Author Archive: franmcveigh

#NCTE17: Friday


NCTE

Keynote:  Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy Santiago Baca’s said that reading and poetry saved his life in the NCTE opening keynote filled with his stories as well as a call to action for teachers:  “If not teachers, who should be teaching our kids to take action!”  He also shared a deep appreciation for teachers and the work they do.  Jimmy told of teaching reading to kids even if it meant bringing in pizza to first meet their physical needs.  He also spoke about the need to involve parents and communities in our work and that would mean meeting them where they are. . . not always waiting for them to come to a school event.  You can learn more about him here.

A45.  Conferring as a Path to Help Students Develop Voice and Agency:  Today, Tomorrow and Forever

(Christina Nosek, Jennifer McDonough, Kristin Ackerman, Patricia Vitale-Reilly, Lisa Eickholdt, Kari Yates)

What a start to the conference.  Some friends in real life, or from books, blogs or Twitter chats.  These six each offered round table sessions where you could choose three 20 minute sessions.  Here are a few of my key take aways.

Patricia Vitale-Reilly    How to Make Conferences for those who struggle REAL!

R – Relevant

E – Engaging

A – Authentic

L – Lasting

Each part of the acronym was supported  with items from her toolkit. (And a few were even marked up as figures from her books.) It was great to see her mentor texts and some examples of her student tools and checklists.

Kari Yates – Four Ways to Know and Nurture a Reader

Book Choice

Healthy Habits

Strategic Answers

Responsive

These characteristics are NOT hierarchical but Book Choice can and will impact all the rest.  In order to have confident and competent readers book choice will often be the first area for teachers to begin their conferring work.  Kari shared some key questions that teachers would use to focus their conferring work.

Christina Nosek – The Language of Conferring

Enter as a gracious guest

Wonder

Affirm

Step it Up

Make it Stick

If you are following along on Twitter, you saw those five!

Christina’s videos of her conferring work with students from her fifth grade classroom illustrated each of the five points above. (Extra bonus:  Watch for the book, currently in publication, from Christina and Kari that will be out in early 2018.)

B. 36  Reading as a Personal Art

(Anne Atwell Merkel, Nancie Atwell, Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle)

Seats were scarce on the first floor and both balconies of the Ferrara Theater as Anne Atwell Merkel began with some basic information about the status of readers, reading in schools, and a deep appreciation for her mother’s gift to their school.  Passion and activism as themes continued in Nancie Atwell’s speech.  “Activism is a teacher’s right and responsibility.  What do you do and why?” Kids are readers when they leave her K-8 school but they come back to share that they don’t read in high school. why not?  Because in high school reading is often still about whole class novels, usually chosen by a teacher, with packets and/or art work that is wasting students’ precious reading time.  Blunt, practical, and yet Nancie continues to be an advocate for student choice and voice in order to have a reading life.

Check out this quote from Nancie Atwell:

“Inexperienced unenthusiastic readers NEED workshop, not strategy instruction or digital platforms. Give them time to read.”

And then Kelly and Penny stepped to the podium.  The cover picture of their new book (February?) has been on Twitter this week, so it was no surprise to me that their duet was a perfect mixture of their classrooms and their thoughts as they easily highlighted their main points.  Flipgrid videos literally showed us how they were working together as well as with a class of college students for two purposes: to build connections to help students be more successful in college and to challenge each other, respectively, to think deeper about the ELA work they are doing in their classrooms.  Secondary folks, you will want this book just for their thoughts on HOW MANY whole class books, scheduling, and  the amount of independent reading time that literally will help craft the citizens of tomorrow that we need today. (HINT:  New book also coming soon!)

C.37 Learning Process and Craft Strategies from Authors

Jennifer Serravallo – Learning Process and Craft Strategies from Authors

Strategy:

A series of actionable steps

Break down the skill (How to show not tell)

Make the way I say it generalizable   

Authentic – show what I do

Something to outgrow

How to develop writing strategies

  1. Spy on yourself.
  2. Notice what writers do in mentor texts

Kate Messner – 15 yrs. as a MS teacher before moving to full time authorship

Structure is Kate’s niche.  She found a structure for Over and Under the SnowThen she used that text as a mentor text to write more texts. I’m looking forward to the “document” format in Breakout.

