Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another day with Debbie Miller!

Debbie Miller not only makes students think, she also makes teachers think!  Listening to Debbie Miller is soothing and guiding.  She began our day by guiding and encouraging teachers to know their beliefs and have them written down to help our thinking and practices.  When planning, she wants teachers to introduce something new with time.  Spread it out over days in small chunks, be responsible for the reading, students responsible for the thinking.  She shared three lessons for different grade levels that were intentional and students were engaged.  Each lesson she guided students with their thinking, made their thinking visible, and assessed understandings.  It was interesting to listen to her talk about teaching K, 2, and 5.  Many of her supports were the same within organization and guiding sucess.  She also leaves room for big idea thinking, even for K.  Listening to Debbie made me think if we don't give them opportunities, how do we know what they can do.  Also, within her lessons the there was always a range of thinking from the concrete, connect to me to some insightful higher level thinking.  If we can create work that allows a range of children to succeed than we are working smarter as teachers.  She encourages us to plan thoroughly and allow the students to be part of the discovery, which requires a balance and we all know balance can be a challenge.  She also guides us to have children thinking during the reading, real time and not worksheets after the reading.  "There's power in giving children responsiblity to do things."  She touched on the importance of choice.  Choice elevates work, motivation, and quality.  I know there will be more post and note sharing from some of my friends; Karen, Franki, and Deb.  These are just a few of my thoughts that are sticking with me tonight.  Thank you to the Literacy Connection for organizing this event, I know I'll be back next year.  I love being part of this community.


  1. Love your thinking! I'm going to link your post on both the blog and the GoogleDocs so all the thinking is in one place. What a fabulous day Saturday was!

  2. Mandy~
    It was a soothing and encouraging 2 days! I have already shared so much with Colleen (my student teacher). I was impressed when she (even in not having gone) was already thinking of ways to apply bits and pieces to her teaching!
    So many great thoughts were shared and so many conversations to grow our thinking and teaching!

    Thanks for the link. I have linked yours and Karen's in my post.