Monthly Archives: October, 2016

#DigiLitSunday: Flexibility


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digilitsunday-topic-flexibility.jpg

Check out additional posts with Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche.

In the field of fitness, “Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities with relative ease.”(www.humankinetics.com)  By analogy flexibility when writing could  then be the ability to write with ease and even the ability to shift form or format with ease.

So what does “Flexibility” look like?

What does “flexibility” mean for ME?

I can reflect flexibly by using . . .

words

pictures

sketches

google images

a blog post

a tweet

a twitter chat

a voxer post

a doc

a poem

an infographic

a meme

my writer’s notebook

my sketchpad

my phone

my iPad mini

my laptop

What matters is that I take make the time to reflect! Self-improvement begins with reflection.  In order to improve both our present and our future, it is imperative that we begin with an understanding of the past.

Which of these pictures represents your current view of flexibility?

Why?

flexibility-two

flexibility-one

flexibility-four

flexibility-three

#SOL16: The Ending


This was the story.

See this post from this morning to learn how the story developed as I practiced multiple opening leads. When I hit publish it looked like this:

“How weird that the wind has completely stopped,” I thought.  I raced for the house and safety as I whistled for Mya to join me. Barking enthusiastically, she quickly passed me.  Were we playing her favorite game of “Chase”?

Just before arriving home, the weather report confirmed that fifty mile per hour winds were in our county. The sudden absence of wind caused goosebumps and a drum began to pound in my head. The sky was greenish-gray and the clouds were quickly rolling by. Some clouds seemed to be attempting to touch the ground.

“Tornado? Straight-line winds?” I wondered.  At the very least, it looked like trouble was headed our way!  In comparison with other states, Iowa ranks 6th in tornado occurrences with an average of 37 tornadoes each year. The old-timers in our area tell tales of houses being lifted off the foundation or, my favorite, the trailer that was reduced to rubble except for the toilet that remained, isolated and alone, like a throne.  Oddly enough, the toilet paper was ready and waiting on the roll and still in the holder.

My house, my fortress of foot thick walls, was the perfect refuge.  Branches fell in the timber. Trees danced as the wind began to swirl and twirl. Mya cowered under my chair anxious for my calming touch.

What seemed like forever in the world of slow-motion-what-if-and-disaster-is-looming thinking was less than five minutes as the sky lightened, the wind slowed yet again and the storm passed us by.  A near miss?  A typical summer storm . . . could be rain, could be hail, could be wind!

 

How should this short, short story end?

The story begged for a revised ending, so here are some possiblities:

  1. “It was no longer a dark and stormy night.”

2.”Mom, you are never going to believe how close that storm was. I could feel it in the air one minute and then suddenly it was gone.”

3. Have you ever thought you were in the middle of a tornado that ended up as a near miss?

4. Storms are tricky.  One minute this way. Another minute this way.  Clouds and wind and trees all moving so quickly that they enveloped me in a frenzy of motion.

5. I stepped out the front door looking for a glimmer of sunlight in the sky.  I was searching for just a hint of blue somewhere on the horizon to let me know that the weather had truly passed by.

6. Tornados typically last from a few seconds to about ten minutes.  Some appear to last longer but they are believed to be a series of tornados strung together rather than a single incident.

7. Bathtub: Best place to seek shelter in the middle of a tornado, mostly because after you’re covered with debris, you can quickly wash off and come out looking great.

8. Not a branch was on the ground in front of the house but as I turned the corner I could see that every square inch of the back yard was covered with leaves and branches, green and brown, small and big to give the appearance of real treebark camouflage covering the grass.

Revision and ending for today:

(new paragraph – before the last one)

We had taken refuge in the bathroom – a room with no windows where the back wall was dug into the clay bank and was not going anywhere.  I sat on the floor with Mya as she trembled.  She didn’t make a sound but I was sure that she was able to hear a whole different layer of sound that was not accessible to my ears.  “Mya, would you like to hear a story?”  I began to read out loud to her from my Kindle.  Nothing like a good story to calm my nerves. We were fortunate that I wasn’t worried enough to crawl into the tub for shelter where I could be both safe and clean!

