#SOL16 + #OLW = JOYFUL


If you’ve studied the background in my blog, you have seen that my #OneLittleWord “Joy” has been with me for quite awhile.

joyful

Where is that joy?

Yesterday, I was cocooned in joyful.

Joyful was in Voxer Posts.

Joyful was in Facebook Posts.

Joyful was in tweets.

There are days when the Alpha and Omega of joyful seems to reside in social media.  Sadly that means that the Joyful is not easily visible in some of my work days.  Sometimes the day to day trivia is wearing – mentally and physically.  It’s hard to summon laughter and truly celebrate “JOY”! But yesterday JOY surrounded me everywhere.

Joy is here in these videos  . . .

What is your hope? via #ParkwaySchools (3:14)

Who will be in your classroom this year? via Four O’Clock Faculty (2:04)

If you feel like you need a new life via Power of Positivity (0:51)

and in both versions of “The Hospital Window” here (4:20) or here (2:59).

Are you planning a “Global Welcome Back to School” this year?

Or what about “Making Joy a Reading Standard”?

How will you spread JOY this year?

How will you be Joyful?

What will it look like?  

What will it sound like?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

What is your #OLW? Are you serving it well?

#DigiLit Sunday: Digital Voice


digilit

Our current students have never known life without connectivity. With the advent of the internet in 1991, the world has literally opened up on many frontiers.  So students today have more options for connectivity but do they take advantage of and utilize those options to the fullest extent possible?

Do ALL students know the range of possibilitites?  

When and where do students choose a project that allows them to explore their passions?  

Do they use their voices for change?

Digital voice.  What is it?  When I searched in Dictionary.com, it sent me to ads. Google Images had a vast array of devices that varied in size and purpose but could digitally record voices.

What if digital voice is simply about “finding and using your voice digitally”?

 

Example 1:  This reminded me of a post that I both read and listened to yesterday from Seth Berg an elementary school principal. He has a program called “Mr. Berg Reads” because,

“I love to read and I love to share that love with others, especially students. When I do, I find that they share their love of reading with me too. It’s awesome. Just a bit of genuine modeling and some time spent suspending disbelief, digging into information, or traveling through history together seems to connect us in very cool readerly ways.”  Source link here

If you aren’t yet convinced by his written words, check out the video of him reading Celia here.

Seth Berg has a digital voice in both his blog and in his YouTube video of reading Celia. A blog and a video that shares his passion for reading.

Does “voice” have to include an auditory component?

Example 2:

“Education is a right.” Malala Yousafzai

Her voice has been shared digitally across the world. The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is known for her passionate speeches advocating for change.  You can see and hear Malala’s Call to Action here.

How has Malala’s digital voice impacted the world?

Teacher expectations set the ceiling for student learning.  Is a future Nobel Peace Prize winner in your writing workshop?  How are you giving your students digital voice now to find and develop their interests and passions so that they can be “All that they can be!”

The journey starts with the first step. Open up your classroom to the world. You can choose the digital tools:  infographics, facebook, twitter or blogs.  You can provide the practice time.  But students NEED and DESERVE real audiences and real choices in order to share their passions with the world!

Where will you begin?

 

#SOL16: Back to School


Joyful Learning!

school

Depending on your geographic location,

  • you could have been in school already for over two weeks – Allison in Arizona,
  • have completed one week with students – Justin in Kentucky and Kathryn in Minnesota,
  • have students returning today – Julieanne in California or
  • even have students waiting for floodwaters to recede like Margaret in Louisiana.

Whereever you live, the calendar is marching on, and school will soon begin.

In 2015 this back to school blog post focused on relationships and learning priorities while the 2014 post here included blogs and quotes and Lucy Calkins’ challenge to “outgrow ourselves as readers”.  And more recently, this #DigiLit Sunday post was also about planning for the new school year.

Are you prepared?  And what does that mean for you?  

Is your room ready?

Have you added some alternative seating?  Additional partner seating?  How do you allow the students to have some say and choice in the room arrangement?  What does your library look like?  Are students able to easily access books in the classroom library?

Are your first instructional days planned?

How will you greet your students?  What is your first Read Aloud going to be?  Your first mini lesson for reading workshop?  Writing workshop?  Your own first demonstration writing piece?  And what about that first poem?

“The First Day of School

I wonder if my drawing will be as good as theirs
I wonder if they’ll like me, or just be full of stares
I wonder if my teacher will look like mom or gram
And I wonder if my puppy will wonder where I am.

~Aileen Fisher”

Have you set your goals for the year?