Sarah Weeks – Beginnings

“That’s my favorite part of writing. Haven’t messed up anything yet!”

“Ideas come from unusual places.”

“Always have my eyes and ears open.”

“When working with young students and grad students, photo prompts let us see what happens. Start with talk— what do you notice?

“What are you thinking?”

“How does it make you feel?”

“Let your emotions come out your pencil – not your mouth!”

Kat Yeh – Find the Emotions

“When you write from an emotional truth, the fiction that you put around it becomes believable for the reader.”

“No matter how ridiculous something is . . . there’s a way to connect them so even in the not working, you will have something to add to your story.”

“Write without lifting pen from paper. . . .Start writing.  Cannont stop and cannot lift your pen.”

“What are you feeling?”

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater  @amylvpoemfarm

Amy shared that Poem Farm began as a poem for every day for a month and then expanded to a poem every day for a year. Since then she has gone on to catalogue the poems. Amy’s advice included:

“In order to write, do stuff in the 22 hours away from your desk. Not just watching shows but up and moving around.

Use photo prompts. Take pictures when you see something that strikes you.  

Varian Johnson – Author of The Parker Inheritance

Look for inspiration in:

History

Memory

Other people’s work

Two examples of real life events were the: Uke Medical Varsity  team – 1944 North Carolina College Eagles and a secret tennis game in 1957. 

D.18 Choice Matters:  Perspectives of Students and Teachers

(Lester Laminack, Jason Augustowski, Linda Rief and the #BowTieBoys:  Ryan Beaver, Sam Fremin, Ben Hawkins, Ryan Hur, Joseph O’Such, Sean Petit, Kellen Pluntke, Jack Selman, and Dawson Unger.

If you haven’t seen the #BowTieBoys, then it has totally been your loss.  In this panel session, Lester Laminack quizzed the two teachers and the gentlemen students.  Ranging from eighth graders to juniors in high school, they were:

poised

confident

skilled communicators,

with thoughtful responses,

provided suggestions and solutions to add MORE choice the day!

E.12  The Secret of Crafting Engaging Nonfiction

(Alyson Beecher, Candace Fleming, Deborah Heligman, Melissa Stewart)

With 190 published books to her credit, Melissa Stewart drew my attention in this session.  Some gems that I gathered:

“Concept books: what is the Concept? What is the connection for students? What is my emotional commitment in order to work on this book?  (Hear the backstory for Can an Aardvaark Bark?)”

“Where do my ideas come from:  What I see, What I hear, and What I experience. How do we “teach” this to students?”

“If you write broadly, you are not going to get good research.”

“”Research is like a treasure hunt. Research is fun. What interesting facts can you find? How can you find a community person to interview?”

“Have students use sources they can’t copy during research like watching a webcam video of animals.”

Did you have a great learning day Friday at #NCTE17?

What else did you learn?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#NCTE17: Celebrate!


A new day. Typical.  Some leaving home. Some already arriving at their destination. Snow on the mountain pass.  Video from walking through the rainforest. And the ubiquitous, “Are we there yet?” Pictures of the first two arrivals at the airport: Kathryn arriving from MN and Justin from PA. They trickle in.  The #G2Great Cousins are arriving from literally across the nation and within 24 hours all attendees will be present.

First mini-gathering

first

And then the Gala Event . . .

#NCTE17 began with celebrations divided by grade levels:  elementary, middle, and secondary.  The Elementary session recognized many attendees for their current work as well as their past work.  First time attendees were equally applauded for their presence. The stars were aligned.  Ones that I saw and or spoke to included:

Yetta Goodman

Katie Ray Wood

Ralph Fletcher

Carl Anderson

Kathy Collins

Vicki Vinton

Dorothy Barnhouse

Mary Lee Hahn

Franki Sibberson

Ruth Ayres

Patty McGee

Dan Feigelson

Literacy Rock Stars!

red carpet.PNG

The big, big crowd was there to honor and salute the work of Katherine and Randy Bomer, who in their own inimitable style rallied us to action after Kathy Collins’ hilarious introduction of the honorees because she has known and worked with them for year.  An interesting factoid is that their November interview is the most retweeted NCTE article. (link)

Critique and resistance are necessary.

