What Does Teaching for Transfer Look Like? Strategies, Skills, & Mindsets!

Good Morning Readers,

We are at the 89th Saturday Reunion at #TCRWP!  Each day we will be releasing our notes from the sessions we attend.  Think of  it as a five day series.  Our first session is with @MaryEhrenworth.  What you will be reading is our notes in real time and the conversations we are having around our learning.  Let’s see how this goes.  It started on the subway, bustling into a  crowed train – we knew we were with our people.  Immediately, we started chatting about Writer’s Workshop.  We shared information about our article on Heinemann’s Digital Campus, and another teacher suggested making it a totally digital resource!  What a great idea! I guess what we are struck with while we wait for the Keynote to begin is how generous teachers are with each other.  Here we are thousands of us – giving our time, our efforts, our thinking just to enhance our practice and all that we can do for our students.

Mary is talking – about being present and the rush is the joy of the day.  Grant Wiggins – backwards planning.  Think about the child – the skills and planning that helps children grow into their thinking.  The challenge of transfer is that even with brilliant instruction the kids were not transferring to their independent work.  Expilcit cueing systems kids often fail to transfer skills from one part of the curriculum to another part of the day. (We were talking about just this on the train!).

“You can provide students with training in a dozen reading strategies – provide helpful verbal cues, etc. and yet when asked to read on their own, they neither activate the strategies by themselves nor make meaning of unfamiliar materials.” – Grant Wiggins

” Students will typically not cue themselves to use all their prior learning unless they have been given lots of training and practice in this cueing  themselves.” – Grant Wiggins

Turning and Talking:

“I think transfer happens when we’re in GR.” – Jenn

“So when we’re doing GR how do we get them to cue themselves? “- Jill

“I think it’s when you are in the work with them being the scaffold to help them do the work right there.” – Jenn

Mary is talking about Read Aloud and deep transfer now; Picture a book that you love that you would use in read aloud.  Fly Away Home, by Eve Bunting. There is so much emotion and easily identifiable symbolism.  So many reasons.  If you don’t know it – here is a digital text: Fly Away Home

Mary is modeling how to do this work: “Today I want to teach you that characters are more than just one way. As we do this worka think about how this looks in your book. When I think that characters are more than one way. See how the small details say it’s suggestive. ”

Now she is showing this idea of inferring big ideas, from the small details in another book, The Piggy Book. Here is the book in as a  digital text: The Piggybook.  She is showing all the illustrations on document projector.  Our interpretations of her strengths and flaws:  Strengths: nurturing, organized, independent (she’s taking the bus).  Her flaws:  enabling others to take and not give back.

The important message for us to think about is that each reader takes something different to the text. Perspectives are swayed by your experiences – “Turn and compare”  is very purposeful prompt to generate discussions from a pluralistic lens.  Another great talking prompt: “What do you admire and what are you disturbed by” now she is using  a digital text: Maddie & Tae – Girl In A Country Song .  Our interpretations of admiration and disturbances:  Admire: the talent of the singing – and the fact that they are taking back power through humor.  Disturbing: to think about how objectified women are in our society.

It’s all about being flexible for transfer.  Not only for the type of book that’s being read but ALSO the kind of readers who is accessing the text.  How do we narrow the gap from Read Aloud to independence.  Now the project is thinking that students should be bringing their independent books to the read aloud.  That’s a heavier scaffold:

  1. Focus on an important reading strategy.
  2. Demonstrate and practice that strategy w/in one text create an immediate opportunity to try it

Fluid, Flexible, and Fluent – becoming innovative within that frame.  Treading mini-lessons to create a pathway to go from applying to synthesizing.  This is all about planting seeds during the read aloud for the sequence of mini-lessons to come.  Now Mary is back in The Piggybook.  We have to get this book!

Mary is having us turn and talk but in the best parts – such masterful teaching. Learning how to delay judgement so that they can be sympathetic and bring it from books to life.  What work do expect to do now?  Paying attention to how characters change, reserve judgement and how it effects life: knowing that when we talk about books we will each have a different perspective.

Not just thinking about the character but also lessons for life? What makes you say that? That makes students look at the discreet details and bring themselves to texts through perspective.  Video Be Brave

Teaching for Mindset (from one reader to another).   The transfer of joy – how open are you to teaching of joy? We are both very joyful about books.  We know what five books we would take to a desert island.  Another video: Kindle The Joy of Reading   We want to teach reading as one of the great joys of  your life.  Remember all the times we want to read.

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