Friday, June 22, 2012

Linda Hoyt is BRILLIANT!

I am very lucky to have been able to attend a two-day literacy conference with Linda Hoyt as the one and only presenter!  Here I am with Linda Hoyt!
If you haven’t seen any of Linda’s work you need to take a look!  For the past few years I’ve been using Interactive Read Alouds in my classroom.  It’s a wonderful resource that has read alouds identified for different reading comprehension strategies, and lessons to accompany the read aloud.  It’s fantastic!  I’m not doing it justice, you should check it out!

I bought two new books.  They’re my birthday present to myself.  Isn’t that semi-sad?  But I can’t help myself…all of my jeans have holes in them but I would rather buy teacher books than clothes.  Sigh – I’m hopeless!

These are officially on my summer to-read list!
I originally wasn’t planning on buying anything but Linda Hoyt shared some truly inspiring ideas for reading and writing and I had to buy them.  HAD TO!

*********Keep Reading! *********
**There are Common Core nuggets of knowledge from Linda Hoyt herself!!**

Did you know the common core has created a list of text exemplars?
This means that for the grade levels examples of excellent text have been identified in different areas – stories, poetry, read alouds, informational text, etc.

The Common Core emphasizes that our students need to read and be exposed to complex, rich text – especially informational text.  And they’ve provided a list of examples – wasn’t that kind?!

Hoyt recommended that we familiarize ourselves with the text attributes that characterize these exemplars.  What makes them examples of excellence?  By identifying these attributes we can better identify other wonderful books, and we can teach these attributes to our students.

But we can’t stop with just reading these texts, because, according to the Common Core, writing is also of utmost importance.  Our students need to be taught to write and write well.  What better way than to study excellent works of writing!

For example, all writing has punctuation.  BUT excellent writing includes rich internal punctuation.  (I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement at the term – she gave a name to a vague idea that I had floating around my head).  Also, by writing in clusters of three the text becomes more lyrical.  Vivid imagery is also a common characteristic of excellent writing.

See coded example:
Hoyt recommends that we study these texts with our students.  That we identify these writing attributes that make the texts great together with our students.  Then, with our students, work on creating writing with those attributes (i.e. internal punctuation, clusters of three, or vivid imagery and so many more). 

This is just one example of many.  Hoyt was able to make these attributes come alive.  She was also able to present instructional strategies that were feasible for any grade level.  Remember, I’m excited and I teach in a bilingual 1/2 classroom where nothing is easy!  I can’t wait to start teaching writing!

Hoyt shared many more strategies and ideas on reading informational text and writing informational text.  I will share them as I have a chance to reflect and read her books.

Click below for the common core list of exemplars:

This was ridiculously long and I commend you if you made it this far, you’re an awesome teacher!!!  I hope at the very least the link is helpful so you can hunt for the text exemplars at your grade level.

Mrs. Castro
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  1. Thank you for sharing all of this info!

    I am pumped to see your writing ideas come up throughout the year. :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  2. I am so glad that you had a good time and I am so with you on the nerdiness! People like Linda Hoyt are more like celebrities to me than anyone in Hollywood!
    Have you read any of Jeff Anderson's stuff on using good writing for mentor sentences? Check out and The video gives examples from upper grades but it can easily be adapted for primary!

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