professornana (professornana) wrote,

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M Is for Model

I watched a video this morning, one made by Colby Sharp. Here is the link. Go watch and then come on back.

How I wish I still had a kid who I could send into Colby's classroom. I know they would come out at the end of the year jumping on tables, too, and declaring their own love of reading. Here is Ed Spicer, another dedicated lover of books, exhorting his kids to join him in a love of reading:!/photo.php?fbid=4544024888635&set=p.4544024888635&type=1&theater

And I could give you loads more examples. Here are the MODELS, the teachers and librarians who connect with kids first by showing them their unabashed love of books and reading. I became a teacher, in part, because I had models, too. Teachers who were passionate about their subject matter, who cared about kids, who conveyed their enthusiasm through modeling the behaviors they wanted us to exhibit. The only valid way to convince kids that books and reading are worthwhile is if we MODEL our own love first (and continuously throughout the year).

This is not just about books and reading, though. We have to model the literate behavior we expect. I still recall my introduction to the writing project. Two leaders came into the district for an inservice. when we entered the room, we saw on the blackboard (yes, we had those awful chalkboards back then): "We're writing. Won't you join us?" Some of us did. I made a grocery list first. Then I went on to write about how weird it was to hear dead silence as some wrote and others simply sat and looked bored (one filed her nails, eek!). It just made sense: why talk to us about the importance of writing if you are not writing as well?

I still compose annotations "live" in class to show my graduate students my thought process: how I draft and then revise and edit. Why I include what I do. I give examples and models of all the assignments I require or recommend. Most of the time, students leave that FTF meeting feeling much more confident that they can be successful in class. So, bless folks like Donalyn Miller and Penny Kittle and Linda Rief and Paul Hankins (and again this list could go on and on) who model literate behaviors for their classes (and for me, too).

Take a walk on the literacy catwalk with me? Strike a pose with a book. Show kids we love books and reading and writing. So, here I am in Alaska in my favorite book store: Title Wave. I am tweeting and taking pictures (and I did buy a bunch of books to give out to the librarians the next day during my workshop).

Tags: behaviors, model, teachers
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