What seemed like forever in the world of slow-motion-what-if-and-disaster-is-looming thinking was less than five minutes as the sky lightened, the wind slowed yet again and the storm passed us by.  Storms typically range from a few seconds to about ten minutes. This would not have been the shortest storm on record.  But it also wasn’t the longest.  Each fearful second had seemed like a minute. Was it a near miss?  Or was it just a typical summer storm?  . . . sometimes rain? sometimes hail?  sometimes wind?  The storm disappeared almost as quickly as it had formed.  We left the bathroom, looked outside, and decided that it was safe enough to venture out. I was barely able to open the door before Mya raced past me  out into the evening. I stepped out the front door looking for a glimmer of sunlight in the sky.  I was searching for just a hint of blue somewhere on the horizon to let me know that the weather had truly passed by.

How and when do you “rehearse” and “practice” the skills that you ask your students to use in their writing?

What does your evidence look like?

slice of life

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

Process:

Did you name the endings?

(alpha order) Action, description, dialogue, humor, interesting fact, quotation, question, and unusual image.

And how did I REALLY end my story?  With a combination of actions that resulted from drafting the possible endings!

Did you notice that some of the other “possible endings” did make it into my short, short story? Accident?  Design?  You be the judge.

Both the first version and the revised second draft are available in a google doc here.

And for more information about tornados, check out this link.

#SOL16: The Beginning


  1. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . “

2. “It was a dark and stormy night . . .”

3. “Look at that sky!” exclaimed Joey.  “It’s such a greenish sky with the weirdest shaped clouds!”

4. Have you ever noticed that Iowa skies take on a greenish cast when the impending storm includes tornado-like winds?

5. It was an eerie calm.  The wind had stopped.  The sky was greenish and the clouds were quickly rolling by. Some clouds seemed to be attempting to touch the ground.

6. I raced for the house and safety as I whistled for Mya to join me. Barking enthusiastically, she quickly passed me.  Were we playing her favorite game of “Chase”?

7. In comparison with other states, Iowa ranks 6th in tornado occurrences with an average of 37 tornadoes each year.

8. Vehicles in a violent tornado (EF4+) can resemble crushed soda cans, almost unrecognizable to the owner, should they ever find be lucky enough to find it.

9. The walls were gone but the toilet remained, isolated and alone, like a throne.  Even the toilet paper was still on the roll and in the holder, waiting to be used.

What was I “practicing”?

When did you “know” the skill I was demonstrating?

“How weird that the wind has completely stopped,” I thought.  I raced for the house and safety as I whistled for Mya to join me. Barking enthusiastically, she quickly passed me.  Were we playing her favorite game of “Chase”?

Just before arriving home, the weather report confirmed that fifty mile per hour winds were in our county. The sudden absence of wind caused goosebumps and a drum began to pound in my head. The sky was greenish-gray and the clouds were quickly rolling by. Some clouds seemed to be attempting to touch the ground.

“Tornado? Straight-line winds?” I wondered.  At the very least, it looked like trouble was headed our way!  In comparison with other states, Iowa ranks 6th in tornado occurrences with an average of 37 tornadoes each year. The old-timers in our area tell tales of houses being lifted off the foundation or, my favorite, the trailer that was reduced to rubble except for the toilet that remained, isolated and alone, like a throne.  Oddly enough, the toilet paper was ready and waiting on the roll and still in the holder.

My house, my fortress of foot thick walls, was the perfect refuge.  Branches fell in the timber. Trees danced as the wind began to swirl and twirl. Mya cowered under my chair anxious for my calming touch.

What seemed like forever in the world of slow-motion-what-if-and-disaster-is-looming thinking was less than five minutes as the sky lightened, the wind slowed yet again and the storm passed us by.  A near miss?  A typical summer storm . . . could be rain, could be hail, could be wind!

How and when do you “rehearse” and “practice” the skills that you ask your students to use in their writing?

What does your evidence look like?

slice of life

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

Process:

For more information about opening lines from children’s books, see this source.

Did you name the leads?

(alpha order) Action, description, dialogue, humor, interesting fact, quotation (2), question, and unusual image.

And how did I REALLY begin my story?  With a combination of a “thought” (not included in the 9 possibilities above) and actions!

Did you notice that some of the other “possible beginnings” did make it into my short, short story? Accident?  Design?  You be the judge.