What are our values in teaching?  How do we translate those into practice?

In a time of resistance, what are we ADVANCING into the world?

Katherine encouraged us to:

  1. Meet every child with an air of expectancy: open heart, open mind with respect.  Awe, wonder, and love. (Maxine Green – TC – “Humans are never done becoming.)
  2. Delight in students’ voices: “Does it bring joy?” “Student writing is the place where I know I am doing something meaningful.” “Best place to fall in love with student writing is in the notes you find in your room.“   From her mentors:  Lucy Calkins,  “Children can write, children have stories, and children can write with laser like vision”; and  Donald Graves “Children will write if we let them.” 

Randy shared that it’s not enough to resist.  It has to be part of an action. He proposed that we advance justice and respect.

  •  Advancing Justice – Critical Lenses – Writing for Change

“Doing critical work is how we continually check the differences among people.  How we restratify our relationships.  Big concepts are:  Groups, Power, and Relationships.  Where do we find these in stories?”  Student voice, agency, and thinking about hard things in the social world. . . Advancing more critical perspective.  Reading our shared lives to see when we see something that someone should do something about – our actions, habits, and lenses. 

  • Advancing Respect – Appreciative Stance – Critique of Deficit Stance

“Listen to a reader to understand them. Readers come with enough.”
“No deficit perspectives.This has fueled me.” Hold up a mirror to check for an appreciative stance.  Call people’s attention to injustices.  DO something about them! Polarization that may have begun on internet but have moved to the street.  Continue to resist injustice.  “White folks are obliged to do that!”  

bomers

You can hear more from both Katherine and Randy at 9:30 Friday, today, at NCTE.  Or check out #NCTE17.  Follow the hashtag through Sunday for the best and most important happenings from St. Louis, Missouri.

Final thought I tweeted out before we left the convention center:

“Do we tell teachers? . . .

You are enough!

You don’t need a basal.

You don’t need Pinterest.

You don’t need TpT.

You are enough.

Make decisions for the students in front of you!”

And with that the #G2Great celebration began . . .

g2great

Rumor has it that the Friday evening #G2Great meet up will include ukeleles.

How do you celebrate students? 

How do you celebrate your own learning? 

Who are your ELA heroes?

 

#SOL17: Hero


brave-word-art

It was time to check up on my #OLW, but then I saw a cousin’s post and I was off on a tangent.  In search of history.  In search of a different meaning of “BRAVE”.  In search of a definition of HERO that I can uphold and believe in.

Can you name this iconic photo? 

Where was it taken? 

When? 

What is the significance?

iwo jima iconic

The photographer won the Pulitzer prize for this picture in 1945.  It was later found on a three cent stamp and also used for war bond sales.

Iwo Jima

1945

Marines

Worthy of some recognition although it was “Before My Time”.

The statistics are alarming . . . the number of Americans killed.  The number of Japanese who died.  The miles and miles of tunnels.  An island.  The ferociousness of battle.

iwo jima map

The flag, raised twice, was displayed at Mount Suribachi and seemed to herald an easy victory for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marines.  But pictures and stories abound.

iwo ima pic

I’m not sure what a “tractor” was.  Many different vehicles are present in pictures and in books.

iwo jima book https...www.erichammelbooks.com.books.b_marinesOnIwoJima-v2.php.two

The post that sent me on a history search for a day was my uncle’s picture here posted by his daughter. A tractor commander.  Multiple battles.  A corporal.

don ruth

“. . .  outstanding qualities of initiative and courage  . . . under heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire.  . . . cool and calm under enemy fire, and his courageous conduct was at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States naval service.”

My uncle 

awarded a bronze star 

a HERO!

 

And in our present day, any person who raises their right hand and says,

“I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the  Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; . . .

as they enter into the armed services

is a HERO!




Who are your heroes?

Who did you celebrate on Veteran’s Day? 

What stories of bravery are you collecting?




slice of life

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

#SOL17: It was one of those mornings


Alarm.

Snooze.

Alarm.

