Category Archives: DigiLit Sunday

#SOL17: Retrospect


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

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

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

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

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

4.  #DigiLit Sunday:  Critical Thinking (2017)

3.  Generative Writing as a Formative Assessment (2015)

 2.  Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)

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

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

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

My Top 5 Posts from 2017 are:

5. #DigiLitSunday: “Possible Sentences”

4. #SOLSC17: #OLW Brave

3. Reading Goals: What Do You Measure?

2. #DigiLitSunday: Summer Slide

1. #DigiLitSunday: Critical Thinking

Subtle differences require a discerning reader.

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

 

What kind of reader will you be in the future?

What data do you use for valid comparisons?

What data do you wonder about? 

Is all data equal?




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

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#SOL17: Approximations


He kicks.

He moves his arms.

He kicks some more.

He sputters as he swallows some water.

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

He laughs.

He plays.

He talks.

He yells.

Not every swimming stroke is perfect.

He is two and a half years old.

Does he need floaties?

Will those make him more dependent or independent?

Screenshot 2017-12-19 at 6.06.36 AM

When it comes to the spoken word

Not every word is perfect.

He is two and a half years old.

I have to listen closely to decipher some words.

And yet other words are crystal clear . . .

“Missippi River” and “quesadilla”!

Five and six sentence words are the average.

He is two and a half years old.

Why do we encourage approximation in

play,

language, and

many physical actions

but reject them in reading and writing?

Let me offer two scenarios:

Scenario 1:

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

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

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

“He knows more than one name for cat.”

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

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

“He has some knowledge of cats.”

“He is not changing his mind easily.”

“He is persistent.”

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

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

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

Scenario 2:

A student is writing.

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

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

“The child wrote without prompting.”

“The child had something to say.”

“The child wrote a lot.”

“The child told a story,”

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

“The child used mostly lower case letters.”

“The child had spaces between all words.”

“The child had a lot of details.”

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

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

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

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

When do we celebrate approximations? 

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

When do we celebrate the MANY, MANY daily successes? 

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




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

#DigiLitSunday: Stamina


 

Last August, the most difficult day of our trip to Rome was the very first day because it was not a typical day of just 24 hours.  We traveled on the plane overnight.  The perfect opportunity to rest.  Yes, restful, if you were used to traveling like a sardine.  Space between seats was extremely limited when reclined as most passengers were so inclined.  At the airport it was “Hurry Up and Wait” to get baggage collected and through customs.  And then the rain. All.Day.Long! The bus was always parked “just a little ways away” on this day where we had three stops scheduled but yet no “sense of the flow of travel or the schedule” on a bus with 50+ new best travel friends. Our sleep cycles disrupted, dining on new schedules, and walking, walking, walking.  On this day we discovered that the “step” measurements by my siblings were not the same; however, they agreed, we walked over ten miles.  Several of us had to call on every last fraction of an ounce of our stamina just to crawl into our hotel rooms.  Our energy had ebbed with the waning hours, the uncertain schedule and the never ending first day of travel.

I tell that story because any new adventure brings a bit of angst.  Last Monday was the first day of the August #TCRWP Writing Institute which began with a stirring keynote by Lucy Calkins for 1300 attendees, large group sections, simultaneous lunch schedule for all, small group sections and closing sections.  Content may have been familiar or unfamiliar, but the intensity of the schedule both physically and mentally could also make one question one’s personal stamina.

YET have high expectations.Stamina:

Synonyms include “endurance, staying power, fortitude, strength,toughnessdeterminationtenacityperseverancegrit”

Although it’s August, there are many stages of “school life” across the country:  students who have been in session for over a week, those who are returning this week, those that return in the looming weeks of August, and of course those who don’t return until after Labor Day in September.

Is back to school “stamina” a teacher issue?  A student issue? Both?

Already, I can hear the voices . . .”My kids can’t sit still that long.”  “I can only start with five minutes.”  “I’ll be lucky if they are able to sit for two minutes.”

It’s not about torture and being mean. Be realistic. 

YET have high expectations!

Plan for your situation!  And be purposeful!

Reading Workshop

Begins Day One.

Reading.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1.  Plan for some book exploration.  Think about a soft start.  Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

It’s not about cutesy perfectly organized classroom libraries.

It may be about having students organize the library

as they review the books.

