Category Archives: Blogs

August #TCRWP Reading & Celebration


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Published Blog Posts as of 08/06/17

What a milestone to celebrate!  500 blog posts.  Little did I imagine that!

And today marks the beginning of the 2017 August #TCRWP Reading Institute!  I’m looking forward to the the opening keynote by Lucy Calkins and then sessions with Natalie and Kelly all week!

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This would be a great week to follow #TCRWP on Twitter!  Great learning ahead!

What’s on your learning agenda for this week?

 

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#SOLSC17: Currently


(This format has been one of my favorites each year of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge.)

Currently:

Waiting impatiently for my coffee to brew.

Rejoicing in the silence.

Peering out the window for an indicator of today’s weather.

Chatting with Mya as she rubs her nose against my leg.

Mentally checking my list to see if I REALLY have everything planned for today’s PD.

Remembering that printing is required for my PD on the next two days.

Absorbing the heat from my coffee cup with both hands.

Checking my work bag to see if my handouts are there.

Studying my “Words with Friends” boards for possible “next steps”.

Sifting mentally through ideas for today’s slice.

Rejecting complicated topics.

Searching through previous slices.

Recording ideas as fast as I can type.

Previewing my post.

Rereading to see if the post makes sense!

Pushing the publish button for today!

What are you doing, currently?


Bonus for the Reader:

Previous “Currently” posts can be found here, here, and in the classroom here.

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, 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. 

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#DigiLitSunday: Mentors


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

mentor-four

Mentors . . .

I’ve had a few . . .

Where do I begin

To tell the story

Of how mentors have been my guide?

Mentors . . .

Trusted

Experienced

Advisors or

Guides

Mentors . . .

Teachers. . .

Authors . . .

Speakers . . .

Bloggers . . .

Technology wizards . . .

Mentors . . .

All with a digital presence

via

Twitter

Facebook

Voxer

Blogs

Google docs

and

(gasp)

even old-fashioned

emails.

How do you connect with your mentors?

mentor

Teacher Mentors

Allison

Julieanne

Jenny

 Mary Lee

Ryan

Sally

Sandy

Steve

Tara

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

mentor-one

Online Book Study Groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mentor-three

Professional Development Facilitators who serve as mentors

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

mentor-two

Bloggers

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

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

laptop

Technology Mentors

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

Authors of Books about Mentor Texts

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

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

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

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

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

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

#SOL16: Professional Development


pd

What is Professional Development?

Are those groans that I’m hearing?  Does professional development bring a bit of a frown to your face or a sinking feeling in your stomach?

I’ve had the privilege of engaging in powerful professional development (PD) over the course of the last two weeks.  I’m going to cite four specific examples of PD that have been powerful for me and then explain the critical attributes that contributed to my learning!

READY?

Powerful PD:

  1. #TCRWP 90th Saturday Reunion
  2. #TWT Blog Series on Professional Development
  3. #G2Great Twitter Chat on Thoughtful Decision-Making
  4. #TheEdCollabGathering

What made these four instances powerful learning experiences?

Choice

All of these examples were freely chosen by me.  I chose to travel to the #TCRWP 90th Saturday reunion.  Once there, I had approximately 150 sessions to choose from – a veritable buffet of choices that was incredibly difficult. (You can read about those sessions here, here, here, here and here.)  The #TWT Blog Series could be read in order or as I had time to savor the content.  The #G2Great Twitter Chat involved choices about which questions I responded to as well as conversations that were extended.  And #TheEdCollabGathering on Saturday offered multiple sessions in four different time frames so I could choose the sessions of greatest interest.

Free

There was no cost for any of these PD offerings.  Of course, the #TCRWP 90th Saturday reunion involved travel to New York City – but the PD was a gift from Lucy Calkins and colleagues just as #TheEdCollabGathering was a gift.  I attended the Saturday reunions from my living room for several years before live attendance!  The #TWT blog series and the #G2Great Chat were free – only required my time!  Free is a nice selling point for my frugal mind!

