A busy week on campus…

Many of you are joining us for this week’s Reading Institute or next week’s Writing Institute. Welcome and enjoy!  These institutes, as well as the Content Area Institute held in July, are ideal ways to launch or continue your coursework and fulfill your in-program selectives.  I am facilitating a small group section this week and got to say hello to many of you today…if you’d like to meet or touch base about registration, just let me know.

If you have questions regarding your graduate credit assignments, contact Christy Curran or Anne Taranto or discuss in your conferences with them.

Have a dynamic and productive experience!


Registration Tips

An easy way to browse or check courses is to use Quick Links found on the top of the TC home page.  Scroll down near the bottom of the list (lots of other helpful info here as well) to Schedule of Classes.  Then you’ll be able to use the advanced search and fill in semester, department, more if you want and find a list of classes.  Always check the information detailed there, special notes, course fees, etc.

Remember the computer automatically registers you for the minimum credits for which the course is offered.  You’ll need to change credit hours for many classes.  For example, C&T 4200 is offered for 0-6 credits, so you will initially be registered for 0 credits.  State certification requires 3 credits for this course each semester, so be sure to adjust it.  C&T 4502 should be 1 credit in fall.  Other program courses can be taken for 2 or 3 credits to offer flexibility with your total of 32, but most of these will be taken for 3 credits in fall.  Out of program selectives can be taken for 2 or 3; choose 2 if possible.  See the coursework planning sheet for confirmation.  Credit numbers can be adjusted a few weeks into the semester.

Our program courses require approval from an advisor (even section changes), but most out of program selectives do not and must be given directly by the course instructor if they do.

Update for Fieldwork Internships

We know full-time students are anxious to find out their fieldwork placements, and we have a great group of teachers who are eager to welcome you!  Please be patient as we finalize details.  At orientation, you’ll have a chance to share interests and preferences.  Then you will begin in your schools during the week of September 12.  Please reserve the mornings of that week so you’ll have flexibility in scheduling your first visit.  A supervisor will accompany you initially.

Remember you will arrange your schedule with your cooperating teacher, logging 10-12 hours over four days of the week.  Your time in the classroom will include both reading and writing workshops as well as other literacy related instruction.  Your internship will continue through the semester.

Our students are placed at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project public schools in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.  All schools are accessible by public transportation.  Please do not request specific schools. During second semester, you will have a complementary fieldwork experience, typically in a different grade and at a different school.

Much more information will be shared soon.

Getting Where You Need to Go!

Have you discovered Hopstop?  It’s an online transit guide that will give you door-to-door subway and/or bus directions.  It allows you to choose alternate routes, decide how much walking you want to do, and anticipate how long a trip will take, even at specific times.  So helpful!

Site posted on blogroll.  🙂

A few notes about fieldwork…

Members of the Literacy Specialist Program learn not only from university courses but also from field experiences, and above all from the intersection of those two. Course work becomes vastly more complex and interesting when it is brought to bear on the very real challenges in classrooms. Every student in the Literacy Specialist Program is expected to work in a classroom or two as a teacher-researcher and reflective practitioner.

If a student is a fulltime teacher already, then that teacher’s fieldwork experience involves first, bringing a reflective lens to your own teaching and second, expanding your role as a teacher to include leading intensive small group work with students at a grade level other than your own. That is, if you are a fulltime fourth grade teacher, you’ll be asked to put all that you learn in TC courses into motion within your own classroom, and to become even more reflective as a teacher. You’ll participate in a seminar with other fulltime teachers who are also using their classrooms as learning labs, and together you’ll look at data and learn to explore the links between theory and practice. You will also be asked to lead small group work for at least three times a week, 30 minutes a time, with kindergarten, first or second graders (the degree requires that you work in both primary and upper elementary grades at some point within the program.)

If you are not a fulltime teacher, then you will have the opportunity to apprentice with an extraordinary teacher of literacy, working with that teacher four mornings a week for most of the semester. We place fieldwork interns in schools that are model sites for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Your placement will allow you to not only learn from children and a mentor teacher, but to also participate in staff development, to be part of school-based study groups, and the like. Again, you’ll be asked to spend half an hour a day, four days a week, working with a small group of children at a grade level which is very different than your placement.

Fieldwork students who apprentice in the classroom of another teacher also participate in a TC seminar to support this experience, and again, this seminar is tailored for students who are participating in an experience similar to yours. You’ll also have the chance to receive one-to-one coaching from a supervisor who will travel to your field placement in order to provide on-the-ground coaching. Your supervisor will observe and coach you at least three times across the semester.

If you already have teaching experience, for your second semester you may decide that you’d prefer your placement to be with a Teachers College Reading and Writing Project staff developer or with a literacy coach in a school. Most students, however, want their second semester to be similar to their first. Generally, faculty members try to place you in two schools that are quite different from each other, with at least one of those placements allowing you the opportunity to work with high-need students.

We’re convinced that the fieldwork is one of the most special aspects of the Literacy Specialist program.

(Another) Reminder about Registration

Although all of our new students seem to be registered, some returning students are not.  Registration began back in April, so many classes are already quite full.  For example, all four sections of HBSK 4072 are closed.  If you have been putting this off, now is the time!  Please contact me at ellencse@comcast.net.  We can take care of approvals electronically, so you do not have to come to campus or get forms signed.  Out-of-department selectives do not need approval (unless specified by the instructor).



Good news about HBSK 4072!

We have just been notified that one section of HBSK 4072, Theory and Techniques of Reading Assessment and Intervention, will be offered in Spring 2010.  The course will meet on Mondays from 5:10-6:50.  This is a required course for our program and is typically offered only in fall.  All four sections for 2009 are already filled, so we are grateful to the Department of Health and Behavior Studies for this addition.