The Sisters' Top 10 from IRA, 2011

By Gail Boushey and Joan Moser

May 13, 2011

  1. Dr. Richard Allington on RTI Curriculum Fragmentation, when students have more than one teacher delivering instruction, the strategies taught by the different adults are typically incompatible with each other since each adult is teaching a different program or different strategy and the likelihood of kids accelerating in this type of model is nil to none.
  2. If you just buy a program to help teachers teach, when the moneys run out for the program, you have nothing. When we invest in teaching teachers skills and strategies, this knowledge carries on through their careers. (Dr. Ann Franzen-McGill)
  3. Engage - IRA's Connected Community is a place where you can join other teachers around the world via discussion groups, professional books groups, and blogs. It's invigorating to share with and learn from others. We signed up while we were there and participated in a podcast.
  4. Look closely at the instruction students are getting before considering the necessity of intervention. When solid tier one instruction is in place, Tier 2 instruction is manageable. (Fisher)
  5. Concepts in our ELL student's first language are essential platforms for concepts and vocabulary in the second language being learned. Employ parent to talk, talk, talk in their first language to their children and of course read in their first language as well. (Dr. Maryanne Wolf)
  6. Summer Reading Loss - Low Socio-Econmic students lose 2 months of reading growth over the summer, High Socio-Economic students gain a month. Dr. Ann Franzen-McGill and Dr. Richard Allington's research found giving kids books to read over the summer that they wanted to read stopped this summer slide and was more effective that summer school programs. Read their research Study and Article.
  7. When people are happy they do their best work. (Pam Allyn)
  8. We will have a toe that is aching at the end of the day since it may get stepped on by someone or something challenging our beliefs, but take that weariness and know that one way to restore ourselves is through knowledge. (Dr. Maryanne Wolf)
  9. These titles are at the top of our "To Read" list. You may want to add a few of these professional and children's books to your summer reading list as well. Professional, Picture, Chapter and YA books from 2011 IRA Conference
  10. Passion prevails and fuels everything. (Lester Laminak) How are we fueling ourselves? Conferences? Blogs? Classes? Book studies? Collaboration? We must stay current to keep our passion.

We had a wonderful time at IRA, sitting with you and learning together, taking pictures, signing books, and meeting new friends. We hope to see everyone at the IRA conference next year in Chicago.

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