PD with Donald Bear - 3 Takeaways | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: PD with Donald Bear - 3 Takeaways

Saturday, March 5, 2016

PD with Donald Bear - 3 Takeaways


What do you think of this quote? Do you agree? Disagree? 

I had the pleasure of attending a professional development session with Dr. Donald Bear as the presenter this morning. I was curious as to whether he would give me the same kind of "Wow!" reaction that one of my colleagues has been raving about for years. Well... he did!

Here are my top three takeaways:

1. Children learn more about reading from spelling than they do about spelling from reading. 

I believe this is true. After all, the foundation of reading is phonemic and phonological awareness. If children have these under their belt, they're on their way to becoming readers.One very interesting comment made by Dr. Bear was, "Humans don't use behaviors that don't serve them." He said this in reference to lips moving and I am extending it to pointing to text while reading aloud. My take on this has always been that students will stop pointing to words as their reading independence grows. I know some who believe that students should be discouraged from pointing to words at a certain point (and they don't allow students to do it). What do you think?

2. Every student needs a COW (Concepts of Word in Text)
Rhythmic songs and poems give pre-K and K students an idea of how words work in text. Dr. Bear pointed out that movement activities, music, dancing and singing are all excellent ways to "give students a COW." Matching syllables to spoken words (Rudimentary COW), and finally, reading with fluency, through many opportunities of oral, shared and independent reading, gives students the full COW. I love this analogy!

3. Teachers shouldn't be shy about challenging students with difficult words (related to roots). 

This man knows his roots and their origins! He's a walking dictionary. Talking about words, their meanings and exploring why some words don't fit our typical spelling patterns is something we all should do, he urged. He pointed out that fifth grade and up should be introduced to roots and their derivatives. He also encouraged us not to stop by looking at just one word, but to ask children to think of other words with the same root. He referenced the word courage. "Can you think of other words with the root cour in them?" He asked. He shared a website -- onelook.com -- as a great search tool for roots. Use *roothere* (root goes between the asterisks) to search for derivatives for a root. You can also filter by common words and phrases or common words. This is an awesome tool!

Take a look at this screen shot for *cour*:

There are my top three takeaways, although, there are many more. If you're ever given the opportunity to hear Dr. Bear speak, you won't be disappointed. He is charming, funny, and completely genius at all things literacy!

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