Monthly Archives: November, 2014

#SOL14 Friends + Family = Framily


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

During a weekend of exhilarating conversations and sessions at #NCTE14, someone mentioned the word “Framily” based on our personal and professional relationships.

So what does this really mean?
So what does this look like?

Friday

On Friday, it looked like this after our presentation . . .

2014-11-21 17.17.05

 

 

 

 

and we also had to capture this sign that was posted saying our session was full!

2014-11-21 17.37.05

The conversation continued and our “Framily” grew at Aloft . . .

NCTE-14-drinks-with-friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday

Saturday evening our “Slicer Dinner” also provided more conversation and a larger group of “Framily”.

Sol dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the fun continued out on the beach at National Harbor.

Do you know the story of this art work?

National Harbor beach

How many “Slicers” can you name in these pictures?

How did your “Framily” grow as a result of #NCTE14?

 

 

 

 

 

#NCTE14: Story as the Landscape of Knowing


All good things must end. But must they really?

What if we added another day to NCTE?

What if we wrote another chapter?

ncte logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 What was the story of NCTE14?

Everyone at NCTE14 was the author of their own story:  where they came from, why they came, what they wanted to learn, and what they learned.  Each person was able to write his/her own story to share (or not) upon return to classrooms, colleges, and family across the country.

What story will I share?

Members of NCTE are dedicated teachers who spent an entire weekend soaking up knowledge from their peers.  They laughed (a la Lester Laminack), they cried (Marian Wright Edelman) and rejoiced as stories boldly claimed learning paths for the children of this great nation.   Our students are our hope and our future.  We must nurture them and encourage them ALL to grow.

What if?

A theme of inquiry filled the hearts and souls of participants.  Everyone was seeking knowledge and affirmation and yet also questioning that we are on the path of learning – that right path for our students.

Our panel presentation

panel title

 

 

 

 

 

The Storytellers

panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 What if?

Vicki Vinton  asked what if teachers explored their curiosity?

I (Fran) asked what if Know and Wonder charts were used with text to explore understanding (and not text dependent interrogations)?

Julieanne asked what if students were asked how read alouds helped them in their independent reading?

Steve asked what if students search for theme and bigger ideas in informational texts?

Mary Lee asked what if students blogged to increase community?

(See Steve’s post here or  Mary Lee Hahn’s  for additional information about our session as well as Kim and Jan’s post here!)

Have you asked “What If?” lately?

How are you embracing your curiosity?

 

 

#NCTE14: The Learning Continues . . .


Time to stop and think . . . reflect . . . and wonder.

 

Friday Session C.13  What the Common Core Forgot: Community, Collaboration, and Social Justice

How much time is spent on the routines in middle schools and high schools to build collaboration? And what about the subtitle:  “Step-by-Step Lessons for Respect, Responsibility and Results!”

Teaching the Social Skills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We practiced “eye to eye, knee to knee, and sitting closely” so that we could have interaction!

*    *    *

Identity Webs

“Who am I?”

“How do I see Myself?”

This information comes from Harvey Daniels and Sara Ahmed’s new book.

upstanders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After viewing Sara’s web, I had some questions . . .

Where and how is Sara Ahmed connected to Iowa?

And what sports?

And exactly what team/location?

(Lots of sports choices in Iowa)

Check out Sara’s identity map!

What questions do you have?

Sara Ahmed

#NCTE14: First-timer Report


What a day!

What a day!

What a day!

I cannot even count the number of times that I heard, “Oh, Fran! I follow you on twitter!” Thanks, all, for helping me out!  It’s truly a pleasure to “meet face to face” and sometimes I can manage to locate folks all by myself!

Obviously, I am not matching names and faces very well. Also not very quickly. I already tweeted out that I would be more successful (if you all enabled me) and posted your pictures daily so I could just match the clothes for the day with the pictures.  Or a second option would be to have name tags with shorter strings so they would be in closer proximity to the faces of the wearer.  Too often the name tags become hidden under layers of clothing.

