by Marti Plumtree
The South Cali 4-Blocks Gatherings
With photologue by Marti Plumtree
Hi 4 blockers. I would like to share with you (better late than never) some of the happenings from the Southern Ca. four blocks gatherings. As some of you may know we met for the first time in July at my school in La Crescenta. There were about twelve people in attendance, and they came from far as away as Fullerton about a 45 minute drive. We had a great time (pictures previously posted). I decorated the cafetorium with 4 bocks regalia and other people brought things to share. In fact my principal stopped by for awhile (my district favors P&F but my principal has allowed me and encouraged me to use to use four blocks.) The gathering was great for many reasons. First it enabled like minds to be together, and it also afforded us the opportunity to get to know each other and to help some "newbies."
Everything went so nicely that we decided to meet again in August. We set the focus for the second gathering to be "guided reading " This time we met at a private home, and further south. As with the first meeting, we had people at various stages of 4 blocks, so we answered all questions and then dabbled with ideas from the "Guided Reading" book. At the conclusion, of this gathering we asked people to jot down their thoughts about the meeting and I would like to share some of their thoughts with you.
"As a 4-blocks "baby," I was spoon fed with a lot of great ideas. We went through part of the Guided Reading Book. We used the book as a springboard to discuss ideas. Now I get to go back to my classroom, ready to try out these great ideas. I also have some new friends who want to help me do my best."
"The reason I came today was to become part of a group that does 4blocks. I’m still the lone ranger at my school. I have very few opportunities to discuss problems and ideas with others who know what I am talking about. We’ve got a congenial group and the start of a great professional discussion group. I am really excited to be part of this."
We met to discuss the new Guided Reading book. We ended up talking about all of the blocks and sharing ideas. We have a lot in common regardless of basal adoptions, district profiles, etc. It’s a chance to share in a positive setting, and prepare for the start of another school year."
"I enjoyed getting to know teachers who are dedicated to enhancing childrens literacy knowledge. We got to know each other as well as become more familiar with four blocks."
Our third gathering was in another private home in Fullerton Ca. At this gathering we had 5 people, and one was a "newbie" a 4-6 grade multiage teacher. Like the previous two meetings we reviewed, and examined our practices with 4 blocks. Of course as with all good educators, we discussed our up and downs in a test crazy state, how we will cope with the blocks, the state standards and grading.
At our next meeting, we would like people to bring a guided reading lesson. Hope to see more So. Calif. folks at the next gathering on November 9th.
PS We are trying to encourage a few more people to go to leadership from California As of this moment I know of three Southern CA. people who will be going to leadership.
PPS I am enclosing some pictures from the previous two meetings. A funny story - for the longest time I could not find the roll of film from the August gathering. Prior to leaving the October meeting, I grabbed what I assumed was a new role of film. Yes you guessed it, I loaded the August film into the camera and used it at the October gathering. Well one picture was salvageable from the October meeting
Photologue by Marti Plumtree
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