#SOL16: Living a Readerly Life


reader

How important is a reading life?

A recent post To Be a Reader included quotes from Donalyn Miller’s “Getting on the Bus“.  Lanny Ball wrote about supporting middle school readers in “Be a Reader Yourself:  Lessons from the Branding World“. And then I saw this from Regie Routman, “What I’m Reading, February 2016“.

As a reader, I have many choices.  I can share my reading notebook with lists of books read.  I can blog about favorites. I can talk endlessly about the books I’m reading, the ones I have just read or the ones that linger on my most favorite list.  I can participate in the Title Talk Twitter chat on the last Sunday of each month. I can peruse the many entries from The Nerdy Book Club. There’s even an “It’s Monday, What are You Reading?” group.

As a reader, I must read!  And I must share that passion and excitement that I find when an author writes something so captivating that I believe everyone should read it.  My favorite new children’s book is:

be a friend

My favorite new series for middle/high school students:

 

How are you sharing your readerly life?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Get ready to share your writerly life with the March Slice of Life Challenge!

#SOL16: Where do Ideas come from?


I hit the snooze AGAIN!

Wait, was that the second or third time?

Arghhhh!  I don’t have a topic. I must get up!

But I don’t want to leave my warm comfortable bed!

Grudgingly, up, moving slowly, thinking, thinking, “WHAT?”

Check the front sidewalk. Bit of snow with something underneath.

Oh, great!  ICE!  Not nice!

Weather on. . . Road report. Road map shows black.  What does black mean?

Typical winter roads – green or pink, what is black?

Oh, it’s too early!

Read Dana’s call to slice.  No quote to help. Dang 13 slices already connected.

OMG . . . topic-less on a Tuesday!  Not a good start to the day.

Listen to sports recap from last night on the news.  ISU beat Kansas. Hawkeyes up to # 3.  Did I see that right?

School closings beginning to scroll across the bottom – Hmm. . . How bad is the weather?

How much time do I have?

Dog out. Less than a minute, barking. Dog in.

Coffee done. Poured.

What am I going to write?

Where do ideas for writing come from?

Yesterday I shared some possibilities for sources of ideas for writing.

heart map

Heart map

map of home penny kittle

Map of home – Penny Kittle

Picture1

That anchor chart of “We can write about . . .” in our classroom.

But what am I going to write about today?

Weather again, first state fair act (how to buy tickets)Dierks Bentley, town hall winner (CNN comments), ESPN comments, . . .

Oh, yeah, and what/where is this year’s RAGRAI route?

FOCUS – REMEMBER, That was last year’s #OLW!

(Stern self talk!)

Where do ideas come from?

Today, it was total stream of consciousness!

What do I do when I am stuck and it’s time to write!

I write.

What do I write?

My thoughts.

My actions.

I write.

I try not to correct.

I try not to delete.

Gently, without any self-criticism,

I write!

Anything.

Everything.

Write.Write.Write.

What do you do when it’s time to write and you are stuck?

How do you share your “getting unstuck” ideas?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

#SOL16: To Be a Reader


JOY

Traveling to new places

Visiting old places

Making new friends

Visiting old friends

Learning new things

Relearning things left along the way

Collecting words and images

Revisiting great words and images from the past . . .

Each day MUST involve some personal choice

As necessary as the air I breathe!

Reading,

Something I choose.

Reading,

For myself.

Reading,

To grow my thoughts!

Reading,

To talk about books!

Reading,

To write about books!

Reading,

To find worlds to LOVE!

Do you read?

Why do you read?

If you teach readers, you MUST be a reader!

If you teach readers, you must BE a joyous reader!

Check out Donalyn Miller’s Nerdy Book Club post, “Getting on the Bus”, is a powerful read.  Stop, go read it.  Already read it?  Go read it again!  Demonstrate to yourself the power of rereading to confirm knowledge or celebrate the language.

My favorite quote:

teachers who read

Is this you?

If not, why not?

