#SOL17: First Day


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The bus turns the corner.

My last check to see that everything is in my car.

One picture down.  It’s kind of gloomy.  No sunshine for this auspicious day.

The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.  I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended.  “Smile!  Just one more picture!”

He takes three steps, turns, and looks.  I snap the photo. He starts up the steps.

I’m sure it’s blurred.  Tears stream down my cheeks.

This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.

I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat.  Third row. Behind his friends.  He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.  Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.

The driver looks down.  Closes the door and the bus lumbers down the road.

  I hop in my car.  Five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.  It’s 1995.  The First Day of School. No digital pictures.

As a teacher, how do your own personal “First Days” impact your attention to detail in your classroom?

What are you planning for this year?  Why?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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#SOL18: #NCTE18 Family


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‘Tis the season to be Thankful.  ‘Tis the season to count my blessings. #NCTE is the perfect kick-off for family events.  #NCTE brings my work family together!

This year’s theme was:

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But, for me, it has also ALWAYS been about finding my own voice. My own family of voices.  A family that allows me to have a voice.

#G2Great

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Slicers

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Teach Write

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Presenters and Authors

 

 

 

Students

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so many facets to MY FAMILY!

How do you nourish your “work family”? 

How do you continue to grow and learn?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Additional Links to #NCTE18

Conference of Revolution

Kelly Gallagher’s Top 15

NCTE Sunday

Miss Magee’s Letter to Students

Proud, Fierce Papa Bear

Statement Against Oppression

#NCTE18: Sunday


Sad Sunday Smashing Slashing Schemes

Sad, it’s the last day of #NCTE18

Sunday, wow, really?  It’s easy to lose track of the days!

Smashing! Great line up of sessions. Still difficult to choose!

Slashing!  That was the session back in the dungeon, in the back, back, back, under the auditorium.

Schemes!  Already plotting for #NCTE19

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The final general session with twins, Peter and Paul Reynolds.  Gifted artists. Gifted story tellers.  Gifted.  And what a gift to us!  Peter read two books to us.  The Word Collector and Say Something. Treasured moments!  So much to learn from all of those around us and we do need to share our voices.

What’s New in the 4th Edition of the Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts

This was my second session (ILA the first) about this book.  Critical ideas that teachers and administrators need to be aware of and discussing.

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And on assessment: YOWZA!

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I’m researching more information about #affectiveassessmentsmatter and Comprehensive Reader Portraits through Career Dream Drawing Assessment.  Talk about relevance for students!  (UK parallel research link)

And a quick vocab note:  Bill Nagy, quoted by Susan Watts-Taffe University of Cincinnati, “There is no magic list of vocabulary words.  Cohesion around kinds of cohesion is helpful. Thematic work with vocab offers significant practice.  It’s about what you do with the list.”

Breathe New Life into your Writing Instruction:  Practical Roundtables that Will Push Your Writing Further

Kidblogging – Joy Writing Through Student Blogging with Margaret Simon and 

connecting with Teach Write friends.  First F2F meeting with Leigh Ann.  YAY!

And as the conference wound down, one last social event Sunday evening with some #G2Great friends!

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What’s next on your creating list? 

Where will you go? 

What will you learn? 

And with whom?

Thank you, NCTE!

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In case you have not been following along, here are the links to #NCTE18 . . .

#NCTE18 Bound #G2Great

#NCTE18: Thursday

#NCTE18: Friday

#NCTE18: Saturday

#NCTE18: Saturday


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The  magical learning continues at  #NCTE18 and a theme that emerged on Saturday:

Slow down . . .

Yes, there is a sense of urgency. 

Make every minute count.

BUT stop counting every minute. 

Stop.

Slow Down.

Look into the eyes, heart and soul of every student. 

The day flew by and again there were folks that I never saw. Decisions about sessions were incredibly hard to make.

The #BowTieBoys, Jason Augustowski and Dr. Mary Howard 

It is all about the heart. And paying attention to the students. Listening. And learning WITH them. This quote from Jason is a great snippet for teachers to consider.

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Roundtable sessions planned and executed by the students. Simply amazing.

Articulate

Poised

Powerful

Interactive

Showing not just telling

Students from middle school through high school.

Not to be missed!

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Responsive Teaching:  The Courage to Follow the Lead of the Reader

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The respect, love and joy of this panel made my day!  Students at the heart of our work.

 

A perfect merger.  And such important work!

Think about a teacher who loved you into being.  Responsiveness begins with heart . . .”
Don’t rush to “check it off”.  Skill and expertise has to come behind. Don’t land on the side of “judgment”.  “What’s going on?” “Wonder.” And then the learning that comes from the four quadrants.  

