#SOL15: The Origin of Red Poppies and Poems for Memorial Day


“We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.”

Moina Micheals, inspired by “In Flanders Field,” made and sold poppies for remembrance and later even earned a place on the 3 cent stamp. (Wow, 3 cents!) Are poppies still available in your community? (For more Memorial Day Information see this site.)

What are the rituals that still exist to support and honor those who gave their lives in service for your daily freedoms?

Memorial Day Concert Taps Visit to a Cemetary Placing Flags on Graves Parade Patriotic Music Silent Thanks Buying Poppies

What is Memorial Day About?

It’s about the 625,000 Americans killed in the Civil War. The 116,000 Americans killed in WWI. The 405,000 Americans killed in WWII. The 36,000 Americans killed in the Korean War. The 58,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War. The 2,200 Americans killed in the Afghanistan War. The 4,500 Americans killed in the Iraq war. And all the Americans killed in other wars. From The Poem Farm and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater – Amy’s eloquence is crystal clear in these two poems.  Check out the Poem Farm for other poems!

cemetary

memorial day

Last year, my Memorial Day post asked,

Memorial Day: A Day Off or a Day to Celebrate Heroes?

You can check out the link that is in that title! What’s your view?

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL15: Where do you find “Teaching Points”?


What is a teaching point? 

In literacy, a “teaching point” is often that behavior/learning that the teacher will demonstrate and then ask the students to use in their own work.  Examples might include:

  • Readers use punctuation to express meaning when reading.
  • Readers think about how this book may be like another book they have read.
  • Readers notice when something does not make sense. They may reread the
    sentence to help them.
  • Writers use figurative language to make their point.
  • Poets use line breaks to change the pace of a poem.
  • Authors think about their audience and how the audience will respond.

Not to oversimplify, but quality teaching points include work that is transferable to real life, the reason WHY students need to know/do this, AND demonstrate HOW to do the work.  The teachers who are masterful at crafting teaching points have practiced the use of those skills in their own reading and writing so that demonstrations clearly explain how the work moves readers or writers forward. Check out this post by Stacey Shubitz of Two Writing Teachers for some quality information on teaching points.

Teaching points in classrooms are often easy to spot.  But what about “Teaching Points” in the rest of our lives . . .

Where have I found “Teaching Points”?

tire shop

businessfinder.oregonlive.com

At my local tire shop . . .

“Tires need to be rotated and balanced so they wear more evenly . . . ”

hospital

medypal.com

At the hospital . . .

“Hand sanitizer needs to be completely dry on your hands before touching baby’s skin so the alcohol doesn’t transfer . .”

bank

forbes.com

At the bank . . .

“Informing us of your location makes it easier for use to check on validity of transactions . . .”

Where, in life, do you find “Teaching Points”?

Where, in life, are you creating “Teaching Points”?

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL15: Welcome!


Our news is not new news.

We know . . .

We will soon be proud grandparents.

The unknown . . .

When?

Soon?

Yes, soon!

How soon?

Not the due date!

Not a Derby Baby!

Not the day after.

Nor the next day

Nor the next

Days pass

Should I go?

Should I stay?

Waiting . . ..

Until it’s time!

grandson announce

Excitement builds!

On Mother’s Day

The hospital waiting room beckons

Others waiting

Hushed voices

Waiting

Memories

Memories of the birth of my son a quarter century ago.

Now

My son’s son.

A healthy baby boy!

grandson

My heart is full!

Dreams of our future

Dreams of the possibilities

grandparents-rules-funnyjpeg

Welcome, grandson!

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL15 – Teacher Appreciation Day


May 4 – 11:  Teacher Appreciation Week

teachers

An acrostic for National Teacher Appreciation Day – May 5, 2015

Tirelessly teaching souls

Enriching each and every student life

Advising, nurturing and adding elegance to develop student super powers,

Charting courses for

Horizons not YET

Explored.

