Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interactive Read Aloud: First Day of Camp!

English Workshop Toolkit 
Summer Camp 2014

Today we had our first day of camp. 
Figuring out technology for camp.
What is camp? It's a combination of curriculum development, planning, collaboration, and lots of fun! Each day starts off with getting to know you activity and it's followed by beautiful words. 

We listened to "Shake the Dust" by Anis Mojgani and used that as inspiration to write. I tweeted about it and LOOK:
He favorited my tweet! Yipppeee!

We will write and read, just like our students, to help us find the most effective tools to add to our toolkit! Each of the four days has a focus and today's focus was Interactive Read Aloud.

Colleen Milligan and Bea Neukirk shared their experience and expertise in utilizing read aloud instructionally. They modeled with short story, picture book, and excerpt from a longer text. Once the teachers observed them, they were off creating their own plans to incorporate interactive read alouds into their own instruction. Watching these twenty-four teachers focus and plan and create inspired me! 

(Here's another teacher's reflection on read alouds in her fifth grade classroom.)

After the hard work was done, some teachers shared the beautiful words inspired by Anis Mojgani's poem "Shake the Dust".  While the teachers were completing the exit ticket, we had door prizes! And everyone got a t-shirt!! Our hope was to provide a fun work space where meaningful and important work will be accomplished!

On the exit ticket, we asked for the teachers to finish six sentences...
1. The best part of today was…
2. I struggled with…
3. I want more of…
4. I wish…
5. I am an expert at…
6. I want you to know...

I love reading exit tickets because it gives me a peek into my students...what's important to them, what they learned and how we can improve.

Exit Ticket Notes (followed by my comments):
*I am an expert at kinetic sand sculptures
(I'm overjoyed that a teachers wrote this! I created mini sand boxes at each table and everyone seemed to enjoy it! Just goes to prove that environment is important!)

* I want more cookies! 
(Working on it for tomorrow...)

*The best part of today was the conversations and time to plan.
(Just goes to show you, all teachers want is time and collaboration!)

*I want you to know that the outside lunch break was fantastic! (Niki led the group in a team building activity after lunch. It was quick, easy, and fun. We got a chance to get some fresh air and try something different!)

*I wish you could give us more time to plan, share, give feedback with grade level teachers.
(You asked and we heard you! We will incorporate more of that starting Wednesday! Yes, it's important and necessary!)

Here are some of the sweetest compliments on the exit tickets... (Please know we appreciate every kind word!)

I'm really glad to be here!
I'm enjoying camp!
It's great to spend time with like minded professionals!
I appreciate all of the hard work that you have obviously put into this week!
I appreciate the enthusiasm the presenters bring to the table. It is refreshing!
I appreciate having salad at lunch!
Thanks for lunch!
I love working on stuff like this!
You guys rock!

We listened to the suggestions and have made adjustments for tomorrow. We are energized by your knowledge and enthusiasm and willingness to participate! Camp Day Two...here we come!


  1. We have been working with sentence stems for ELLs at the AVID conference I am attending. In a separate meeting, we talked about Exit Tickets. I like the stems used at your camp for the exit tickets.

  2. What a great day! And to think there is even more! PD like this in my own backyard would be heaven! I am so jealous!


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