What’s Your True North?

There are so many resources out there – so many theories – so many ways to teach. What is best? Teachers have to craft their own lens for what they value. Think about this as we consider the process for reading and writing. What map will you use? What route will you take? With understanding comes cohesion and vision. We have to have vision, it’s our true north, if we want our teaching to have direction and purpose.

We know that education is not static – there are undulating currents that pull and push us through reforms and initiatives. We are told to say goodbye to one idea and hello to the next. For us, we are guided by Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading & Writing Project, and Jennifer Serravallo. Growth can only happen with meaningful reflection and for that the voice we hear is Dr. Mary Howard. Their works inform and inspire us, and that’s how new ideas are born.

The truth is we are guiding the ship, and for us, these giants are helping us to set our course for this school year. We spent the day combing through the new Reading Pathways book. With analytical eyes we examined the Informational, and Narrative Learning Progressions. How can we blend this new work with our current beliefs? We are holding on tight to Fountas and Pinnell’s Wheel of Strategic Actions and have a deep appreciation for Jennifer Serravallo’s The Reading Strategy Book. We are always looking to take our good practices and make them great by informing them through research (Thank you Dr. Howard).

All of this work can be put into action through goal setting. The kind of goal setting that is steeped in the process and runs on a child’s perception. As we blend these works and ideas we looked for patterns that could fit together and work in a real classroom. To create structures that make sense to an eight year old and would allow our teaching to filter in, so we can construct a course for the long voyage ahead.

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