On March 22, 2014 teachers from near and far gathered at Teachers College for the 86th TCRWP Saturday Reunion. The day began with three different keynote speakers. Shanna Schwartz, lead staff developer for the TCRWP, showed primary teachers the power of picture books and the ways that the same books could be used and reused to teach a variety of minilessons. Colleen Cruz, lead staff developer for the TCRWP, taught about the power of popular culture and provided teachers with ideas for how popular culture could be used to teach the most challenging work we tackle with students. Diane Ravitch, esteemed historian of education, gave the keynote address in Riverside Church. Frequently referring to her latest book, Reign of Error, Ravitch spoke about the need to fight for public education, against the misuse of standardized testing, and for appropriate interpretation and use of the Common Core State Standards. Throughout these keynotes, many listeners Tweeted highlights, allowing followers to track key points made by other speakers.
Following these keynote speeches, teachers moved across the college for the next four hours, choosing workshops given by Lucy Calkins, Carl Anderson, Kathy Collins, Stephanie Harvey, Mary Ehrenworth, Amanda Hartman, Laurie Pessah, Kathleen Tolan, all TCRWP staff developers, and many classroom teachers. The topics of these workshops ranged from word study for primary children to teaching students about interpretation and craft while reading and writing poetry, from shared reading to RTI, from supporting ELLs to nonfiction reading and research. In all, more than 145 workshops were offered and attended. The day ended with an uplifting and humorous closing by Kathy Collins.
Throughout the day, Twitter provided attendees with ways to share important notes from the speeches and workshops. For those following #TCRWP, it was an exciting way to connect and reinforce key points. These Tweets served as a way to connect the community during the day, but also to connect to TCRWP followers around the country who could not attend the reunion. Many of the attendees have also gone home and posted blog entries based on their experiences at the reunion, leading the way in continuing connections until the summer institutes begin in June. Thank you to all attendees, guest speakers, and TCRWP staff in making the day a huge success!