Prudence Be Damned (#babysFirstMarch)

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Farewell, Obamas, farewell. 

I did not agree with President Obama’s policies to improve education ("Race to the Top”), but I still respected his efforts to do something. I agreed with him on many issues, though not on all. Nonetheless, I trusted that his decisions were sound, that they were based on facts, that he took into account other viewpoints, and that he considered all options. Above all, no matter how much I disagreed with him, I trusted his competence. I cannot say the same thing for anyone in the current administration. 

Politics aside, President Obama exemplified grace and strove for justice. He remained classy and polite, despite horrendous circumstances (i.g. welcoming the orange monster to The White House). Even when I wished he would slight the new administration, he didn’t. Somehow he found the strength to follow the traditional transition protocol and to welcome the new first family, despite the unusual circumstances. I know many people felt that he was doing the right thing to preserve our democracy, but I can’t say I agree. Part of me wishes he had lashed out at the grabber, even though doing so would be uncharacteristic. 

It’s up to us to protest in whatever way we can. I feel guilty when I read articles about how all millennials just post on social media but don’t take any action. I would call my representatives in congress, but unfortunately I don’t have one. Not one who can vote, at least. The approximately 600,000 residents of the District remain without federal representation. 

What is left to do? I can write, and I can sign online petitions, and I can march. Check, check, and check. 

The planning for the Women’s March on Washington has been controversial, as has the name itself. Its website is fairly lousy, and only today was the final map revealed. Plus there is the issue of men and their participation: 

It’s also interesting to see a relative lack of male enthusiasm interpreted as a problem that falls on women

Given all that, plus the crowds, the irritating bag restrictions, and the difficulty actually getting there, why march?  

  • To prove that we, the people, reject all things associated with the new administration, the most recent outrage (as of Friday) being the amoral and incompetent cabinet secretary nominees. (Not to mention the cowardly senators who will likely vote to approve their nominations.) 
  • To protest threats to dismantle the ACA, because everyone deserves to have affordable health care regardless of preexisting conditions. 
  • To show support for key provisions of the ACA, especially those that support families, mothers, and babies. 
  • To stand up for the humanity and the rights of immigrants, those with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and women. 
  • To make it clear that we believe in the value of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. (Turns out that eliminating these agencies would fund the Pentagon for all of 11 hours.) 
  • To support the continued existence of journalism, the free press, and real news. 
  • To demonstrate against those who seek to control women's bodies because women's health shouldn't be a political issue. (Um, a gun requires more regulation than a uterus.) 
  • To reject the increasing influence of special interests and the 1%. 
  • To tell the rest of the world that we do not accept this reality. 
  • To express dissent and to always remember that this is not normal. 
  • Oh, and a million other reasons. 
 Images by Shepard Fairey. 

Images by Shepard Fairey. 

We marched today. It was not the easiest way to spend the afternoon with a baby, and it might even be a little bit crazy to take a baby downtown for a crowded march, especially when one has to procure and pack all of baby's items in a clear plastic bag. But it was worth it.

Prudence be damned. 

We rode downtown on 2 buses without much trouble, only to see people walking every which way. (Given all the talk about entering the rally at Independence & 3rd Sts. with plastic bags of specific dimensions, I was surprised to see that there was a minimal police presence, no bags were being checked, and there were no barricades along the route.) We made our way from 9th & H Sts. down to Independence, which was blocked. We then walked over to 14th St. and were able to join the march there.

Hordes of people puttered along 14th St. by the Washington Monument and the African American History Museum chanting, among other things, "This is what democracy looks like," "If you want to build a fence / Build it around Mike Pence," "My body, my choice / Her body, her choice."

Some of my favorite signs pronounced: 

  • You can't comb over bigot 

  • NOT USUALLY A SIGN GUY BUT GEEZ

  • I've seen smarter cabinets at IKEA

  • I know signs. I make the best signs. They're terrific. Everyone agrees. 

  • I'm revolting because he's revolting (Dad's sign)

And this was my favorite: 

I toted Rebekah around in my carrier, and after a couple hours we ducked out of the march and over to his office so I could feed her. Plenty of men showed up to protest, as did a number of people with disabilities. I wish I'd had one of those amazing hats! 