What a fabulous first full day for the NCTE14 Conference!

The day started early with coffee and a fire alarm in the hotel (and yep, no teachers followed the directions and left the building) but it was ONLY a false alarm.

The sessions ended with our presentation at 4 pm.  What a privilege to be on a panel chaired by Vicki Vinton with rock stars:  Julieanne Harmatz (CA) and my two new friends Mary Lee Hahn and Steve Peterson (met them both face to face yesterday for the first time).  Our session was full with 65 participants who laughed and cheered with us.  What a fun time as we shared a variety of “What Ifs?” based on the “Know and Wonder” charts in What Readers Really Do by Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse.

what readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So for three of us it was a really big “first day” of many “first times”.

  • First time to meet.
  • First time to attend #NCTE14.
  • First time to present at #NCTE14.

But yet our evening was reminiscent of earlier times.  Remember this photo from summer #TCRWP Reading Institute? Six of seven were present again tonight!

day 3 tcrwpWho was missing at this evening’s Loft gathering? 

Ryan

Who were some of the new faces?

  • Clare and Tammy
  • Jan and Kim
  • Mary Lee  and husband AJ
  • Steve
  • Melanie
  • Mary E

The community of friends continues to grow and our lives are enriched by the stories shared by each new addition.  What validation of the need to continue to meet face to face to share our learning and our lives!

Schedule Recap
  • 7 – 8  First Timer’s Breakfast
  • 8-9:15 General Session    Marian Wright Edelman – “OUTSTANDING”     Panel:  Rudine Sims Bishop, Christopher Myers, Matt de la Pena, Mitali Perkins, Ruchsana Khan
  • 9:30 – 10:45    A.06  “Revising the Story:  Reluctant Readers Overcoming Shame” with Justin Stygles, Kara DiBartolo, Melissa Guerrette, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Lisel Shurtliff who both overcame predicted obstacles on their path as they became published authors.   Shaming reluctant readers could result in students being bodily present but mentally absent.
  • 11 – 12:15   B.16  “The Nerdy Book Club: Shaping Reading Identity through Community, Story and Choice”     Great titles and recognition of authors and teachers!
  • 12:30 – 1:45  C.13 “What the Common Core Forgot:  Community, Collaboration, and Social Justice” with Harvey Daniels, Sara Ahmed, Nancy Steineke, and Steven Zemelman
  • 2:30 – 3:45  D.05  “Developing Strong Literacy Practices in Content-Area Instruction to Support Reading and Writing Development and Deep Content Knowledge” with Amanda Hartman, Celena Larkey, Emily Butler Smith, and Anna Gratz Cockerille
  • and of course our session from 4 – 5:15 under #teacherswonder E.09 It’s Not Just for the Kids: Stories of Waht Can Happen When Teachers Embrace Curiosity, Openness, Creativity, and Wonder in the Teaching of Reading.

The equivalence of seven sessions.  No wonder I am exhausted!

Did you attend any of these sessions?
Where did you have “new learning”?

 

#SOL14: Writing Techniques and Goals


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

Are you one of the 18 “slicers” who will be dining together this Saturday night at #NCTE14?  If not, check out the slicing posts and become a regular slicer so you will be ready next year!

 

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What’s important in writing?  One answer is,

“Teach the writer, not the writing!” 

For additional information, go to this post!)

So in writing (narratives, informational, arguments), what transfers (#OLW14)?

Is it the hook, the organization, the voice, or the purpose?

               You decide!

share learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals for Professional Development:

I can identify writer’s techniques and goals in order to READ like an author for deeper understanding!

I can use those techniques and goals to dig deeper into the elements of the written genres under review.

I can use author “language” to increase my knowledge of writing techniques and choose quality texts to share with students.

In order to stimulate thinking, create conversations, and pay attention to commonalities and similarities, I chose to introduce writing techniques and goals for informational, argument, and narrative all in the same session.

