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Dr. Gravity Visits RRES

Dr. Gravity Goldberg, a renowed author of professional literature in reading and writing, visited Rock Rest on November 1st.  She spent time visiting classrooms to observe the reading and writing process.  Throughout the day, Dr. Gravity met with grade levels to  model collecting and analyzing student artifacts and coached teachers on how to do the same. She also guided teachers in making instructional decisions based on the data.  Teachers prepared for the experience by bringing samples of student reading notebooks, assessment data, exit slips, and observation data. Later in the afternoon, Dr. Gravity had staff brainstorm reasons why the reading notebooks are beneficial to teachers and how they are helpful to students.  Teachers learned that we don't want students just mimicking our strategies after the direct lesson, but yet transferring through the student making choices of when to use a strategy instead of being told.  This process should carry over into all disciplines.  Transferring is not a one time scaffolded lesson, but one that becomes more innate the more feedback is given, which can be done through the reading notebooks.  The reading notebooks also let teachers see where students are now in their thinking and create a plan of where we want to take each student.  Reading notebooks must not only be for students writing, but as a conversation piece between the teacher and student. This will allow the teacher to get inside the process thinking of the student. The staff, who has read several of her professional books, enjoyed her visit, and will be implementing her guided advice into their classrooms to push students toward success.