Snooze.

Alarm.

Snooze.

“Is it really morning?”

“I have a really long list.  I have to get back in the routine.”

It was one of those mornings.

“The clock read 4:15 am.”

Failure 1 

Strike 1

strike one

Filter.

Coffee

Water.

Hit the button.

“No smell.”

“No dripping.”

“No coffee.”

It was one of those mornings.

Failure 2 

Strike 2

strike two

Turned on the laptop.

Ready to read and write.

One hour of my choice.

“No power light.”

“No light on the extension cord.”

It was one of those mornings.

Failure 3   

Strike 3

three strikes

I didn’t read emails.

I didn’t check Twitter.

I didn’t check Facebook.

I didn’t check out my agenda for #NCTE17

It was the second day of real time. 

The return to regular time. 

No more daylight savings time.

I changed my alarm clock.

I put the missing water in the coffeepot.

I plugged in the extension cord.

I read on my iPad until 5 am.

WIN 1

Touchdown!

touchdown

The gift of time.  It was one of those mornings!




What do you do on days that start out disastrously? 

How do you turn them around?




slice of life

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

#SOL17: Wondering


Do you believe this?  What’s the evidence of your belief?

every.PNG

Doug Fisher, SDSU, August

Just Wondering . . .

How much “LEARNING” do you engage in during a year?

I learn daily as I read and write.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly in Twitter chats.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly as I blog.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly in my Voxer groups.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn monthly, semi-annually and even annually from some major events.

Last week led me to learning in Davenport, IA on Monday with Dr. Mary Howard and

in Des Moines, IA on Thursday with Lucy Calkins.

Passionate speakers sharing research-based ideas.

Tirelessly

Leading

Encouraging

Thoughtful

Implementation of Best Practices in Literacy Instruction and

Assessment.

In three weeks I will be at #NCTE17.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I’m “retired” from a full-time job and yet since retirement, I have engaged in

15 days

of professional learning of my choice!

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

That does not include book clubs (6 this year).

That does not include Twitter chats (often 2 per week).

That does not include reading . . .

That does not include writing . . .

WHY?

Learning is growing.

Learning is addictive.

Learning is necessary . . . breathe in, breathe out, read, write!

Living a learning life!

What does your learning life look like?




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 




What is the Bill of Rights for Writers according to Lucy Calkins?

Link

#SOL17: How Many Devices?


Screenshot 2017-10-24 at 7.49.10 AM

Phone? Check

iPad? Check

Chromebook?  Check

Extension Cord?  Check

Charging cords for all three above?  Check

Do I REALLY NEED my laptop?

“It’s a quick overnight for a day’s training plus some family time at a concert?  REALLY?  Can’t I just leave it at home?”

It was a gorgeous learning day.  Devices cooperated for the perfect environment where I could take notes and also have access to text messages, Twitter, and Facebook,

SLICER TIME!

“And that’s why I need my laptop!  I’ve never been able to successfully add a WordPress blog on my chrome book. I’ve messed with a wide range of possibilities, asked on some helplines, and invariably just either drafted on my phone or pulled out the trusty old laptop and started a post.”

It doesn’t matter that I was thinking of ideas before I fell asleep.

The incredible PD with Dr. Mary Howard.

Friendship

Family

Fall

Looming “First Frost”

The impending excitement of #NCTE17

The power of Twitter

The unbelievable magic of Twitter chats

Screenshot 2017-10-24 at 8.00.15 AM

Chromebook?  Tried but nope, no luck with WordPress!

Phone?  Not the finished look I would like!

Is a draft better than NOTHING?

YES!

So today’s slice is brought to you via a draft on my phone and a bit of polish on my iPad.  My plan for my next travel is to save a formatted draft so that I can add text and publish with relative ease from any device.  (Cross my fingers that I remember!)

How do you turn around a failure? What do you learn from it?

What do you do when your device(s) don’t cooperate?

When do you sacrifice BEST WORK for BEST EFFORT?  




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

#WhyIWrite


typewriter

Why I write:

To think

To reveal

To process

To deepen my understanding

To check my understanding

To analyze my thinking

To share my learning

To wonder

To share

To be a model for teachers and students and

To experience the JOY of a community . . .

