Category Archives: Blogs

#SOL22: Anatomy of a Twitter Chat


And so it begins …

“Would you … Could you …?”

Shared Expectations

“Possible dates are: ___, ___, or _____. Would any of those work?”

Back and forth:

Quotations, questions and a deeper understanding from authors about their goals. Ordered, proofed and developed in Canva.

Pretweeting prep by #g2great (usually @drmaryhoward)

Rest of team is responsible for RT and “likes” as tweets pop up.

Anticipation builds . . . the day of the chat. Questions, questions, quotes, and time speeds up.

The chat opens with welcoming comments. An opening quote. The pace quickens as more folks join the chat. Conversations. Friendships. Literally chatting.

And then questions begin to drop. Replies. Volleying RTs and likes. Conversations deepen. Threads develop. Multiple answers. Sometimes with additional pictures, quotes or links for more clarification.

Q1. A1.

Q2. A2.

Q3. A3.

Q4. A4.

Q5. A5.

Q6. A6.

Just when the chat is getting interesting, a final quote pops up. An announcement for the next chat and then a flurry of goodbyes and Thank Yous.

Time’s up!

….

But wait,

There’s a Wakelet where Mary collects the Tweets.

And then a blog post on LiteracyLenses.com

Last week was our chat for The Gift of Story with John Schu.

Wakelet Link

Blog post by Kitty Donohoe link

And then tweeting out the links to share the wisdom.

But there’s always more …

What motivated you to write this book? What impact did you hope that it would have in the professional world?

Oh, so much motivated me to write The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life. In truth, I think more about who motivated and inspired me to write this book than what.

For sake of space, I’ll share three bullet points.

 *Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo inspired me to look at my heart and the hearts of others in new ways through her books, the

conversations we had at conferences, her Facebook updates, and the inspirational text messages she sends me.

 *Terry Thompson helped me dig down deep through his thought-provoking questions and compassionate heart. He’s a brilliant

editor and friend. I’m so lucky and grateful!

 *Most importantly, every child I’ve interacted with over the past 20 years motivated me to write The Gift of Story. The impact

they had on me and my heart inspires me every day. I hope The Gift of Story inspires readers to talk about the affective side of

reading and learning and life.

What are your BIG takeaways from your book that you hope teachers will embrace in their teaching practices?

1. Read aloud every day.

2. Talk about the affective elements of story with their students.

3. Encourage their students and colleagues to finish the sentence starter Story is…

4. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day with everyone on the campus.

5. Host an author or an illustrator.

What is a message from the heart you would like for every teacher to keep in mind?

Thank you for this wonderful question. I hope every teacher walks away from The Gift of Story feeling encouraged to read and read and read and evaluate wonderful children’s books. When we share our hearts in authentic ways, we inspire those around us to do the same. I hope they think about how every child who walks into their classroom has a story. I hope they establish opportunities fortheir students to tell their stories and find themselves in the stories of others. I hope they smile.

What chats have you been a part of? What part of a chat is intriguing to you?

____________________________________________________________

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

Thank you to #G2Great and John Schu for sparking this topic and the quotes.

#SOL22: Real Life!


Do I remember our first meeeting?

A park bench outside Thorndike. Early morning. One in running clothes and me with all my gear for the day: canvas tote filled with devices, electrical bar, and books. Pounds of resources to last the day. Goal: to have an initial face to face contact before the week was up.

What about the funniest meeting?

A message to meet up at Starbuck’s. Arrival. Waiting. “I’m here.” But nary a sign. Further messages. Who knew. Three possible Starbuck’s in a 5 block radius. The first try was unsuccessful.

Which was the most unexpected?

I was fan-girling. Excited to meet up in real life. “Fran, it’s so good to see you,” as I was greeted with a hug. Only a Twitter friend. Real life exceeded my dreams as we quickly chattered like decades long friends.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Through TWT, TCRWP, ILA and NCTE I’ve met many folks in real life. I thanked many during the March SOLSC, but I want to return to two very special authors and friends: Christina Nosek and Melanie Meehan. Their talents are exceptional!

#G2Great chats highlighted their most recent books the last two weeks.

Literacy Lenses – Reading link Literacy Lenses – Writing link

Please check out the Table of Contents of both books from the links with the book covers above.

Check out the free chapters and resources.

Check out the Literacy Lenses posts (Reading by Dr. Mary C Howard and Writing by me).

What is your level of confidence in your knowledge and skills about Reading? Writing? What about your level of competence? How do you know? What questions have you answered lately?

Both of these titles would be great for a faculty book study!

______________________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL22: And then . . .


Slicing every day in March.

31 consecutive days of writing

AND publishing.

I’ve written every day this year.

Short, long, and varied formats.

It’s a great habit.

But there was a hole

when I didn’t publish

for four days.

I could have.

But life kept me busy

And I didn’t.

I did write a #G2Great post (here) that I published

Three book reviews

But nothing on Resource-Full.

It’s great to be back

But the energy has dissipated.

Who will continue to write?

Who will be to busy?

Who will make time?

Why do you write?

__________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 31 and Finale


The plan for my “slices” in March began with this image.

A piece of cake. 31 days of thanking teachers. And then I listed the days and started listing the teachers. I hit a snag. I wanted a descriptor for each that would fit into the “total picture” of a teacher. But what if not all of my daily candidates were teachers? Was “educator” broad enough to cover all possibilities? And then to include family members? Non-traditional teachers?

My idea.

My rules.

My plan revised about 151 times during the 31 days of March.

Gratitude

All my thanks!

