Author Archive: franmcveigh

#SOL18: MLK


One year.
Five years.
Ten years.
Twenty years.
Thirty years.
Forty years.
Fifty years.

Time slipped away.

What is the legacy that remains?

Yesterday Google displayed:

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From friends on Twitter and Facebook:

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Quotes, Speeches, Books and Resources:

15 MLK Quotes that Still Resonate (Newsweek)

Strong Quotes for MLK Day (Al Jazeera)

Inspirational Quotes for MLK Day 2018 (International Business Times)

Martin Luther King Jr. was More Radical than We Remember (TeenVogue)

Martin Luther King Jr Found Inspiration in Thoreau (Tween Tribune)

A Call to Conscience:  The Landmark Speeches of MLK (Stanford)

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The Greatest MLK Speeches You Never Heard (CNN)

Audios and Texts of His Most Famous Speeches

Celebrate?  Yes

Commemorate?  Yes

Teach about?  Yes.  We can do “Write Arounds” where students explain what each quote means to them.  We can close read the “I Have a Dream” speech.  We can analyze the effectiveness of the rhetorical devices that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used in his speeches.  But is that enough?

Not just THAT ONE DAY! Instead consider what it means to stand for equity for all living in the United States.  Consider what it means to have the same quality of life for all who live and work in the United States.

And then live the life that supports EQUITY for ALL!

That’s the legacy,

that’s the living,

that’s the WORLD

that Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed

and worked for over HALF A CENTURY AGO!

How are you living the “Dream”? 

How would we know? 

What would be our evidence?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

 

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#SOL18: #LitEssentials


What is essential in literacy instruction? 

How do you know? 

Is this something you were taught? 

Or is this something you have learned?

As you can see, “curious”, my #OLW is already in play for 2018.  It sits on my shoulder daily encouraging me to wonder about new and old issues.  So let’s take up “essential”.

What does essential mean?

“1.  absolutely necessary; indispensable:

Discipline is essential in an army.
2.  pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.
3. noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.

4. being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous:

essential happiness.”  Dictionary.com
Without a doubt, Regie Routman is using all these definitions in her use of “essentials” in her newest book . . .
And the words that I want to emphasize, from the definitions, are:
“indispensable,
essence,
natural,
spontaneous,
happiness”
This book is not about following a script or a recipe for success.  This book is about empowering teachers and leaders as thinkers.

Why this book? 

Because Regie is first of all a teacher.  Working with students is her passion and she wants to help you regain, regrow and re-empower your expert teaching voice.  . . .”you – one caring and knowledgeable teacher – can make an enduring difference in a child’s life.” (Routman, Stenhouse, p. 3)

What additional information is available?

@Stenhousepub tweet:

“”…without that culture of joy and celebration of strengths…we are never going to get our students where they need to be and where they want to be.” @regieroutman talks about her new book, Literacy Essentials:”

Video LInk”

Stenhouse

What makes this book so appealing?

  1. The format of the book.

The three big “units” are Engagement, Excellence, and Equity.

You CAN begin with any of those sections.  They are very well cross-referenced so that you can dip into the pieces that you need!

       2.  The format in the chapters.

There’s a conversation with Regie with facts, questions, and anecdotes that illustrate the point.  Then there is a detailed “Take Action” section. This is repeated multiple times in each chapter which has endnotes for a closing.  A single teacher could choose actions to make changes in their classroom.  A group of teachers could choose actions to make changes in their building or district.  The possibilities for thinking teachers are endless.

         3. The teacher in the book.

Calm, practical, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations.  Not a bunch of “mumbo jumbo” from publishers, test-writers, or those who have not been in classrooms recently or perhaps . . . EVER!  Real solutions that will NOT add hours to your day.  Real solutions that you can advocate for.  Real solutions that will bring joy back into your life!

Not yet convinced?

