Category Archives: Books

#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

#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,

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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: Silver Lake


Where do YOU begin?

Here’s a simple list of words from my writing notebook

Begun with an early morning observation

Sipping coffee

Waking up

At Silver Lake

Some words from the present.

Some from the past.

Some added over time.

words

How does a list evolve?

Grow?

Morph?

What categories would you make?

While waiting for inspiration to strike,

I’ve learned to keep my fingers moving across the keyboard.

Looking for photos

Looking for organization

and word clouds suddenly appeared in my brain.

word cloud oneword cloud twoword cloud threeword cloud fourword cloud five

Changing colors

Changing shapes

Changing colors

Adding a filter.

Using a visual as a stimulus . . .

Ready to write!

One of Those Moments

One of those moments

Etched on my cornea

Burnt into my brain

Captured in my heart

Gray sky

Combinations of clouds

White, thin, wispy

Surrounded by large and fluffy white-topped clouds

With an under girding of gray

Ready for a sprinkle or

Perhaps a shower or

Sheets of rain or

Buckets full pouring from the heavens

Harmony in thoughts shared

Rich in laughter

Engrossed in fun

So much to do!

A boat ride,

Pictionary,

Writing talk,

3 Truths and a Lie, and

Learning to play a ukelele.

Friends

Voxer Cousins

Readers

Writers

Thinkers

Teachers

Students

Bound together by a few moments in time

One of those perfect summer moments!

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June 24 – Silver Lake, MN

How do your thoughts become your ideas?  

What shapes your format?

Where does your organization come from?  

How do you share this process with your students?




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

My first draft was totally a description – what I saw, heard and felt while outside

But it seemed really boring

And felt like it could be any lake anywhere

So this is Draft Two . . . after some revision!

 

#SOL17: Heart Mapping


As a reader I have many “Fan Girl” moments. The list of favorite authors is even longer and my “TBR” stack has collapsed upon itself. So it’s time to write.  Pick up the book. Test out some of those post-it marked pages and try it on.

But wait . . .

I signed up for the webinar.

Please, oh, please

Procrastinate until  the webinar.

And that gem . . .

The idea of waiting

WAS

BRILLIANT!

Have you noticed?

One of my all time favorite topics is writing about my learning!

Ahhh, you have noticed!

Thanks for traveling this learning journey with me!

As a result of my learning . . .

A Heinemann PD webinar with Georgia Heard,

I created a heart map with some of the best quotes.

Not an assignment.

My choice.

A way to collect and perhaps savor some ideas that I heard.

heart map for the webinar.JPG

And now I know that this is bigger than a topic list.

It’s bigger than just writing any old ideas into a heart shape.

It’s about REAL writing.

Writing that comes from my heart.

(Crap . . . can’t fake it . . . Must make it real . . . Writing!)

It’s about “an ache with caring”.

The passion to write comes from the connections I have to that topic that I have chosen …

Learning

Thinking

Writing

Checking out Mentor Texts . . .

What is the purpose of writing.JPG

“Heart Mapping” Webinar with @GeorgiaHeard

So many REAL reasons to write . . .

To Think,

To Dream,

To Play,

To Share,

To Dare,

To Capture Thoughts . . .

tips for writing from heart maps.JPG

I don’t just write to persuade, to inform or to entertain. (PIE)

I reject only having three reasons to write.

I write for many reasons.

Most of all, I write for me.

I write about ideas that matter to me.

Why do you write?

Plan:  To create a heart map after PD to hold onto favorite quotes or ideas. That visual learning map of the important parts that I choose to store visibly so I can return and unwrap their precious wisdom. My Learning Map.

Text Based Questions (Close Reading of my Webinar):

Phase 1:  What are Heart Maps? When would I use them?  Why would I use them?

Phase 2:  How does the design of a Heart Map support its use?

Phase 3:  How will students be able to use Heart Maps to increase their passion for writing?

How can models of Heart Maps result in crafting authentic, personal writing?

slice of life

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


Additional Information about Heart Mapping:

Georgia Heard’s website

Heinemann

#DigiLitSunday: Mentors


digilit-button

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: March Challenge Day 23 – DIY Toolkits


My learning from the 90th TCRWP Saturday Reunion continues . . .

