Friday, May 23, 2014

100 Minutes- Chapter 1: 100 Minutes to Balance Literacy

Welcome to the book study!

Thinking of Teaching

It's finally here. 
This is my favourite time of the study season.
It seems like every year since I did my first book study there are more and more book studies popping up each spring/summer, 
and I LOVE it. 

I can't wait to dive into 100 Minutes, to share my thoughts and to hear all of yours as well. 

As we work through the book please feel free to "grab" any of the images associated with the book study for use on your own blog.
If you would like me to email them to you please contact me at 
thinkingofteaching (at) gmail (dot) com

Chapter 1

There was a whole lot of highlighting and margin writing going on as I read through this first chapter!

(And yes, I am that person that writes in her books. I figure they're I can write in them! I like having a permanent record of my first thoughts as I read so I can refer back to them later. )

I think it's important to recognize that balanced literacy means integration and that all the components of teaching literacy- explicit teaching, time for guided practice, and time for independent work (p 14) have a place in a literacy block. Therefore, it becomes very important that we "truly understand what balanced literacy means (p 14). As Lisa states, our students were born into a vastly different world than the one we were taught  in as students ourselves and therefore their methods of learning and our methods of teaching must adapt. 

I also liked how Lisa stressed the idea that balanced literacy isn't just about the fundamentals anymore but also about the "model of instruction" (p15) and the "vehicle through which we learn and communicate" (p 15). This is especially important now that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is so prevalent in our schools and classrooms. We must consider all the ways that we want our students to be literate and if you look at the sidebar on page 16 there is a great definition of modern day literacy from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

I was very excited to read about the idea of adding layers as the year progressed in order to deepen and enrich the literacy block. It reminded me a lot of the idea of "stamina" from the Daily 5 and how important it is to spend the time necessary in the beginning to develop good routines and procedures. But Lisa adds a vital new idea that we can't stagnate within these routines or our students will no longer be engaged in our literacy block. 

As we build upon the routines we develop in our class we are "fostering independence" (p 16) and this reminded me of the new learning skill that has been added in recent years to the Ontario Report Card: self-regulation. What an important life skill that can be practiced every day during our literacy block!

- I want to be comfortable and proficient at "monitoring and providing immediate feedback", "setting realistic goals" with my students (CAFE?) and differentiate my instruction based on the "learning targets and expectations for each group of students" (p 16)

The Basics

This section provided a very interesting preview of what's to come in the book and I must say... Wow, did I get excited! When I think back to what I already have in place in my class the Reading Time is very similar to my Book of the Week routine and the Writing Time is a lot like my Writer's Workshop. What often wasn't happening was enough guided lessons, conferencing or small group instruction. I also didn't often teach both a reading and a writing lesson in the same day. 

I am interested in learning more about how this might function in a class.

This quote from page 18- "Teachers should be one part artist, one part scientist, one part psychologist, and one part gymnast- remember that flexibility is always the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our students."

Plus...the entire passage entitled "100 Minutes in Action".

I want that. 

Please join the discussion! Link up with your thoughts about Chapter 1 using the linky below. 

If possible, leave a comment for the blogger before and after you on the list. 

Next up- Chapter 2: The Building Blocks

Be sure to visit Kelly Anne over at Appleslices on May 27th to continue this learning journey with us. 

There are a few guidelines that Lisa Donohue and her publisher have asked that people follow.

Please read through these carefully. 


- Anything created for 100 MINUTES should be shared for free. 

- Anything created and shared based on 100 MINUTES should include a disclosure statement - Adapted from 100 MINUTES and not endorsed by Lisa Donohue.  

- Cite the complete publication information:  "100 MINUTES, (2012), Donohue Lisa, Pembroke Publishers" in order to make it easier for others to find the book.

9 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Emily said...

How does this match up with Daily 5 and CAFE? What age levels do you see this for? Thanks!

Beth said...


That's a great question! Lisa Donohue has a great post about how The Daily 5 and 100 Minutes can work together which you can find here-

I also think it's a topic that will come up again later in the book study as people read further into the book and begin to visualize how this framework might look in their own room.

As for grades- I think you could use it with any grade level with a few adaptations here and there. For example, Grade 1 students would probably need shorter independent times for work and Grade 6 (or older students) might be able to do longer. I have taught Grades 3 to 8 and could see myself using this framework in any one of those grades.

I hope this helps!
We will be having a question and answer with Lisa Donohue later in the book study so if more questions come up please don't hesitate to leave more comments.
Thanks for joining us for the book study.

Crofts' Classroom said...

I am LOVING this book! I had to go back through this chapter after I read your post because I missed some of the points that you touched on. Great post! Can't wait to read more.

Crofts' Classroom

Beth said...

Thanks for linking up, Tina! I just read your post and it's great.

Kelly said...

I love this book so far! I am so glad I decided to join in for such a great pick! I loved the author's point of going deeper with the routines as well. I definitely felt like my students' engagement faded through the year during Daily 5 time. I can't wait to read more about how to adapt and deepen those routines!

Beth said...

I'm glad to have you along and I'm looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts on deepening your literacy routines.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm really excited about this book study. Currently, I'm in two book studies: 100 Minutes Count in the Literacy Block and NonFiction Notebooks Strategies for Informational Writing. The two books really seem to complement each other.

My big ahhh haaa was letting the routine "become richer" and give the students more responsibility, deepen the rigor, and let them grow. Our district encompasses the Guided Reading format within the Missouri Reading Initiative. The Daily Five format is very similar. As a fifth grade teacher, I often start the year off putting my students that are on or above grade level in a literature group. By Christmas, I hope to see most,if not all, the class in literature groups. This year I had to closely monitor my struggling readers and it felt less like a literature group for them. I finally released them a month before state testing by putting them with an established group. They love being on their own in groups to discuss story elements, character development, word choices, and predicting what will happen next.

In some way, I was already gradually releasing them into more rigor. Yet, my routines weren't changing in depth. Yes, the kids get bored around January and I NEED to incorporate a way to "add layers to their routines, adding choices and deepening their experiences." During this book study, I also hope to find ways to implement more routines for student feedback, allowing students to create more goals and tracking progress, as well furthering my own formal assessments. I'm excited...looking forward to some interesting days of reading the book as well as teacher feedback.

Beth said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful comment. I am very glad that you are joining us for the book study. It does sound like everyone has really been woken up by the idea of deepening our routines and I am excited to see where the discussion takes us after this.

I am going to look into that other book you mentioned. It sounds interesting as well.

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