Join the #G2Great chat Thursday, January 11th.  Be a part of the conversation or listen in – whichever role is most comfortable for you.   Listen in to hear the essence of the text, the indispensable actions, the natural, spontaneous actions that can bring JOY back into your teaching life. Then consider your next steps!

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Why does this matter to me?

I remember meeting Regie at a Regis Literacy Institute in the late 1980’s or early 90″s.  She was the first real live, up close and personal “edu-hero” that I ever met.  She was so kind, so thoughtful and so willing to talk to me even though her coffee was growing cold in the cafe and I was totally interrupting. She’s a teacher.  She’s a leader.  She’s a reader. She’s a writer.  Regie’s amazing!

What professional reading do you have planned for 2018? 

What books are you “curious” about? 

Where will you begin?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL18: #OLW


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Is it the luck of the draw?  The New Year?  A need for focus?

Whatever draws you to #OneLittleWord, do consider how that word will impact you for the next year.  I’ve been considering words since #NCTE17, that gathering of so many talented friends with so much learning, love, and laughter all rolled together.

Synonyms of my word from Dictionary.com:

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 8.50.18 AM.png

Disquisitive caught my eye. (” 1. Relating to disquisition; fond of discussion or investigation; inquisitive.”)  I tested it out and thought it would score well in Words with Friends2 but it just didn’t have the “OOMPH” I wanted in my #OLW.  Prurient also caught my attention in a negative way as that was not a synonym that I was expecting.

What’s your best guess at this point? 

What one word is a synonym for those in the Word Cloud above?

It’s all about word choice.

“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.” (Link)

My history of #OLW

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015     Focus
  • 2016    Joyful
  • 2017    Brave

A visual for another hint . . .

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 5.31.36 PM

Got it? 

Just seven letters . . .

__  __  __  __  __  __  __

What is your #OLW? 

How and when will you reveal your #OLW?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

And the answer is . . .

c

u

r

i

o

u

s . . .

When were you 100% sure that you had identified the correct word?  How important are our words?  What precise meaning do your words carry?  Do your perceptions match those of your students?

So much to consider in the area of building “word knowledge” in 2018!!!

2:00 pm – Changed the background

5:00 pm – added final graphic

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Opening Doors to be Curious in 2018

 

Trusted Resources


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What was your “Most Trusted Resource” for 2017? 

Who do you turn to?

I listened to the local meteorologist this morning to hear that the temperature was -10 with a wind chill of -35.  I did not turn to the Weather Channel.  I did not want to see an entire country enveloped in cold.  My little region with the ticker of church cancellations across the bottom of the screen was sufficient.  It met my needs.  I did not need a second source.  I already had verification when Mya was outside for less than one minute.  It’s cold!  It’s REALLY cold!  Right now Iowa is as cold as the South Pole.

So if the local TV weather and my dog’s reaction were “enough” today . . . how do I typically make decisions about resources? Here’s the process that I typically use with my criteria.

1. What’s my learning goal? 

Begin with the end in mind.  What is the end point learning?  What do I want to be able to know and do after the use of the resource that adds to my knowledge base? Because I value this thinking, I often search for UbD resources, Understanding by Design – Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.  Resources built on a UbD framework already encapsulate some basic learning principles that I value as shown in this ASCD resource.  How well does this learning goal align with the standards, assessments and learning targets?  How will I measure learning.  All of these questions and more are evaluated in the UbD process!

2. Are the resources accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant?

Putting four criteria together is daunting because these can and should all be evaluated separately.  But here’s the deal, if they aren’t all present to a high degree, the resource is really useless.  Not needed.  Not wanted.  Not going to be in a “fixer-upper” pile as life is too short to be re-working resources that are not accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant.

3. Have the resources been written, taught, and vetted using a process/protocol to improve them?

How were the resources developed?  Were they written by persons who haven’t been in a classroom since they were students?  Or are they written and reviewed by teachers who are constantly striving to improve their teaching practices and who are willing to work collaboratively and diligently to appropriately give credit to original authors for their ideas?  Was a template or framework used so developed materials align vertically within the content area and horizontally across grade levels and content areas?  What information is available about the process?  What information is available about the review?