Researching, restoring and redefining HOPE and opportunities

Sharing skills and knowwledge so all can experience the joys of learning.

Thank You!

Additional Resources:

#ThankATeacher

Presidential Proclamation

Sarah Brown Wessling “What it means to be a teacher!”

#SOL15:  Passion – Finding Your Voice

Teacher Appreciation Quotes

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers (including TEACHERS) who also read, write and support each other!

What it means to be a teacher


May 4-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week

There is no way that I could say this even half as clearly, so here is Sarah Brown Wessling’s (Iowa’s 2010 National Teacher of the Year) Teaching Channel letter to her children,

“What it means to be a teacher!”

#SOL15: Passion – Finding Your Voice


passion four

What is the strong feeling or emotion that drives you?

Is it your belief in students?

Your belief in students ability to learn?

Find your passion and you will never WORK a day in your life.  You will truly live your passion.

passion two

What is your passion?

Is it literacy?

Is is the power of literacy?

Is it the freedom derived from literacy?

passion three

What is your passion?

Is it instruction?

Is it assessment?

Is it curriculum?

Is it the curiosity of daily life?

passion

What is your passion?

Find it.

Fuel it.

Live it!

How will I know it?

I will hear it, see it, and feel it in everything you say and do!

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Iowa ASCD 15: How to Grade for Learning with Ken O’Conner


“The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Iowa ASCD 15 – An opportunity to have both an Open mind and an Open mouth to process new learnings!

What do “grades” or “percentages” mean when looking at achievement?

Yesterday, Ken O’Conner (@kenoc7) challenged 282 attendees at #IowaASCD15 to consider what grades and marks mean in the education world.  “Grades” have two basic meanings in the US and “marks”, similarly, has two different meanings in Canada.  The basic definitions go something like this:

Mark – “the number or letter “score” given to any student test or performance”

Grade – “the number or letter reported at the end of a period of time as a summary statement of student performance”

Marks and grades often seem to only be an education issue.  What if we considered the learning data from a real life scenario?

So, in real life, what if our end goal is to go skydiving?

parachute-611742

End Goal

parachute flat

What does it take to pack a parachute correctly?

Ken O’Conner began the day with this set of data.

parachute

What does the data tell you about each student?

Student A?  What’s the trend? Are you willing to put your life via parachute on the line?

Student B?  What’s the trend? Are you willing to put your life via parachute on the line?  Do you have the urge to “see the data” for the 8th try?

Student C?  What’s the trend?  Are you willing to put your life via parachute on the line?

Do the “marks” give you enough information?

Which would you choose?

Student A, B, or C?

Or did you decide to NOT jump out of a perfectly good airplane at this point?

Another Consideration: 

What if “mastery” was 60%?  That’s a “passing grade” or a “D” in most schools?  Is that “good enough” for parachute packing?  Which students are considered to have mastered packing a parachute?  Again, how comfortable are you risking your life?

Interested in more information?  Go to Ken’s website here! The storified chat is here but do note that there were connectivity issues. . . 282 attendees . . . multiple devices . . . GREAT learning!

Final Question

Would “averaging” the percentages for a “grade” have made you more “comfortable about the most proficient parachute-packing student”? (This is similar to “averaging” homework grades when we compare first learning with last learning.)

Another great resource is the book we received at the conference, A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades.  It will spark great conversations for teachers, students, parents, and communities!  How do you grade for LEARNING?

15 fixes

#SOL15: Digital Literacy and #TCRWP in Paris


eiffel

What a city!

Add in Colleen Cruz(@colleen_cruz), Kate Roberts (@teachkate) and Lindsay Mann (@lindsayman22)

And the first Digital Media and Literacy Institute!

Amazing Learning from afar!

Where do you find your learning?

Do you actively seek out sources? Specific topics?  Do you watch for it in your twitter columns and your blog post subscriptions?