Session 2:  DIY Toolkits for Reading Workshop Teachers!!! with Kate Roberts

Please check out what fellow slicers said about this session:

  • Tara Smith’s blog post on #dothework is here.
  • Sally Donnelly’s notes on this session are here.  Scroll down to “Kate”.
  • And my own notes – Session 3 here from NCTE 15 with Kate, Maggie and Mike

The book will be available in APRIL and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival!

Do it yourself

So I’m deviating from the norm here as I’m not going to recapture all the information from the session (see the links above).  Instead I want you to think about what I heard as the spirit and the intent behind this session, at the TCRWP’s 90th Saturday Reunion.

Kate began with laughter. The whole point of the book that she and Maggie have written is to “make our teaching go better!  Make it easier!  ‘I said it!’”  After 17 years of teaching “every single year it feels like our jobs get harder!”  “We want to raise the bar because our students will rise to the challenge.”

“It has never been easy to teach WELL!”

There is an art to being a good teacher and teaching well.  Now more than ever, all students need good teachers.  How do we do that?  How do we teach the content and meet the individual needs of our students that seem to be a never ending task every year. You have to “Do The Work.”  But you don’t have to do it alone!

The tools in Kate and Maggie’s book will help us. How?

“Tools extend our reach and help us tackle big problems!!!”

For students, the tools put the work in their hands.  They provide prompts so students can and do “Do the work”.

But more importantly, for teachers these tools will also serve as “mentor tools” so that we can create the “just right” tools that our students need.

Will there be a tool for every student? Every situation?

Only if the book is 1,000+ pages long and has perpetual updating.  But what this book will do is provide a framework and enough models that you will be comfortable with adapting and / or one day creating your own tools!  Kate even suggested that groups of teachers should get together to create tools!

This was the second time that I watched Kate create a tool in less than 5 minutes for a topic drawn from the audience. Let me repeat. . . a topic from the audience . . . create a tool based on a request from the audience . . .The sheer recollection of that tool-making takes my breath away.  Kate’s ability to have a conversation with a packed room of teachers and administrators and simultaneously create a tool – a demonstration notebook page – is awe-inspiring.  Here’s what that page looked like as it was developed.

Summarizing

Step one: Draft text

one

Step 2:  Add Title – Cloud like color around it

four.jpg

 

Step 3:  One strategy

five

Step 4: Second strategy

six

Step 5: Post-its  = space for student practice =Final page

three

VOILA!

The goal for the page:

  1. Match the purpose (Increase your confidence in being able to make your own page)
  2. Make in 4 minutes or less
  3. Be visible
  4. Kids should see text as quickly as possible  (My interpretation – not after 30 minute lecture!)

How would a page like this help you, the teacher?

How would a page like this help your students?


 

Process/Goals:

The goal of this post was not to simply recount the workshop content.  I gave the reader two links for additional information and the book that will be released in April. I really wanted to focus on the “WHY”! And then share just how quickly Kate created the demonstration notebook page.  In order to meet those goals, I reread my notes, Tara’s post, Sally’s post and crossed off the “how – to” details for everything but those 4-5 minutes of creation. Truth:  Today it took me longer to locate the pictures that I wanted to use than it did to write the blog post.


 

slice of life 2016

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 posts are DAILY!

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 21 – Books


puzzled

So, yeah!

I have this problem.

This one teeny-tiny little problem.

I like books.

I like books a lot.

I have had summer jobs for over 10 20 30 years just to pay for my book habit.

In fact, I would not be stepping out on a limb here if I said,

“I LOVE BOOKS.”

So when I heard that TCRWP was going to develop lists of books for classroom libraries,

one side of me said,

“YAY, now I will know what the top of the line BEST books are!”

while the more frugal side of me said,

“Darn, I’ll need another job because this is really going to hurt my book budget!”

90th Saturday FREE Reunion – Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

trumpet circle

So here is what I think I heard in Session 4.  Get the Latest Scoop on Books and on the To-Die-For-Classroom Library Project

Lucy Calkins, Shana Frazin, Norah Mallaney. Molly Picardi and Heather Michael were all gathered in 136 Thompson to explain progress with the #TCRWP Classroom Library Project. (If you have not heard about the classroom project, you can read about it here on the TCRWP website. Read it now and then come back!)

