Author Archive: franmcveigh

#Headlines


I remember professional learning with Emily Calhoun where we discussed how the “title” of any book was the promise the author makes to the reader about what the book will be about. A book is bigger than an article in a newspaper or a magazine. Is a headline similar? This lead me to some research about headlines and the types, functions, and even the definitions. Scacco and Muddiman in “The Current State of News Headlines” report four functions of headlines.

The news headline can serve a variety of functions, including story summarization, interest generation, immediacy satisfaction, and attention direction. (Link)

    • Story summarization
    • Interest generation
    • Immediacy satisfaction
    • Attention direction

Consider this headline. Which function fits?

Results are in: Mississippi students No. 1 in the country for reading gains

Do you know enough to make a decision?

This headline was published in Mississippi Today and according to its website,

Mississippi Today is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) news and media company with a forward-facing mission of civic engagement and public dialog through service journalism, live events and digital outreach. (Link)

Does that descriptor of the publication change your mind about the function of this particular headline?

The first paragraph of this article says,

Mississippi was the only state in the country to improve reading scores, and was number one in the country for gains in fourth-grade reading and math, according to newly released test results.

and yes, it was published the day after the NAEP results were released. (Link)

Has your view of the FUNCTION changed based on a) additional knowledge about the publisher; b) the knowledge of date of publication; and/or c) the first paragraph of the publication?

Which best fits your thinking?

    • Story summarization
    • Interest generation
    • Immediacy satisfaction
    • Attention direction

Why does it matter?

P. David Pearson at #ILA19 was a panel member for a Saturday 7 a.m. session titled: “What Research Says About Teaching Reading and Why that Still Matters.” Dr. Pearson proposed several rules for our work and I have been considering this first rule over the last two months as I have read across Twitter, blogs and newspapers.

Rule 1:  Policymakers have to read beyond the headlines.

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that teachers, administrators, college instructors, parents, and anyone in the U.S. REALLY needs to read beyond the headlines. But careful attention is required particularly in the field of reading, reading instruction, and any “claims” in the headlines about reading pedagogy.

What does this article tell us?

Gains in 4th grade reading in Mississippi.

Only state with gains in 4th reading.

No gains in 8th grade reading in Mississippi.

The gain was 4 points.

“The 2019 results mark the first time Mississippi has met or outperformed national averages.” (In 1992, Mississippi was 16 points below the national average.)

Mississippi scores declined from 2009 to 2013.

And the “credit” for the “increase in scores”:

The Mississippi Department of Education attributed the some of the continued success in reading scores to the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, a law that went into effect in 2013 that requires third-graders to pass a reading test before they can be promoted to the fourth grade.

Do those facts match up with the function of the headline?

For additional practice let’s consider a second view of the Mississippi scores found in this blog post from Paul Thomas last week.

Mississippi Miracle or Mirage?:

2019 NAEP Reading Scores Prompt Questions, Not Answers

 

Which function matches this headline?

    • Story summarization
    • Interest generation
    • Immediacy satisfaction
    • Attention direction

And here’s the first paragraph of the blog post.

There is a disturbing contradiction in the predicted jubilant response to Mississippi’s outlier 4th-grade results from the 2019 NAEP reading test. That contradiction can be found in a new article by Emily Hanford, using Mississippi to recycle her brand, a call for the “science of reading.”

What do you believe is the purpose of this headline?  Is it similar to the previous article?  Or different?

Dr. Thomas then quotes two paragraphs from E Hanford’s own post:

The state’s performance in reading was especially notable. Mississippi was the only state in the nation to post significant gains on the fourth-grade reading test. Fourth graders in Mississippi are now on par with the national average, reading as well or better than pupils in California, Texas, Michigan and 18 other states.

What’s up in Mississippi? There’s no way to know for sure what causes increases in test scores [emphasis added], but Mississippi has been doing something notable: making sure all of its teachers understand the science of reading.

Paul answers Hanford’s claim that “there’s no way to know for sure” with

To be fair, there is a way to know, and that would be conducting scientific research that teases out the factors that can be identified as causing the test score changes in the state.

Scientific research . . .

A broader look at the data suggests that in 1998, Mississippi was only 10 points below the national average. What changed to cause growth between 2005 -2009?

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  Blog post Source Link

 

Facts/Questions from this article:

Is the 2013 legislation responsible for any growth? What research supports this hypothesis/generalization?

Is this the role of NAEP data? Should it REALLY be?

What about the 8-point jump in 4th-grade reading in MS from 2002 to 2009 with no explanation?

