Friday, August 19, 2011

A Day with Katie Wood Ray

On August 11, 2011, Katie Wood Ray came to our school and spent the day working with a group of teachers from Early School, Lower School, and Middle School on writing workshop. The morning focused on preschool through lower elementary and the afternoon on upper elementary/early middle school. Many of us stayed for the whole day, as the presentations and discussions were relevant to the work all of us do with our students.

Those who have read my blog before know that I regularly draw ideas and inspiration from the work of Katie Wood Ray. The past two summers I have attended two-day institutes sponsored by Heinemann featuring Katie and Lisa B. Cleaveland, with whom she wrote my favorite writing workshop book, About the Authors: Writing Workshop with our Youngest Writers.

Highlights on the 11th included exploring ideas and routines for Units of Study, working on strategies to use when conferencing with students, and expanding our understanding of the idea of approximation, which helps us have appropriate expectations for our students. We loved seeing video of conferences, especially seeing Katie tackle a particularly difficult one with a reluctant writer. All of us have been challenged by this kind of student and admired the patience, care, and tenacity that Katie brought to this conference.

The day did not disappoint. It was a perfect way to feed my excitement about the coming school year. Oh the many possibilities that await my students and me in Writing Workshop!