A.  Informational Texts and Writing Techniques and Goals

Back in July, 2014, I wrote this post about how we used “goals” to look for examples in mentor texts.  Take a minute to reread that post here.

What do we actually do in PD?  We use combinations of National Geographic’s Wolves and Seymour Simon’s Wolves to play bingo with the entire card (3 x 4 array) using the techniques side.  The small rectangular post it covers the technique and allows one to add the page number for the location of the technique in the text. The deliberate use of two texts on the exact same topic where each one has a different style and purpose creates fun conversation for teachers.  Then we wrap up with a “Know/Wonder”(source: What Readers Really Do by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton)  chart to summarize our findings and consider which book would best meet which goals as well as a myriad of reasons why/where/when we would choose which text. (More subtle, less reliance on text features? Find another book where an author has written like Seymour Simon’s Wolves!)  Result = fabulous conversations around common literary techniques and goals using the same “naming words” across all grade levels.

Process:  Everyone looked at both books with a bit more structure (12 cards each) and less independence for this first round.  Goal = identify the techniques and name those that “surprised” the reader.

wolves goals overview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 B. Argument / Opinion Writing Techniques and Goals

In this activity, teachers look at one column of the “techniques for writing arguments” page for texts that had recently been read in class, either by the teacher or by fellow students.  Again, we use a “Know/Wonder” chart to summarize our learnings from this section.

Process:  Each partner group had one of the “I Wanna . . .” series by Karen Kaufman Orloff and illustrated by David Catrow with either the vertical Column A, B, or C from the Argument Techniques cards  to look for specific techniques with room to “jot” evidence for “Know/Wonder” chart. Each partner group has only 4 technique cards to look at books in a “series” by the same author. Goal = discuss patterns the author uses across her series and consider how this information can inform readers AND writers.

2014-11-10 09.59.00

 

C. Narrative Text Techniques and Goals

In this activity, teachers look at just three of the “techniques for writing narratives” and the narrative “goals page” in order to consider how the authors used dialogue, actions and inner thoughts to achieve their narrative writing goals.  Each participant jots down page numbers and goals on a response sheet and then discusses what they notice in their books.  Whole group debrief is through the continuation of the “Know/Wonder” chart.

Process:  Each partner group had a different narrative. Each group chose one technique they wanted to explore and then following a “write-around”, the book and notes were passed on to the next partner group.  Each group had time to analyze two books. Goal = Readers and writers will recognize that techniques look very different when considering differences in authors’ styles, audience, and purposes for writing.

2014-11-10 10.12.10

As a reader, when do I name those techniques in order to increase my understanding?  As a writer, when do I “try out” those techniques in my own writing?  As a teacher, how does knowledge inform my deliberate choices for Read Aloud texts?

Were there “absolute right answers” for these three types of text reviews?  No!  The focus was conversations among the teachers about the techniques to deepen understanding first and then book selection will continue to be future work. The three different ways to use the techniques were just a beginning point!  Also consider the following three anchor reading standards dealing with “craft and structure” that allow the reader to make sense of “reading”:

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4   Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.5   Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6   Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
What writing techniques and goals do you point out in Read Alouds?  How do you use your knowledge of “author’s craft” to help you select your Read Alouds?

#SOL14: Pushing Ourselves


 

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

 

As professionals, how do we show that we are learning and growing?  

Is it in our annual professional growth plan?

Is it a part of our daily work?

For those of us who are PD providers, how do we maintain that trust with teachers that is evidence that we are continually learning and growing?

How do I continually push myself?

My evidence would include:

  • over two years of blogging here at Resource-Full
    • daily participation in the March 2014 Slice of Life Story Challenge (My goals and my writing)
    • weekly participation in Slice of Life 14
  • regular participation in weekly #TCRWP chats
  • regular participation in the #Fallinginlovewithclosereading chats and blogs
  • infrequent participation in #ira, #noticeandnote, #ncte, and #educoach chats
  • daily responses to questions and concerns that arise from teaching situations

 

After a two day UbD training opportunity, my partner and I received the following comment from a teacher:  ““This was very beneficial. It was one of the best PD experiences that I have participated in. I can walk away saying that I learned a lot. This is the first time that I have actually been able to put the Iowa Core Standards into action!”   What a compliment for both of us! One reason that we both “pushed” for the UbD work was to literally help our teachers gain a deeper understanding of the Iowa Core as they aligned the desired results with the assessments and the learning plan!

