I can't remember if I've mentioned it already, but I'm taking this year off from teaching to pursue a master's degree full-time in curriculum and instruction. This is the time of the semester when all of my major projects are starting to be due. Here's what I'm working on:
1. An article on working with gifted readers that I'm going to try to get published. It seems as though gifted students are quite neglected in the education system these days between NCLB, a shortage of funding, and inadequate teacher training. Recent reports from the Fordham Foundation and NAGC reveal that the needs of our nation's brightest students aren't being met. I'm researching specific considerations to take into account when teaching reading to these students in the regular classroom. It's shocking how little has been written about the topic relative to other issues in reading.
2. An action plan for building teacher-driven study groups for professional learning in schools. It's the major project for my course on shared leadership between teachers and administrators.
3. A case study of two readers that I worked with for a few days last month. The emphasis is on reading comprehension generally and identifying the main idea specifically.
4. A paper on the role of expectations in "good teaching." I'm also updating my website as a companion piece to show my ideas in practice.
5. A self-evaluation and action plan for becoming a better reading teacher.
6. A plan for my "Instructional Dream" for integrating technology in my classroom. I'm going to write about the potential for using Google Wave in writer's workshop. I got my invitation last week, and while I'm still trying to get the hang of it, I'm blown away by its potential as a collaborative learning tool in the classroom.
So that's what I've been up to lately. As I finish these projects, I'll be happy to share any useful resources and findings.