Extra Practice

                                             A Storm (not a tornado)
Dialogue: “Faster, Mya, let’s beat the rain!” I shouted.
Sound Effect: “Booommmmmmm. Booooooooooooooommmmm” rumbled the thunder.
Ask a question: Have you ever tried to “race” a thunderstorm?
Action Lead: I unsnapped my seat belt, opened the door, and quickly climbed out of the car with my computer bag in my hand.
Snapshot of a small moment: A flash lit up the sky and suddently a rumble like an approaching train began. It only lasted a few seconds but I was already racing for the house.
Flashback: I have only been caught in a thunderstorm once, but it was so memorable that I now race to get inside a building instead of outside during thunder and lightning.

#DigiLitSunday: The 3 P’s


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It’s DigiLitSunday.  Head over to Margaret Simon’s Reflections on the Teche for additional posts on this topic.

digilit-10-23-16-three-ps

Saturday was the 91st #SaturdayReunion at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  A FREE day of professionald development as a gift to thousands of teachers and administrators.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t there.  My fall schedule has been challenging.  But I am going to borrow from Tweets from the day to illustrate my thinking about the 3 P’s.

Why is “Patience” important?

As teachers it is important that students “do the work” and often that means that teachers need to step back, close their mouths, and listen to students as they share what they can and cannot do.  These were some tweets that spoke to me about patience in order to slow down, let the students work, and not solve all the problems of the world in one day! (Yes, there is a need for urgency but solutions aren’t required every day!)

patiencepatience-twopatience-threepatience-fourpatience-fivepatience-sixpatience-seven

Why is “Practice” important?

My favorite quote for this fall has been one from Brooke Geller about our students being “over taught and under practiced”.  I believe that this means that we need to make sure again, that students are doing the work and that we make sure that they practice the “work” multiple times.  Sometimes that practice can come in discussion prior to writing and other times that practice will require trying out five or six different introductions to a piece.  Are you familiar with this video? Austin’s Butterfly from Expeditionary Learning Students do get the value of practice after seeing this video. (Even if they would rather NOT practice that many times!)

These tweets spoke to me about practice.

practicepractice-twopractice-three

practice-six

And what about those regular practices of teachers?  How we allocate time is a reflection of our values.  Are we facilitators?  Are we leaders? What is our role?

practice-fourpractice-five

Why is “Persistence”important?

If I had attended, I would have been in the front row for Katy Wischow’s opening keynote, “The Intersection of Passion and Expertise: Fangirling Over Alexander Hamilton”.  I watched “Hamilton’s America” on PBS Friday night and was again awed by the magnificence of the show, the historical implications, and the access to documents that led to the authenticity of this Broadway musical.

Why this keynote?  Because I believe that  “passion” is the KEY resource for teachers when we have to be “PERSISTENT” as we work with striving adolescents who do not want to be lured into literacy lives.  These students are resistant to reading and writing even when choice is offered.  “It’s boring.”  “I can’t do it.” “Why do I have to do this?”  All of these statements are now even coming out of the mouths of our babes – our second and third graders. Students who don’t know the passion and joy that comes from learning.  Students who don’t know the power that comes from learning.  Students who don’t know that the focus of learning is finding and following a passion of the heart. We can and must do better at igniting and fueling that passion in our students.

Persistence by building Passion for Learning in Students:

(Thank you, Mike Ochs, for the tweets!)

katy-onekatie-two

katie-three

katie-four

katy-five

If students are passionate about their learning, won’t your job as a teacher be done?

Thanks to all the tweets on Twitter that allowed me to curate these tweets from afar. Thanks to Lucy Calkins and Colleagues at #TCRWP for the learning that generated the tweets so I could both RT and collect them from 1101 miles away in Iowa! Without a digital world, this learning wouldn’t have been possible!

How do patience, practice, and persistence fit into your life?

#SOL16: #WhyIWrite – No More Red Ink!


My worst fear.

My paper is bleeding red ink.

She didn’t like it.

It was my choice.

Write about anything.

Apparently anything but that.

What did you do to my paper?

red ink.jpg

Sample document – illustration only

I gave you a chance to do it over.

You can revise, fix, and return it.

What do you want?

Just tell me!

What should it say?