Learning Collaboratively with Others

Whether it was a turn and talk with Tara or Erica, or tweets to attendees or those at home, or even reading and collecting blog posts from others, #TCRWP is ALWAYS about learning collaboratively with others.  We kept talking over lunch at the end of the day – not yet ready to end the day.  Twitter chats are also always about learning with others.  Retweeting, or finding “frame-worthy” tweets, is all about rejoicing in the language precision of friends’ 140 characters that just must be repeated verbatim.  And a blog post series allowed me to respond to the #TWT authors and their posts directly or on twitter.

Available 24/7 to Revisit

The learning continues after each of the events above.  My notes, multiple blog posts and conversations on Twitter or Voxer are available 24/7 to revisit #TCRWP’s 90th Saturday Reunion. I can continue to revisit the #TWT PD Series and send links to friends for conversations.   I can review the #G2Great twitter chat in a column of my Tweetdeck as well as read Amy’s wonderful analysis blog post here. And all of the Hangouts on Air by #TheEdCollabGathering are available for viewing . . . anytime . . . anywhere.

Passionate and Inspiring  Presenters

Not only were each of the presenters above passionate and inspiring, but they were also knowledgable and skilled at “pushing” for action.  It was never enough to learn because the learning wasn’t the terminal point – that was reserved for the plan for “How are you going to use this?”  Masterful, experience, and models of reflective practices . . . EACH.AND.EVERY.ONE!

So a tough question . . .

If those are characteristics that I value in my quest for PD that fuels my heart, soul and mind, how does that match up with PD that I provide?

Choice?

Free?

Learning Collaboratively with Others?

Available 24/7 to Revisit?

Passionate and Inspiring?

Choices are built into the task that teachers are asked to complete.  They have to “do” something but they have choices.  Free?  Yes! Learning collaboratively with other?  Yes, with pair-share and productive group work. Available 24/7 to revisit?  Yes, thanks to google docs and slides there is always some artifact to leave behind.  Passionate?  Yes!  Inspiring?  I hope so!

If nothing else,  naming these characteristics that I value will push me to make sure they are included in future PD sessions!

What characteristics do you value in PD?


slice of life 2016

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

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 8 – ABC’s of Me


And one more pattern writing to round out my first week of the March Challenge.  This pattern is old YET my most favorite of all, inspired by Ana’s slice at Life . . . One Thought at a Time. You can read the original here.

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Process:

I had planned to write a  “Fortunately/Unfortunately” post that was on my list for the month to finish off my week of patterns.  Started but fizzled.  Went to yesterday’s slices to see what topics were repeated, intriguing, etc. where I found Ana’s slice.  An ABC format was often a teaching technique that I used at the end of content units.  I was ready to list out my ABC’s and get started.  I wrote my draft in my “running” March slicer document so format was an issue.  Word automatically capitalized every letter of the alphabet as I listed them down.  It was a major decision – Do I use a hyphen and repeat the letter?  Do I write it more like an acrostic and go ahead and use the letter as a part of the word?  I tried three letters each way before I made my decision – hyphens; yes!  And then I began randomly  writing phrases and words.  Frantic typing to record ideas.  And then I ran out. L, O, P, Q, V, X, and Z were left.  Stuck – how do I get unstuck?  I created the colorful alphabet border for the top and bottom.  Still “working” but not “writing” . . . back to brainstorming.  Listing random words for those final letters.  Back to Ana’s post, fearful that I had “stolen” her words that may have lingered in my brain. Double checking my spelling of my X words – real or made up? Copy, paste, tag, and preview. Lost my color and format did not hold. #!$@ (“rats“) Used my “snipping tool” to make a picture of the ABC part (OS-“screenshot”). Inserted picture. Finis. (ARGHHH – 2+ hours)


 

What would your “ABC’s of Me” look like?

Did you discover the secret to my letters and their descriptions? (What was the plan not shared in my process?  Hint: H and K are the exceptions.)

slice

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 7 – A Writer I Am


 

 

A writer I am two

Are you a writer?