Original author Hanford used correlation (not scientific) instead of causation (scientific).

Premature?

Irresponsible?

No research?

No evidence?

In any informational text, the information that is included is always critical.  But equally important (Hat tip to Katie Clements) is the information that is left out. And the questions that remain after reading the articles.

Did the articles match up to the “hype” of the headlines?

Did they serve the function?

Why is P. David Pearson’s rule about headlines important?

 




Skinner, K. Results are in: Mississippi students No. 1 in the country for reading gains.  Retrieved from https://mississippitoday.org/2019/10/30/results-are-in-mississippi-students-no-1-in-the-country-for-reading-gains/ on December 7, 2019.

Thomas, PL. Mississippi Miracle or Mirage?: 2019 NAEP Reading Scores Prompt Questions, Not Answers. Retrieved from https://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/mississippi-miracle-or-mirage-2019-naep-reading-scores-prompt-questions-not-answers/ on December 7, 2019.

@ILAToday Literacy Leadership Brief: Children Experiencing Reading Difficulties


Today is a day to celebrate another #ILA Literacy Leadership Brief.  This one is titled Children Experiencing Reading Difficulties: What We Know and What We Can Do and it has many implications for students, teachers, and school communities.

In its entirety . . . here

As announced by @ILAToday . . .

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What are your takeaways? 

What did this affirm? 

What questions remain?

Where are you sharing this?




Additional ILA Resources:  Link

NCTE Position Statements: Link

NCTE:  Act of Reading: Instructional Foundations and Policy Guidelines  link

Reading Recovery: Responding to the Reading Wars Link  

Reading Recovery: Offering a preventative intervention for young children learning literacy. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psyche…

Richard Allington “The Hidden Push for Phonics Instruction” (TN Literacy Journal) tiny.cc/s6hbhz

Lucy Calkins:  No One Gets to Own the Term “The Science of Reading” – Link

Paul Thomas – Mississippi Miracle or Mirage?  Link

#SOL19: Generosity


Face to Face

They come from across the world. 10,000 strong. Teachers, Students, Administrators, Authors. Techies. First time attendees. Veteran attendees. The results from long distance planning to present together.  Planning to share a room.  Planning, chatting and sharing sessions to attend, places to go, and glorious meet ups. They come by planes, trains, and cars. Some add on early travel and pick up the Poe Historical Tour. Others stay for #ALAN19. So many choices. So many possibilities.  10,000 friends meeting for: conversation, celebration, food, drink, a Read Aloud, laughter . . . and sharing!

CURATED RESOURCES:

5. Twitter Thread of Top 10 Learnings by Kass Minor

4. Interesting Blog: Conference FOMO?  I really didn’t mean to make you feel left out  (Link)

3. A PhotoStory Blog #NCTE19:  A Collection and Reflection (Here)

2. On Gratitude  (Link)

  1. BEST#NCTE19 Notes: Paula Bourque blog post titled Vicarious PD: Sharing the Wealth of #NCTE19 (Link)

Why? All of Paula’s notes are organized and linked! All. 12. of. them.

What other posts should be added?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Fueling the Soul


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I returned to #NCTE19 in the same site as #NCTE14 to present as part of a different panel group.  Excited to rejoin face-to-face friends and colleagues. Exhilarated to learn with new friends and colleagues and just a bit exhausted from the prep and planning to take advantage of every single moment.  Celebrating friends. Celebrating peers. Celebrating communities. Celebrating learning. So ready to lean into my #OLW: Celebrate!

NCTE:  National Council of Teachers of English. So many folks from so many places. One night around the table, we represented Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Virginia, Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, Connecticut, and Michigan.  That was the night of the Slicer dinner.  Two new friends. Many face to face friends. Slicers all who intersect with #G2Great, #TCRWP, #CCIRA and our #NCTE presentation – the four of us together for the first time! Talking. Sharing. A laughing video of a grandson. Sharing of children’s artwork. Shared quotes. Food, drink, conversation, and fun. With just a touch of rain that did not dampen our spirits!

There is nothing like scintillating conversation, learning with peers, celebrating with authors, and after hours gatherings to fuel the soul . . . sparking a joyous celebration of friends, families, and ever increasing meet ups of social media friends.  As the world shrinks when we write and speak collaboratively on social platforms, our knowledge base grows exponentially.

As I continue to reflect on my travel and learning while I sift through my notes, I will add three outside sources here.

One of my favorites from NCTE is Kelly Gallagher’s Top Ten Things he heard at NCTE:

Melanie Meehan, co-author of Two Writing Teachers wrote about three sessions here.