What’s your favorite quote?  How have you shared it?  How would we know?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL16: Winter


winter first

                             Winter

That season between Fall and Spring

Sometimes that never ending season that seems to begin in October and end in April.

The meteorologist on tv merrily says,

“Precipitation is headed your way!”

Will it be

rain?

sleet?

snow?

ice?

flurries?

showers?

slowly and gently falling?

torrential downpour?

Will the weather map be

pink for ice?

light blue for some snow?

medium blue for some accumulation?

deep blue for snow to be measured in “feet”?

 

I prefer snow . . .

the cleansing beauty of a layer of snow,

the crunch underfoot while

while walking in a winter wonderland.

winter one

Closely examining leaves frozen in time

as brilliant crystals glow in the sunlight.

winter two

Beauty or Danger?

Snow and frost accumulate on windhields,

Requiring scraping so views are not obstructed.

Daily scraping,

Drudgery,

Crispy, cold, and repetitious!

winter three

How much snow?

A skiff?

A blanket?

An inch or two?

Six or seven inches?

A foot?

Snow day?

snow day

An opportunity to read a good book?

Alas, not meant to be!

Road crews working diligently to make sure the roads are safe for travel.

winter three and half

Making sure we can get where we need to be.

Don’t forget to stop and look.

Where are we going?

Where have we been?

What did we see along the way?

winter four

Beauty?

Danger?

Tricky?

What do you see in winter?

Most of the time,

I love winter in Iowa!

winter last

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL16 and Revealing #OneLittleWord16


So what do you see?

joy glass half empty or full

  • Is the glass half full?
  • Is the glass half empty?

(Or does it only matter when you know what is IN the glass?)

Perspective matters.  It matters every second of every minute of every hour of every day . . . you know the rest.

Like many bloggers, I was in search of my #OneLittleWord when Thanksgiving break arrived.  I was searching, checking out the thesaurus, reviewing blogs from last year and YES, fretting about that poor little word that would focus my actions and thoughts for the next year.

Where did #OneLittleWord come from?  You can read about it here from Ruth Ayres (2008) and even see how Margaret Simon used it with her students in 2015 here.  You can also read some early announcements of words here, here, here, here, and here.

My word found me as I was making decisions about wrapping Christmas presents.  Presents were everywhere.  I had diligently removed the price tags.  I had organized them by recipients.  Then I added post-its (yep, color-coded) by the “recipient” as I considered those individuals who would be at multiple, multiple Christmas exchanges:  my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandson.

Easy Part – all gifts had to be prepared to travel.

However, there is a difference between gifts that travel two hours on a balmy 50 degree afternoon and those that had to be prepared to travel more than 8 hours without being crushed, torn, or so disheveled that they would need “re-wrapping”.  This was an organizational nightmare.

And to compound the issue, the not so distant past included being “called out” by the blood relative (who shall remain nameless) who received about half as many gifts as the family newcomer at a previous Christmas. But names are not included in order to protect myself!  :-)

Hmmm . . . what to do?

Easy decision.

As I surveyed the gifts and thought about every logistical concern. (How do the gifts get home?  Is there really room for big gifts?  What if some gifts really need to be exchanged before leaving town?) Simple questions. Multiple issues.

My solution

Gifts for the Iowa family Christmas would basically be wrapped individually in their “own” paper and too bad, so sad but the 7.5 month old grandson would have more gifts than his parents.  Equal number of gifts for all three was not the major goal because after all Fair Isn’t Always Equal according to Rick Wormeli.

Then the gifts that were traveling to Kentucky would all be gift-bagged.  One bag per person with the  collection of gifts to be basically “tissue-wrapped”.  WHEW!  Major decision!  I believed that DISASTER was averted and I had a wonderful plan.  (Truth in blogging – Gift cards for books for nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews were not included in this decision.) All other gifts for Kentucky Christmases would also be gift bagged.

Seriously, what did this have to do with #OneLittleWord?