How do you know?


Process:  I began with Hamlet and “To Be or Not To Be”.  I was thinking that it could easily be re-written as “To Write or Not To Write” but then I literally ran out of steam.  Scratch that idea!  I remembered when Julieanne (@jarhartz) wrote about being a writer here and then I searched my own posts and found a slice from last year that also answered the same question here.  But I wanted a clean, crisp “pattern” so I started writing with a bit of Seuss or Yoda in my brain.  I easily drafted 15 statements and then went back to add a title.  Then I began revising in the form of “re-ordering” the sentences.  I was satisfied with the content, but I wasn’t happy with the format.  That led me to breaking the sentences into two lines with the second part indented and then creating stanzas.  Then I had to find pictures for the top of the post, tag, proof and then publish!

slice

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

 

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 3 – Currently


Finding new formats (yesterday’s “Since Last March” with a thank you to Erin Baker) brings me to today’s revival of “Currently”.  You can see last year’s post during the March Slicer Challenger of “Currently” here.

currently

Currently:

Perusing early morning slices with an eye to delaying the drafted post.

Responding to late night “slicers” who posted long after I closed out my computer.

Searching TweetDeck for “last minute inspiration”.

Listening to Voxer in order to glean updates from “the cousins”.

Checking in on my graduate students on Moodle to see if any questions are posted.

Jotting plans for that next big trip.

Reflecting on my #OLW (One Little Word) Joy – How will it be a part of my day?

Plotting that description of expenses for #tcrwp and #ncte15 and unpaid time at #ila15.

Reading just one more chapter.

Sending JUST one more email response before I forget.

Considering my list of “to dos” for the day.

Anticipating the learning online today with peers from across the state.

Sipping just one more cup of coffee.

Playing “yo-yo” with Mya who wants out, then in, and then back out AGAIN.

Pushing the button on my post that says “Publish”!

What are you doing, currently?

slice

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 2 – Since Last March


How embarrassing!  I lost my post and it was NOT one that I had composed and saved anywhere but in wordpress.  Hmmm. . . thoughts for future work.

That post was based on Erin Baker’s “Since Last March” found here.

 

Since Last March

 

Since last March, I’ve been to Kentucky.

Kentucky for the birth of my grandson,

Kentucky for many holidays, 4th of July, Labor Day & Christmas,

Kentucky for the crawling, first tooth, and first steps (some via Skype).announcement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since  March, my “baby” turned twenty five.

Twenty-five and a first time dad,

Twenty-five and an expert with bottles and burping,

Twenty-five and changing those diapers.

celebrate balloons

 

Since last March, I’ve said good-bye.

Good-bye to doubts and questions,

Good-bye to agreeing to impossible tasks,

Good-bye to questionable practices,

Good-bye to activities that waste precious time better spent on reading and writing!

learning

 

Since last March, I’ve said hello.

hello to friends who I’ve met face to face,

hello to slicers and bloggers from #tcrwp, #ila15, #ncte15, #g2great ,

hello to books, read with friends and with kids!

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Hello, March.

It’s time to write!

#SOL16 March Challenge Day 1: Celebration!


What is a milestone?

  1. ‘a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.
  2. 2.
    an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.
    “the speech is being hailed as a milestone in race relations”‘ (Google.com)

Today marks a milestone in my professional career! And in keeping with my #OLW16 (Joy), I must share my joy with my readers! And I’ve also done a little bit of “spring redecorating” on my blog! (How many changes can you count?)


Oh, Happy Day!

Perhaps a celebratory video?

Here

And a visual to help . . .

Are you ready?

What are we celebrating?

Ben Franklin $100

Piqued your interest?

What are we celebrating?

What does Ben Franklin represent?

And, not just one, but . . . 

un, deux, trois . . .

What are WE celebrating?

My third year of participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge?

Wow!  My third year.

Anxious,

nervous,

what will I write about?

Close.

What number does Ben Franklin represent?

If you know the “bill” that he is on . . .

And, no, I didn’t say you needed one on hand to figure this out.

