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Monday, March 16, 2015

#sol15 March 16 Nancy Atwell and Me

Long ago I read
 Side by Side and
In the Middle (Atwell),
The Art of Teaching Writing (Calkins),
Living Between the Lines (Calkins, Harwayne), 
The Patterning of Complex Behariors (Clay),
Lessons That Change Writers (Atwell)
They altered my professional life.
I stopped talking to students,
Began talking with them.
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Well deserved honor for Nancy Atwell,
Teacher, teacher of teachers,
Who has been changing lives
One word at a time.

Long ago, I remember
Atwell described similarities 
Between the reading/writing lives
Of adolescents and young learners.
 Encouraged students to read, like readers,
To write, like writers, 
About self selected, meaningful topics,
Advised teachers to confer, suggest,
Encourage revision.

Recently, I read
"There is no more important homework 
than reading," she said.
It's the biggest predictor of academic success!
Yet not with requirements, logs, mandates.
Reading self selected texts 
Personally meaningful topics.
Reading for pleasure 
Huge for math/science learning.

Today, I'm smiling.
It's nice to think I am in her 
Company, 
A book or two
Rest on my shelf
Her ideas, her words
Resonate in my heart.

7 comments:

Michelle Haseltine said...

YAY Nancie Atwell!!! Thank you for sharing these words!! I had the funniest interaction with her at NCTE this past year. I think you just inspired my next post. Thank you!!! LOVE the poem!

Judy said...

I'd be okay today if every slice were about this. Great poem and pictures.

I too consider her as a mentor though I've only met her two or three times in person. She signed my copy of ITM at my first NCTE in 1989 and I was lucky enough to meet her daughter Anne who's taken over her classroom now at the last one. How lucky is that?

Jaana said...

What a great post to celebrate one of the greatest! "There is no more important homework than reading," she said. It's the biggest predictor of academic success! Maybe more teachers will hear these words again today!!

Tara Smith said...

We're excited about the same wonderful person, Anita - I have been listening over and over again to her speech.

Marcie R said...

Love this! My favorite part is "I stopped talking to students,Began talking with them."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on one of our greats!!!

beckymusician said...

A well-deserved honor for her! Now I want to go back and read her books again. I love "there is no more important homework than reading."

Deborah Bussewitz said...

She us a woman to be celebrated. I love how you described her on your shelf and in your heart. Sentiments that I also share.