I just hope this is not the end of the protest against all things terrible. It was heartening to see so many people turn out in DC with signs and chants. There was an energy to the crowd similar to what I experienced at the first Obama inauguration in 2009: the feeling that those crammed together on a cold day felt just as strongly that justice must prevail. The crowds both here and abroad were stunning. We are not alone. 

It would be easy to stop now, to get excited by the frenzy of the crowds, but to return home and do nothing. It would be easy to forget amid the chanting that real people's lives are going to get vastly more difficult in the coming days. It would be easy for us to participate this one day and not again. It would be easy to be distracted from the real damage he is inflicting by minor issues like the crowd size at the inauguration or Meryl Streep. I am not sure what to do other than stay informed, painful as that may be, and challenge the media when they excuse his behavior. But we must make our voices heard for the next four years. 

What do I do with this now?

 I bought this pin from Hillary's website shortly before my daughter's birth.  

I bought this pin from Hillary's website shortly before my daughter's birth.  

Yesterday I took photos of my almost six-week-old daughter with this pin, imagining that one day I'd get to tell her how a long time ago, people didn't think women could or should be president. When Hillary officially became the nominee over the summer, I cried, overwhelmed with hope. I dreamed that my daughter would be born into a world in which everything would be possible, every vocation open to her; in short, that she'd feel empowered, more than I could ever be, knowing that nothing could hold her back and nobody could deny her the respect she deserved. 

Until late yesterday night, I was almost certain Hillary would win. I just knew that my family's efforts--and those of millions of others--to help her would pay off. My husband volunteered with Election Protection, a non-partisan network of volunteer attorneys who helped preserve everyone's right to vote in precincts around the country; my sister-in-law canvassed hundreds of homes in the very important Philadelphia suburbs. I'm so proud of what they did. 

Before yesterday, I hoped that, if not for fear of lost progress, surely people would turn out to elect the candidate with actual experience, the one who respects all people, understands policy, and cares about the most vulnerable. If that were not enough, then certainly, I reasoned, it would matter that our president speak in complete, coherent sentences, understand facts, and have some knowledge of the world. It is now clear that it does not matter to *LESS THAN* (but almost) half the country that our next president demeans women; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; immigrants from certain countries, especially Mexico; LGBT people; people with disabilities; and even our current president. If that were not disqualifying enough, we know the truth is that he (I can't bear to see his name in print one more time) has committed fraud, has not paid his fair share of taxes for a number of years, and so on and so on. Oh, and he assaults women and boasts about it. 

Today, I can't imagine what Hillary must feel. To have worked her whole life for this moment, and to be the most prepared candidate for the presidency in history, only to have it wrested from her and given to the least prepared man ever to run for the office. 

While she will somehow move on, many millions more will suffer. The magnitude of the coming injustice is terrifying. I am scared for what will happen in the Supreme Court, and I fear for our most vulnerable citizens. What will become of refugees and immigrants, the 20 million people who are most likely going to lose their health insurance, the women who are going to die for lack of access to reproductive medicine, the infants who won't make it because their mothers haven't had prenatal care, the students with disabilities who will fall farther behind, and anyone who's not a white, heterosexual male? I worry too about all the people who don't worry about those people: the evangelicals who indulged in hypocrisy (seriously, what would Jesus do?); the wealthy who continue to gain unnecessary wealth at others' expense; and the whites who close their minds to the reality that most things are easier for them simply because of the color of their skin. 

Yesterday taught us that we must continue to teach critical thinking, media literacy, and respect for everyone. I have not a clue what I would tell students if I had to stand at the front of a classroom today. How do you explain that the cheater, the bully, the sexual predator, is the winner? That yesterday, character didn't matter? That decency and honesty didn't win out in the end? 

 I almost never post photos of her for the sake of her privacy and safety, but I trust she'll forgive me, just this one time. I wanted this for her ever so badly. 

I almost never post photos of her for the sake of her privacy and safety, but I trust she'll forgive me, just this one time. I wanted this for her ever so badly. 

Do I hang on to this pin and show her what could have been? Save it, so I can tell her that once upon a time, people believed in electing a woman, not because of her gender but because of her character, qualifications, experience, and knowledge?

Do I place it somewhere special, in the hopes that, someday, another woman might have the chance to shatter that final glass ceiling? Or do I I hide it away, and grieve what might never be, because I'm honestly not sure if it ever will? 