Goals / Process:

  • Develop a state of the art classroom library that students will want to and will be able to read.
  • Make sure every word of every book is read so no surprise language exists anywhere.
  • Represent the diverse culture we see in our current world.

Lists were solicited from teachers and other TCRWP literacy aficionados.   However, approximately  50% of the books on the lists were picture books. The review team has searched for chapter books, when appropriate by level, to increase the volume of print as well as continued to monitor a balance of fiction and nonfiction.  Book levels were also a concern as Lucy said, “Levels need to be accurate. We want the right books in kids’ hands; books they can and do read!”

Here are pictures of book covers of some of the books recommended for the libraries of students in grades 3 – 5.

And then for students in grades K 2:

  • Rigby’s Where does Food Come From?
  • Hammerray – Mrs. Wishy Washy

The group shared some of the things they had learned before a quick guided tour of the book review work.

  • Titles for book bins do matter so the labels will be preprinted.
  • Curating a collection of books that will sustain students’ interest is hard.
  • High-low books are not all equal for middle school readers and finding age-appropriate and conceptually appropriate leveled books for MS students is tough.

Lucy reiterated that these would NOT just be your favorite books and few picture books would be included in classroom libraries.  Why? Because 4 student chapter books could be bought for the price of one picture book. The few that are included will be in the brief “Read Aloud” section of the shelf!

What books do you know?

What books look interesting to you?



Process:

I ordered (10 books) and saved copies of those book covers during the session (to my “blog pictures” folder on my desktop).  Ten was my limit! I read through my notes on Sunday and pulled the pictures of the remaining book covers and spent time perusing Hameray and other book publisher sites.  A.lot.of.time! (Remember I said I had a book problem. Did you really think I could click without stopping to read?  I had to look up Joy Cowley and then I was interested in her woodworking and then back to just how many Mrs. Wishy Washy books are there?  Wonder  .  .  .  I created the opening, defined my categories, added the tags and then pasted in my notes from my Word Document.  I did have to reload all the pictures into WordPress, but I had put the names into my doc so it went quickly.


slice of life 2016

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!

 

 

 

 

 

#SOL15: How many ways?


Does this chart look familiar?

ways to read a book

What does this chart really mean?

What does it look like to read a book in different ways?

As you read the following, think about which chart category applies?

Crinkle the pages

Squeeze the duck on the back cover – “QUAAACK!”

Label the pictures: duck, dog, dog, rabbit, rabbit, goldfish, goldfish, duck – one word per page

Use the same sentence stem for each page:  “I see a __________.”

Name the sound the animal makes with its name for each page.

Name the action the animal makes as it moves in a two word sentence. (“Goldfish swims.”)

Ask a question about each page:  “Do you see the _________?”

Name the picture and say something about its color.

Name the picture and say something about its size.

Count:  “One duck, one dog, two dogs, one rabbit, two rabbits, one goldfish, a second goldfish, and one more duck.”

Take the pages out of the mouth and turn them slowly again, without any words!

Tell a story beginning with “Once upon a time there were some animals . . .

Point to the picture and name the animals again!

How many ways did this grandma read one 8 page book?

How have you taught parents to read a wordless paper book?

What can you add to this list?

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. 

#ILA15: Treasures Continued


What messages am I hearing every day at #ILA15?

Teachers Matter!

Kids Count!

Ask students what they need

Words Hurt

Engagement Matters

Read More

Data is more than a number

ILA

What treasures remained from Saturday’s sessions at #ILA15?

1. The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the  Craft of Writing

     Ruth Culham, Kate Messner, and Lester Laminack

Mentor texts in the form of fiction and nonfiction picture books  provide teachers with a powerful teaching strategy to help students of all ages learn to write.  Good models come in many forms:  picture books, chapter books and everyday texts that allow students to study craft techniques in order to create their own strong writing using the writing process.

Ruth Culham shared some of her beliefs about mentor texts that are elaborated in Writing Thief. She read Bully to us as we focused on the reader’s view and then had us “re-read” paying attention to the author’s craft and studying the writing as an author.

one

She also shared a video from the author about the book.  Her text includes Author Insights from:  Lester Laminack, Lola Schaefer, Nicola Davies, Toni Buzzeo, Ralph Fletcher, David Harrison, and Lisa Yee.