Well, it was all about my perspective.

What solution allowed me to designate the gift locations and collections and fill my needs?

It was all about my JOY at finding a solution that met both my needs as the giver and (I hoped) the needs of the recipients!

Joy is truly in the eyes of the beholder – whether it is the gifter or the givee!  And my heart was so full of JOY at finding a solution that I knew JOY needed to be a part of my personal and work life every day for the next year.

Confirmation?

This Christmas gift to me said it all.

joy gift pic.JPG

 

 

Why JOY?

joy one.JPG

Not convinced?

joy two.JPG

My life every day this year will include:  happiness, success, delight, gaiety, bliss, or the source of delight – wonder!  (And see how sneakily seven other words fit under this umbrella of JOY!)

Schools and learning need to be filled with Joy, happiness, success, delight, gaiety, bliss, and the source of delight – wonder!  And I will be looking for Joy in all its formats every day in schools and in my own learning.

So I will be looking for JOY each and every day and with my “half-full” perspective, I am sure that I am going to find it!

Have you found your #OneLittleWord?

Has your #OneLittleWord found you?

P.S. [Truth – three days of wrapping and organizing (after one day of LOCATING) and I was close to buying/repurposing boxes in order to scrap the bag idea. I had a hard time getting the exact number  and sizes of bags that “matched” the recipient.   New Solution:   I just bought extra large, medium and small bags. After all my gifting, I used 31 bags and that was more math than my JOYOUS brain could handle.]

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy,Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL15 Finale: Top 10 Posts from 2015


I began this blog in October of 2012 because I believed that I needed to write publicly  both to improve my own writing and because I encourage teachers to write for purposeful reasons.  That fits with Betsy’s quote for today:

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.

~E. L. Doctorow”

How am I doing with my goals?  Wordpress conveniently compiles a lot of data about blog posts.  Here are the most viewed posts from this site during 2015. The numbered titles are linked to the original post and a picture is included below the link for a reminder.  (Four of these were a surprise as they were NOT written during 2015! See if you can guess which four!)

top ten

10. #TCRWP:  Day 1 Writing Institute 2015

head-explode.jpg

9. Focus:  Informational Mentor Texts

mystery.jpg

8. #TCRWP:  Day 2 Reading Institute 2015

challenges

7.  #TCRWP: Day 3 Reading Institute 2015

joyful.jpg

6. #TCRWPL: Day 1 Reading Institute 2015

fire.jpeg

5. TCRWP and Mentor Texts

books

4. How do we know students are making progress in writing?

dev-stages-of-writing.png

3.  Close Reading in Kindergarten? Is it even possible?

close-reading-button-01.png

2. #TCRWP and a Teacher’s Toolkit for Teaching Writing

dialogue-katie-tcrwp

  1. Lexile Level is NOT text complexity CCSS.R.10 

    “@amandalah: Careful of lexile: Harry potter, old man & the sea &Alexander & the horrible no good very bad day. All similar lexile. #TCRWP”

What are your top 10 learnings for 2015?

What data do you consider?

What are your goals?

How are you reflecting on 2015?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Most commented blog posts from 2015 (in 1-10 order)

most comments

One post that is on both top 10 lists! #SOL15 posts were seven of the 10 most commented on posts!  YAY, Slicers!

 

Answer to which years were the most read blogs posted:

6 of the blog posts were originally published in 2015.  Two were published in 2014 and two were published in 2013.

  • 5-10  = 2015
  • 2 and 4 = 2014
  • 1 and 3 = 2013

 

#SOL15: Family Christmas


Christmas past:

the ruths.jpg

Grandma Ruth and her ten children posing on the steps of the school basement.

Any guesses on which four were teachers?

Christmas this past Sunday:

2015-12-20 13.14.36.jpg

Seven of the ten (including the “outlaws”) celebrating the holidays with their families.

Cousins – 55 possible . . .