Those are some of the reasons I write.

(And as soon as I hit “publish” I will think of at least 10 other “better”reasons that I wish I had thought of during the three days that I worked on this draft!)




Planning

Drafting

Revising

Conferencing

Revising

Publishing

Do these steps look familiar?

But do they match your current reality in your writing?

Do they match your current reality in your writing instruction?

I’ve been spying on my writing for over a year . . . literally in search of patterns that I could identify in my own writing.  Trying to decide on that next big goal for myself – ambitious or “doable”? . . . lofty or practical?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as finding a pattern, setting up some demos and “off you go” because writing is complicated.

Steps are added or revised . . .

If I have to stop and research.

If I have to completely scrap my draft because it is really so pathetic.

If I have to continue my “search for a topic”.

If I have to . . .

So here are some resources,

Quite literally, some food for thought!

Because all of these relate to just one simple standard in writing and yet this standard (and its intent) are often overlooked in a search for a priority or a way to reduce/simplify the writing standards!

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

A previous blog post that connected to this standard is in the 2014 archives here!


Planning

Planning – Where does an idea come from?  – my blog post

Celebrate Celebrating – a blog post from Julieanne Harmatz (grade 5)

Learn by Writing – Lynne Dorfman’s blog post

Helping Students Plan their Writing – a blog post by Melanie Meehan

Using Technology for a Kindergartner’s Writing Process – a blog post by Melanie Meehan


Writing Goals

Introducing a Hierarchy of Writing Goals – a blog post by Jennifer Serravallo

Goal Setting – my blog post


Drafting:  Beginnings  (somewhere – trying more than just one beginning – trying a new approach

21 of the Best Opening Lines in Children’s Books

The Beginning – my blog post

Strong Leads – Jennifer Wagner (2nd grade)

Drafting – Endings

Behind the Books:  The Perfect Ending – blog post by Melissa Stewart

The Ending – my blog post

Drafting – Telling a Story Bit by Bit

Celebrating Story – blog post by Julieanne Harmatz

Drafting – Organization, Elaboration, and Craft

Elaboration Strategies for Information Writing Dig- Two Writing Teachers

Text Structures – blog post by Melissa Stewart

Specific Examples of the Power of Three – Stacey Shubitz

First Graders Get Crafty – Dana Murphy

DigiLit Sunday:  Craft – blog post by Margaret Simon


Revising

Revising as part of the Process – blog post by Melanie Meehan

No Monkeys, No Chocolate: 10 year Revision Timeline – blog post by Melissa Stewart


Editing as a part of publication

Your Turn Lesson:  The Colon – A blog post by Diane and Lynne

Editing Sticks – my blog post

Editing – my blog post

  • Editing stations for upper grades – Shana Frazin informed
  • Daily light editing – Shanna Schwartz informed

Revising or Editing? – my blog post

Fun tool – Eye Finger Puppets (Amazon or craft stores) – Make editing time special and reminds the reader and the writer to pay close attention to the work!

eye finger puppets.PNG


Reading Units of Study Mini-Lessons

MiniLessons are strong invitations to learning! (TCRWP_

Reading and Planning MiniLessons – Rachel Tassler

A Short and Sweet MiniLesson Format – Two Writing Teachers

How to Plan a MiniLesson from Scratch – Two Writing Teachers

There are More Ways than One to Plan a MiniLesson – Two Writing Teachers

How to Read a Unit of Study – Two Writing Teachers


Fundamentals of Writing Workshop – Two Writing Teachers Blog Series August 2017

 

Share Time in Writing Workshop – Lynne Dorfman’s blog

Choice in Writing Workshop – blog post by Tara Smith

(Almost) Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Partnerships I Learned in Kindergarten  – blog post by Shana Frazin


Why I Write – Stenhouse Blog

Writing is Not a Linear Process    


Banned Books – NCTE – 2017



Mentor Texts – Books that would be nice to have as Resources

Craft Moves:  Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts – Stacey Shubitz (Stenhouse)

Writers are Readers:  Flipping Reading Instruction into Writing Opportunities – Lester Laminack   (Heinemann)

Mentor Texts:  Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature  (2nd etition)- Dorfman & Cappelli (Stenhouse)

Learning from Classmates:  Using Student Writing as Mentor Texts –  Lisa Eicholdt  (Heinemann)

What;s Your Plan? 