Creating Life: An Update in Lists

We're ready, her room is ready, and judging by her kicks, I'm pretty sure she is ready, too. I had a lovely shower, and I think she has just about everything she could possibly need. And we've met with our doula, taken infant CPR, and toured the hospital. (Though somehow the car seat won't install itself, alas.) 

By the Numbers 

1.5 — growth, in ring size, of fingers due to swelling

2 — # of bottles of Tums purchased for heartburn relief

2 — # of pairs of both shoes and pants that currently fit

3 — # of visits to Emergency Room

4.9 — estimated current weight of baby, in pounds

5 — # of basketball games baby has attended in utero (3 rooting for UNC, 2 for Georgetown) 

7 — # of states vomited in (DC, MD, VA, NY, PA, CO, WI)

19 — purported current length of baby, in inches

38 — number of days remaining until due date

78 — size of baby, in percentile ranking, at 28-week ultrasound

 

Exciting Symptoms (not an exhaustive list*) 

  • swelling of hands, fingers, feet, and toes 

  • nausea & vomiting (yes, still; yes, I have tried everything) 

  • heightened olfactory sense (less than ideal when frequenting public restrooms) 

  • plantar fasciitis (sneakers help) 

  • heartburn (exacerbated by lacing up aforementioned sneakers) 

  • fatigue 

  • elevated body temperature 

  • bleeding gums 

  • round ligament pain 

  • overall unremitting discomfort 

*The exhaustive list is safe somewhere else, lest in the future I forget my misery and think it's a good idea to repeat this process. 

 

Good Reads 

  • Eleven Hours: A stirring, powerful novel about one woman's birth over an 11-hour period. The friendship she cultivates with her nurse grows in intensity as the the moment of delivery draws closer. Probably not great to read if you are nearing delivery, however, as complications do arise for the protagonist. 
  • Love Works Like This: Travels Through A Pregnant Year: A memoir of psychologist Lauren Slater's experience during pregnancy and early parenthood.  She writes about things that other people won't or don't. For example: "Motherhood's biggest taboo may not be rage but mildness. Mother love must be intense. I am not intense. I feel a great guilt. So far, it is only my guilt that makes me a mother" (142). 

  • The Birth Partner: Our doula gave us this book to help Jacob prepare to help me through the birth. It's not just for the partner, though; the explanation of the birth process was very informative and unbiased. 

  • Mindful Birthing: This is a combination mindfulness/birthing book, also recommended by our doula. I mostly skipped the part about mindfulness, though some of the specific applications to labor and delivery were useful. 

  • Catastrophic Happiness: The follow-up book to Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman, this book was also amusing and full of self-deprecating humor. The kids are older in this book, so it didn't feel quite as relevant, but it was a worthwhile read nonetheless.  

  • The Baby Name Wizard Book: A very useful resource written by the creator of the Baby Name Wizard website and blog. My favorite part was the list of likely siblings for each name, data generated census records. 

  • Operating Instructions: Anne Lamott's memoir of raising her son, by herself, over the first year of his life. So good! 

You can click the image to purchase the book directly from Amazon. A small portion of the sale helps to support this blog! 

 

Not-As-Good Reads 

I didn't end up finishing any of these, so it's entirely possible they improved significantly after the first chapter or two ... let me know! 

  • First Bite: The author interview on Fresh Air was great! But the book had me bored with detailed accounts of scientific studies.  

  • Our Babies, Ourselves: An interesting, albeit dry, take on pediatric anthropology. I really wanted to like it, but it put me to sleep. 

  • Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety: I started getting more anxious about the challenges of balancing everything, so I promptly put it down and eventually returned it to the library. 

  • After Birth: I thought this was going to be an interesting novel about motherhood, but it turned out that was not the case. I read the free sample a while ago, so unfortunately I don't even remember why I didn't like it. 

 

Offspring-Related Podcast Recommendations 

  • Bee Wilson, author of First Bite, on Fresh Air: An enlightening take on the power parents have to shape their children's food preferences and habits.  

  • Only Human episode on Prenatal Testing: How the development of prenatal tests empowers parents to make (sometimes controversial) choices. 

  • Episode 2, Attachment Parenting, of the new podcast Science Vs.: I'm about halfway through the episode, and am so grateful for all of the dispelling of attachment-related myths. When it comes to offspring, it can be hard to figure out what's backed by evidence and what isn't, but so far this podcast seems adept at doing just that. 

