Reflecting on 2013

After a very, very family-filled holiday break and ten days without using my laptop, it’s back to “thinking” about professional development for the next two work days.  But I would be remiss in moving straight to the list of upcoming events, if I did not slow down and consider the data from last year.

Top 10 posts on my blog (by number of readers):

1. Close Reading in Kindergarten? Is it Possible?
2. Close Reading: “The Ultimate Goal”
3. Common Core: Are you allowed to make “connections” in a close reading?
4. Readers’ Notebooks: Assessing, Goal-Setting, and Planning Instruction
5. How do I choose text for Close Reading?
6. Close Reading Informational Text? Absolutely!
7. Lexile Level Is NOT Text Complexity CCSS.R.10
8. Fitting the Puzzle Pieces of Close Reading Together
9. TCRWP: Performance Assessments in Reading
10. CCSS and Writing: The Path to Accelerating Achievement

In rereading those entries, I found that eight of the ten were posted in late June – September with only #3 and #5 before that time frame.  Interesting for me to note that all of the top 10 were about reading and writing and not necessarily about “resources” which was my original thought for this blog!

Book chats on twitter or in blogs during 2013:

  • Units of Study in Writing (Lucy Calkins and friends – Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) #tcrwp
  • Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts – and Life! (Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts) #filwclosereading
  • What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making (Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse) #wrrdchat
  • Notice and Note (Kylene Beers and Robert Probst) #NNN
  • Teach Like a Pirate (Dave Burgess) #educoach
  • Visible Learning for Teachers:  Maximizing Learning (John Hattie) #educoach
  • Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction (Jim Knight) #educoach

My Twitter Video from 2013 (Have you tried this at #visify? https://www.vizify.com/twitter-video):

https://www.vizify.com/fran-mcveigh/twitter-video?s=twitter&u=504984&f=1414&t=share_follow_me_video

Goals for 2014?

Still pondering where my focus will be!  As a teacher/learner I found that 2013 was a year of growth in deeper understanding of reading and writing and the reciprocal nature of both. Continuing to write and “practice” author’s craft while I listen more to the learners (students and teachers) will also remain on my radar!  Stay tuned for more specific 2014 goals!

Welcome, 2014!

What are your goals?

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5 responses

  1. Love your focus on close reading. I’m doing a workshop on Common Core for principals in February. If you have ideas of what leaders can do to promote it or monitor it, let me know!

    1. Rusha,

      There is so much information about “close reading” but I am incredibly biased. Students are bored with “read it three times” and each time look for something different. The text has to be powerful to begin with and then the author’s craft has to be strong so that the text is worthy of rereading. Close reading CANNOT be about answering adult questions. Students have to do this work themselves for themselves.

      So, you have to use the premise behind “Falling In Love with Close Reading” from @ichrislehman and @teachkate. The use of song, visuals, and text with a lot of student conversation provides for student independence in close reading.

      1. Thanks so much for your take on the situation. You are very close to this activity, and I appreciate your insight! Thanks, too, for the reference.
        Best wishes for a very Happy New Year!

  2. Fran,
    It’s so interesting that you are seeing a shift in your posts. It really shows how you are responding to what is important for teachers now. Your “biases” are your observations. about students and for students!

  3. Julieanne,
    As always, thanks so much for your comments. I think it is so important that the voices of our students are heard because they really are the center of our school universe! Being “thoughtful” of what we ask students to “do” is critical if we really want education and learning to be relevant.

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