What resources meet this criteria?

One FREE source is found with the Massachusetts Department of Education.  You will need to create an account (good for 30 days) and agree to honor copyright – you can’t profit from the work!  Here’s the link – doe.mass.edu    

“Why these resources?”  

  1.  Massachusetts is getting results in literacy.
  2. This resource comes from their state department of education website and was the result of a collaborative process Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe and hundreds of teachers.
  3. You can begin by using a unit and adding or subtracting learning activities based on the needs of your students.
  4. There is a TRANSFER goal in every unit.
  5. FREE
  6. Outcomes, Assessment, Standards, and Instruction are aligned.  Resources are the last to be chosen.  That’s a part of the UbD model!
  7. The resources are accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant.
  8. FREE
  9. The materials reference sources and are not plagiarized intellectual property.
  10. The units only require a registration (and renewal after 30 days).

Check out the resources NOW! 

Access to multiple grade levels can help you with pre-requisite skills and learning expectations!

Grade 2 Example ELA Units:

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Grade 9-10 Example ELA Units:

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What are YOU waiting for? 

How could using these units as “mentor” units help you increase student learning? 

What process are you using when you search for learning resources?

#SOL17: Retrospect


Screenshot 2017-12-26 at 5.30.26 AMWhat a year!

There are so many ways to vies the data in WordPress that my head can spin  . . . or I can just look like a bobblehead.  After all, what’s in a number?

Looking back is something of a habit before the New Year begins.  Here were my reflective posts from 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.  It was fun to see where the emphasis has changed over time.

My Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of all time are:

5. How do we know students are making progress in writing? (2014)

4.  #DigiLit Sunday:  Critical Thinking (2017)

3.  Generative Writing as a Formative Assessment (2015)

 2.  Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)

1. #TCRWP and a Teacher’s Toolkit for Writinf (2014)

Data analysis is interesting.  At first glance it appears that my OLD writing is more popular than my newer writing. Or does the popularity mean that these posts are STILL topics/issues that present day literacy teachers are struggling with?

My data is skewed and incomplete.  Every other year I have reported the top 10 posts.  Narrowing the parameters of my list causes the comparison to fluctuate from previous years.  And even more disconcerting is changing the years . . . what is the difference between “all time” lists and just the “top ten” from this year?  What is the difference between “from” and “for”?

My Top 5 Posts from 2017 are:

5. #DigiLitSunday: “Possible Sentences”

4. #SOLSC17: #OLW Brave

3. Reading Goals: What Do You Measure?

2. #DigiLitSunday: Summer Slide

1. #DigiLitSunday: Critical Thinking

Subtle differences require a discerning reader.

Today “I cherish the oddities”. (Call for slices by Melanie here.)

 

What kind of reader will you be in the future?

What data do you use for valid comparisons?

What data do you wonder about? 

Is all data equal?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL17: Approximations


He kicks.

He moves his arms.

He kicks some more.

He sputters as he swallows some water.

Arms are present to lightly hold . . . a scaffold . . . for safety’s purpose!

He laughs.

He plays.

He talks.

He yells.

Not every swimming stroke is perfect.

He is two and a half years old.

Does he need floaties?

Will those make him more dependent or independent?

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When it comes to the spoken word

Not every word is perfect.

He is two and a half years old.

I have to listen closely to decipher some words.

And yet other words are crystal clear . . .

“Missippi River” and “quesadilla”!

Five and six sentence words are the average.

He is two and a half years old.

Why do we encourage approximation in

play,

language, and

many physical actions

but reject them in reading and writing?

Let me offer two scenarios:

Scenario 1:

A student is reading and says “kitten” for cat.

The teacher stops the child by tapping on the table, the error cue, and the child is to have another go, correct the error and continue on.  Kitten is more specific than “cat” so the child is positive that the utterance matches the picture of a small cat as a “kitten.” And the child repeats “kitten” and continues on.

