professional learning for The Lead Learners Consortium in northern Indiana. Ruth previously worked as a middle and high school language arts and science teacher and a K-12 instructional coach. She is the author of Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers (Stenhouse, 2017) and other books for teachers of writers. When not writing professionally, Ruth collects stories of adoption, faith, and whimsy. You can follow her at Ruth Ayres Writes or @ruth_ayres on Twitter or Instagram.
This month’s featured contributor is Tammy Mulligan. Tammy co-authored It’s All About the Books and Assessment in Perspective. At work, you can find her teaching and thinking alongside elementary teachers and kids. On other days, she is in her garden, hiking in the woods, or hiding behind a pile of children’s books. Connect with Tammy on Twitter @TammyBMulligan or Instagram @TammyReadsKidLit.
Join the Choice Literacy Book Club! Tammy Mulligan selected Ouch Moments! When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways by Michael Genhart and Viviana Garofoli as our August read. Grab a copy, and join the conversation using the hashtag #ChoiceLiteracyBookClub.
Gretchen Schroeder melds famous artwork with literacy instruction in her high school classroom. This article was first published in 2015.
Katie DiCesare’s favorite beginning unit with first graders focuses on illustration. This article was first published in 2014.
Do you know about the Teachers|Books|Readers blog? It is a fabulous collaboration by 31 educators who share book recommendations, stories from classrooms, and sage instructional advice in order to connect students and books.
The Classroom Tours Field Experience cracks open classroom design and goes beyond more than a trendy space. Spend time noticing the details that reflect beliefs and influence instruction. This course is free to members.
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.
In an encore Coaching Minute, literacy coach Jean Russell explains how she uses quotes at the start of a professional development session to read the room and launch conversations about a topic.
In a Deep Dive course, Matt Renwick guides instructional leaders to implement and strengthen instructional literacy walks. Through literacy walks, leaders seek out promising practices, note and name them during formative visits, and lead coaching conversations with teachers. The outcome is not only school improvement, especially in literacy, but also a community of learners who engage in continuous improvement as a natural stance. Free to Literacy Leader members.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do good and great things. Believe that no mountain is so high you cannot climb it. Believe that no storm is so great that you cannot weather it. Believe in yourself.
—Gordon B. Hinckley
That’s all for this week!