But today, as the March #SOL16 Challenge begins, I am joyfully celebrating. . .

A milestone . . . (drum roll and red carpet)

This is my 300th blog post!

I have published 300 posts here at “Resource-Full” in just 3 years and 4 months.  What a shock!  This blog began on October 28, 2012 with this post.

Thank you, readers, as I wouldn’t have continued as faithfully without readers and specifically those commenters either here or on Twitter. Thank you, SLICERS, for your continued support!  What a BLESSED community! If you are new to slicing, you will soon realize that you have some of the best online friends in this community!

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

 

 

 

Beginning the School Year!


welcome

What’s your focus for the beginning of a new school year?

If your students have not yet begun:

What do you know about school, the year, your grade level, your students and yourself as you begin to plan? How do you set your priorities?  What are you planning based on your own personal belief statements?

If your students are already attending, think back to how you began the year.

the beginning

Nobody knows how much you know until they know how much you care.  Theodore Roosevelt

Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Anonymous

How important are relationships?

As an adult, how comfortable are you in those situations where you “play” icebreaker activities?  Which ones work for you?  Which ones make you think “Is this really the best use of my time?”

Dana Murphy addressed this conundrum in her post, “The Chicken and the Egg”.  Please go read her blog if you haven’t yet!  The notion of “Significant 72” is critical. Relationships are critical.  But how can relationships, fun and academics all work together during the “Significant 72”?

Obviously in upper grades, this would not mean “boring and endless reading of the classroom rules” for we know that co-constructed roles, expectations, and norms result in increased collaboration and learning.

And then Shaelynn Farnsworth’s post, “Kicking Off Back to School with Camera Fun”, caught my eye because it combined content, learning targets and building relationships within the classroom.  Of course it was also FUN! But I also loved the ideas because they involved some form of “creation”, higher level of Bloom’s or DOK, as well as a source of formative assessment for the students, if I chose to use the student products to not only tell me about the students but also to tell me what my students currently know about 6 word memoirs.

How do you make decisions about your learning priorities?

I see Dana’s thinking about how writing together can build relationships as well as Shaelynn’s “fun” and “technology” as integral parts of first days of school relationship building and setting the classroom expectations for learning.  “It’s all about the learning” would be a mantra of mine! As well as “It’s about ALL learning“. How much do my beliefs and values enter into my decisions?

what matters atwell

Tricia Ebarvia posted this on twitter on 8.15.15 and it’s a quote that I plan to hold onto.  It matches Kylene Beers keynote at TCRWP during the March Saturday reunion as well as the August Reading Institute.  A reader has to read in order to be a better reader. How do students get that time?  How do teachers provide that time?  How do systems protect that time?

Twitter has also provided other sources of inspirations and decision making.  A favorite quote of mine from Dr. Mary Howard is “Tick Tock, Every minute counts and must be designed to make the most of precious available time with students!”

tick tock

Time is finite.  Our minutes with our students are limited.  In order to teach both the reader and the writer, we must make deliberate choices about how to spend that time.

To begin the year I choose:

  1. Quality Read Alouds – where students will choose a word, phrase or sentence that captures their “ears” that they want to linger with. (Relationships will be built as we consider who has similar words and phrases as well as WHY the choice was made.)
  2. Writing about our Read Alouds – what are some of the most important things in my world?  (Relationships will be built as we talk with partners about the ideas in Margaret Wise Brown’s The Important Book.)
  3. Speed Dating with Books – Read a book and share with others in my group about who might want to read it and why. (Relationships will be built as students create To Be Read, TBR, lists.)
  4. To watch and listen (no interrogations) as students talk, read, write, and speak to capture their words and the essence of their thoughts.

 Why does it matter?

Sharon Salzberg says it best, “We learn and grow and are transformed not so much by what we do but by why and how we do it.”

Check out Tara Smith’s post “Begin the Writing Workshop Year by Writing on ‘Day One'”!  It’s fabulous!

How will you begin the year with fun, learning, literacy, AND relationship building?

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