“Step back so your students can step forward.” Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris


Tom Newkirk has been a favorite of mine from my first #NCTE conference when he bemoaned that “the hamburger graphic organizer is not only an insult to a paragraph, but is also such an insult to a hamburger”.

4 Battles Literacy Educators have to Fight

  1. Economy – Curriculum as Hoarding (add, add , add & nothing is deleted)
  2. Louise Rosenblatt – Model of Reading – Literacy as Transaction
  3. The battle for writing. Writing should not be colonized by reading.Literary analysis 795,000 fanfiction pieces about Harry Potter
  4. Battle for choice- Carnegie – “public library”  Teachers will need to make it free!

    Questions to Ask when you Write

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When Phonics is the Foundation – in a Curriculum of Authentic, Deep Literacy

Lucy Calkins,  Rachel Rothman-Perkins and Rebecca Cronin

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Rebecca, Rachel, Lucy and Mabel

“To teach well is to rally your people with heart and soul to learn with courage and enthusiasm. Fear:  Is this curriculum going to cover everything?  Mastery? Proven? Everything? Fear-driven anxious place is far too common with NO place in child’s emergent literacy. Voice is the single quality that matters most. Voice matters for teaching, and learning (as well as writing). To teach phonics well, imagine yourself at kitchen table talking to someone right there with you. Teaching phonics is leading and teaching. “

“That sense of connectedness matters tremendously.  Connecting matters. Connecting to reading and writing. TRANSFER – only reason to teach phonics for reading and writing. TEACHING kids identity. Language is a joyful world!”


And because this is not an “All About” post since I promised “snippets” I will write later about the fabulous session from Colleen Cruz, Kassandra Minor, and Cornelius Minor.


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#NCTE18: Friday


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Moments in time

Moments suspended

Moments desired

Moments expected

Moments shared

Magical because of the connections

Across time

Across states

Across texts

Across interests . . .

Magical Mentor Moments

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“We come from:  Oklahoma, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada.  Mentors All.” (10 points to you if you know the context of this quote.) TY: #G2Great for so many magical moments at #NCTE18.

Writing in the Wild = Margaret Simon

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“Slicer” Dinner = Mentor Writers

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An annual tradition from #TWTBlog. Three of the authors from #TWT and some of the bloggers at dinner and sharing literary gifts!

And then the sessions:

Choices

Difficult choices.

So many great ones.

So little time.

What fuels the choices?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Passion and Power

Be you.

Be real.

Activism means thinking, talking, reading, writing, and growing your passions.

I love this 5th grader’s quote shared by Justin Dolci.

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And the people . . .

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Mentors

Readers

Writers

Thinkers

Storytellers

Magical #NCTE18 Moments

Where have you found your magic? 

And your mentors?




NCTE Highlights

#NCTE18 Thursday


Opening Day of #NCTE18

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Registered?

Program Dog Eared?

Social?

Here’s a collection of the #G2Great folks.

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Afternoon sessions:

If you went early, you might have been found sitting on the floor.

If you went on time, you may have not gotten into the session.

If you went late, you were SO out of luck.

There were “bouncers” at the door

Their job

To turn back the crowds

To placate the fire marshal.

Fifth year

Fifth year of underestimating the crowds.

Each room

Packed to the gills.

For many, a chance to review the program,

Greet friends in real life,

Continue conversations.

Thursday General Session  – Chimanda Ngozi Adichie

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If you are not on Twitter, you need to go there.  You need to search the #NCTE18 tweets for those from her talk.  For more about Chimanda see her site here.

Think about this next statement for a minute. Read. Pause. Reread. Take a breath.

“We live in a world where a person can be murdered because of what he wrote.”

It’s 2018.

And this is our truth.

Not politics.

Our reality.

Literacy, more than ever, is critical

FOR LIFE!

Other quotes:

“When we value a student, we teach them to value themselves.”

 

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Chimanda spoke of being curious.  And that #OLW (One Little Word) of mine came to the forefront.  In fact, my “curious” is with me.

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As #NCTE18 continues, you will see where my curiosity leads me!

What are you curious about?

#NCTE18 Bound: #G2Great


Today’s the day!

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#NCTE18 begins!

Have you chosen your sessions?

This sign will be greeting you in Houston!

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If it’s your first time to attend, check out the “First Timer’s Breakfast” Thursday morning to make some new friends, meet a group of people at your table, and hear Donalyn Miller and Ernest Morrell.

Add your twitter name to your name tag.

Look for those folks you have seen on #NCTE chats.