Stop and Think Reading List and Resources here.

How do you collect and organize your learning? 

How are you refueling your professional soul?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#NCTE19: The Beginning


Back to the beginning:  Baltimore again.  The crew.  Face to Face connections. Twitter. Learning, Laughing. Sharing.

NCTE18 – 10 posts

NCTE17 – 4 posts

NCTE16 – 4 posts

NCTE15 – 2 posts

NCTE14 – 5 posts

Celebrating 25 posts already written about NCTE!  Anticipating the posts and the learning from the next four days.

The program . . .  link

on Twitter #NCTE19

in Baltimore

where my ancestor was born, George Herman Ruth.

In 2014, it was a Friday presentation described here.

In 2019, it will be a Sunday presentation as listed below.

Screenshot_20191116-165119_Twitter

Katelynn Giordano, Betsy Hubbard, Melanie Meehan, and myself

Challenged!  Intrigued! Sparking Inquiry Through Collaborative Research 

9-10:15 AM, Sunday, November 24 in Room 304

 

What are you anticipating for #NCTE19? 

What is your plan?

What do you plan to learn?

What will you celebrate?




 

 

 

#SOL19: Determining Importance


Screenshot 2019-11-18 at 10.40.52 PM

I tugged at the thing in my mouth.  A string? What on earth?

I started to gag.

Someone grabbed my wrist and held it tightly. But the string in my mouth!  I know I was screaming “Take it out” but only a garbled mess came out.

My teeth hurt. Something was rubbing my lips.  My throat hurt.  And that string!

“Help me! Please!”

It was just one week after school was out for the summer. I was 9. My older sister and I were in beds in the same hospital room after having our tonsils out.  She wasn’t too thrilled about the apparent 2 for 1 discount.




Are all the events above equally important?  After a #TalkPower Twitter discussion of Chapter 4 last night I decided to practice using one of the tools from Shana Frazin and Katy Wischow’s new book from Heinemann.

Screenshot 2019-11-18 at 10.10.13 PM

The Tool:  The Event-O-Meter

Screenshot 2019-11-18 at 9.37.50 PM

The plan is to use this tool with events in a story or nonfiction book as students talk about the events and the category that they belong in.  In order to get a feel for this, I decided to try it with a story that I was drafting for my slice. The goal of this “game” is to discuss the thinking for the placement in a category.

Here’s how I thought about my story above. First Draft Thinking. (I wouldn’t use every sentence as I did in this first practice.)

Screenshot 2019-11-18 at 10.26.28 PM

Is every detail or event in a story equally important? 

Who determines the importance? 

The author by its inclusion? 

The reader by their response?

(And sorry dear readers, I am still working on this story . . . )




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: A’Marek’n Veterans


How do we honor Veterans?

In past blog posts I have used:

Veteran’s Day Blackout Poem

Thankful (4 generations)

to commemorate Veteran’s Day.

It’s hard to follow any one family in our family tree.  Brothers marry sisters and double first cousins appear. Families grow. Families expand.

Yesterday was a day to stop, think, and remember. A day to celebrate Veterans.

What branches were represented? Where did they serve? What friendships grew among their peers? What friendships remain decades later?

On my dad’s side and in his generation – only two kids. Two brothers. And yet in this family line . . . four generations. My grandfather, my dad, my brother and my son . . . one line of veterans . . . Mareks!

Screenshot 2019-11-11 at 8.37.13 PM

Two deceased and two still serving.

How did you celebrate Veteran’s Day? 

What does Veteran’s Day mean to your family?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Changes


Dark

No moon

No stars

Cloudy?  Who can tell?

Cold

Colder than usual

For over a month

Two measurable snows

Daylight arrives earlier

Nighttime arrives earlier

Tired arrives earlier

Changes

Weather

Seasons

Time

Rhythms of Life

Screenshot 2019-11-05 at 6.14.07 AM

Last week’s “First Snow”




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Celebrate!


1. Celebrate?

Wet!

Heavy!

White!

The dreaded first s#$%fall of the year.  Will it accumulate?  Will it last? What will the impact be?

2. Celebrate?

This notice from WordPress awaited me . . .

Screenshot 2019-10-28 at 10.07.16 PM

3. Celebrate?

Last week was a 2.25 hour (10 module training) for all the new processes . . .

in 98 days . . .

in our first in the nation process . . .

Iowa Caucus night . . .

2.25 hours of training

Training complete

4. Celebrate?

Notification . . .

