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Archive for October 25th, 2009

Downtown Flagstaff

Downtown Flagstaff

This past weekend I gave the keynote address at the Arizona Reading Association conference and enjoyed meeting so many wonderful educators from this beautiful state. I was fortunate to have in-depth conversations with many attendees about their classrooms and concerns. Everywhere I go, I’m touched by the caring of teachers no matter what their circumstances. I met teachers working with Apache children, folks with overcrowded spaces, educators that spent their fall break attending this conference– people who care deeply about their students.

 
My keynote address was titled, “Getting and Keeping Their Attention.” Here are a few points from my presentation:
1. Three ways to get students’ attention– emotion, novelty, and meaning.
2. Ways to keep student attention- proximity, technology, telling a story, movement, all-pupil response.
3. Small-group instruction holds students’ attention if the tasks are at the cutting edge of students’ development (and the group isn’t too big- no more than 4-6 students)
4. Literacy work stations engage students because they have ownership and peer interaction.
 
The brain doesn’t need to constantly pay attention. It needs downtime to process new information, too. The brain needs “white space.” So, we did some resting and rejuvenating while in Flagstaff, too. If you’ve never been here, take the trip! Tom and I flew to Phoenix (an easy trip on Southwest from Houston) and drove about 2 hours from the desert into the mountains (a lovely drive) to reach Flagstaff. I loved the historic downtown and found some great jewelry and greeting cards at a little shop called Zani. Great dinner at Mountain Oasis, too. We also drove to Sedona to see the sights. Amazing red rocks along the way!
 
Ollie Archambault, president-elect of ARA gave me an Apache "burden basket" or tats'a

Ollie Archambault, president-elect of ARA gave me an Apache "burden basket" or tats'a

Posing with Stenhouse rep, Lisa York, and a literacy coach who encouraged me to write a book on middle school work stations!

Posing with Stenhouse rep, Lisa York, and a literacy coach who encouraged me to write a book on middle school work stations!

The winding mountain road we took from Flagstaff to Sedona

The winding mountain road we took from Flagstaff to Sedona

Amazing red rock formations

Amazing red rock formations

Horse statue in Sedona

Horse statue in Sedona

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