Look for those folks you have seen on #G2Great chats.

Make these days be about your learning.

What do you need to learn?

Be kind.

Enjoy!

Say hello to at least three new people every day!

Welcome to Houston!

Welcome to #NCTE18!




Time Warp

5 years ago

My first NCTE

#NCTE14:  First Timer’s Report

IRL:  #G2Great at #NCTE15

Anticipating #NCTE16

Saturday Learning at NCTE17

#SOL18: New Learning


New ideas

New thinking

Try, Try, Try again

 

Title (1).png

Last week, #G2Great hosted Tanny McGregor with a lively chat about representing ideas in #sketchnotes. I participated, watched, and on Sunday dug out Paper 53 on my mini iPad.

What was my goal? 

Responding to these two quotes from Tanny (and our chat) and a Facebook post by Dr. Mary Howard after her RTI keynote in St. Louis Saturday.

Quote OPEN (1)

Quote CLOSE (1)

Here’s Draft 1 (first attempt with Paper 53, no stylus, and 0 video tips):

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Here’s Draft 2 (the old fashioned way with paper and Flairs:

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And here’s the same concept in an old familiar format:  Google Drawings

– – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – –

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– – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – –

This was the picture in my brain that captured many of the basic concepts from this Facebook post by Dr. Mary Howard.

What I learned?

Jumping in and using an app with just trial and error did not work.  I was frustrated because I wanted a background color.  Without a stylus, drawing and writing with my finger was not always legible. I’ve typed notes for over 20 years in order to make them legible so a stylus is needed.

I tried.

I watched three videos and downloaded an app to my Samsung phone.  I watched two videos and entered three questions in the “help center”.  The automated reply said that I would receive a response within 72 hours and between 9 to 5 when the offices were open.

I went back to paper and pencil and posted that second effort in the thread on Mary’s post.  I thought about all the things that went wrong with Draft 1 and Draft 2.

I went to Google Drawings and created using a familiar format to capture basic ideas. Approximately two and a half hours on this representation of Mary’s FB post.

Stuck in that cycle

from when 

my first grade teacher

tore up my paper 

in front of me

because she didn’t like

my red sun

my purple sky

and flowers with green blooms.

What do you do when learning doesn’t go as planned? 

How do you continue? 

What helps you push past your self-doubts? 

How do you teach your students to persevere?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Wakelet from our #G2Great chat:  Link

Jenn’s post about our chat will be on Literacy Lenses soon.

Heinemann podcast here

 

 

#SOL18: Literacy Superbowl


 

Which memory stands out?

The first attendance?

The first “Slicer” dinner?

The first presentation?

The first sighting of _______?

The first time meeting ______ IRL (In Real Life)?

The roller coaster ride by many #G2Great friends?

The first signed book by a #G2Great author?

Meeting up with #WRRD chat mates?

Catching up with #TCRWP friends?

Meeting “Slicers” IRL?

Seeing and hearing about upcoming publications?

The incredibly cold, cold, cold weekend?

Impressed by the articulate #BowTieBoys?

The amazing learning?

Sitting on the floor in an auditorium learning with and from literacy giants?

Not being allowed by venue staff to sit on the floor?

Packing devices to tweet and record notes at the speed of light?

Meeting and learning with authors of student books?

Too many memories to make a decision

Which story to tell?

Which one will be left out?

Embracing the past five years of attendance

Learning, Laughing, and following literacy giants

Receive awards and humbly elevate friends

And peers who made all things possible.

Reading, Writing, Talking, Thinking,

Sharing as we meet,

Celebrating each other’s accomplishments

Celebrating our uniqueness

Celebrating our differences

Celebrating our similarities

Celebrating our togetherness!

Houston, home of #NCTE18 in 10 days!

Will you be there?

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Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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#SOL18: Reading Research


What was the first thing that came to mind when you saw that blog title?

Which emoji matches your thinking?

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Reading the Research 

that someone else has done?

Research about Reading?

These are not necessarily the same.  So let’s explore just a bit.  If I put “reading research” into “The Google” – this is what I get:

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Think about it.  695,000,000 results and the first one that comes up is Reading Rockets.  It’s a “.org” so I can breathe a sigh of relief.  It’s not a commercial site so I don’t have to worry about ads or someone selling things. Reading Rockets link

How reputable is Reading Rockets?

Who runs it?

Where does the information come from?

What biases exist?

When would I use this site?

Some of those questions can be answered from the “About Page”. Some require a bit more clicking.  The information is reasonable and the classroom strategies might be a source to use as a quick survey or “screen” of what’s available.

And just in case you did not click and go to Reading Rockets, here is part of their home page.