My wish is that every child will have joyful learning every day of school that will allow him or her to grow beyond belief in reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, math and research (science and social studies). Each classroom will have a skilled, enthusiastic and passionate teacher who focuses on meeting the needs of the whole child!

kafele.jpg

Not sure if you are ready?  Need some more ideas?  Sarah Brown Wessling writes about her pledge to students here or check out this NEA Back to School Guide!

Are you REALLY ready?

What are your planning priorities right now?

And what about personal priorities for your very own children?  Are they starting a new school year as well?  As a student? As a teacher? As a parent?

What rituals do you share with them?

My son and I had a first day “back to school tradition” of dinner out.  Dinner out at a fancy schmantzy restaurant where we could talk about the first day of school and everything that happened away from the rush of meal prep or the stack of ever-present work.  A joyful celebration of new beginnings!

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

#DigiLit Sunday: Digital Writing Craft


In June I wrote this post that showed some of the work that I was doing in Canva and in Google Drawings – both digital medium that I “had seen” but new to me on the creation side!  At that time it really felt like a new leap of faith . . . similar to sky-diving or jet packing but is now a regular part of my repertoire when I think of “ways” to display learning.

digilit

As I considered ideas for this post and waited and waited and waited on my slow computer, I was mentally rehearsing the title.  “Digital Writing Craft”and these questions surfaced.

What is “Digital Writing Craft”?

Why is “Digital Writing Craft” important?

Why now?

I’m going to begin with the end in mind . . . Why now?

Consider your goals for Digital Writing at the end of the year.  “Your expectations are your students’ ceiling” (Lucy Calkins) and you need to have a plan in mind if digital writing is going to be a goal for you or your students this year.  Your journey may meander a bit, but without clear end goals, the likelihood of meeting your end target will be slim! A bit of planning time now and during the course of your work will help keep your learning goals aligned with your final target.

What is “Digital Writing Craft”?

Digital Writing is ubiquitous and I believe it is probably most easily defined in the medium in which is is created. For example, what is the “craft” that needs to be considered if one is blogging?  What is the “craft” that needs to be considered if one is tweeting?  What is the “craft” that needs to be considered if one is voxing?  The medium helps define the “craft features” or “moves” that can be added.

So the answer is . . . (drum roll)

“IT DEPENDS!”

The craft will be directly related to the presentation style/medium that is use.  Moving away from social medium examples to more traditional “print-based” writing, what “digital craft” is needed to create an infographic?  A travelogue in pictures?  A google document with pictures, hyperlinks and embedded video?

I believe that digital writing craft will need to be defined by the authors as they immerse themselves in a study of models of that medium and then determine the moves that they want to emulate.  Decisions will be many . . . How many pictures?  How much white space?  What is “reader” friendly? What kinds and sizes of fonts / headings / text boxes? are just the first ones that come to my mind.  I’m sure that you and your students can add many, many more!

Why is “Digital Writing Craft” important?

I believe “Digital Writing Craft” is where we really do have the opportunity AND the obligation to provide real audiences for our student writing.  I also believe that this is the writing of the future.  More and more print is prevalent every second of every day in the world.  Digital work is an evolving world that our students must be able to navigate and participate responsibly in for the rest of their lives!  It’s a “REAL LIFE SKILL”!

What “Digital Writing Craft” is in your repertoire?

How are you increasing your skills, knowledge and understanding of “Digital Writing Craft”?

What’s your next step?

Check out “DigiLit Sunday” posts here!

And yes, Margaret said “Crafting Digital Writing” but I could NOT figure out how to craft that “digital writing” that was yet undefined so my post may help someone “beginning” to craft digital writing!

 

 

#SOL16: ROME!


Where does writing inspiration come from?  Today it came from this quote in my inbox from my sister via the priest leading our trip to Rome at the end of August for the canonization of Mother Teresa. To learn more about Mother Teresa, you can check out this link.

Mother Teresa

What does this quote mean to you?

If you are reading closely you do notice the difference between the bold words and the italics. I have a couple weeks YET to learn more about Mother Teresa before joining about two million friends at the Vatican for the celebration!

What should we plan to see besides our tours?  

My research is starting with these top 10 FREE things to do and see in Rome.  I’m not buying a book – a real paper book at this stage.  I’m sure that I will download something about Vatican City and the churches in Rome.  Our guides will be amazing but I also like to have some background information to fully appreciate the historical significance!

And in the meantime,

it’s back to packing

for a trip to Rome

with:

Mom,

Two younger brothers,

One younger sister,

An aunt and uncle (Mom’s brother!)

A trip of a lifetime!