Do you have a book bin of “Favorite Treasures from Years Past”?

It may be that the students have book baggies

that were filled at the end of the last school year.

It may be that you create book baggies for your students . . .

ready and waiting for eager hands to cherish! 

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

What series of “work” will you begin on Day 1 in order to build stamina?

Writing Workshop

Begins Day One.

Writing.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1.  Plan for some small “bits of writing”.  Think about a soft start.  Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

No rushing off to buy “The First 20 Days” .

No “cutesy” worksheet of “interests to fill in.

Writing Units of Study are written to begin on Day 1.

If you change the order, read the first bend of book 1.

What habits do you need to build?

What writing of your own will you share?

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

What series of mini-lessons might you use across the day to build stamina?

Read Aloud

Begins Day One.

READ ALOUD.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1. Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

What book?

When?

Where?

So many decisions?

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

How will your Read Alouds progress so that your students 

will be independently sharing THEIR OWN Read Alouds by the end of this year?

What are your classroom non-negotiables?  

How will you build your stamina?  

How will you help your class build stamina?  

What’s your plan?

 

 

#DigiLitSunday: Possibility


Screenshot 2017-07-29 at 3.11.22 PM

Never give up.

Say “Not YET!”

Search for other avenues.

Set a goal.

Pray.

Find like-minded friends to fuel your passion.

WHY?  

You may find that your continued growth requires new ideas that match your passion.

HOW?

It may take a plan – savings or otherwise.  It may require you to be “Brave” (#OneLittleWord) and travel alone knowing that by the end of the week you will have 1500 new friends!

It’s all about priorities    

Being a life long learner

And possibilities.

Screenshot 2017-07-29 at 3.49.54 PM.png

Today marks the 5th summer in a row that I will attend #TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes.  Exciting summers where I have grown as a writer, humbled by the craft of published authors, soaking in every morsel of knowledge about writing . . . and reading . . . and creating AVID readers and writers.

Lucky me!

Yes, lucky me!

Lucky me that I have always maintained a “summer” job so that I could “indulge” my learning habit!

I have not been given one single cent to pay my expenses in 5 years X 2 institutes.  (Yes, I have asked and I have been turned down.)  But YET the learning is so important to me that I have attended on my own in order to learn and grow professionally.

Waiting for someone else to fund my learning was an impossibility.   (I would still be waiting!)  Attending and paying for it myself was and still is my possibility and tomorrow will bring my 5th consecutive POSSIBILITY to life!

teachers college

From impossibility to possibility . . . Teachers College Reading and Writing August Institutes!

What actions do you take to move from impossibility to possibility?  

What dream do you intend to make a reality?

 

#DigiLitSunday: #Cyberpd 3


What professional books do you reread?  

What authors do you follow?

When this long awaited book was chosen for #CyberPD, I was so excited.  Time to read and reread over half of it.  Time to share with others.  But what would I share?  It has been so tempting to “summarize” and share juicy quotes and tidbits that have captured my interest.

But here’s my simple message:

“You.Must.READ.This.Book!”

“You.Must.LIVE.This.Book!”

Why this book?

dynamic teaching book cover

Because it truly is about deepening your own understanding of reading as well as considering your own practices as a reader.  Are you, yourself, or were you ever a plot junkie, a surface reader, who is disappointed in students who don’t dig deeper into their own reading?  Who have their models been?  How would they know there is something BEYOND .  . . ?

In this book, Vicki Vinton asks you to shift your thinking to a problem solving mode.  The resources are never ending.  One that I’m focusing on within another book group (reading Uprooted) is this chart about Expository Readers.

Read the title.

Read the title again out loud.

“How Expository Nonfiction Readers Figure Out the Implications of Facts”

And then the column headings.  Consider turning them into questions.  Don’t just jump to the content!  Every word in this book matters.  Trust this author!

NF.PNG

Figure 8-1 (page 143)

What does a reader have to do?

On a second or third reread, I focused on the problem-solving task that Vicki had named under “What a reader therefore has to do”.  I also thought about how deliberate and purposeful she is as an author.  She did not set me up to read between the lines in this chart; instead she set me up to be a problem solver.  Check out the beginnings in that column:

“Look for . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Be aware . . .”