  • Episode 57, Milk Wanted, of Reply All: A fascinating tale of the history and context of breast milk, and why it is so hard for those who need it to get it. 

  • The Accidental Gay Parents on The Longest Shortest Time: This is the first of four episodes with these parents. Such a compelling story about what it means to parent ... I dare you not to cry! 

  • Also on LST, Terry Gross on Not Having Kids: I could seriously listen to Terry Gross talk all day, so this rare glimpse into her personal life was fascinating. 

  • Episode 103 of Totally Mommy on Birthing in a Volvo: Elizabeth recounts the story of giving birth to her second child--in a car!  

Recent-ish Reads

When I'm at home and not otherwise occupied (meaning, not vomiting or watching the Olympics or season 4 of OINTB), I've been reading. Pregnancy insomnia, plus sauna-type weather outside, plus part-time work grant me ample time to catch up on books that were published years ago. I've been diving into books that keep me enthralled and distracted from nausea, heat, and swelling feet. That said, here's what I've been reading recently-ish: 

May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes

This book's swirling tale of family dysfunction kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. I'm still not sure if it's more of a plot-driven book than many I've read or if there was something truly captivating about the writing. My suspicion, sadly, is the former. It turns out, not surprisingly, that my standards are much lower when I have little ability to concentrate. I wondered how the author generated so many of the particular plot elements: lamp-inflicted violence, boarding school tug-of-war, an obsession with President Nixon, an almost-kidnapping in Africa, and an experimental jungle-prison. At some points the sub-plots dragged on longer than necessary, but otherwise I found the borderline (or across the border) pathological characters fascinating. Guaranteed to make you feel better about your own family! 

 

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Interesting, but nothing special. I read the bulk of this book on one plane ride, and while it kept me amused, I would not say I was particularly impressed. Straub encapsulates the struggles of a family on the verge of collapse through the novel's two-week portrayal of their vacation on a Spanish island. The characters weren't particularly quirky or endearing, but there was something about it nonetheless that made me want to see how the vacation ended. 

 

The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits

After a long wait for the Kindle version of this book from the library, I was finally able to read it! It's a series of vignettes, or diary entries, that are somewhat connected and mostly interesting. I wouldn't say the rest of the book was as captivating as the first 10% (which I read as a Kindle sample), but I nonetheless enjoyed reading about Julavits' exploits. As a sometimes-snob about books, this line about observing another family's collection of not-so-literary books in their vacation home struck me:

"I defended the family, knowing them not at all; bookshelves of summerhouses are filled with dishy nonsense, I said. They indicate how a person understands time that is meant to be wasted." (157) 

 

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

At long last I got around to reading this book that everyone raved about four years ago. The format was not what I expected; rather than resemble a typical novel in structure, it was more reminiscent of a collection of short stories, all of which were tangentially related to the titular character, Olive. As the chapters unwind, Strout reveals Olive's fraught relationships and the accumulating impact of her presence on fellow town members. I found myself struggling at times to get immersed in each story, especially for those stories in which the connection to Olive was not immediately clear. Despite the format, I enjoyed the book, though perhaps not as much as some. 

 

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

I picked up this book after finishing Olive Kitteridge, and I have to say, I liked it even better. It's my favorite of the Strout novels so far, though I'm only partway through Amy and Isabelle, one of her earliest books. Strout rendered the relationship between the two brothers (the Burgess boys of the title) in a complex way, avoiding too much partiality. The linear plot assisted in making the book more compelling, and it is definitely one I would recommend. I started to see common elements among the Strout novels character and plot elements: aversion to Jews, homophobia, homes in New York and Maine, suspicion of fundamentalist Christians, fraught marital relations, and more. 

 

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Meh. I'm not sure what all the hype was about. The novella chronicles the relationship of a semi-estranged mother and daughter while the daughter, Lucy, is hospitalized; Lucy's husband, ever so irritatingly, won't visit her, and so she is left with only her mother to keep her company for a few days. I finished it, but I felt that something was missing. If you loved it, please tell me why! 