What are you going to do NEXT?






Today’s best draft, (Kelly Gallager)

this post,

This post I wrote to organize!

#SOL17: Revisor


Tues.PNG

It’s a typical Tuesday morning at my house.  Tuesdays when I draft, revise, and publish my “slice” before work.

It’s time to write my slice on my blog post, but I don’t know what to write.  Where will my idea come from?

I pace from the living room to the kitchen and back again.  “No idea YET!”

I stare out the window.  It’s still dark.  “No idea YET!”

I reread last week’s post.  “Can I write a part two?  No idea YET!”

I stop.  I ask myself, “What did I do this weekend?”

I went to the Homecoming parade.  I went to the game.  I watched the bands (alumni and current) march. I went to watch high school band competition.

I remembered how much I loved marching band when I was in high school and college.

I was so excited.  When I looked at my pictures from the weekend, I had tons of pictures of both my family and the marching bands.  Finally I have an idea.  I know . . . My slice is going to be about how I found my idea . . . and I begin to type.




And, now for the rest of the story . . . 

Paul Harvey story (Part 2)

The story above is the “Prequel” to last week’s post. I used the prequel in a second grade classroom to demonstrate some revisions that the writers could consider to make their writing stronger.

I am quite confident in my “revising” skills.  It is easier for me to say that I am a revisor than to say that I am a writer.  In the midst of writing, I have doubts.  In the midst of revising, I feel like my super powers are engaged.  There’s structure power, elaboration power, and the so important editing/conventions power.

How does that impact my writing?  

How does that impact my instruction?

I believe that my love for revision enables me to be both a more-focused and a more-flexible writing coach.

Here was my first draft of my writing – deliberately designed so I could use it with my second grade friends! A very short three page story

Draft Document

How did I get from my original nine sentences to the final draft (25 sentences) above?

What were my revision points?  

In our narrative mini-lessons these were some of our teaching points:

revision.PNG

What were student writing goals?

Student goals included strong beginning, writing more sentences across pages, or adding more details.

Beginning – Page one – I need to add where and when because I have the who and what.

Middle – I need more details so I decide to have two pages and decide to repeat the “No idea YET!” (page two)  and on page three I leave the first sentence and change the ending.

Ending – I check to make sure that I add details that bring the story full circle.

I use bright neon paper strips or green marker for my revised sections to make the revisions very visible for my readers and writers.

Google Doc- Revised story

This revision basically happened in order:  beginning, middle, and end.  Not all happen to work that way!

Are you a revisor?  

How do you teach revision?  

How do you match revision, instruction,  and goals?

Did you see Betsy’s post yesterday on Revision?  AMAZING! Sticky Notes, Arrows, and Margins, Oh My!




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: Fall Favorites


Now that we are in double digit October, what are your favorite signs of fall?

The changing color of leaves?

Soybeans ready to be harvested?

Field corn turning brown as the stalks dry out?

The clamor on the high school gridiron on Friday nights?

The collegiate gridiron contests?

The crunch of leaves underfoot as you walk on tree-lined paths?

The pumpkins, scarecrows, and characters that decorate the lawns?

What is my personal favorite?

Decades of participating, watching, supporting . . .

Marching Band def

Dictionary.com

Marching Band was one of my favorites that has endured the test of time.  I love to watch the band at football games and in parades.  Within 28 hours this weekend I had the opportunity to see high school and collegiate marching bands and here are a few of the highlights (including some links).

mb flags

Friday Night’s Homecoming Parade – U of I Hawkeye Alumni Band

mb game alumni.PNG

Saturday Homecoming (vs. Illinois) – Alumni Band Pregame Show

mb iowa pregame.PNG

U of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band – Pregame (Fight Song)

And then High School Marching Band Competition in Muscatine, Iowa . . . a rainbow en route guaranteed this auspicious trip would be highly enjoyable!

mb HS program.PNG

Class 3A:  Central DeWitt Program

mb hs band.PNG

Central DeWitt Marching Sabers – 10.08.17 (2016 performance)

What are your fall favorites?  