Your completed assignment without errors.

With YOUR changes, it’s not my work.

Don’t you want to do your BEST work?

But it is no longer MY work.

You must fix the errors before you recopy it.

Fine.

My solution.

Final copy written in red ink.

And yes, I used a fountain pen.

It was the 1960s after all . . .

red ink two.jpg

Illustration only!

Cursive, a fountain pen and a Big Chief tablet. . .

Writing materials from the 60s!

big chief tablet.jpg

No way for my final copy to be “red inked” by the teacher!

My third grade solution to a “red inked” paper.


Now I write to explore how writing instruction should look and feel in the 21st century from both a teacher and student perspective. Red ink didn’t make me a better writer in the dark days before Columbus discovered America.  It won’t help a writer today either!

Why do you write?

Have you ever had your work “red inked”?

How did that feel?

How did you respond?

slice of life

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

#DigiLitSunday: #WhyIWrite


#why i write.jpg

Why do I write?

I started a list

The verbs wrote themselves . . .

To define

To think

To create

To share

To craft

To dream

To plan a course of action

To question

To examine

To reflect

Current reality . . . 

I am writing now

Because my fingers are tethered to my keyboard

And I can’t leave this post until I’ve recorded something

Worthy of pushing that “publish” button.

What do I write?

Serious or trivial?

Rich in details?

Or written totally between the lines?

Do the words tumble end over end

in their urgency to be revealed?

Or do they have to be coaxed out of hiding

while I patiently sip coffee as they emerge word by word on the scrren?

The pacing corresponds to the ideas,

some race across the blank screen begging for release,

some yet to simmer,

some seem half-baked,

some to be totally erased TODAY,

perhaps to emerge in a different format on another day.

YET

Today

The words are in gratitude for time with family

This weekend it was being entertained by the 17 month old grandson,

A charming, sweet boy

Attending his first collegiate football game

Complete with high fives, fist bumps, applause, and signaling touchdowns

And yet I wonder what he is thinking . . .

Today I write to share my thanks for the precious gift of time with family!

Why do you write?

What do you write?


Additional Reading

Other thoughts on #WhyIWrite here in a previous post complete with responses from MANY slicers!

Shaelynn Farnsworth’s post “Educators Sharing #WhyIWrite to Celebrate National Writing Day”

Kathleen Sokolowski’s post “Are You Ready for the National Day of Writing 2016?”

#SOL16: Dilemma


beep beep beep,

beep beep beep,

beep beep beep . . .

My fingertips reach the snooze button.

Click.

Merciful silence.

A pause . . .

beep beep beep,

beep beep beep,

beep beep beep . . .

Click.

“Not yet. But no choice. Time to face the day.”

Coffee, please, cries my body as I enter the kitchen.

Open the cupboard,

Drag down the coffee.

Dump yesterday’s filter and coffee grounds.

Replace the filter.

A scoop of coffee.

Fill the pot with water.

Pour in the water

And turn the pot on.

Wait for it?

Watch the news?

Read?

Write the day’s slice?

Wait for the coffee . . . brain is sluggish.

So dark outside. . . Is it storming?

Stare at the clock.

The glare makes it hard to read.

The aroma of the coffee . . . I can almost taste it!

W

a

i

t

i

n

g

. . .

First cup poured

Wait . . .

What time does that clock say?

2:30?

That can’t be right!

Check the phone.

Battery dead . . .

Check the computer . . .

2:35 am

Literally  . . . so darned early.

Dilemma . . .

Back to sleep?

Slice?

Read?

Write?

slice of life

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

#DigiLitSunday: Mentors


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Join Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche for additional #DigiLitSunday posts here

mentor-four

Mentors . . .

I’ve had a few . . .

Where do I begin

To tell the story

Of how mentors have been my guide?

Mentors . . .

Trusted

Experienced

Advisors or

Guides

Mentors . . .

Teachers. . .

Authors . . .

Speakers . . .

Bloggers . . .

Technology wizards . . .

Mentors . . .

All with a digital presence

via

Twitter

Facebook

Voxer

Blogs

Google docs

and

(gasp)

even old-fashioned

emails.

