Listening to Children: Honoring Their Insight and Building Upon It

We were honored to have Dr. Megan Loef Franke as our keynote speaker on day two of our 2nd Annual Summer Conference on the Teaching of Reading and Balanced Literacy.  Dr. Franke is a renowned educator, researcher, author, professor, and Chair of the Department of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Professor Megan Franke and Jessica Martin, Growing Educators Co-Founder

Dr. Franke emphasized the importance of really listening to children, acknowledging what they say, and building upon their thinking to further their learning.  In doing so, this honors the thinking children are doing and enables us as educators to facilitate a learning environment in our classroom that is equitable, engaging, and creates a culture of building upon student’s strengths.

Dr. Franke suggests that really listening to students and engaging them in conversations about their thinking may be a culture shift in many schools, but is essential for students to grow in their thinking.

Dr. Franke gave us some tips when thinking about true, authentic listening:

  • Listen to what the student says
  • Take something specific the student says and ask them a specific follow up question about what they said
  • The student will learn to explain more and think more

Dr. Franke’s Keynote Address at our 2nd Annual Summer Conference on the Teaching of Reading and Balanced Literacy

Equity in schools is a predominant theme in Dr. Franke’s work with urban school in Los Angeles and she suggested that all students need to have a chance to explain their thinking, within an organized classroom structure, including: partners, small groups, whole class, with the teacher, or another adult.  She went on to say research shows that engaging conversation around details of each others ideas in a classroom matters to our students’ success.  The notion that someone is listening to your ideas and you are engaging with someones ideas helps students achieve. Dr. Franke urges all educators to transform schools by starting small, reexamining how we structure what happens in classrooms, by listening to students daily, and engaging them in meaningful talk around their thinking.

She says, “Listen to what students have to say, they’ll surprise you!”

    

For more about Dr. Megan Loef Franke’s work, click here.

Written by Growing Educators Staff Developer Courtney Kinney

Our 2nd Annual Summer Conference on the Teaching of Reading and Balanced Literacy

GE Summer Staff

GE Summer Staff

We are getting very excited for our upcoming 2nd Annual Summer Conference on the Teaching of Reading and Balanced Literacy.  We hope you had an amazing experience at our 3rd Annual Summer Conference on the Teaching of Writing and will join us for this next summer conference.

Details about the event and how to register are below.

Information for new participants: 

Morning Sessions:

Participants will attend a large group section that will cover such topics as overview and philosophy of workshop teaching, units of study, assessing and planning for work, and the components   of Balance Literacy as a means of teaching the Common Core Standards.

Afternoon Sessions:

Participants will be divided into sections organized by grade level and will experience the process first-hand as writers.  Participants will be divided into  sections organized by grade level and will experience the process and components of Balanced Literacy first-hand as readers.

Information for returning participants:

Take the experience of reading workshop to the next level by choosing a course of study for both the AM and the PM sessions.  We recommend that you have had at least one year of workshop running in your classrooms, or a year of LAB experience with Growing Educators on your site to support professional study or have participated in a prior Growing Educators summer conference.

Further details and registration info:

When: June 24-27, 2013

Where: Washington Elementary School 1100 Lilenthal Lane, Redondo Beach, CA

Click here to find out more information about the conference and how to register.

A Day with Jose-Luis Orozco

Jose-Luis Orozco is a bilingual educator, children’s author, and recording artist.  But, he is so much more than that. He speaks of identity and diversity, through movement and song. Jose-Luis was the keynote speaker on day two of our 3rd Annual Summer Conference on the Teaching of Writing. He had educators out of their seats, singing along, with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts.

Without a doubt, Jose-Luis Orozco’s music and message was inspiring to our minds, bodies, and souls.

Jose-Luis Orozco with Growing Educators Co-Founders Renee Houser and Jessica Martin

To find out more about Jose-Luis Orozco, check out his website.

To find out more about teaching tolerance, using multicultural resources, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, click here.

Written by Growing Educators Staff Developer Courtney Kinney