What happens when a bestselling children’s book author teams up with a nationally known writing teacher? Well, you get the new book Teaching Nonfiction Revision: A Professional Writer Shares Strategies, Tips, and Lessons. On today’s Heinemann Podcast we’re talking with Sneed B. Collard III about Teaching Nonfiction Revision. Sneed Collard is an award winning children’s author who has been working on revision strategies for years. Now, along with Vicki Spandel, they’re helping educators make nonfiction writing more meaningful and more enjoyable for the reader. We started our conversation with Sneed about what his spark of inspiration was for writing a professional book for teachers?
"What should a student's day look like? Reading fascinating materials. Doing quick writing pieces. Sharing ideas. Responding to others. Discussing the big concepts, patterns and processes of the discipline. Debating controversies. Wanting to know more. Becoming an inquirer in the field."
-Harvey "Smokey" Daniels and Nancy Steineke
This January, take your curious adult-self (colleagues, too!) to Santa Fe, New Mexico for this Intensive Professional Learning Institute for K–12 Educators. You will experience everything you want our students to do, firsthand, while also making the practical translations to back-home realities.
Led by five outstanding authors and consultants, Sara Ahmed, Smokey Daniels, Cornelius Minor, Nancy Steineke, and Kristin Ziemke, you will deepen your learning in these strands:
- Reading and Writing—Lessons that develop deeper thinking, build knowledge, and invite kids to engage with the world.
- Teaching with Inquiry—Four types of student inquiries and 10 ways to find time for them.
- Social-Academic Lessons—Explicit lessons in creating a supportive climate of classroom harmony, productive discussion, and responsible small-group work all year long.
- Just-Right Technology—The right tools for the job—selecting and using technologies that truly enhance thinking and interaction in the classroom.
- Including Everyone—Supporting English language learners, students with special needs, kids who are shy or introverted, and those who struggle.
- Instructional Leadership—Guidance on how to promote change and implement best practice teaching for principals, coaches, and curriculum specialists.
The Early Bird Rate ends on December 5th so don't delay!
What does it really mean to be an instructional leader?
Ever since I was in graduate school, studying to become a principal, this was the lingo of the great leader—be an instructional leader. At first I thought this meant I had to be the best teacher in the building, and when I walked into classrooms, I might show a teacher a few moves. But every time I went into a classroom that was “someone else’s classroom” (who, by the way, I was also in charge of evaluating), getting up and interrupting the teacher’s lesson with my own brilliant ideas never seemed like the right move. Over the next eight years, I often wondered whether I was being an instructional leader. If this is the gold standard of being a principal, of course that is what I was aiming for, but how was I to know if I had gotten there?
Written By Anna Gratz Cockerille
Probably the greatest advice we ever hear about preparing kids for high-stakes tests is that a strong curriculum is the best test prep there is. When children are reading and writing daily for long stretches of time, they are far more likely to be successful on an exam that tests reading and writing. There are two key considerations when planning a curriculum that supports success with ELA exams: time and level of text complexity.
Adapted from Teaching Nonfiction Revision by Sneed B. Collard III, and Vicki Spandel
Inexperienced writers often consider research a waste of time. Rather than reading books, watching a documentary, or talking to an expert, they prefer to dive into writing like a penguin chasing a sardine. The problem with this approach is that a writer may dash off a rousing first paragraph only to find she doesn't know enough about her topic to add even one more good line. Thoroughly investigating a topic can solve this problem — and do much, much more.
Welcome back to the Heinemann Professional Development Professional Learning Community (PLC) series. We hope you are enjoying our new format for the 2017-2018 year!
Each month, we share 2 posts designed to provoke thinking and discussion, through a simple framework, incorporating mini-collections of linked content into your professional development time.
This month, our posts will invite us to welcome curiosity, inquiry, and action for our classrooms and school communities.
The power of technology allows us to easily act on a connection with stories, supporting projects or organizations linked to meaningful causes. A simple scroll through social media allows you to hear a plea for help and give with a simple click of a button.
Think of any causes you supported in the past few years. Was it to grow research? Raise awareness? Crowdsource funding? Why did you make these choices? Did the story touch you? Have you or a family member found yourself in a similar position of need?