My learning this week has included:

1. Sunday’s #NCTEchat on poetry

“If you missed last night’s #nctechat on poetry and literacy learning, check out the Storify archive: ow.ly/LPpQl #npm15

How are you using poetry in your quest to meet CCSS demands?  Poetry fits into ALL ELA standards!

2. “Lessons on Simplicity from the Reading and Writing Project” by Paul Emerich here.

Consider the content as well as the “length to go for PD” (actually part of the inspiration for this post as well as a reminder of my travel to NYC last month for the 88th TCRWP Saturday Reunion). Do we have to travel to Paris ourselves or can we settle for second best and follow along via twitter and blogs?

3. “Writing Process”  – Kate Roberts

writing processs teachkate

How are the Analog and Digital processes the same?  How are they different?  What are the implications for Teachers and Students?

4. Notes from Day One in Paris – 

notes first day am session

How do you define digital literacy and media literacy? Is this how you organize your notes?  What new “Ahas” does this generate?

5. #SOL15 blogs today

Just beginning to read for today! Melanie has book reviews and Julieanne is writing about Read Alouds!

AND it’s only TUESDAY!

Where is your learning?  Your source of inspiration?

What fuels your lifelong learning?

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL15: Routines


Routine:    a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

Routines:  Sometimes the very essence of our lives

Routines:  a blessing?  a curse?  How do you know your routines are effective?

write

What is your routine for writing?

Specific paper?
Specific pen?
Specific chair/desk?

How did you develop your routine?

Writing with friends?

Writing with students?

 Developed over time?

In search of a writing routine?

Here is a link to the routines of 12 famous writers.  Does your “routine” parallel any of those?  Have you maximized your potential and your mindset to truly be “All that you can be?”  Are there some personal, professional or fun routines that need a bit of sprucing up, spring cleaning, or rejuvenation?

How much do “routines” influence your life?

coffee

What is your morning routine?

Do you need coffee or tea in the morning?

Cold caffeinated drink?

What gets you up and moving?

routine  sodahead.com  abc

What are your daily routines?

Are you a creature of habit at work?

At home?

In life?

routine to do list

What about family routines?

For back to school days? (dinner out after that first day of school!)

Birthdays? (surprise / not a surprise party?)

Holidays? (pie at 10 am for breakfast; dinner at 2 pm)

Anniversaries? (Who plans?)

Vacations? (Location determined by – ?)

Routines?  Habits?  

Which ones do you value?

Which ones are REALLY working for you? 

How do YOU decide?

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Poetry


What thoughts run through your mind when you hear the word “poetry”?

poetry

Love Poetry?

Hate Poetry?

Like to read it?

Hate to write it?

Ambivalent?

Those thoughts are probably directly connected to your previous experiences.  If you remember “being required” to write in iambic pentameter for example, you might not be on the “love” side.  If you believed that free verse or the way poetry “looked” was as important as what it said like Anastasia Krupnik, poetry may not have been your favorite writing unit. (Creativity week excerpt from Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik here)  Encountering a real-life Mrs. Westvessel may have harmed the poetry writer in you.  But don’t despair! You can still read, write and enjoy poetry and yes, even change your attitude about poetry!

poetry two

April is National Poetry month.  I hope that poetry is embedded into your English Language Arts work every month of the year because poetry is included in CCSS.Reading Anchor 10.  April might just be that month to “Celebrate” the joy of poetry and turn to poetry writing as another way for students to share specific work with language, rhyme and rhythm.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a whole month of celebration going on that includes song at Poetry Farm here.  Continue to scroll down the left hand side of her blog for the vast resources available including the Poetry Friday links.

Mary Lee Hahn at Poetrepository is another great source of poetry ideas for teachers and students. Her April Po-emotions series is quite fun!

Steve Peterson also is posting poems here at Inside the Dog. 

One of my favorite posts from Reading At the Core is this one featuring Walt Whitman.

poetry three

Who are some of your favorite poets?

What poetry anthologies do you recommend?

Are you celebrating Poetry Month?

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