#NCTE15 Involving Students!

A common theme in these four sessions that  I attended at #NCTE15 was the importance / necessity of involving students in their own learning. (It’s a connection that I could make about ALL of my #NCTE15 sessions in retrospect.)

1. Bring Students into the Conversation:  Goal-Setting, Tool-Making that Supports Transfer

#TCRWP Staff Developers:  Valerie Geschwind, Marjorie Martinelli, Ryan Scala, Amy Tondeau  began this session with a “Turn and Talk”.

Think of a recent goal that you have achieved.

What were the conditions that helped you to reach that goal?

Motivation is a Result of . . .

  •    Involvement
  •    Curiosity
  •    Challenge
  •    Social interaction

Tools that Support Self- Assessment

  •     Checklists
  •     Rubrics
  •     Tools created from Mini-Lessons

Goal Setting with Students             and  Language that Honors Choice

And then Val introduced the cycle of learning. . . in student language.

Novice

  • I am working towards a new goal.
  • Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it is really hard!
  • I need my tool to know each step.

Practitioner

  • I am practicing my goal all the time: in every book or in every piece of writing.
  • I use my tool as a check-in.

Expert

  • I can use my goal in lots of places.
  • I can teach other people what my goal is and help them do it.

I loved the idea of the three stages.  I believe Brook Geller first introduced me to the belief at #TCRWP 2013 July Reading Institute that most “students are over taught and under practiced.”  Many students seem to need more practice time with specific feedback and a lot less “teacher talk”.  In this case a practitioner is someone who is actively engaged in the doing, who repeatedly exercises or performs an activity or skill to acquire, improve, or maintain proficiency, or who actually applies or uses an idea, a method, or a skill across many scenarios. In other words, our students are the practitioners!

Practice does not have to be boring.  There are many methods (see picture below) that can be used to reach “expert” status but the key to this entire presentation was that students would be working on a goal of their own choice and moving from novice, to practitioner, to expert.  What wonderful language to put into the mouths of students . . . How motivating and empowering!!!

ncte four

Caution:  These are not stages to be RACED through.  They will take time to develop.  Students in charge of their own assessment of these stages will definitely be students who know exactly what skills and strategies that they do have in their repertoire.

Be the Force!  Help students

  • Take on their own learning
  • Take on their own change
  • Cultivate a growth habit of mind
  • See each other as experts

Tools:  Checklists, rubrics, progressions, charts from mini-lessons.  However, a new look . . . Bookmarks with 3 or 4 choices.  Students marked the choice that they were using with a paperclip.  Clearly visible!!!!  AWESOME!

And then a final reminder .. . .

You’ve met your goal.  Now what?

  • Celebrate
  • Maintain your skills
  • Teach others
  • Get critical
  • Set new goals

It was the first time for me to hear #TCRWP Staff Developers Valerie, Marjorie, Ryan, and Amy and I’m definitely looking forward to learning from them during future opportunities!!!

2. Responsible and Responsive Reading:  Understanding How to Nurture Skill and Will

Kylene Beers, Teri Lesene, Donalyn Miller, Robert Probst

Of course this was a popular session so I was willing to sit on the floor (don’t tell the fire marshal) because I wanted to be able to be up front and see!

Donalyn’s presentation is here for you to review at your leisure.  A very powerful activity included these questions:  “What books and reading experiences would form your reading autobiography?”  Donalyn  explained that:  What matters is WHY you chose the book? Insights from these responses lead to deep conversations with students. Convos for Ss

Teri Lesene’s presentation is here. This fact was startling to me! Obviously I need to read more than a book a week!

ncte professor nana.jpg

Kylene Beers and Bob Probst shared a great deal of information about nonfiction reading that has come from the process of writing their new book. This slide is something I want to remember. . . “when I have answers I need to question”.

ncte beers and probst

And this one on the importance of reading.

beers if children need to read

3. Finding Their Way:  Using Learning Tools to Push Rigor, Increase Independence and Encourage Learning in Your Classroom

TCRWP Staff Developers:  Mike Ochs, Kate Roberts, Maggie Beattie Roberts

Maggie began this session with many great connections. “We haven’t seen teachers work harder than they currently are, YET sometimes students aren’t working so hard! ” Tools can help students buy into learning.  Tools, in our daily life, extend our reach, meet our needs, help us tackle big problems and personally get better! Tools connect, access, build community . . . should change over time!

Struggles –

  • Rigor and motivation
  • Memory . . .  Why don’t we remember things? (short and long term memory) “I’ve taught this 1000 times. I know they learned this!”

