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On seeing Mary Ehrenworth SOLSC 19

19 Mar


I spent the day at a presentation by Mary Ehrenworth of The Reading and Writing Project.


I thought I was a fast talker, but she is, perhaps the fastest talker I’ve ever heard. And what she had to say was jam-packed with good stuff. I found myself meaning forward at my table trying to catch it all. Good thing I;m an auditory learner. Anyway, here are a few ideas I got from her. Some are new, some aren’t. Some I like because they are things I’ve been thinking about.

1. We have to move away from the concept of The Main Idea to the concept of central ideas.

2. One of the arts of learning is interrupting discussion.

3. From 4th grade up, remind kids about the author and what they are doing.

4. Powerful readers are powerful rereaders.

5. Don’t rely on your ling-term memory. the ability to take notes is a lifeskill. MAry actually said that she interviewed a number of people for a job and did not call back for a second interview, anyone who had not taken notes.

6. A first reading will never be full. It will always be partial. Beginnings are usually where you want to reread.

7. How a story ends affects meaning. You have to think about meaning before you get to the end.

8. 30 minutes of reading is a disservice to kids. It is not enough.

9. A 4th grader should read a book a week.

10. What kids do outside of school is as, if not more important, than what goes on inside.

11. Don;t protect kids from flawed text.

12. When you teach something, you need to repeat it immediately with a different text so it transfers.

13. Reader’s notebooks: for every 30 minutes a kid reads, they should write about 10.

My notes go on for many pages, these are just the soundbites that stood out and that I’ll be mulling over for the next little while.

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