Saturday, May 21, 2016

Stuff and Things

I've shared a few times about my love of Dr. Fisher and Dr. Frey's work:

I've read it for grad school classes and really enjoyed their style.

Well, as luck would have it, I got to meet them.  Yes, Dr. Fisher and Dr. Frey not only came to CCSD, they came specifically to my elementary school (which is one of three hundred or so, to put things in perspective).

First Dr. Fisher came.  He didn't observe my teaching or see my classroom because we were on a field trip.  We encountered him in the hallway on the way back to class.

What did my charming fifth graders say when Dr. Fisher asked them what they learned on their field trip to the science museum?


And Things.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, my fifth graders could not articulate anything they'd learned that morning while exploring electricity, energy, forensics, archeology, and so forth.  So they told Dr. Fisher they learned "stuff and things."

He laughed and rolled with it, but I was mortified.

When we got back to the classroom, I held up my copy of his published work.  They knew he was at our school and asked when he was coming in.  I calmly informed them all that they had just met him and told him they learned "stuff and things".

You could hear a pin drop.

Luckily, our visit with Dr. Frey was much more successful.  Dr. Fisher had a lot of positives to share about his visit, so Dr. Frey and other colleagues wanted to come out to see our work.

Once again, fifth grade had managed to schedule a field trip on her visit. I came back from the field trip, took my kids to recess, then sat in on the debrief meeting.  She had questions regarding integration of sources with units of study, which luckily I'd planned for fifth grade's unit on causes of the American Revolution.  They also wanted to know more about the Scholar level for Reading Rangers, which I'd piloted that year.  

Dr. Frey talked about wanting to do follow up visits and some field testing for research purposes.  I can't speak for the other teachers on the literacy committee, but I am genuinely excited about this upcoming collaboration.  The chance to work with published researchers on improving literacy? The possibility of discussing literacy at international conferences?

Yes please!

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