Those that I thanked . . .

generated with monkeylearn.com

The reasons that I thanked them. I remember days of feeling like the shipwrecked sailor on a desert island, lonely and in search of like-minded folks. I found them in places that I worked, where I lived, and across the miles via technology with twitter, book studies and PD. All of these words fit for teachers. Not necessarily every word every day, but they all fit.

generated with monkeylearn.com

Month at a Glance

DateDescriptor Words or PhrasesPerson Thankedlink
1Voracious/Professional DevelopmentDiane Ruylepost
2ExpertiseKathy Schuitemapost
3KidwatchingSharon Van Cleavepost
4CollaborationJoni Heltonpost
5IndependenceGrandma Ruthpost 5
6CreatingMompost
7StewardshipDadpost
8TipsAllison Jacksonpost
9Words Matter/PoetryMargaret Simonpost
10Being KindKitty Donohoepost
11Action ResearchSally Donnellypost
12CourageousAunt Shirley Ruthpost
13Reading and Responding to BlogsDiane Doughertypost
14Cheerleader/Cheer CoaachJohnny Downeypost
15CuratorJill Davidsonpost
16BraveSusan Vincentpost
17Fierce Brent Gilsonpost
18Meeting NeedsClare Landriganpost
19Decision-making processDr. Towanda Harrispost
20NurturerChristina Nosekpost
21ReaderJulieanne Harmatzpost
22WriterMelanie Meehanpost
23FacilitatorRyan Scalapost
24Joy and BalanceSandy Brumbaunpost
25LibrarianJulia E. Torrespost
26CoachingPaula Bourquepost
27TravelerErika Victorpost
28MentorshipDr. Mary Howardpost
29SistersSherry and Patpost
30Sustaining communitiespost

How did you organize your writing slices this month? What were your common themes? Formats? Did you meet your goals?

See you next week or next year!

_____________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 30


Day 30 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

I have spent the last 29 days thanking educators and teachers in my life. Today, I must add in the communities that have also been a part of my life. I know I needed at least 100 entries to even begin to recognize all the folks that have impacted my life. Even with this addition, I am sure that I have left some unnamed . . .

#TwoWritingTeachers where I began this weekly blogging and daily in March

#TCRWP where the community has been welcoming and I have learned how to write more concise Tweets and blog better in response to questions and comments.

#DigiLitSunday a short term weekly blogging about technology

#BookLoveFoundation

Morningside University grad classes

#EdCollaborativeGathering

So many #bookstudies

#ILA

#CCIRA

#NCTE

#G2Great community

#CuriosityCrew

and in my family: my brothers, the Ruth Cousins and the Elders that remain. So many lessons learned. So much laughter shared.

Thank you for your past and present teaching, mentorship and opportunities to learn and grow!

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

Special thanks to all the slicers! Who are you thanking today?

_____________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 27


Day 27 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge 2022.

Who Am I?

What stories do you know about me?

Made with monkeylearn.com

I have no idea why the “cloud creator” added an “s” to teachers and books lovers? That doesn’t make sense. However, what does make sense is that these are a few of the words that describe Erika.

Thank you, Erika Victor, for your love of family whether it’s your family in the US, your family at your international school or the family of readers and writers that you navigate here!

How have you stayed connected with your family (personal or professional) the last couple of years?

__________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 26


Day 26 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge 2022.

Today it’s a format that will lead to the reveal of an educator.

Six Word Stories

Best Maine guide for clam chowder.

Sparking writing and student literacy.

Using quick writes to improve literacy.

Midwesterner transplanted Maine literacy teacher coach.

Thank you, Paula Bourque, for your books, your passionate coaching, and your instructional expertise.

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

What formats help you determine the “most important information” to share? How do you know the format is effective?

_____________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 23


Today is Day 23 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

As I started writing this post, I wondered if I needed a chart to mark similarities and differences between the honorees for this March blog series. I quickly discovered MANY similarities.

Blogs? Check

Presents at NCTE? Check

Have personally presented with her? Check

Numerous zoom sessions? Check

An author featured on #G2great? Check

So many ideas were swirling in my brain, but I had already decided on “Supporting Writing” as my focus.

Today’s “Thank You” goes to an author who shares similar thoughts about students leading their own writing seminars for their fellow students. We’ve tweeted about this often. We promote student independence as much as possible.

Current books:

Available later in March, 2022 . . .

Drum roll . . .

___________________________________________________

Thank you, Melanie Meehan, for your expertise as a writer and as a teacher of students and supporter of writing teachers,

What questions do you have about writing? What writing do you support? What writing do you do yourself?

__________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 21


Today is Day 21 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

In a book group, we respond to the text. We use words, colors and pictures. We read. We talk when physically together. We use google docs or padlet when apart. We laugh. We reread. We write.

Rinse and repeat.

Every year I participate in book groups/clubs. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. That was the summer that I was in seven different groups, teaching a graduate class, and attending two week long institutes out of state.

In reflection, that sounds totally crazy and overbooked. Seriously crazy. But my love of books, my desire to be better at responding to texts, and the need to accelerate my own learning led me to say yes to all the possibilities. (The inability to say “no” to book clubs will have to be a slice after March.)

We’ve presented together. We’ve laughed together. We’ve learned together.

Thank you, Julieanne Harmatz for writing about book purchases in a slice here this year, for adding to my own TBR stacks, and for adding joy to my life.

How do you add books to your reading list? What is your criteria? Who helps add to your list?

__________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC22: 11


Action Research

brings to mind Cornelius Minor and We Got This,

Sara Ahmed and Being the Change,

or Ellin Keene and her work with Heinemann Fellows.

Basic Steps to Action Research often include:

Brainstorming Issues

Identify a question

Research possible solutions

Collect data

Analyze data

Take action

Report Results

We’ve reported on action research at conferences or in our blogs.

A reading specialist who follows this model and works with teachers is

Sally Donnelly, who is also a slicer here.

Thank you, Sally, for being an avid action researcher!

Have you conducted action research? How did it go?

__________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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