How do you connect with your mentors?

mentor

Teacher Mentors

Allison

Julieanne

Jenny

 Mary Lee

Ryan

Sally

Sandy

Steve

Tara

Those lengthy conversations as we learned, laughed and studied together.  Asking questions, checking for understanding, and seeking new information . . . on our learning quests!

mentor-one

Online Book Study Groups

What Readers Really Do:  Teaching the Process of Meaning Making by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton – It was a Twitter book study with Ryan, Allison, Julieanne, Sandy and many more included a grand finale with Vicki Vinton.

Good to Great Teaching:  Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters by Dr. Mary Howard – This continues to be a weekly chat #G2Great on Thursday evenings at 8:30 EST.

Who’s Doing the Work?  How to Say Less So Readers Van Do More by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris  – This book study involved a combination of GoogleDocs and weekly Voxer responses.

A Mindset for Learning:  Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth! by Christine Hertz and Kristi Mraz – Book study and Twitter Chat

The Journey is Everything:  Teaching Essays that Students Want to Write for People who Want to Read Them by Katherine Bomer – A book study that resulted in several “essay slices” that included GoogleDocs and a twitter chat.

The Book Love Foundation Podcast Summer Study Session with Penny Kittle – a Facebook group with video, readings, and responses each week.

Craft Moves:  Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts by Stacey Shubitz – This book study involved a combination of Facebook responses and conversations with authors of the mentor texts from Stacey’s book.

mentor-three

Professional Development Facilitators who serve as mentors

  • Lester Laminack
  • Nell Duke
  • Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan
  • Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris
  • Vicki Vinton
  • Jennifer Serravallo
  • Melissa Stewart
  • Linda Hoyt
  • Seymour Simon
  • Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry-Paul
  • Lucy Calkins
  • Chris Lehman
  • Kate Roberts
  • Maggie Roberts
  • Cornelius Minor
  • Colleen Cruz
  • Mary Ehrenworth
  • Kathleen Tolan
  • Amanda Hartman
  • Celina Larkey
  • Katie Clements
  • Shana Frazin
  • Katy Wischow
  • Brook Geller
  • Liz Dunford Franco
  • Brianna Parlitsis
  • Meghan Hargrave
  • Kristi Mraz
  • Marjorie Martinelli

mentor-two

Bloggers

Many may be a part of the Two Writing Teachers “Slicer” group or this “DigiLitSunday group or just may be bloggers who I have learned from:

  • Vicki Vinton
  • Two Writing Teachers –  Current bloggers Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey (as well as Tara and Anna)
  • Mary, Amy and Jenn at Literacy Lenses
  • Julieanne
  • Dayna
  • Margaret
  • Mary Lee
  • Steve
  • Sally
  • Kathy
  • Erika
  • Leigh Anne
  • Ramona
  • Rose
  • Lynne
  • Linda
  • Elsie
  • Catherine
  • Shana and Katy
  • Clare and Tammy
  • Burkins and Yaris
  • Christina
  • Kari
  • Jennifer
  • Donna
  • Phyllis
  • Justin
  • Susie
  • Michelle

laptop

Technology Mentors

  • Cornelius
  • Maggie
  • Kate
  • Chris
  • Katie and Kristin

Authors of Books about Mentor Texts

  • Ralph
  • Penny
  • Ruth
  • Kelly
  • Stacey
  • Rose
  • Lynne
  • Lisa

(If you need last names for those authors of books about mentor texts, you can check them out in this post!)

So I’m apologizing to those literacy mentors who I left out in error – one of the disadvantages of making lists – but the point of my post is that these mentors, many of whom are in MORE than one list are all people that I know in the digital world as well as the physical world.

Through Twitter, Voxer, #TCRWP, ILA and NCTE, my horizons have expanded exponentially.  Now my mentors come from many, many states across this country.  All delightful folks that I have had the priviledge of learning with and beside .  .  . Mentors and Friends!

How do we know the impact that your mentors have had?

These pictures reflect my most recent thinking with some of my mentors! Can you name them?

#SOL16: October


When you say “October” what are you thinking of?

October.jpg

Is it your most favorite month?

What images are in your mind?

Plain . . .

oct-two

OR

Decorated . . .

oct one.jpg

Is it the harvest season?

Soybeans . . . OR corn . . .

Or the plowing that comes after?

oct-three

Farming

Checking the weather

… rain?  Did he say rain?