Vatican.jpg

Thanks, Mom!

As she returns for her second visit, five years later!

Screenshot 2016-08-08 21.07.57

What family travel story do you have? (or will you have)?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

 

 

#DigiLit Sunday: Planning Process


digilit

Margaret Simon has invited us to blog about planning for the new school year today for DigiLit Sunday. You can read more posts here at Reflections on the Teche.

Planning has been on my mind lately and actually has been my blog topic the last two posts here and here.

Where to begin?

With my #OLW – JOYFUL!

What’s my end goal? (Backward Design)

Joyful Learning for all!

How will I achieve my end goal?

Careful appraisal of my current status,

Develop a plan to integrate my learning from this summer,

Plan, plan, plan

Short term targets and

Long range goals!
foundation

Foundation:

Bricks = Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

Mortar = Mindset, “YET”, Brave, JOYFUL

Filling the inside with all that I know . . .

Determining Priorities Based on Data . . .

and then continuing to collaboratively increase my knowledge with my colleagues who blog, tweet and vox about literacy, learning, passion, joy, leadership and fun for students!

Sounds simple?  “The proof will be in the pudding . . . 

I will be planning on monthly check ins with my plan.

Approximately 200 days to fruition.

How will you know if your plan is working?

I’m borrowing this MLK quote from a PD session led by Justin (@jdolci). . .

mlk

 

#SOL16: Planning


planning.jpg

Words,

Phrases,

Sentences,

Pictures in my brain

Some clear

Some jumbled . . .

This way or that?

Physically sorting materials,

Ideas,

Charts, and

Lessons.

Mentally sorting . . .

One path visible

One path unseen  .  .  .

How do I know I’m making progress?

It’s too early for product . . .

The fact that I persevere

I continue

More jotting

More drafting

It’s all ugly

Collecting,

Sifting,

Rearranging,

That first draft.

Rewind.

That second draft.

Revise.

Have another go.

Another.

And yet another.

Revision will continue even through that first presentation.

Revision in planning . . .

Revision in drafting . . .

Revision in life . . .

How do you see evidence of your planning and drafting?

How do you allow the time for both the visible and the invisible planning and drafting?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

 

#SOL16: Footprints


 

footprints

Straight paths to learning this summer . . .

At TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes

Bookstudies for “Who’s Doing the Work?” and “The Journey is Everything”

Blogging

Twitter chats

Voxer conversations

Reading

Writing

Thinking

Paths to Fun . . .

Time with my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandson

That infectious laughter

That unquenchable love

That precious 14 month old that pushed the button on the phone to make the zoo animal reappear

Paths that endure . . .

My godparents celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary

Meeting “Slicers” face to face

Hearing stories from authors

Laughing and crying simultaneously

Our journey . . .

Friends continuing to learn together

Friends and colleagues collaborating across the miles . . .

Striving to improve

To meet previously unmet needs

To grow

To learn

To respect all

As a teacher, coach and colleague, how do I live these?

How do those around me know that these are important?

mindset stances mraz and hertz

Back to learning

Two days of Student-Centered Coaching

Prepping for Professional Development

Reviewing,

Considering Possibilities,

Studying where I have been . . .

Continuous Reflection

What footprints am I leaving?

How do I know?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

What footprints will you be leaving this week?

(Thanks Kristi and Christine for the infographic from A Mindset for Learning:  Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth!)

#SOL16: The Zoo


Our first family trip to the zoo over Easter is documented here and it’s a great review as we plan our St. Louis Zoo trip this week for summer vacation.

Have you been there?

Where would you begin?

Which animals are on your “must see” list?

What intrigues you about the shape/layout of the zoo?

SL zoo

Planning a vacation?

How is it like planning a piece of writing?

Do we need to know purpose?  Audience?

Do we need a structure?  An organizational framework?

What research should we do?

How do we explore the possibilities?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

What will you be reading and writing this week?

#SOL16: Who’s Doing the Work


The quality of professional development texts for 2016 has been amazing.  One book that I continue to return to time and again to deepen my understanding is this one by Jan Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris.

work

Twitter chats, Voxer discussions and Google docs have been the electronic formats that we’ve used for our conversations.  You can review the storified chats by clicking on the links to these Literacy Lenses posts:  Read Alouds, Shared Reading, and Guided Reading,and Independent Reading.  You can also see connections and learning about/from this book in my previous posts here, here, and here. Some of you may have been fortunate to be a part of this group that presented at the #ILA16 Institute “Who’s Doing the Work? last Friday or been in the audience to see the presentation.

wdtw ila16

For those of you who don’t participate in Twitter chats, Voxer discussions or Google doc conversations book studies,

YOU HAVE MISSED SO MUCH LEARNING!