If we were to focus on what the child can do, we might celebrate:

“He knows more than one name for cat.”

“He knows that a baby cat is a kitten.”

“He knows that he can check the picture for clues.”

“He has some knowledge of cats.”

“He is not changing his mind easily.”

“He is persistent.”

And most importantly, he REALLY is not saying this as a personal attack against the teacher who has been working on words like cat and dog for awhile.

The opportunity to find out what the child knows and why he is calling it a kitten instead of a cat exists.  The child just told us what he knows.  Now we need to explore his thinking instead of immediately moving to a “correcting” mentality.   Responding with a simple, “How do you know?” puts the student in the driver’s seat to explain their thinking and let the adults in on the big secrets of life. (It’s not really about US!) It’s really about what the child is showing us they are using.  Will someone really stand next to a reader correcting reading errors as they orally read?  What does that teach a child?  What is the role of self-correction?

Celebrate that the child was in the right animal family.  Precision in word use is often celebrated in writing but berated in reading.  Why is that so?  Over correction on the part of the listener, may lead to a student who patiently waits for someone to TELL them that word.  Is that the reader that we want?

Scenario 2:

A student is writing.

The teacher says, “Where are your sentences?  Your capital letters?  Your beginnings?  Your end punctuation?  This is all one sentence.  Please use everything you know about sentences in your writing.”

If we were to focus on what the child can do, we might celebrate:

“The child wrote without prompting.”

“The child had something to say.”

“The child wrote a lot.”

“The child told a story,”

“The child had a great beginning and middle to her story.”

“The child used mostly lower case letters.”

“The child had spaces between all words.”

“The child had a lot of details.”

“The child wrote most of the story that she had orally recounted.”

Instead of a belief that the child is out to torture you by leaving out all punctuation marks, what happens when you ask her to read it to you?  Does the child pause and or stop in the appropriate places?  That is more information for the teacher that doesn’t require a teacher led inquisition in a totally exasperated voice.  Less questioning and more listening seems to be one way for a teacher to “hack into” a child’s thinking.  A lack of punctuation by the child doesn’t mean that she knows absolutely nothing about punctuation.  On this day, it was probably less important to the author than it is to the teacher.  Considering when this child has previously used punctuation and capital letters in writing may lead to some important discoveries.  Is that a teacher process?  A student process?  Or should it be a shared process?  Maybe the expectation of perfect punctuation stops some students from writing.  What a sad unintended consequence that may be for children!

As we consider the quickly advancing winter break, do think about your own learning.  What’s new?  What’s still uncomfortable?  What are all the things you can do?  What are you still working on?  How much practice do you need in order to be confident? What’s one area that you might study about your own learning?  What wonders will you explore?

When do we celebrate the “can do” part of life at school? 

When do we celebrate approximations? 

When do we celebrate the habits of mind that keep a student working through struggles? 

When do we celebrate the MANY, MANY daily successes? 

What happens if the focus is truly on MANY “can do” moments and only one or two goals at a time?  




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL17: Brave


“Bravery is not always a roar; sometimes it’s the quiet strength that we possess when we need it most.” ~@OnStageKimberly

Are you brave?

It may depend on how you define brave.

I eagerly anticipated “Brave” in 2017 because my word had found me in mid-December.   I tried it out quietly, drafted some ideas, rechecked my understanding, watched this video of Kimberly Davis and finally announced it here.  I embraced, Brave, and changed the wallpaper on my blog.

I checked in often.

Here

Here

Here  and

Here in this post today.

Little did I know how BRAVE was going to test me in 2017.

Test me personally.  Test me professionally.

Test me mentally. Test me spiritually.

And it was a roller coaster because there were days that went by in a fog and days where time stood still . . . and minutes became months.  And then there were the days that seemed to barely last one hour.   What a strange construct time can be . . .

Pulled.Stretched.Elongated.