Where did the question about learning, growing, and pushing ourselves come from?

A tweet last week . . .

“If we aren’t pushing ourselves everyday to be a better version of ourselves, how can we ask kids to do that for us?”

The author of that tweet was @venspired shown below!

venspired

How do you continually push yourself?  What does your evidence look like?

#OLW14 Meets #SOL14


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

 

My One Little Word (#OLW14) for this year is

transfer

 

Our focus for curriculum development for all content areas is Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design (UbD).  UbD is one of three models typically used in Iowa.  Since June, we have worked with four different groups of ELA teachers and administrators to begin development of “units” through the UbD planning process.  We have also worked with two content area groups on how to use the ELA Standards for all content areas as required by the Iowa Core Standards.   Jay McTighe will be in Iowa next week for the fall ASCD conference to work with educators on unit design to improve understanding.  What a great opportunity to increase our own understanding of UbD.

 

In the UbD model, what is transfer?

Grant Wiggins says it is the “Point of Education” as teachers plan, teach and assess for transfer including long-term goals.  In a post that includes that phrase, Wiggins defines transfer as:

“[Transfer is] the ability to extend what has been learned in one context to new contexts. Educators hope that students will transfer learning from one problem to another within a course, from one year in school to another, between school and home, and from school to workplace. Assumptions about transfer accompany the belief that it is better to broadly “educate” people than simply “train” them to perform particular tasks.”  (“Transfer as the Point of Education”)

 

Does transfer happen automatically?

As a teacher have you ever taught something, given students time to practice, used a formative assessment, but still had students fail the summative task?  I think that the typical ubiquitous spelling list often led this category for many students.  Transfer can only happen when there is reflection, analysis, and generalization from the lessons learned as “rote memory tasks” do not typically “transfer” learning.

 

So are hands-on projects conducive to “transfer” of learning for students?

Wiggins says,  “The typical hands-on project – done for all the right reasons – does not assess for transfer if the student 1) gets help all along the way in completing the project, 2) the work is highly contextualized, and 3) little demand is typically made whereby the student must draw general and transferable lessons from the doing of this and other projects.”  The thought that projects are often not about transfer can also be a reason to stop and think about the purpose of the performance task that is being used.  Is it a new, real, and relevant situation?  (“Transfer as the Point of Education”)

 

What does transfer look like?

In this UbD video, Wiggins talks about soccer and education.  “The goal is not to see if they got what you taught; the goal is to see if they can use it when you are gone.  The goal is NOT to be better at school.”  Specific information about Transfer Goals can be found in this video by Jay McTighe.  Additional articles and blog posts include:

Long-term Transfer Goals

From Common Core to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas

TCRWP featured speaker Grant Wiggins

 

So how does transfer fit into my life as a Reading Specialist? What are my expectations?

Considering Transfer and Professional Development. . . .

I will model a lesson / strategy / practice and then:

  • Teachers will practice and use modeled lesson in PD..
  • Teachers will use lesson  in classrooms.
  • Teachers will independently use lesson in other content areas/situations in their lives!

Considering Transfer and Students . . . .  

Teachers will model a lesson / strategy / practice and then:

  • Students will practice and use the lesson in class.
  • Students will use the lesson in other classrooms where not taught.
  • Students will apply the learning on their own, in any situation, without help!

 

Possibilities for transfer  . . .

There are many paths for instruction,  further work with UbD and even this post by Anna Gratz Cockerille,  “Using assessment tools  to teach transference”.  with my “One Little Word” I am looking for transfer every day.

What is your understanding of “transfer”?  Do you see teachers or students “transferring” their learning?

 

 

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