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But is this a source you can trust?

.  .  .   It depends.

What do you need?  What are you looking for?

If instead I go to Google Scholar (which is on my toolbar for quick access), here’s what the same “reading research” search results look like.

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The results are fewer.  About 5,030,000. And the very first citation is the National Reading Panel Report from 2000.  I can see the number of times this source has been cited as well as related articles. If you’ve moved on to a major eye roll because you did not need “Research 101′ in this blog post, just stop and think. How many of your peers know the difference?  How many of your administrators know the difference? (And if you think it’s old, 2000, do remember that it was the last independently convened panel to study reading research . . . despite its flaws!) (Krashen, S. (2004) False claims about literacy development. Educational Leadership 61: 18-21.

Why does it matter?

If the solution to a questions is a Google search, I have just shown you the difference.  Terms that are thrown around in the education world a lot are “research-based, evidence-based, and scientifically research-based.”  And they are NOT without a great deal of controversy.

A Second Example

The following blog post was referenced on both Twitter and Facebook.  Hmmm . . . sometimes nefarious social media platforms. Sometimes NOT.  Sometimes a great source.  In my farming background, again, how do we sort out the wheat from the chaff?

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LINK

I don’t know Lindsay, but I do plan to find out if she will be at #NCTE18 to connect.  DOL is one old, out-dated practice that has to stop. Over 50 years of research has proven that grammar instruction does NOT improve writing.  Writing improves writing. Showcasing “golden sentences” in personal work and patterning writing after others. Some brilliant minds like Jeff Anderson and Dan Feigelson have published examples as well as many chapters in other books have research-based examples.

A Third Example

This list.  Research-Based Programs

“Where did it come?

What criteria was used to curate the list?

Who developed the “protocol” that was used to evaluate the programs?

Where are the reviews/protocols of the programs on the list?

What can I learn from the URL?

What questions remain after a quick perusal of the list?

How do I find answers to these questions?”

Who do I turn to when I need answers?  Who are my sources? Who are my most trusted sources?  Who are my experts? Who are my “super-experts”?

RESEARCH EXPERTISE

One source that I can always trust is Dr. Nell Duke.  Her article “10 Things Every Literacy Educator Should Know about Research” is a MUST READ. Every. Educator. in. EVERY. building. link

Tune in Thursday night to the #G2Great chat at 7:30 CST/ 8:30 EST for a lively conversation about just this topic. #BetterTogether

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.09.47 AMPer usual, my #OLW “Curious” brought me to this point.  On October 2, 2013, I blogged about the research on the “Effectiveness of K-6 Supplementary Computer Reading Programs” here.  Do those same considerations apply?  Do you now have data that supports that those programs work for your students in your building? Or are you still in search of the one perfect program?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Another Resource:      Link      

Truth & Research: What to Consider Before Selecting Literacy Curriculum and Programs

The Straw Man aka Balanced Literacy is NOT Whole Language Link

Problems with the National Reading Panel Report – From the Teacher in the Room – Link

 

 

#SOL18: The Turtle and the Hare


Remember the old, old, old tale.  The turtle challenged the rabbit (of course it may have been called a hare) to a race because he was so tired of hearing the rabbit brag about how fast he was.  So the rabbit took off, ran a great part of the race and then decided to take a short nap to literally rest on his laurels. The noise of the animals cheering for the tortoise woke up the hare who ran to the finish line, but the turtle had already crossed and won.

Lesson:  Slow and steady can beat fast and inconsistent.

Many longer versions talk about the rabbit annoying all the animals by his bragging about his speed. Finally, totally disgusted the tortoise challenged the hare to a race.

Lesson:  Pride goeth before a fall.

Another version suggests that after the race the turtle tells the rabbit that their friendship is more important than winning a silly race. And they are best friends, BFF, forever.

Lesson:  Of course, the rabbit does not believe that because WINNING is everything!

So not everything in life is always black and white or absolutely the opposite.

And YET . . .

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Are you usually an early person?

Are you usually a late person?

Do you measure that time in minutes?

Do you cut it down to the very last second?

Is it a familial trait?

Is it a learned behavior?

What’s the degree of annoyance when timelines aren’t met?

When does “time’ matter enough to be “on time?

Does your timeliness depend on the situation?

When is it okay to be late?

When is it a good time to be early?

How do you know?

What social cues tip you off?

How do our beliefs about time impact others?

When do others have to “wait” for us?

How do our beliefs about “late” impact others?

When do your “time issues” become an issue for those around you?

Does time really matter?

(Just for you, DS!)

Don’t Blink!




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                     

        slice of life 2016




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