Verified

Passed

100%

Quizes on each of the 10 modules in # 3 above.

5. Celebrate?

My reading goal for the year was 52 books . . . a book a week. I met that a while back. Still working on recording titles and updating the format of my “handwritten system” because I really wanted to emphasize broader categories of texts this year. Pushing on beyond:  professional, YA/children’s lit, mystery/suspense, nonfiction.  But that’s another post.

Celebrating a new source of data from Goodreads . . .

My Review Stats

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Goodreads collects the year of publication so I can view the “age” of the books that I’ve reported on that site as read. 

What else is on my list/mind? 

  • My part in our NCTE presentation.
  • Choosing sessions to attend at NCTE.
  • Wrapping Christmas gifts.   

What’s on your list?  What will you be celebrating?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Random celebratory events that were all possibilities for a blog post.

Process: Beginning with one word (#OLW). Brainstorming. Collecting ideas. Sifting through thoughts. Vignettes of celebrations curated in one post. Reflecting on my #OLW:  Celebrate! (How do we demonstrate this for students?)  Opposite process of beginning with many words in this post.

Celebrate – published post!

 

 

#SOL19: Words Count


“I’m done.  I read from the green to the red and back. I’m done,” echoed from Joey’s corner.  Abbie, with her back to Joey, kept reading.

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Demonstration Reading Mat

Joey pulled out the slip and a pencil. He started counting. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.”

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He wrote a “10” under Monday in both blanks because he had read 10 books twice. Abbie was still reading. Joey started going through his stack. He knew he needed to choose partner reading books. He picked up several books. He read two from the first page to the end and put both of them in a pile to read with Abbie.

As Abbie picked up her recording slip, she recorded “10”, “10” and quickly chose her last two books for her partner reading books. (Noted: Efficient use of time) Abbie and Joey turned side by side, chorally read all four books and both recorded 4 books under Partner on the recording slip.

DATA:

Abbie read 24 “E level books” ranging from 100-125 words.

  • Total words read = 2400 – 3000.

Joey also recorded 24 books but actually read 26 ranging from 100-125 words.

  • Total words read = 2600 – 3250.

Reading Volume: Why is it important?  

Gladwell’s research found experts put in approximately 10,000 hours of practice in order to be experts. What expertise do our students when they graduate from high school?  Working with some “round numbers” let’s consider the total number of hours a student spends in school.

6 hours each day x 180 days each year x 13 years (K-12)  =  14,040 total hours

Understanding that some instructional time will be lost. Lunch. Recess. Early outs. Late starts. Fire drills. Tornado drills. Active shooter drills. Assemblies. Field trips. I’m sure you can add to the list of what interrupts instructional time.

10,000 hours = experts so student expertise at graduation must be in “being students” as they haven’t had 10,000 hours to be readers, writers, listeners, talkers, thinkers, AND mathematicians, social scientists, scientists and fine arts experts.

Why does it matter?

Consider first graders Abbie and Joey in late September. Their books are primarily a Level E in order to concentrate practice with fairly predictable text to build accuracy, fluency and automaticity as well as confidence and independence.

Joey is in an intervention group where he chooses 5 of the books and often practices a shared reading from his classroom. 6 more books = a range of 600 – 650 more words.  Total today from 32 books = 3200 – 3900 words.

Is the difference in words read an inequity?

Before your eyes glaze over . . . Over the course of the week, the potential discrepancy will widen; the range for Abbie may be 12,000-15,000 words read in a week while Joey may read 16,000-19,500 words. Is it “fair” or “equitable” that Joey may read about another day’s worth of words during the week.

Here’s what you need to know about Joey:  No one at home reads in English. Joey is deliberately scheduled for extra practice at school to maintain a high reading volume.

Our first draft question:  What is the range in daily reading volume (books/words read) that builds successful habits, joy, competence and confidence in fall of first grade?

How do you check in on reading volume?

How do you make decisions about who needs practice?


Additional Resources:

  • Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The Story of Success. Little, Brown and Company.
  • McVeigh, F. (2013). Volume of Reading: How much is enough?  link
  • Robb, L. Volume in reading still matters!  edublog.scholastic.comScreenshot 2019-10-22 at 4.44.39 AMScreenshot 2019-10-22 at 4.45.04 AM



Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Addendum:  The reading conferences with this student will address this practice reading because of Regie Routman’s words, “deliberate practice without effective teaching and coaching doesn’t guarantee growth.”

Routman, R. (2018). Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for ALL Learners. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
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