Off We Go!

A speedometer with red needle pointing to Reach Goal, encouraging people to get motivated

This week we have looked at goals, and a couple goal areas to get set for this up coming school year. Think about the areas of workshop. Which one is calling out to you? Which one will impact you and your students the most? The hope is to become more fluent in one area, while doing the best we can in other areas. Think, pray, and/or meditate over it and pick one. Just one.


Once you have one aspect of workshop picked, ponder what do you need and want to learn in this area. You might be able to pick this easily, or maybe you are just starting in this work and don’t know where to start. Whatever the case, you may want to research a bit. Ask colleagues around you, read, look at data for students coming into you, or ask instructional leaders on your campus. Feel free to ask us as well. We’d be more than happy to help you sort through your thoughts.


The process you are going through is finding skills needed to achieve your goal. Figuring out what to learn  can be a daunting task. We have to push through what we want to learn and make sure we have a plan of how we will learn the skills needed to reach our goals. So what are some ways? Some people love to read to learn. If that’s the case, there are amazing books on workshop. Here are some of my favorites. By no means is this list exhaustive or in order of preference:


  • The Art of Teaching Reading by Lucy Calkins
  • The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins
  • Teaching Reading in Small Groups by Jennifer Serravallo
  • Conferring with Readers by Jennifer Serravallo
  • The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo
  • How’s It Going? by Carl Anderson
  • The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
  • Everyday Editing by Jeff Anderson


Perhaps you like video models to see things in action. If that’s the case, Vimeo has a great collection from TCRWP. You can find their library here. Perhaps you are more of an online learner. Twitter has amazing professional chats. #KatyIC and #TCRWP are two tags that I follow regularly.

As we move through this process of setting a goal, we also need to consider ways to stay on track, a way to hold ourselves accountable. One way to do this is to write a SMART goal. When making a SMART goal, we make our goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Whatever the way you spell out your goal, it is important to write it down. The act of writing helps cement it in your head and makes the goal real and concrete. On the accountability side, I like to share my goals. I share them in colleagues and my principal to help keep me on track. You may want to share with teammates, literacy leaders, and/or your administrative team. The people I share with help keep me on track, celebrate my successes, and encourage me when I have a set back. Find people that can give you the same support. Your cheerleaders if you will. We support and encourage the learners we impact. We need the same support as we are learning as well.

Another area of your support you can use is professional blogs like this one. There are many high quality blogs out there. We are hoping this blog will be of great use to you and your growth. We are planning on looking at relationships, visible learning, logs, engagement, assessment, volume, and conferring so far. Writers rotate weekly to give you different perspectives. After all, one person can have some but not all the answers. Now if you have a question you would like answered, we would also be more than happy to help you out with what we can. Feel free to inbox us here or at  With our goals in mind and our readers and writers coming soon, off we go.


Twitter: @ICchiller
off we go


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