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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Keynote Notes - Mike Schmoker

On Monday and Tuesday this week I attended the 1st Annual Western Colorado Educator's Conference with the rest of our admin team. Dr. Mike Schmoker, author of RESULTS NOW: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning, was the headline keynote speaker. Here are my Twitter tweets to Tiffany who wanted to attend, but could not be there.

• We need to stop teaching reading in 2nd grade. We need to start anaylzing and thinking about texts instead.
• College success - 1.Draw inferences/conclusions 2.Analyze conflicting docs 3.Support arguements w/ evidence 4.Solve complex probs
• The teacher effect makes all other diffs pale in comparison.
• Every study of classroom practice reveals that most teaching is mediocre - or worse.
• You can't expect what you don't inspect.
• We must redefine what we mean by literacy instruction.
• Authentic team-based PLC's are exceedingly rare.
• Guaranteed & viable curriculum is the number 1 factor for increasing student achievement. - Marzano research
• The actions of admin including improv planning & staff dev have no impact on quality of teaching in the school.
• If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.
• All schools need a steering committee.
• PLC & staff meetings are the heart of our organization - Don't squander them.
• Underdeveloped literacy skills are the number 1 reason why students fail.
• Reading & writing vs. stuff ratio - Avg. 1:15!
• There hardly isn't a kid in America that can't learn to read in 100 days.
• We have to collect way way more reading materials for kids.
• On average kids do less reading and writing during lit block than any other thing (cutting, glueing, pasting, etc.)
• On average kids are given more coloring assignments than math and writing.
• 83% of kids favorite thing to do in class is talk... about controversial issues
• Writing is the litmus paper of thought - Ted Sizer
• We need to write more, grade less -
• We must give kids good things to read, write, talk and think about. - all grade levels
• Have kids talk in pairs before talking whole class about critical things to prime them for the bigger discussion.
• Lack of priority and clarity is what is keeping us from getting to where we need to / must go.