Shortened.Retracted.Truncated.

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And as the calendar pages have turned, I’ve embraced:

“courageous,

valiant,

 intrepid,

heroic,

 bold,

fearless,

gallant,

daring,

plucky, and

audacious.”

(Courtesy of Dictionary.com here)

Amid gnashing of teeth, crying, whimpering, screaming, and yelling . . .

I did not always go quietly into the night.

But as each night faded into daylight,

I welcomed the chance to begin each day anew.

And NOW, I celebrate!

We don’t have to be perfect!

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Watch for more wisdom from this source (Released January 16, 2018):

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Available January 16, 2018

 

What will my 2018 #OLW be?

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How are you preparing for your 2018 #OLW?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#Celebratelu: Life


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In the waning days of 2017, it is important to celebrate LIFE.

When I say that it’s been a tough year, tears begin.  It was an absolutely awful year because we lost so many . . .

suddenly,

and without that last farewell.

Black holes of despair.

My godfather, my godson (nephew) and his wife, my brother, my mother-in-law, and now another cousin’s spouse.

And, YET,

Life continues.

We celebrate our memories, we laugh at the stories, and we remember with our shattered hearts.  We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and celebrate every precious moment.  We don’t know how long we have, so we celebrate the life we live. The events:  concerts, football, basketball, wrestling . . . The food.  The locations.

We bring our memories with us.  We wallow in out love.  We share. We cry. We laugh. We love.  We live.

I’m sharing a poem from a memorial service last week.

Screenshot 2017-12-09 at 10.32.27 AM

Easy?  Heck, no! 

But necessary?  Yes! 

Choose to celebrate their Love! 

Choose to celebrate their Lives! 

Choose to celebrate your LIFE! 

And anticipate that 2018 will be a year of LIFE like no other!   🙂

 

 

 

 

#SOL17: Stuck or in a Rut?


Two eyes, glowing in the reflection of my headlights, joined by another pair, and then another pair as I see the dreaded white flicker . . .

White-tailed deer

Not to be confused with those other deer, reindeer, also visible during this season, and recognizable by my two and a half year old grandson.

My foot has already hit the brake, my thumb on the horn, sounding out a staccato beat that matches the prayer on my lips,

Please don’t run across the road. Please don’t try to jump across my car. Please, NO!”




Great draft.

Great first words.

But what next?

I’m stuck.

Do I start something new?

Do I begin at a different point?

Is it time for a flashback?

What can I google?

Do any of those responses sound familiar? 

(And yes, you can Google what to do when you get stuck and you will get these types of links:  here, here and here for over 125 ways to get unstuck.)

What is the simple truth about getting unstuck?

You must keep writing.

Take a short break.

Observe something.

Walk around.

But return to your writing.  Recopy your last word, line, paragraph or — to get your writing flow moving.  Your writing does not need to be stellar.  Your writing needs to be WRITING!




I’m purposefully writing this “stream of consciousness” because of the #TeachWriting chat where we talked about writing. (Storify here)

Ruth Ayres, author of this amazing book,

Screenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.23.49 PM

said this:

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So now I am off on a tangent,

not stuck,

but I have abandoned my story line for this:

Screenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.31.32 PM.png

and I am so off track (excuse the pun)

but I feel productive because I continue to add words, lines and pictures to my blog post.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, 

What are those 3 sets of deer eyes doing? 

Have they moved? 

Where did my story go?




Has that ever happened to you?

Have you ever been lost, but found a totally different path?  and then realized that path was so different it was unconnected, so now you had to go back to the original story?

With work, revision, and some sharp scissors, this might become a circle story . . .

MIGHT,

But not today!




CCSS. CCRA.W.5. “Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.”

I wish I had a plan. This was truly the randomness of my thinking.  A variety of ideas floating through my head.

But I did not stop writing.

I looked for ideas

. . . and then I wrote

. . . and wrote

. . . and wrote.