Ruth girl cousins

2015-12-20 13.24.54

Family

Food

Sharing memories

Sharing stories

Creating new memories

Connecting family members

Building bridges across the generations

Christmas with the “Baby Ruth” Family to begin the holidays!

Here’s one view of the “crowd”!

2015-12-20 13.10.04

Do you have specific traditions?

How do they continue through the years?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL15: Revisiting #OLW15


 

word-focus-300x300

My #OneLittleWord15 was focus.  It’s reckoning time as 2015 nears the end.

How did I do?

family

Focus on Family:

My grandson

now seven months old

with just the cutest grin!

The center of our Christmas Celebrations!

Who is the center of YOUR conversations?

friends

Focus on Friends:

 Near and far

At TCRWP Spring Saturday Reunion

At TCRWP Writing Institute

At TCRWP Reading Institute

At ILA15

At Iowa ASCD with Lester Laminack

At TCRWP Fall Saturday Reunion

At NCTE15

On Twitter with #TCRWP,  #G2Great, and #WRRD

On Voxer

And on Slicers, Too!

Can you find yourself? 

reader

Focus on Reading:

  • New Units of Study in Reading
  • Mindset for Learning:  Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth 
  • Reading Nonfiction:  Notice & Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies
  • Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom
  • The Construction Zone:  Building Scaffolds for Readers and Writers
  • The Common Core Companion: Booster Lessons, Grades 3-5: Elevating Instruction Day by Day
  • Good to Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters
  • Read Write Teach: Choice and Challenge in the Reading-Writing Workshop
  • The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching
  • In Defense of Read-Aloud: Sustaining Best Practice
  • Readers Front and Center: Helping All Students Engage with Complex Text
  • The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers
  • What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making
  • The Unstoppable Writing Teacher:  Real Strategies for Real Teachers

Which of these have you read?

Which of these are on your holiday TBR stack?

 

writing

Focus on Writing:

About TCRWP Spring Saturday Reunion

About TCRWP Writing Institute

About TCRWP Reading Institute

About Reading

About ILA15

About Iowa ASCD with Lester Laminack

About TCRWP Fall Saturday Reunion

About NCTE15

Tweets about #TCRWP,  #G2Great, and #WRRD (and all the above!)

And Slices with #TWT!

What have you written about?

focus acrostic

A Focus on Focus:

Ever on my mind

Often changing to meet my purpose

Ever necessary

To complete my tasks

Sometimes a nagging worry

Other times a constant fear

 .  .  .  .  Ever forward

Ever moving

Difficult to pin down

Growing –

Celebrating Learning!

What is your FOCUS?

How would we KNOW?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna,Betsy,Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers andteachers here. 

 

#SOL15: Celebrate!


When you hear the word “celebrate” is this an image that comes to mind?

celebrate balloons

A fun gathering for a specific event with perhaps some balloons, a bit of confetti, and fun?

Dictionary.com has the following definitions for celebrate:celebrate.JPG

Who knew there were so many definitions?

How do you “celebrate” or “make known publicly; proclaim” in your classroom?

I want to celebrate “Kindness” – “Joey was kind to me when he held the door for me.”

I want to celebrate “Volume” – “I read two books this weekend.”

I want to celebrate “Happiness” – “I love this weather!”

I want to celebrate “Friendship” – “I appreciate the gift of time that you spent on following up on a previous conversation.”

I want to celebrate “Writing” – “I wrote an extra blog post!”

I envision generating “celebrate statements” to put in a class fishbowl, to share at a designated time or even to decorate the tree on the classroom door . . .

Can “public naming of actions” develop and sustain a positive mindset and climate in the classroom?

How can we use small steps (and small celebrations) to reinforce our progress towards big goals?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna,Betsy,Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers andteachers here. 

On this date: Pearl Harbor


“A date which will live in infamy”

attack

History Channel resources

pearl harbor

December 7th Attack in Hawaii

US Congress Declared War on December 8th

Which images and speeches are most powerful? What criteria are you using?

 

 

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