Sharon Faber @ ASCD

I recently attended Sharon Faber’s (who has various sites) session at ASCD.

Wow, she is an energetic and passionate woman – and she’s primarily passionate about kids learning how to read. I could not have enjoyed her session more. Here are some key take-aways, in no particular order …

  • Most people are unconsciously competent, but they need to be consciously competent. (Of course, we don’t want to be unconsciously incompetent!)
  • Four key things in education:
    Meta-cognition, differentiation (DI), professional learning communities, and scaffolding.

  • Differentiation in kids: if you let the kids sit where they want at the beginning of the school year, they’ll show you how well they’ll do. First row: keeners; middle section: middle achievers, underachievers; back row: at risk kids.
  • “When the horse dies, get off!!!”
  • Two critical things when introducing new units:
    Vocabulary and prior knowledge. Use introduction guides!

  • All kids love to argue – get them to argue about content by creating introduction guides with controversial statements, some of which are true and some of which are not.
  • For group work, put kids in pairs, not triads. Everyone will have to pull their own weight.
  • Education standards say WHAT, not HOW.
  • Kids live in the NOW.
  • We learn in odd numbers, not even.
  • Cross-curricular skills are important (e.g. inference: in English, prediction; in Math, estimation; in Science, hypothesis)
  • K-3 is learning to read; 4-12 is reading to learn.
  • The 5 elements of reading:
    Phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency

  • Vocabulary is different in different circumstances … the size goes down through listening, reading, speaking, and writing
  • Help kids develop fluency by reading aloud from the textbook for 5 minutes each day.

It really wasn’t as disjointed as this laundry list of things … but it was a rapid-fire session. These are just the things that stood out for me, and I wanted to record.

 


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