It’s 321 words later and I’m still struggling to figure out where my story is going?

How stuck?

Screenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.45.45 PMScreenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.46.39 PMScreenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.48.46 PMScreenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.52.42 PM

Ankle deep?  Knee deep?  Waist deep?  Up to my chin?

How stuck?

Or in a rut?

Screenshot 2017-12-04 at 9.58.05 PM.png

And just like that the glowing eyes decided not to fight tonight.  Not to risk life and limbs crossing the road.  They merely paused . . . and stared . . .

And I blinked, slowed, and cautiously continued on my way.




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016




Current status of my draft:

Two eyes, glowing in the reflection of my headlights, joined by another pair, and then another pair as I see the dreaded white flicker . . .

White-tailed deer

Not to be confused with those other deer, reindeer, also visible during this season, and recognizable by my two and a half year old grandson.

My foot has already hit the brake, my thumb on the horn, sounding out a staccato beat that matches the prayer on my lips,

Please don’t run across the road. Please don’t try to jump across my car. Please, NO!”

And just like that the glowing eyes decided not to fight tonight.  Not to risk life and limbs crossing the road.  They merely paused . . . and stared . . .

And I blinked, slowed, and cautiously continued on my way.




At this stage, what are you thinking?

. . . And why? 

How do you get unstuck?

Do you have tested-tried-and-true ways that work to get you unstuck? 

Or are you in a rut?

#SOL17: Revising Writing with Data


Screenshot 2017-08-22 at 11.17.55 AM

First Day

The bus turns the corner and I check once more to see that everything is in my car.  One picture down although it’s kind of gloomy and there is no sunshine on this auspicious day.

The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road. I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended. “Smile, just one more picture!”  He takes three steps, turns, and looks as I snap the photo and then he resumes his journey up the steps.

I’m sure it’s blurred, I think as tears stream down my cheeks. This would not be the day to take a lousy picture. I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat in the third row behind his friends.

He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning. Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window. The driver looks down, closes the door, and the bus lumbers down the road.

I hop in my car because it’s just five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture. It’s 1995, The First Day of School, and there are no digital pictures.




Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 12.17.43 PM.png

Dear Reader,

If this story felt familiar, you are absolutely correct.  This is a revised version of a “slice” posted on August 22nd here.

Which version do you like best – the revision above or the original posted in August?  And why? 

Continue to think about those two posts on the same topic as I explain . . . 




I found this really cool tool, SAS Writing Reviser, that can be added to google documents to help writers revise and strengthen their written work.  I wanted to put the tool to the test so I pulled up several documents and tested it out.

It was TOO much!

So then I had the brilliant idea of taking an “old slice” and checking out the data prior to a revision.  I really wanted to “test out” the theories that were already rolling around in my brain!




 

Data

My data.

My numbers.

My information to review, consider the implications, revise . . . or not!

I control my use of it.  I am headed straight to the statistics. (No starting at the beginning for me!)

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 9.53.25 AM

What do I find interesting?  

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 12.12.01 PM.png

The 27 sentences with an average sentence length of 7 words and where 12 are listed as simple sentences was a big surprise.  But I’m not yet sure what I am looking at.  So more data is needed.

Sentence Length Bar Chart

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 10.00.49 AM

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 9.59.07 AM

Confused?

The pop up box allows a limited view of the work so two screenshots were necessary!

Three sentences have 0 words.

What does that mean?

More.Data.PLEASE!

Sentence List

  1. The bus turns the corner.
  2. My last check to see that everything is in my car.
  3. One picture down.
  4. It’s kind of gloomy.
  5. No sunshine for this auspicious day.
  6. The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.
  7. I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended. “
  8. Smile!
  9. Just one more picture!”
  10. He takes three steps, turns, and looks.
  11. I snap the photo.
  12. He starts up the steps.
  13. I’m sure it’s blurred.
  14. Tears stream down my cheeks.
  15. This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.
  16. I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat.
  17. Third row.
  18. Behind his friends.
  19. He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.
  20. Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.
  21. The driver looks down.
  22. Closes the door and the bus lumbers down the road.
  23. I hop in my car.
  24. Five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.
  25. It’s 1995.
  26. The First Day of School.
  27. No digital pictures.