I’m not saying that you have to do all three of those but if you are a teacher of reading or writing, you must be doing some reading and writing in the summer. Learning is both efficient and effective when it includes collaborative study with peers.  I still have to do the work and wrestle with my own understanding, but then I also appreciate hearing other perspectives from colleagues and coworkers.

 Here are just a few samples from my work with understanding this book!  These are some excerpts from my writing about my reading!

A. Word Splash from Chapter 1  

Write a paragraph that uses five or more of the words listed below and is related to teaching reading.

  • scaffold
  • empowered
  • energy
  • transformative – not used
  • love
  • process
  • motivation
  • risk – not used
  • learn
  • effort
  • choice
  • trust
  • Independence    (used 11)

“Reading well requires students to put many processes to work simultaneously in an effort to understand whatever material he/she is learning from.  Factors that play into success in reading are enhanced when the student is allowed choice and is trusted to spend time reading materials of his choice.  Independence in reading takes effort and energy as a reader is empowered to construct his own meaning of texts.  Too difficult text may be frustrating and may cause the student to be too dependent on teacher scaffolds.  Motivation to continue to read may come from the synergy of the right text at the right time with the right amount of practice!”

 

B. Quotes to Ponder – Chapter 1 (Respond both before reading and after reading)

“To grow and develop as readers, children need instruction that mirrors the ‘end’ goal–readers with smoothly operating, balanced reading processes who feel empowered and motivated to take charge of their reading lives.”  (p.24)

Before Reading:  Readers need to read in order to grow and develop as readers.  Answering a barrage of questions as before, during , and after reading does not make them better readers.  The right amount of instruction matched with the right texts will build independent readers who can and do read.

“Knowing a student’s reading level, however, does not tell us anything about how that student reads … .”  p.24

Before Reading:  Reading level only tells you approximately what level text the student was last successful on.  That letter or number doesn’t tell anything about the reader and what they CAN do!

After Reading:  I am so fascinated by the fact that these two sentences followed each other in the text.   All 3 cueing systems need to be firing simultaneously (like all pistons in an engine) in order to efficient, effective reading.  Instruction can’t be parsed out and over-focused on any one element! (quote 2) All three readers had same letter but different issues.  The level is only one piece of the data puzzle.  It’s not the end game.

“Each instructional context, from read-aloud through independent reading, makes a unique contribution to students’ growth in proficiency and agency.” (p.27)

Before Reading:  The student is a product of all instructional contexts so each, ind. Reading – read-aloud, are important to his/her development.  Those contexts help build the “want to read” motivation so that students are successful later!

“Teaching across the gradual release of responsibility with an emphasis on reading process–versus an emphasis on reading level–will change the way you teach reading forever.” (p.27)

Before Reading:  Reading level is limiting – reading processes open up the universe to the student! Process will help focus on what the student is capable of and will provide the information needed to keep the student moving forward.  Reading is not about a certain % to pass a leveled book test.

After Reading:  Fascinating, again, that these two sentences were also back to back in the text.  Balance in reading processes requires a balance in instructional contexts that creates the internal motivation to read/learn . . that want to read.  And when you focus on reading process (within GRR), your teaching will be changed forever!!!

Subtle shift to “What can you try?”

C. Poem – Chapter 5 (Independent Reading)

Choose from these words to create a poem.

skill independent encounter conferences
learning difficult agentive struggles
automaticity quiet responsibility community
apply strategy differences evolved
solve pleasure assessment books
observe benefits selecting zone
transfer problems passions guidance
strengths exchange reading titles
support individual opportunities energy
habit performing levels just-right
glitches ideas stamina choice

Which words would you choose?

What would your poem look like?  

What would be your evidence of learning?

Here’s mine.

Independent Reading

Choice.

Choice in what I read

Choice in when I read

Choice in where I read

Choice in ideas I explore

Choice in whether I want to or need to reread

Choice.

Choice in community in which I share

A habit, deeply ingrained in my readerly life

My responsibility to monitor

Building on my strengths, my passions, my pleasure in learning

Growing as a reader

Joyful . . .

Choice.

Of those three activities, which would you consider:

A:  Word Splash

B. Quotes to Ponder

C. Poem

And WHY?

How do you work on your learning?

Twitter, Voxer, Google Docs, Blog Posts = Evidence of my learning

Low Tech would be paper, pencil, markers, notes . . .

What’s your evidence of learning / thinking?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  The hardest step is the first step of your learning journey!

 

 

 

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