What’s the pattern that Vicki specifically names?  What actions is she expecting?  Problem solving is not scripted.  It’s all about what the “Thinking Teacher” does.   I would be remiss if I didn’t further point out that a question is posed after the “Think:” which is how the reader needs to interact with the text.

Reading is a transactional process.  The depth of my understanding or interaction with a text is all up to me as a reader.  There may be a slow, draggy spot.  There may be some confusion.  The joy in reading comes from one of the key anchors in this text:

“Experience the thrill of figuring things out.” (Book Cover) (More about key anchors in this post.)

And as I was reminded by Vicki, “Think”.




So what this means to me as I am reading this book in a book group that has spanned continents!

uprooted

As I am reading, I am searching for the answers to these two questions from Figure 8 – (above)

“How facts could be connected or related?”

“What do the fact imply?”

And patterns, patterns, patterns.  Where do the patterns continue?  Where do the patterns break down?  So to focus, I look specifically at Marrin’s words.  And these two quotes set the purpose:

“The historian’s job is to explain the behavior of human beings in the past.  Yet to explain is is not to explain away, much less excuse.” (Marrin, p.7)

“The term racism as used in this book, refers to an ideology, a set of beliefs, fervently held, about others and how the world works.  At its core, it insists that God, gods, or Mother Nature has divided humanity into distinct groups – races – with shared qualities. Racists, or those who believe in racism, hold that these groups are arranged pyramid-like, with the “best” or “superior” at the top, and the “worst” or “inferior” at the bottom.” (Marrin. p. 5)

How much do these two statements impact my thinking?

Marrin casually drops one-line statements into a section or a chapter about people who were racist and continues on with his narrative.  This has been beyond jarring or disconcerting to me as these one liners, when first delivered, are often not reinforced with supporting details.  Marrin reports them, moves on with the main focus, and sometimes comes back to a later detail (in another chapter) that shows the connections.  Otherwise, the reader must hold these facts in mind and consider whether they are, “Yes, a part of the pattern”, “No, just a wild statement” or “Maybe, I’ll wait for more information”.

This has been hard.

Why hard?

Back in the dark ages, “nonfiction” was anything that was TRUE, and fiction was “anything that was made up”.  Sounds simple like black and white.  But those lines blur.  Facts that are left out cause a disconnect.  Did the author leave them out because they did not support his/her basic premise?  Did the author leave them out because they could not be “sourced”?  Ignoring the facts is not the goal.  But making a statement 100 times does not make it a fact either.  Where’s the balance?  And that is the key to the “Think: . . .” actions that Vicki Vinton espouses in Figure 8-1 above.

Reading these two books (and responding in writing) side-by-side has given me the opportunity to dig in and try out the problem solving model that Vicki has laid out in her book.  One book is joyous and about all the possibilities while the other challenges centuries of historical knowledge – tainted by the historical storytellers of the past. What I do know is that Marrin’s view of U.S. History is not the history I have ever found in textbooks.  Nor is it the critical thinking that our students need in order to be productive and participating citizens of the 21st century.

Tip:  Read the charts in Dynamic Teaching as if they are GOLD!!!  

Which charts are you going to return to again and again?  

What have you applied from either chapters 7 or 8?

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Additional #DigiLit posts here

 




cyber pd

Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone

Or check out the “Facebook page:  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading” here

#DigiLitSunday: #cyberpd


Remember to check out additional #DigiLitSunday posts at Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche”.




dynamic teaching book cover

The #cyberpd discussion of Vicki Vinton’s new book is allowing readers to respond in a variety of ways.  Check out the #cyberpd hashtag on twitter or the Cyberpd google hangout for additional posts. ( Check previous post here and my padlet here.)

Section 2 begins with this quote:

“Practices are our beliefs in action.” – Regie Routman, Read, Write, Lead

and then Chapter 5 “Creating Opportunities for Readers to Figure Out the Basics” has a quote from General Gorge S. Patton and Chapter 6 ” Creating Opportunities for Readers to Experience Deeper Meaning” has a Mary Oliver quote.  The journey is now about HOW some specific core practices position readers to “grapple with those problems found in texts in order to deeply understand what the writer might be conveying about people, the world, and life.”(p. 55)

Knowing that everything has a purpose in a text, I’ve been asking myself what anchors this text for me.  The “Steering the Ship” sections (Figure 5-7, p. 82, and Figure 6-5, p. 108) are huge for me this week.  The  sections are titled “Teaching Moves to Support Thinking and Meaning Making”.