“A great coach never achieves greatness for himself or his team by working to make all his players alike.” Tomlinson

ncte five

And then a typical problem from narrative writing. . .  How to stretch out a frozen moment. Kate created a demo page in front of us and told us it was,  “Messy!”  Lean on a menu of ways, decide the color scheme, and title.

ncte six

Another tool might be a Micro-Progression.  It provides a clear description of behaviors that are expected so students will know where they stand.  Middle level is good.  Students don’t always have to think they should be at the top level of performance.

ncte seven

Bookmark – 5 or 6 most important things for students to work on.  Let students create this for themselves. They can be different!

ncte eight

Mike – Framework for creating tools adapted from The Unstoppable Writing Teacher with a shout out to Colleen Cruz.

ncte nine

Do not plan to use a tool forever.  Have  a plan to remove the tools.  Some tools we will always need (the hammer), some we want to go away/become automatic (steps to hammer a nail) Some tools become references, set aside until needed. Sometimes need an additional/alternate tool. Most writing tools are not designed to be used indefinitely.

ncte 12

Kate:  “You find yourself getting as smart as the toolmakers as you use the ‘tools of others’ and you get better as teacher!  You don’t want to teach without a sidekick. Your tools can be a sidekick.”

News :  Spring 2016 a book from Kate and Maggie!!!! SO EXCITED!

ncte thirteen

 

4. Transforming Informational Writing:  Merging Content and Craft

Seymour Simon, Kelly Boswell, Linda Hoyt

I think I know this boy!  ncte 14

Seymour’s part was actually titled: Celebrating the Wonder in Nonfiction Storytelling.  He began with a discussion of what nonfiction really means.  If nonfiction is really “not true” than fiction should be “not real”.  There is something about the use of “non” that marginalizes the texts that are labeled nonfiction.  After all, who takes anything with “non” in the title seriously?

Not much difference between teaching F and NF. . .

  • Who am I?
  • What am I?
  • What about me?

Mystery, wonder, poem, the universe!

Seymour read aloud many great fiction and nonfiction pairings.  One of my favorite pairings was:

Kelly:  How Mentors and Modeling Elevate Informational Writing

Mentor  texts plus teacher modeling equals quality student writing.  When teaching writing, FOCUS!  If the target lesson is about leaving spaces between words, only teach “leaving spaces between words.”  Don’t teach everything in the world of writing.

Kelly’s example for the text went “something” like this as an example of what NOT to do!  “Class, we are going to work on leaving spaces between words today as we write.  What does a sentence begin with?  Good!  Yes, a capital letter. (writes The) Our next word is ‘butterfly’.  Let’s clap the syllables in butterfly.  How many? Yes, three.  What sound does it begin with?”

If the focus is “leaving spaces between words” – that’s the teacher talk!

ncte 17

On mentors and models – read the book once to enjoy, then mine for craft.  Use a favorite book over and over and don’t forget to use it for conventions! Here’s an example from Hank the Cowdog.

Book Review

ncte21

ncte22

  1. Create a culture of Curiosity.
  2. Provide time for students to ask questions
  3. Immerse learners in fascinating informational topics and sources
  4. Focus on content and craft in the writing they see, hear, and produce

ncte23

  1. “Float the learning on a sea of talk.” – James Britton
  2. Teach research strategies
  3. Teach visual literacy – First grade writing example

ncte24

8. Writers Workshop Every Day

9. Make sure learners are writing all day long. Write to remember. Write to question. Write to think. Write to express yourself. Write to share your learning. In every subject area.

10. Write Using Elements from Real World Informational Texts (lists, emails, letters, notes, newsletters)

Involving Students Take Aways:

Students can set real goals and self-assess their progress toward their goals.

Students are motivated when they have control and real choices in their work.

Models and tools aid students in moving through a cycle of novice to practitioner to expert.

What are your thoughts about involving students at this point?

 

 

Advertisements

10 responses

  1. This post is amazing Fran. I feel like that kid in a candy store, not quite sure what to eat first! Thank you!!

    1. Julieanne,
      That was the way that I felt after the sessions. ALWAYS so much more to learn! Can’t wait for all the new books by such great authors – Vicki, Katherine Boomer, Burkins and Yaris, and Kate and Maggie! 2016 Book Budget planning NOW!

      1. No kidding! We live in such an exciting time. Never a lack of learning opportunities!

      2. Isn’t it great that we LOVE learning!!!

  2. Another great #NCTE15 post, Fran. I learned so much… from my couch! Thank you for your generosity in sharing what you learned.

    1. Isn’t it great to be able to learn in comfort! (Face to face would have been nice as well!) You are welcome! It was so much fun to see Ryan present! Love learning and the #TCRWP folks are always adding on more layers that make me THINK! 🙂

  3. […] A common theme in these four sessions that I attended at #NCTE15 was the importance / necessity of involving students in their own learning. (It's a connection that I could make about ALL of my #N…  […]

  4. […] my own notes – Session 3 here from NCTE 15 with Kate, Maggie and […]

  5. […] #NCTE15 (Vicki Vinton & Katie Wood Ray) here, (Kelly Gallagher’s Top 10) here, (Sessions – Colleen Cruz, Jennifer Serravallo, Clare & Tammy, #G2Great) here and  (Involving Students – 2 #tcrwp sessions, Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, Donalyn Miller, Seymour Simon, Linda Hoyt, Kelly Boswell and more) here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

A blog by Kari Yates

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading

chartchums

Smarter Charts from Marjorie Martinelli & Kristine Mraz

%d bloggers like this: