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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Some Wonderful Saturday Sessions

I spent Saturday morning with a few hundred teachers in an affirming session with Don Graves. His new text "The Sea of Faces" is a collection of poetry that celebrates each student in a New York classroom. Graves insisted that testing is not teaching and encouraged us all to give kids time and space for writing about their lives.

"Let them write about the things they care about," Graves prompted. "Emotion is the engine that drives the intellect...it begins with the heart and goes to the head."

The middle level mosaic was a great afternoon session. Lots of powerful speakers: Harvey Daniels, Linda Rief, Kylene Beers, Terri Lessene (sp). Terri gave us a great booklist of high interest, accessible texts for high school readers. She told us to visit this website for a full list of quick picks and top ten texts at www.ala.org/yalsa/
This is an excellent resource for engaging our reluctant, older adolescent readers.

I was able to meet with RCWP folks in the afternoon and evening, and visit the exhibit hall in between. The 2006 NWP and NCTE was another superb learning experience full of rich texts and loads of professional connections.


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