Illinois Association for Gifted Children Conference

Monday, February 10, 2014

     I spent the day at the Illinois Association for Gifted Children conference with my fellow Accelerated Learning peers from D100!  We had a great day filled with learning that will surely benefit all our students, not just those we see in AL.  

     I had the opportunity to go to 4 different sessions today, so it would be incredibly challenging to summarize all that information into one post.  I thought I might just pick some big take-aways from the day.  Many are things I have heard or read before, but are important enough to say again.  

Here goes!

1.  Oral Language is very important.  Story telling, chanting, singing, read alouds, and shared reading are critical for our PK-1 kids.  Without it, they will not be ready to read.  50-70,000 words are needed to be a good reader.  Most 10 year olds only have 10,000 in English. Words matter.

2.  If students have limited knowledge or are ELL, they need pre teaching strategies.  They cannot just grapple with text that is too hard.  

3.  Questioning matters.  It really matters.  Blooms is not everything.  

4.  4+4 and 4,678,895+5,321,104 are both Level 1 questions.  They both simply ask for recall and reproduction.  We need to consider how we are "challenging" our kids.  

5.  Enduring understandings are the goal.  Teach for transfer.  

6.  We need to use the language of the standards.  Unpack them.  

7.  Kids need to paraphrase/ summarize/ synthesize information when researching.  Think of research like a conversation.  Kids should bring new information to the dialogue.  

8.  Argument and Persuasion are not the same thing, even though one develops into the other in the CCSS.  One appeals to self interest, identity, and emotion to sway others, while the other perceives merit and reasonableness of a claim.  Our kids need to know the difference.  

9.  The way we say words is more important than the words we say.

10.  Our AL staff in D100 is top notch.  Thanks Kate, Bismah, Susan, Jonathan, and Mike for the conversations today.  

     One of my favorite moments of the day was talking to one of the presenters, Laura Beltchenko.  She had two sessions on ELA.  After her session on using illustrations in literature, I spoke with her about my favorite new book, Snowflakes Fall, by Steven Kellogg.  It was a book written as a tribute to the children of Sandy Hook.  The last page of the book has an illustration of snow angels that start to fly.  I talk about the book here: Winter Books

     What I left out in the previous post, as it was written for our families not our staff, was the conversation I had with my own kids while we read it.  We finished the book at bedtime on the anniversary of the tragedy, and my son looked at this page on the back cover, and he asked, "Mommy, why are the snow angels flying?"  He had no idea the deeper meaning that was intended.  I left the room and started to cry.  Illustrations MATTER.  

     What a great conference!

1 comment:

  1. Super clear and helpful summary of the top 10 take-aways! Thank you.