Did these “Steering the Ship” pages make you stop and pause? These are the “To Do’s” in order to teach reading  in a problem solving way.  They can be prompts for a teacher cheat sheet.  Practice, practice, practice will be required in order to have them to “naturally” be a part of my repertoire that pushes student thinking and provides responsive feedback with students developing the lines of inquiry. But that practice with less modeling and scaffolding by me will enable students to do more of the work themselves.

What are the BIG anchors of this text?

anchor

  • “Create opportunities for learning”
  • “Shift from answers to thinking”
  • “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
  • “Embrace complexity”
  • “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”

Why these?  They are a part of the graphic on the front cover.  

Which one is repeated on the back cover?

What thinking am I doing as a result of this professional reading?

I am making notes.  I’m trying sketch noting.  I’m reading other blogs and responses.  I’m writing to consolidate my own thinking.  Writing . . . in response to reading.  Writing . . . in order to better understand my reading.  Writing and revising . . . in order to make my writing clearer.

How do you share your thinking?  

What is working for you?




cyber pd.png

Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone




It’s messy, it’s fun, it’s scary, it’s evolving!  THINKING required!

#DigiLitSunday: Automaticity


As many of you  know, this has been a driving summer . . .

Iowa,

Missouri,

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Tennessee

Georgia

Florida, Florida, Florida, Florida (it’s a long way from the top to the bottom)

and back plus

Minnesota.

Not commuter miles but trips that included LONG days.

So think about this driving analogy.

driving

Free from Pixabay; Retrieved 7.9.17

My trip to Sioux City today.

Questioning

What route?

When to stop / break / gas?

Can I beat the GPS arrival time?

Reflection

By Des Moines, I had gained three minutes according to the GPS.

And then semi-trucks passing semi-trucks going uphill . . .  slowed both lanes down.

And then there was road construction with one lane of traffic and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph.

Results (but I REALLY wanted this to be Synthesis)

Exploring alternate routes.

Considering overall rates of travel and the amount of travel in both lanes.

Learning new vocabulary

  • Rest Stop – Parking Only
  • Rest Stop – Modern
  • Rest Stop with Internet Access (including symbols for phone, Vending Machines and Camper Dump Stations

So the short part of this is that I arrived one minute before my GPS said and my route, although with some adjustments, was successfully completed.

What if ? ? ?

A. What if I had to record notes

Before the trip?

During the trip?

After the trip?

B.  I had to record the skills I had mastered

Skills?

Strategies?

Processes? (Hat tip to Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson for that idea after a Voxer #G2Great conversation)

Have you made the inference about where this is headed? . . .  

Hint – Reread Choices A and B

And Oh, My Goodness! 

I forgot the Planning that happened prior to the trip including checking for my registration, insurance card, and having the car serviced (oil change & tire rotation) prior to the trip as well as googling the distance from point A and B so I could begin to draft the specifics.

All of these little details matter when driving a motor vehicle.  There are big details that have life or death consequences like safely managing a vehicle, keeping it in the right lane, accelerating and decelerating with traffic flow, smooth lane changes WITH a turn signal, safe distances between vehicles, and paying attention to merging lanes, road signs, and . . .

I’m lucky because I’ve been driving for over four decades and I had a refresher when my son would point out driving errors while he was in a driver’s education course.  Your driving experience may include more total miles or more city miles than me.  That’s a “number” or data-based comparison.  But what about “quality”?

In my opinion it all boils down to “my confidence in my driving abilities” because I have experienced a wide variety of situations that have contributed to the automaticity of my driving habits and patterns that also allow me to be responsive and THINK when I must make “in the second/minute” adjustments.

I very deliberately chose this comparison because this “automaticity” is what we want for our students in reading.

Skilled

Competent

Strategic

Confident

Experienced

Readers

How much time does this take?  

How will we measure this success?  

WHEN will a reader be successful?




And what does this mean for TEACHERS, the adults in the classroom?  

They must be equally prepared, confident, and ready for challenges.

That is why I am in several book clubs this summer.  Probably too many.  But I am pushing my own Planning, Questioning, Reflecting and Synthesizing especially as I work through professional books.

