As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

First Chapter

Hello all!

I am so sorry for not posting sooner, but thank you for letting me join the conversation! I am reading on a Kindle, so my citations are referring to locations (loc).

The first chapter already has me a bit apprehensive since I am not the biggest fan of CCSS, but I am listening. It sounds like we are going to look at compromising and also how the standards do give us (teachers) something more to work with rather than within.

"They [CCSS] are relevant and useful in helping students become 'college ready.'" (loc 502)
For me, this is one of the biggest things that disgruntles me about the standards, that they are always looking towards college readiness. Realistically, not all of my students--if half of them--are going to be going to college. I am concerned that we are missing our students who will be going to trade schools, military, or straight into the work force. I am hoping that the next chapter with the walk-through lesson or in Chapter 3 ("Extending the Range of Writing") will provide some insight. I understand that the standards are looking at some skills, such as collaboration, that are of course meant for every one. I guess I am just miffed that we keep saying "college readiness" in schools and that is making some students feel left out of the conversation of their education.

On a different note, I can already see how the book is going to be modeling some of the strategies that it has mentioned, specifically scaffolding. For example, it talks about how Chapters 2 and 3 will be talking about food because of its universality, and then it will allow Chapters 4 and 5 to take on topics of their own. I think this is a safe way for the reader to get acquainted with these ideas before going into a more high risk area of challenging our teaching.

I saw that "spiraling" is listed as one of the approaches to writing (loc 431), but I have never heard of it before. I am looking forward to learning about that one since it is next to scaffolding. It'll be interesting to see how they are related to each other.


  1. I totally agree with you about the focus on "college readiness" rather than college and career readiness. I do appreciate, however, that the first few pages of chapter 1 focus on the omnipresence of writing. As I was reading, this is where I imagined the career and life readiness fitting in. Regardless of where our students end up after high school-- whether it's a four year university, or a trade school, or the military, or even joining the workforce right away-- writing will be a crucial aspect of their lives in one shape or another. It is important that our students realize that writing is a life skill just as much as it is a "school" skill.

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