Kate Messner shared her writing mentors:  Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.  They taught her how to read like a writer and how to find mentors on her own bookshelf when there were not live mentor authors in her hometown.  Kate also shared that her own daughter knows how to find mentors.  Merely by asking, “How are you doing that?” she found her own hula-hoop mentor. We should use that question with students and encourage students to query authors using that question to grow their own knowledge of the skills and strategies that authors use. Kate reminded us that mentor texts are found in the books that we love, so students who are readers will also have the background necessary to be a writer!

Lester Laminack wants Read Alouds to be FUN for students.  He does not want every Read Aloud to be an “interactive read aloud” and even said that you can only “unwrap” the gift of a book once – let kids get lost in the story the first time. Lester is fun, funny and literally pulls no punches.  My favorite quote was that “Read Alouds should be like drug dealers: deliver a little somethin’ somethin’ today, then come back tomorrow and deliver a little more somethin’ somethin’ on a schedule.”  Showing up, delivering, creating a deep need and continuing to meet that need.

Read Alouds feeding the soul.

Read Alouds helping students grow.

Read Alouds for fun.

Take Away:  Mentors are all around us:  books, authors, teachers, and yes, even students!  Choose and use wisely!

2.   In Defense of Read-Aloud 

       Steven Layne

Steven Layne literally had to stop his presentation to wipe the tears, from laughter, from his own eyes.  Steven provided an overview of some of the instructional highlights from his book. Chapter one, In Defense of Read Alouds, is basically an overview of Why Read Alouds are needed.  This is one of two slides listing benefits.

three

Launching a book requires intentional planning.  Teachers carry an invisible backpack that includes their schema, but care needs to be included in developing schema with students.  An example that Layne used was The Giver which would need two and a half 40 minute class periods to launch WELL!  It’s a complex text.

The shared letters were my favorites, letters and responses to:

Witless in Walla Walla

Addled in Anchorage

Troubled in Telluride

Crazy in Calabasa

And if you are relatively new to Read Alouds, you may want to check out chapter 4, “The Art of Reading Aloud”.

Take Away:  All students deserve carefully planned Read Alouds that introduce them to all genres of texts in order to find personally loved texts.

3.   Accountability, Agency, and Increased Achievement in Independent Reading

       Jennifer Serravallo

     4:45-5:45 p.m.

Hundreds of teachers attending a session at this hour of the day on the first full day of the conference?  REALLY?

Yes, it’s true!

Jennifer Serravallo masterfully led us through some possibilities for instruction and conferring to meet student self-chosen goals.  With accomplishment of these goals, students will also increase their motivation to read and their student reading growth.

Beginning Point:

How much time is spent on reading?

Do classrooms have books?

Great questions that can jump start student reading!

four

I love this look at Hattie’s rating scale.  It’s a great visual to remind us of the importance of that .40 effect size lynch pin (the light blue area). Kids need to read a ton but with goals and feedback they will be successful.  Jennifer referenced some of the visuals from her book.

strategies

As with her previous texts, Conferring with Readers, Teaching Reading in Small Groups, The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook K-2 or 3-5, I knew this was a great book but I have an even greater appreciation now that I understand the depth of care and attention given to each of the strategies.

I also believe that we need to “Teach strategies based on student needs – not just off of Pinterest randomly”. And the fact that we need to use common language in our buildings that matches the assessment language was clearly explained with “not slip and slide that may have come from Pinterest.”  We must work on consistency of language in our classrooms for STUDENT success, not just because “I like this idea that I found somewhere”!  Student learning is at stake!

Prompts fit these basic five categories.  Do you know the differences?

  • compliment
  • directive
  • redirection
  • question
  • sentence starter

When and why would you vary your use of these five types of prompts?

This is a great text that is going to be so helpful for teachers!!!

Take Aways:  The goal of strategies is to learn the skill so well that the reader uses the strategy automatically on a regular basis!  Students must be a regular part of goal setting!

Many sessions still remain at #ILA15.  Did you attend any of these sessions?

What would you add?

What are you hearing at #ILA15?

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