Sunday, February 21, 2010

Of Primary Importance, in person!

I did meet Ann Marie Corgill, (thanks to my friend Karen) on Saturday at the Dublin Literacy Conference. In my post Friday night before I met Ann Marie I wrote, "She is thoughtful, insightful, practical, and realistic." and I couldn't agree more after meeting and listening to her. I've been thinking, how did I know this without ever meeting her? It was her voice, her voice that shines through Of Primary Importance is her actual voice in person.

The first session I attended was about publishing children's work. She reminded the audience we need to publish and celebrate. The children's work deserves to be honored and celebrated, it represents the process. While the final piece celebrates the process, I've always tried to make sure our sharing also showcases the pieces in process. It's important to show parents and visitors the journey. The drafting, revising, editing, rethinking and planning. Ann Marie captures this in an organized fashion, a Writing Journey folder. She shared with us some samples that travelled with her from Alabama, which was great to see in person. She talked little bit more in depth about Poetry Walks, just like a gallery walk in a museum, Restaurant Reviews, and Poetry sharing with village shops. All unique ways to share writing and found in more detail in her book. When teaching and conferring with children all of her statements start with Growing writers..., and she gave a great example of a picture clue for our youngest writers.

Growing writers write about what they love. A sketch of a tree, pencil, and heart. My students could figure this out. Loved that tip to help my emergent writers take ownership with their own learning.

Her second session really took the audience through her book. Here are my favorite quotes from that session.

-when you cover less, you uncover more.

-put the teaching in the hands of the children.

-spend time with kids work and look at that to know them as writers, vs. data.

-it takes a lot of slow to grow.

Give us Hope for Education is a video Ann Marie Corgill made with her students assistance in hopes to send a message to the new administration of our country. It has a great message for educators and a peek into her writer's working lives in her classroom. You can find it on youtube.

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