How many years have you enjoyed those favorite traditions?

And the best part of this weekend?

Celebrating Fall with my sister (Iowa alumni flag), my nephew (Director of Bands at Central DeWitt), and all of the other relatives over the weekend!




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: JOYFUL


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A rainbow peeked out between clouds.  “Has it been raining?”

“Not here. Not yet.”

“Wow!  And yet you still have a rainbow!”

Such a joyful and auspicious beginning to 24 hours filled with joy.

An hour.

Sixty minutes.

3600 seconds.

Conversation

Traveling together

Talking together

Three months since our last gathering and a full day of professional learning.

And more precious time with dinner and continued conversation.

A prelude . . .

Excitement

Happiness

Joy

Learning again.

Joyful!

During our opening hour keynote with Jan Millers Burkin on Monday morning in Cedar Falls, Iowa at the Jacobsen Center for Comprehensive Literacy at UNI:

we danced,

we practiced the four intentions, alignment, balance, sustainability, and joy, with actual movements from Reading Wellness:  Lessons in Independence and Proficiency,

and we  lifted weights: 3 pounds, 5 pounds, 8 pounds, and 10 pounds from Who’s Doing the Work?  How to Say Less so Readers Can Do More, 

and we thought about what we should continue to do MORE OF from past literacy education in order to “refocus” and “reframe” our work.

Are the keynotes you attend always this joyful?  

Make a note to NOT miss out on a keynote by either Jan Burkins or Kim Yaris.  It will be memorable!

It was also my pleasure to sit in on Jan’s session about “Who’s Doing the Work?”  When our students have plateaued, we need to rethink our instruction.  One apparent cause is often “over-scaffoldization” in a rush to put “hard text” in front of students.  Jan and Kim provide some incredible thinking points for you to consider as you think about the gradual release of responsibility and Read Alouds, Shared Reading, Guided Reading and Independent Reading.

There is much to consider in this rich text and 90 minutes was a great “teaser”. How do you absorb information?  Do you like to hear it first?  Read it first?  Combinations?

I’ve read the book three times now and I’m set to reread it again.  Some parts I may skim as I look for specifics about which students at which time as well as marking up some of the bullets.  I am not doing this to “get ready to present this information” to others, but in order to better understand the processing of reading.  That invisible work that happens in a student’s head. That invisible work that is often “magical” for some students and so elusive for other students.

Teaching reading is complex.  There’s no “ONE way” (methodology, purchased program, or philosophy) that works for all students which is why “thinking teachers” are necessary in every classroom to meet this goal.

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Students need to read (write and talk) a lot in order to meet this goal. And Shared Reading is one of the most overlooked possibilities for student growth.  But beyond that, thoughtful BALANCE is also required!  Balance in literacy instruction, balance across the day and in “real life” – not just a schedule that portions out bits of labeled reading without careful attention to the interaction of the student work.

Professional growth is one of my passions.  I have absorbed a lot of trivia from a lot of meetings during my decades of work.  I read; I read a lot.  I talk about my reading.  I write this blog in order to check my understanding.  I participate in books studies, Twitter chats, and Voxer conversations in order to grow and learn.  I cannot and have not ever relied on professional development to appear on my doorstep.  As a professional I have to continue to grow my understanding. I know when I need to learn more That means continued conversations.  That means continued work on my part.  Every day. Read. Write. Talk. Reflect. Intentionally. Purposefully.

It’s WORK.

It’s NOT a google search, hunting through Pinterest, or buying stuff from TpT.

It’s above and beyond scheduled work hours.

It’s a commitment to personal learning.

What are you reading?

What are you talking about?  And with whom?

What are you learning?  How are you growing?  How do you know?

How are you seeking out professional development?




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




Additional Information:

The books referenced:

Are you following Jan and Kim on Twitter?

@janmillerburk

@kimyaris

@burkinsandyaris

Their blog?  https://www.burkinsandyaris.com/

Shared Reading – #G2Great chat and subsequent blog post

Doing The Work That Matters

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