March is finished. I have studied my #sol14 data. 31 days of writing charted. Goals reviewed. New goals considered.
Write for the weekly “slice”?
Time for a break.
Done with “Slicing” for a bit.
Time to get caught up with housework, laundry, cleaning . . . . .
What? Slicing Again?
It’s Tuesday. Slice of Life – regular schedule! Once a week!
I loved the routine of writing daily. I did worry about tasks left hanging while I “sliced” daily. Just how far behind did I get?
It doesn’t matter because I need to share this story with you. No, I have to share this story with you! I really want to share this story with YOU!
Yesterday was the seventh and final day of our standards – based grading sessions (K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). It was a smaller group because sixth grade is middle school for many of our districts but we still had sixth grade teachers from nine districts working collaboratively to deepen their understanding of the Iowa Core ELA Standards. Our purposes for the day were
Today, I can:
•Increase my knowledge of standards-based reporting
•Increase my skill at determining standards-based proficiency of a writing piece
•Locate quality sources for instruction and assessment for grade 6 ELA standards to increase student learning
•Begin to plan for communication processes for this continued work
It was a great day of professional development. I literally talked for less than an hour at the beginning of the day. (“What a change from the old days of PD when I was yakkkkkkkkking all day long!”) Then the teachers moved in to the writing analysis task stage. I wrote a bit about that process with our third grade teachers last month in this post
three weeks ago.
The next big chunk of time had teachers working in table teams and multiple table groups to locate quality resources for ELA instruction and assessment. Teachers worked collaboratively, “Have you seen xxx?” and shared freely. The opportunity to dive into resources and share the results was a great use of time. With a Google doc as the teacher resource, all had multiple opportunities to add exactly what they needed to their own knowledge. Excited conversation was the “unofficial rule” of the day during this work!
The final learning chunk was about communicating changes with standards – based reporting and considering the appropriate frequency and the messenger for each level . A tight alignment of both would also increase parents’ knowledge and inform the public. “Have we ever ‘over-communicated’ our message to parents?” What if that became a focus for our schools?
After participants had completed a three question evaluation/planning response, I had them line up in two lines facing each other. We literally practiced “communication lines”
(live link) with our “favorite learning from today.” Participants had an opportunity to experience this “increased talk” or “increased practice” that could also get middle schoolers up and moving! They worked with their first partner and one other rotation and clearly understood the value of “oral rehearsal” of a learning task.
But the best part of the day for me, was my new learning. Yes, “My New Learning!” A fantastic day with new learning for me!
New Learning # 1
Our new literacy specialist shared this with me, posted it on our working site and then shared it with the entire group:
This icon (comfy red chair) is then placed on your toolbar and is readily available to turn any “article” on the web into a “better” print version that can be enlarged or even shrunk to make it fit the “reader’s needs!”
New Learning # 2 (also shared by our new literacy specialist):
From a sixth grade teacher: Viewpure.com
Why would I want or need it? It removes the comments and all the “clutter” around a YouTube video. All you need is the URL of the video!
Although I was the facilitator for the day’s work, I learned about these two new tech applications from a colleague who shared one source of her own and a source shared with her by a teacher seated at her table. Collaboration and learning at its best!
I love learning! Yesterday’s celebration: learning about readability, learning about pureview, learning from “participants”
It was a fantastic day because I was ALSO a learner! That’s the best part of professional development!
And thanks for feeling comfortable enough to share so everyone could learn, including me!