Advising Meetings for Spring Semester

I hope to see many of you at one of the two advising meetings this Wednesday, December 2nd.  I’ll share general guidelines and some out-of-dept selective suggestions.  Bring your questions!

Times and places are:

4:15-5 Grace Dodge 273A

7-7:45 Grace Dodge 285

Registration begins Monday, December 7th.

Take care,




Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the big day, we brainstormed some of our blessings, both big and small.

We are thankful for…

  • Literacy Specialist students who study, inquire, learn, collaborate, and teach so schools can be places of learning and justice
  • Literacy Specialist instructors and staff, who always go the extra mile for students!
  • friends and family, who make sure we don’t forget to laugh!
  • learning new ways to look at books and and make meaning in life
  • watching good teachers become amazing, confident teachers
  • school professionals, who teach all of us through their daily commitment to children’s literacies and lives
  • children and their stories–all of them!
  • those moments when a student (no matter the age!) says, “Oh, I get it now!”
  • children’s literature – so many choices!
  • my mother’s pecan pie recipe
  • getting to sleep late
  • Amtrak
  • the smell of Christmas trees for sale on the streets of NYC
  • black and white cookies from Nussbaum & Wu
  • the view of Low Plaza when standing at the top of the steps
  • Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
  • clementines
  • the trees glowing with lights at night on Columbia College walk
  • arriving just as the train or bus is about to leave
  • tea from Orens Daily Roast on Broadway
  • the pretty way the cityscape meets the sky as I look north at 120th St straight up Amsterdam towards Harlem
  • wonderful, thoughtful, dedicated students
  • and so much more…please add your thoughts!

And have a special Thanksgiving weekend, filled with gratitude and happiness!

Update for Fulltime Students

As we approach the end of the semester, we wanted to give you guidelines for completing your fieldwork.

Some of you have now finished ten weeks of logs.  Once your supervisor has confirmed that these are complete, please print them out with the comments, and make sure they are signed by your supervisor.

Even if you have not finished your 120 hours, ten weeks of logs complete that part of the certification requirement.  Continue logging hours and make sure your time sheet reflects your total of at least 120 hours.  That record should be signed by both your supervisor AND your cooperating teacher.  Then you can leave the logs and the time sheet in the envelope on Ellen’s door.

We want to ensure that we don’t just abandon the teachers and students once hours are complete.  Please fulfill the semester’s internship by returning to your classrooms through the week of December 7-11.  If you attend less frequently or for less time, that’s fine.  As soon as possible, let your teachers know when your last day will be.  Talk with your cooperating teacher about the best way to bring closure to your time with the children — they will want to say goodbye to you!

Thanks so much for all your hard work and your commitment to your placements.
Almost halfway there–congratulations!  🙂

Advising Meeting

Hi everyone,

Remarkably, it is time to think about spring semester!  Registration begins December 7th.

Let’s get together on Wednesday, December 2nd, to go over general questions and information.  Of course, we will be available to advise you individually, but this meeting will begin our conversations.

There are two options: 4:15-5 or 7-7:30, room to be announced.



Save the Date!

Please reserve Thursday evening, December 17th, on your calendars.  It’s the date for our Literacy Specialist Holiday Gathering!  We will be celebrating so much:  the season, winter break, the mid-year graduates, winter break, end-of-semester, winter break…

We hope you’ll join us.  Details to come.


Sunday Afternoon at the Museum

Join me, Mary Coakley, and fellow literacy specialist students for a museum visit to El Museo del Barrio on Sunday, November 15th, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm!  This newly renovated favorite museum of mine is celebrating its re-opening with a well-reviewed exhibit called “Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis.” This field trip will give us a great chance to socialize together, enjoy a fall Sunday in NYC, and check out amazing art. It will surely inspire some arts-literacy curriculum connections for our teaching as well!

Please RSVP to “mrc211 at columbia dot edu” by Friday, November 13th at 4 pm if you plan to attend. Please include whether you’ll meet us on W. 106th St./Central Park West or at the Museum.

Hope you’ll join us!


Welcome to a new month

An excerpt from Cynthia Rylant’s book, In November


In November, the earth is growing quiet.  It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures.  The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets.

In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones.  Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers.  They know it is time to be still.

In November, some birds move away and some birds stay.  The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes.

In November, the smell of food is different.  It is an orange smell.  A squash and a pumpkin smell.  It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog.  Food is better in November than any other time of the year.

Enjoy your November days…