professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Words, words, words

Highlights from yesterday's Boothbay Literacy Retreat in a series of phrases and snapshots.

"You have a lovely voice." From Naomi Shihab Nye. Juan Felipe Herrera's teacher told him he had a lovely voice. Those 5 words can change the world for a student. Herrera is now the Poet Laureate of the U.S. Think about how simple words can encourage, uplift, make impossible seem totally possible.

"Sometimes." The first invitation from Linda Rief to write.

"It takes more than one use for a strategy to take hold, be successful, work." Smart words from Kylene Beers. How often have we tried something new, had it fail, shrugged it off, and moved on? I remember the first time I tried to incorporate Literature Circles in my classes. It did not work as well as I had hoped. I had to sit down and think about what went wrong. The first thing that came to mind is that I needed to make it my own. That meant some tweaking for me and for my kids.

Not a quote, but I loved Bob Probst talking about Louise Rosenblatt and how she was able to decimate folks who talked about meaning residing in the text, on the four corners of the page. How I wish Louise Rosenblatt were alive to talk to David Coleman.

"Sometimes people simply parrot something they have heard without considering the source." Chris Crutcher joined us at the dinner table. The discussion ranged from family to Supreme Court to presidential candidates, and more. We talked about how some folks seem to misunderstand everything to suit their agendas.

"What do you still want or need to know?" Penny Kittle asked this question repeatedly as she talked about making movies from our writing. How I would love to be in her classroom!

Here is my general observation: I am sitting in a room with about 100 very smart people. Some are presenting sessions, some are organizing the conference, and some are there attending. ALL of us are learning. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US IS LEARNING. What a community.
Tags: learning
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