Growing Professionally through Literature Circles...

This Thanksgiving, I have so many things to be grateful for in my personal and professional life! However, one thing I am particularly grateful for professionally is literature circles. They have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me. Now, I know I've blogged about Literature Circles before, but I don't think I can ever get enough and I have so much more to share. :) 

Last year, I showed you all how I carried out literature circles using the book Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters with my kiddos in 2nd grade and so much has happened since then! Let me fill you in... 

Well, last year, one of my colleagues and mentors heard about what I was doing with Literature Circles and saw the task cards I created and decided to share them with my principal. Luckily, my principal loved everything so much that she proposed implementing my Literature Circles program school-wide and incorporating them into our school's school improvement and action plan! I was floored when she offered me this opportunity. It was such an honor, and definitely too good of an opportunity to turn down, so I accepted. 

Click {HERE} to check out the bundle at my TPT store.
Over the summer, I was quite busy creating an intermediate version of my task cards and worksheets and helping to organize a "Master Binder" with all of the resources for each teacher. (Thankfully, I had the help of office staff and two after school care counselors to get the hefty job done.) I was also lucky enough to collaborate on a separate project throughout the summer with a very talented co-worker of mine, Melissa Yglesias from More Time 2 Teach, to develop Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) task cards for 2nd-5th Grade. 

Click {HERE} to check out the bundle at my TPT store.
By the end of summer I was mentally exhausted but ecstatic to share all the work I had done with my colleagues.  At our opening of school meeting, I was asked to present the resources to the staff. I admit I was a bit nervous about the idea of presenting in front of the whole faculty, but once I was center stage and started talking, the butterflies went away and everything went smoothly. I received a lot of positive feedback about the resources and heard a lot of enthusiastic chatter from the teachers about literature circles! I was definitely feeling like I was on cloud 9. 

How could things get any better? Well, sure enough more great things were right around the corner. Shortly after the school year began, my principal invited my colleague Melissa and I to be part of the school's Instructional Leadership Team and we were given the opportunity to take part in developing our school's action plan, which was centered around my Literature Circles Program and her Collaborative Conversations Initiative!
Click {HERE} to download a FREE copy of
Melissa's Rules for Collaborative Conversation

Click {HERE} to Check out Melissa's Collaborative Conversation Posters
Then, when the district learned more about our action plan and programs they invited us to host a Professional Development to showcase our work and share the programs with other teachers! How crazy is that?! Now, this may sound nerdy, but I have always wanted to host a Professional Development! Part of my becoming a teacher is because I love to share knowledge, not just with students but with teachers as well. So, needless to say, I was overjoyed at the opportunity.

Our professional development took place on November 4th and it was a surreal experience! We had a small group of teachers from local schools and they could not be happier about learning about Collaborative Conversations and Literature Circles. As part of the PD not only did Melissa and I have the chance to present our resources, but we were also able to engage the teachers in collaborative conversations and a small literature circle using the book "Enemy Pie". It was awesome to see everything in practice with adults and to hear them express their desires to incorporate both activities into their reading instruction. I'm not sure if any more PDs are in my future, but I would definitely be open to hosting another. 

Here are two pics a former colleague and fellow blogger Cristy from Your Thrifty Co-Teacher
was kind enough to snap of me while I was presenting: 

Reading "Enemy Pie" in preparation for our Literature Circle

Explaining how to implement Small Group Literature Circles
Thank you for taking the time to read my post about my personal success! 
I hope it has inspired you to realize that you never know what can come of your hard work. I never dreamed literature circles would open the doors it has for me. 
Who knows what doors can be opened for you?

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