The title and sourcing information of the document was included in sentence 1 making that count over 25 words so that’s helpful information for future analyses.  The writing reviser is good.  It checks all written work, even the words and sentences that I have added to my working google doc.  Only two sentences were originally in the length range expected for essays.

And my mind is whirling with possible uses for this sentence list

for revision and editing purposes.

Hmmm . . .  Is it a formatting issue?

I have one sentence consisting of just one word that really looks like at least a negative number on the chart (8).  Two bars hit the “0” exactly and those seem to be the two sentences with two words ( 17, 25).  So the visual representation in the Sentence Length Bar Chart seems to be off.  Just seeing the sentences listed out verifies that I do have a lot of short sentences.  

Draft Thinking

What if I were to change the length of sentences?  Or even to put in a run on sentence or two, deliberately, for effect?  Those are choices that I could make as a result of reviewing all three pieces of data under the support tools. (leaving four other choices totally off the grid at this time)

Revision Statistics

 

Check out the statistics for the Revision. The Writing Reviser provides a side by side comparison of the original and the revision, but that didn’t work when I kept it totally separate in my Google doc so that I could “keep” the versions separate.

Statistics – Revision

Revision areas                                       Preliminary   Current

  • Words                                                            206
  • Sentences                                                        14
  • Paragraphs                                                       5
  • Average sentence length                              14
  • Possible wordiness                                          1
  • Prepositional phrases                                    18
  • Passive voice                                                     2
  • Relative clauses                                                0
  • Simple sentences                                              2
  • Possible sentence fragments                          1
  • Possible run-on sentences                               5
  • Subject-verb sentence openings                   11
  • Prepositional phrase sentence openings      0
  • Dependent clause sentence openings           0
  • Words used more than once                         33
  • Weak verbs                                                         9
  • Present tense verbs                                         30
  • Past tense verbs                                                 1
  • Cliches and jargon                                             0
  • Possible vague words                                       1
  • Possible pronoun problems                           11
  • Possible dangling modifiers                             0
  • Possible misplaced modifiers                          3
  • Areas to check for parallelism                         8

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 10.35.54 AM.png

Sentence List

  1. The bus turns the corner and I check once more to see that everything is in my car.
  2. One picture down although it’s kind of gloomy and there is no sunshine on this auspicious day.
  3. The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.
  4. I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended. “
  5. Smile, just one more picture!”
  6. He takes three steps, turns, and looks as I snap the photo and then he resumes his journey up the steps.
  7. I’m sure it’s blurred, I think as tears stream down my cheeks.
  8. This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.
  9. I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat in the third row behind his friends.
  10. He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.
  11. Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.
  12. The driver looks down, closes the door, and the bus lumbers down the road.
  13. I hop in my car because it’s just five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.
  14. It’s 1995, The First Day of School, and there are no digital pictures.

RESULTS:

Data confirmed that the visual bars are not correct as my shortest sentence is five words (5) and it looks to be about 4 words on the graph above.  Now eight of the 14 sentences are within the expected range or above according to the graph.

Do the numbers tell the whole story? The average sentence length in this version (14) is almost in the bottom of the range expected for an essay (15 to 20). In order to have longer sentences, I combined several so the second version has 14 instead of 27 sentences where now only two (down from 12, YAY!) are listed as simple sentences.  

What data do you find interesting?

What data would you give more credence to?

What data would you ignore?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016




The rest of the story:

My vote is for my original slice because:  a) the juxtaposition of the actions and my thinking as well as the varying sentence lengths, and b) the way it sounded when I read it out loud. The data and the Writing Reviser has great possibilities for students writing essays and informational texts.  I think the utility for narratives needs further exploration.

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