#SOL16: Always Learning


It comes in many forms.

In many places.




A journey of

Many ideas


And like a pile of legos

Rebuilt in another shape

A different shape

A synthesis of ideas!

The past week has been a journey into read alouds.  Perhaps you participated in the #G2Great chat last week.  Check out Jenn’s post about that chat, please. With the title, “Teachers Doing the Work:  Thoughtful Planning for Intentional Read Aloud“, you must stop and check it out!

And then I’ve continued to read in this new book.

Who's doing the work

Chapter 2 is all about Read Alouds and the title is magical,  “Read-Aloud: Giving Students a Reason to Learn to Read”.

I’m lingering with this idea, ” Next generation read-aloud focuses on read aloud’s power of engagement while still leaving room for intentional but limited teacher talk.  It follows the lead of students as much as possible making space for responsive teaching, reflective connections to standards or isolated strategies, and celebrations of productive effort.”

And then this post from Susie Rolander completely consumed my thinking as I continued to wonder about how we help students find their voice and path in literacy learning.. It is about the students and the learning they can show us IF and WHEN we tap into and “turn on their smarts”.

To top it off, I just learned about the research tool in google last night from my colleague Dyan.  Where have I been?  Why did I not know this? Inside any google document or slide show, you can research straight from the document WITHOUT opening another tab?  How, you ask?

research tool

Under the tool bar – select research and then you have a myriad of choices.

research tool two

Images – those that are free to use. Scholar for that quick look at resources . . . .And the link will be inserted with a picture or a reference . . . And MLA or APA style can be added.

As a result of this tool, here’s how I’m feeling:


as I wonder when WordPress will incorporate this feature?

Here’s a portion of my search for Read Aloud under Google Scholar inside a google document.

research read aloud

So much that I can now do without opening 10 other tabs . . . one for a search, one for an image, one for whatever distracted me . . . .

Always learning!  Thanks to my friends at #G2Great, @hayhurst3, @burkinsandyaris, @suzrolander and @DyanSundermeyer !

Have you used the google research tool?

Do your students?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thank you for this weekly forum!


23 responses

  1. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski | Reply

    Wow! I am learning so much from you and this post! I’ve been thinking more about synthesizing learning, too, and how to help my students build their knowledge around a subject by layering what they’ve learned with new information and ideas. Thanks for introducing me to resources I will return to in this awesome post!

    1. Kathleen,
      I think the world of learning is so much fun but the more I know, the more I don’t know! So funny that at one point I had synthesis in the title of this post (but worried no one would read it)!

      You are welcome! I love sharing learning!

  2. I love the lego image in your poem. And I learned a lot from your slice today! I too did not know you could research right from a Google doc.

    1. I’m back in the world of legos – – forgot about them as the son outgrew them!

      And NOW I know I can leave “research on” so it’s an open sidebar . . . ❤

  3. Great post, Fran! I love your post and thanks for sharing about the google doc research ability. As a writer, I’m always doing research! 🙂

    1. Lisa,
      It’s a great beginning point for research! You are so welcome!

  4. Fran, thanks for the informative post! I have a great deal to learn about maximizing my use of technology. Your post taught me something I can really use today!

    1. You are so welcome! And I’m so glad you learned something!

  5. Wow! Wish I knew about that feature in Google when I was still teaching. Love your poem, Fran. t really describes what learning is…”A synthesis of ideas!”

    1. In my research, I believe this feature showed up in summer of 2014. I’m amazed to just be learning!

  6. Love that “one for whatever distracted me”, too, Fran. No, I didn’t know this, and will try it! Thanks for sharing ‘how”, too.

    1. Linda,
      You are so welcome! Searches online are always distracting and I look up at the clock and go, “Oh, my, where did the time go?”
      You are welcome!

  7. That is a very cool thing to learn from you, Fran…always learning with you, my friend!

    1. Tara,
      I have learned so much from you . . . so appreciate being able to share with you! ❤

  8. Thank you so much for reminding me of this. I am just about to start a unit on nonfiction research with my students. It is going to be very helpful!!!!

    1. So many ways that technology can be helpful! Now! Just remembering them all . . . that’s why I love to share with teachers and students. They can all remind me!

  9. Fran,
    I did not know about the google research tool — I am heading over to a new tab to check it out right now. Thank you — you are always a source of learning for me!

    1. Open any Google document and try it!

  10. Take a look at how Colleen taught us to use TodaysMeet during the read-aloud of Last Stop on Market Street as a way to engage all as a digital stop and jot. I love how it creates a transcript for me to view afterwards. I love how all contributed, giving me anecdotal notes on their thinking without having to collect post-it notes or notebooks!

    1. Sally,
      I love Today’s Meet and this is a great use. Electronic post-its that you can move are on padlet and each comment you pose can be a different “board” so it’s even easier to visually review. SO MANY choices!

  11. Thank you for the book recommendation! I will add it to my list. Very interested in the read-aloud chapter.

    1. It’s simply amazing! ❤

  12. […] can also see connections and learning about/from this book in my previous posts here, here, and here. Some of you may have been fortunate to be a part of this group that presented at the #ILA16 […]

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