 

Family Life by Akhil Sharma

One of David Sedaris' recommended books (he recommends a book each time he goes on tour), this is a true gem. As the central family keeps getting dealt a progressively appalling fate, I found myself pulled in, unable to to take a break from the horror they were experiencing. Told from the perspective of the younger brother in an Indian family, the book chronicles the family's move to the US and subsequent difficulties they face. It highlights immigrant struggles, yet it does so much more. At the same time that I couldn't stand how the mother was reacting to her circumstances, I understood her impulses and sympathized with her conflicted feelings.  A heartbreaking, yet irresistible read. 

 

The Opposite of Everything by David Kalisch

After reading a compelling article in the NY Times by the author, I downloaded the sample of this book and enjoyed the first 10%. Yet the book became progressively trite and intolerable as it continued. I really should have given up on it, but I finished it anyway, hoping that it might redeem itself from its vapidity. It did not. 

 

Dietland by Sarai Walker 

Thriller meets feminist bildungsroman. Walker weaves the story of Plum, a fat twenty-something in New York City, into a larger narrative about a terrorist plot to reform media coverage of women while killing off misogynists and rapists. It is an unlikely coupling, but one that works exceedingly well. At times the media commentary feels a bit heavy, but it's so insightful that it's not bothersome. I heard about the book from reviews like this one that highlighted Walker's social critique of the mainstream media's typical portrayal of the female form. I am glad I picked it up when I did; as I grow larger every day (due to the fact that I am creating life!) its perspective on the female body was refreshing. For instance, take Plum's wrenching realization:

 "I’m every American woman’s worst nightmare. It’s what they spend their lives fighting against, it’s why they diet and exercise and have plastic surgery—because they don’t want to look like me.” (Loc. 1406)

Similarly, I have enjoyed the Kindle sample of Lindy West's new book, Shrill, as well as the recent episode on This American Life entitled, "Tell Me I'm Fat.

 

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

After reading Jessi Klein's article "Get the Epidural" (there's a longer version of the essay in the book) and hearing her interviewed on Fresh Air, I had to read her book. I'm glad I did; it was entertaining, enlightening, and resonated deeply. This comment about being called "ma'am" was one of many incisive yet amusing moments: 

"Men don’t have to deal with the fact that at some point in their early midlife, they will find themselves tossed into a linguistic system that will let them know, in no uncertain terms, that in the eyes of the world, essentially, they’ve begun to die. When you’re called sir, you’re being called the same thing that James Bond is called." (Loc. 2167)

 

In Progress ... 

Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout

I'm a few chapters into this early (1998) Strout novel. While it definitely feels like an earlier book, I'm enjoying reading about the unfolding, complex relationship between the titular mother and daughter. 

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I think I meant to read this several years ago, but I'm just now getting around to it. There was no waiting list for the Kindle version at the library, so I downloaded it and began reading it this week. So far, I'm intrigued. 

Thanks for reading! 

Join me over at Goodreads to see more recommendations! 

 

Meandering in Boston

 The BFG(!!), Books I can't wait to read, and Pepper the dog!

The BFG(!!), Books I can't wait to read, and Pepper the dog!

This weekend, as part of my current and  somewhat accidental career meandering phase, I’m in Boston for the International Literacy Association (ILA) annual convention. The past couple months, I’ve been toying with the idea of returning to school to learn more about reading, literacy, and curriculum development. But before I do, I wanted to see if it was going to be the right fit. I’m taking an online class (called "Word Study”) to learn more about spelling and reading development, and I’m here, attending this conference, to see if the field excites me. We shall see … 

Just to be clear, I don’t particularly enjoy working part-time. I like doing something useful and feeling competent in return. Though I appreciate having the flexibility to exercise in the middle of the day, go grocery shopping when the store isn't crowded, and the like, I do miss colleagues and a regular schedule. Since March, my work with students has required about ten to fifteen hours a week, which includes prep time, time with students, driving to meet students, and emailing parents. Yet reading for pleasure—either novels absorbing enough to distract me from the miseries of the third trimester or parenting books to feed my obsession—doesn’t confer the same sense of competence and fulfillment as working with kids. 

I would have liked graduate school to work out; once it became clear that it wasn’t going to, I would have liked to get back to full-time work. Only, that wasn’t realistic, given the persistent vomiting that struck around week 5 of pregnancy and continued, with only mild abatement, to the present, at almost 29 weeks. For instance, just two days ago, I started puking while driving—one hand on the steering wheel, the other holding open the doggie poop bag I was lucky enough to have in the front seat with me. 

Anyway, the conference has been useful, albeit unsurprisingly overwhelming, thus far. Yesterday I attended a session about effective word study instruction with Kathy Ganske, a professor of literacy at Vanderbilt. I also went to very disorganized session on teaching nonfiction and a less than useful session on the logistics of implementing a summer reading remediation program. There are few things that puzzle me more than teachers and professors of literacy not knowing how to present information! But, barring a few other annoyances—the most egregious being people taking photos of every single slide in a presentation—I’ve been learning about the literacy field and feeling excited and invigorated about working in a school again. 

When I showed up for a session on phonics at 8 am (quite a feat in my current state), I found the presenter not present! I quickly looked on the conference app for another session to attend and luckily found one nearby about recent findings in dyslexia research. The researchers dispelled some points of contention regarding dyslexia among educators, including: 

  • The idea that dyslexics have special talents in art, music, or related disciplines. There is no research that indicates that dyslexics are any more likely to excel in these areas than anyone else.
  • That 15-20% of the population is dyslexic. Although diagnostic criteria vary widely among districts, states, and countries, the actual percentage of the population that is truly dyslexic is closer to 1-2%. 
  • Finally, the claim that dyslexics require an explicit, systematic, multi-sensory program in order to learn to read. There is no evidence for this. In fact, evidence supports the idea that early intervention, especially phonological instruction, is more effective at reducing the number of children at risk for reading difficulties. 

Yet my favorite part of the conference was the two sessions I attended earlier today with Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey. In the first, they talked about lessons they have learned relating to adolescent literacy. In the second, they discussed how to apply John Hattie’s findings about visible learning to literacy teaching. Overall, here are the key points:

Challenging expectations and standards are appropriate. Kids should know that school is supposed to require hard work and effort—it’s not meant to be easy! Fisher and Frey discussed the concept of “rigor” (often a buzzword meaning nothing) and how they came to the conclusion that it is a balance between difficulty and complexity. They define difficulty as the measure of effort required to complete a task and complexity as the number of ways and methods of thinking, action, or knowledge needed to complete a task. They plan to have teachers at their school organize their syllabus and assignments using the following model: 

Student comprehension and collaboration are crucial. 
In their revised take on speaking and listening standards--in which they call for students to build on each other's ideas and express their own clearly and persuasively--they advocate for and actually require at their school that 50% of instructional minutes are spent in collaborative learning. Their research shows that doing so increases student satisfaction and therefor attendance, motivation, engagement, etc. They cited a study by John Hattie in which he looked at 3,000 matched pair classrooms. In low-achieving classrooms, teachers talked 89% of the time, whereas in high-achieving classrooms, teachers talked only 49% of the time. 

“Every student deserves a great teacher, not by chance, but by design.”
There are definitely ways to make this happen! Part of the problem, in my opinion at least, is that not enough people with decision-making powers are aware of the research and are willing to make changes based on it. According to John Hattie’s research, an effect size of .4 represents about one year of growth; therefore, practices that produce less than .4 of an effect size mean that students do not progress adequately, whereas policies that create larger effect sizes produce more than a year of change in one year. Here are the effect sizes for common practices: 

  • grade-level retention: -1.3 effect size
  • ability/group tracking: .12 effect size
  • teaching test-taking: .22 effect size
  • homework: .29 effect size (though homework at the secondary level has a stronger effect than it does at the elementary level) 
  • small-group learning: .49 effect size
  • teaching study skills: .59 effect
  • repeated reading to build comprehension: .67 effect size
  • classroom discussion: .82 effect size (about 2 years of growth for one year of school!) 
  • collective teacher efficacy: 1.57 effect size (for example: PLCs, grade-level teams) 

The final session I attended today was a panel about strategies for teaching nonfiction featuring literacy stars Penny Kittle, Kylene Beers, and Bob Probst. They recommended some nonfiction books, and I look forward to checking these out: 

  • How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything - Dov Siedman
  • Collaborative Intelligence - Dawna Markova & Angie Mcarthur
  • Minds Made for Stories - Tom Newkirk
  • A History of Reading - Albuerto Manguel
  • Far From The Tree - Andrew Solomon  (Quite a tome, yet a fantastic, compelling read!) 

Finally, here are some books I *may* have purchased, am curious about, would like to read, or may recommend to students. Enjoy!