Or the thirty one days of fun?

Which of these match you?

For me, October is the month of birthdays . . .

BD.jpg

Pat

Mom

Josh

Joe

Jess

Sudharshan

To name just a few from the immediate family.

October is a month of 31 days packed with fun, football, and food as we meet and celebrate . . . every day!

What do you like best about October?

slice of life

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

#DigiLitSunday: Conferring


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Because Margaret’s daughter was married yesterday, today’s digilit linkup is over at Julieanne Harmatz’s blog “To Read To Write To Be” here.  Check out the other links.

digilit

Trust me, Conferring Carl is so right.  Conferring is the whole cake, the whole enchilada, the whole meal because it’s already the combination of many great ingredients in a flavorful mixture designed to entice the consumer!

One goal of conferring is to move the writer to effective and more deliberate practices across multiple pieces of writing.  The goal is NOT to just make this piece of writing better by fixing it.  It’s about going for “big ticket items” that will help all future writing be better.

“How on earth do I do that?”

“Please say more . . .”

Conferring does seem to resemble coaching.  I have been working with coaches lately and I know there’s also a part of coaching  that involves a specific teaching point.  Dana’s post here about teaching points in writing is so spot on.  It’s about:

 

“Writers  (insert a skill) by using (insert a strategy) so that (insert a purpose).”

There’s a part of conferring that requires the teacher and the student to have clear targets and end goals about writing.

Why?

Hattie, Fisher and Fry say it best with this finding from John Hattie (millions of kids in the data pool) about teacher clarity in their book Visible Learning for Literacy.

20160930_091010.jpg

Teacher Clarity has an effect size with the equivalence of almost two years of growth in one year of instruction. That’s what the 0.75 means.  A d= 0.40 means one year’s growth. That’s why the 0.40 is often used as the “cut point” for choosing effective strategies.  (Mini-stats course/refresher)

So what do clear teach goals look like?  What are the possiblities?

Here is an example of one way a class is looking at “leads” for organization in narratives based on checklists (Calkins and colleagues, Units of Study in Writing).  If a student identifies that “leads” are the area of “trouble” that he/she wants to work on in a conference, a checklist like this may have been used.  The student would not just be saying, “This story is not good or this lead is not good.” Instead the student would be saying, “I need to work on leads because my readers have commented on the last two stories that it’s hard for them to get right into the story.” This student may have self-identified that most of his/her leads were only a “one-star” lead according to a chart like this.  The goal might be four star leads.

20160923_125713

Reality Check

The long term writing goal for this student may be about volume, it may even be about stamina, but for now this student really wants to focus on better leads so

the reader

will continue

to read

and not stop reading

because there is no hint of

what might later become a problem for the reader.

Do you see langauge that might lead to a teaching point?

Teachers don’t need a “new and different” list of resources to confer from. They are working with the lessons that have been taught and/or looking for those next step items that will strengthen student writing across the rest of the year.  Leads are important in narratives, informational writing, and opinions/arguments.

Is this the only concern in a narrative lead for fourth graders?

Of course not.  But this use of checklists in goal setting (Calkins and colleagues, Units of Study in Writing) helps students (and teachers) who are not yet expert writers with some common language that can be used for teaching points within a conference to improve all future pieces of writing.  The student made some choices about his/her own writing and made a conscious decision about what to work on.  That’s a win/win.  

The writing conference needs to be about moving forward.  There are many ways to move writers forward throught conferences that are shared in many books (and Conferring Carl’s books are awesome)!  How’s It Going? is a must have for your professional collection and has this review:

“This is by far the best writing on the conference I have read. It is a book that is far superior to the other texts-including my own.
—Donald M. Murray”

But the work ultimately needs to be done by students and involving them in this process and honoring their own goals/wishes/needs is critical. A conference like this with a writer allows the student to continue writing and may well set them up to be able to show peers and parents exactly how personal work with leads has improved his/her own writing.

Who knows?

This student may well be able to teach other students exactly how and why to do this with their own writing. More writers who know why and how . . . that’s a reason to invest time in writing conferences.

Don’t worry about perfect conferences!  CONFER!

What’s your next “Conferring” step?

 

 

 

 

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 and Resources

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