I have a confession to make: I almost didn’t buy this book.
I kept thinking that it’s just about making charts, so what is the big deal? However, since many people I know and respect were talking about it, I caved in (after making several other book purchases) and decided to buy it. I’m glad I did because DIY Literacy is not just about making charts, although that is part of it. DIY Literacy is about teachers and kids co-creating tools that demystify and facilitate learning.
Maggie Beattie Roberts and Kate Roberts carefully crafted book provides teachers with a variety of practical tools to take control of their teaching. And, in theory, these tools will allow students to be more self-directed in their learning.
As I was reading, I felt a tinge of recognition, and
Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman came to mind immediately! Although they were written years apart both books discuss the importance of knowing ourselves as readers in order to become better teachers of reading.
Of the three chapters I’ve read so far, I thought the bonus chapter would be my least favorite, but I was wrong! I love the way the authors help us break down some very “in your head” processes into a few simple, but powerful steps. I like that it’s not about following a recipe, but about revealing our thinking process as we read. Slowing down our reading long enough to think about what we’re doing, allows us to do a better job teaching our students.
How do I think about characters, theme, and setting? How do I make up my mind about what is happening and why in a story? What words trigger particular feelings or thoughts as I read? I don’t need a scripted lesson or guide book to tell me what to do. I simply need to think about what I do when I’m reading and share this with my students. Then, I can help them go through this same process so they can uncover their own thinking.
I look forward to blogging more as I continue to read this book.
Have you read DIY Literacy, yet? What are your thoughts about this book? Share in the comments section below.
I subscribe to a word of the day prompt for writing. Although I haven’t done any writing responding to one of these daily prompts yet, I decided to try one for today’s SOL. I’m not necessarily a big fan of prompts for writing. However, sometimes they help to get me writing when I’m stuck, or they give me a new way to look at things and get me writing in a different way. Today’s prompt was “footsteps”. My first response was, “Woah! What am I going to write about that?” Then, I remembered the recommendation not to see a prompt as limiting, but full of possibilities. Prompts simply require a response. What that response turns out to be may be of little consequence. What’s important is that it gets you writing. So, yes, this response has me thinking and writing.
Footsteps…in the night?
Footsteps…behind me as I’m walking down a dark street?
Footsteps…of people in my past?
What kind of footsteps can I write about?
The word “footsteps” makes me think of something scary. Something to fear. Something that’s bad and out to harm me, but footsteps can also be symbolic. Representative of something bigger, more important. The footsteps that I’ve taken to get to where I am today. The life I have right now.
Footsteps through my Cuban town. More like skipping, rather than walking, to the houses of neighbor kids. Skipping to my elementary school. And, finally, footsteps that led me to the airport to get on the big bird that took me, my brother and my paternal grandparents to the Big Apple, the place I was to call home for the next dozen years or so. Footsteps through the streets of New York, mostly Brooklyn, sometimes Manhattan.
Footsteps to college in Massachusetts…far away from those other footsteps that led me there. So much so that I lost my way. I forgot my mother tongue. There were no footsteps to help me find my way back. Footsteps through the Berkshires, as distant from Cuba and NY as I could possibly get and still be on the same planet. Footsteps in the snow. Where are those footsteps now?
After college, there were many footsteps in the south, thinking that I could save the world. Footsteps west, when I realized I couldn’t or at least, not yet. Footsteps to Northern California. For another dozen years or so. Footsteps with my husband and my two daughters. Big footsteps and smaller ones, too.
Footsteps to Louisiana. Footsteps full of gumbo, jambalaya, gospel music, Zeydeco, jazz, blues, and more. Footsteps carefully traipsing through the French Quarter and Uptown. Footsteps…
Footsteps south to Ecuador the first time, and footsteps way north to Canada years later. But in between, my son left tiny footsteps in the concrete of this place and that one, too.
Footsteps back to Ecuador the second time. And, here I am. Footsteps to retrace my footsteps closer to where it all began.
Cross posted to Two Writing Teacher Slice of Life March Challenge, Day #26