I wrote about the beginning of #CyberPD and Vicki Vinton’s Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading here.  This thinking fits with a Facebook and Twitter study of Disrupting Thinking by authors Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  Margaret Simon wrote about both of those today here.  As discussed at the last #G2Great chat with Linda Rief, Reading is about the meaning that the reader understands as a result of his/her transaction with the text. Reading is NOT extracting factoids.

Without spending a great deal more words, I believe that when students can and do

Plan

Reflect

Question

Synthesize

on their own (P,Q,R,S) in real authentic work (not just school work), they WILL BE Skilled, Competent, Strategic, Confident, and Experienced Readers!

What do you do daily to help students “transact” with text in the form of stories, books, poetry, nonfiction, art works, video, and audio?  

How will you know when students have reached automaticity?   

How will you know your students are skilled, competent, strategic, confident and experienced readers?




#DigiLitSunday:  More posts from Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.

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#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Problem Solving


In Real Life:

“Gramma, sit here.”

“H’mm. It’s a long way down to the floor.”

“Here, Gramma.”

I sit.  I can guess the activity by reading the clues in the area.

I don’t know for sure the plan but does it matter?  

Doesn’t the world revolve around my grandson?

How do I wait, without talking/leading, to see what “our play” is going to be?

In My Professional Life:

Book studies have popped up everywhere.  Which ones should I join?  Which ones are quite intriguing?  Which ones should I avoid?

My professional “shelfie” looks like this: (+Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst)

shelfie.jpg

How do I determine what groups to participate in?  

For example, I know of three different groups reading and responding to Disruptive Thinking. Do I just jump in?  It’s summer after all and I do have more “time” to spend on reading and writing.  Do I develop criteria?  What could/should that look like?

Last week’s #G2Great chat was with Patty Vitale-Reilly (@pattyvreilly) about her book, Engaging Every Learner:  Classroom Principles, Strategies, and Tools.  You can read Chapter 6 of her book from Heinemann here, check out the storify here, or even read my blog post about the chat here.

Where do I think problems with “being an engaged learner” might arise?  Where should I begin? Right now I believe I need to pay attention to actions 1, 3, 5 and 6 below as I develop my plans to participate in book studies this summer.

  1. Consider the three dimensions of engagement
  2. Cultivate engagement in the classroom
  3.  Establish routines to cultivate high engagement
  4.   Use assessments to build engagement!
  5.  Use choice to build engagement
  6. Cultivate my own engagement

My decision is to see which of the aspects of “engagement” hook me into summer book groups and provide the incentive for me to continue participating.  By planning to “problem solve” in advance, both when I get stuck when reading and when my participation wanes, I can gather additional information about both my problem solving and my engagement!

What are you going to learn / study this summer to move your literacy life forward?

When do  I want/need/crave choice and creativity and what role will that play in my decisions/actions?




 

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

Additional #DigiLitSunday:  Problem Solving posts with Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.

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#DigiLitSunday: Story


digilitsunday

At the beginning:

Stories . .  . ahh . . . the dreaded narratives.  Those writing pieces with story arcs or mountains, plots, characters, . . . already stuck so I’ve googled and love this post What is a Story, and Where Does it Come From?

Second Start – Google Images 

story

Typing on a typewriter.  This was seen at the opening or closing of some TV shows when the writers were given credit.

story two

The places that you can go and see when you can imagine the story.

story three

That extra dimension when the reader takes you, quite literally, into the story!

Still in search of a story . . .

  1. There was once a young man who knew a lot about dinosaurs.  (In fact he knew more than his grandmother.)  When you named a dinosaur he would point to the correct one.  Tyrannosaurus Rex (T Rex), brontosaurus, stegosaurus, triceratops, and pterodactyl to name a few. This amazing two year old also knew that dinosaurs liked ice cream as he had the T Rex order ice cream at the shoppe.  His T Rex was partial to chocolate ice cream in a chocolate cone with chocolate sprinkles.  Chocolate all the way!
  2. Ten kids. During the Depression. One pair of shoes per child.  Of course they went barefoot at home, outside, while doing farm chores.  The extra warmth from the fresh cow pie was appreciated when frost covered the ground.
  3. Father, grandfather, uncle, great uncle, brother. All describe Uncle Leo.  But what I didn’t know about Uncle Leo was all the folks that he “rubbed elbows” with.  Strong family ties connect us across the ages, but now I know that he met and talked with Bobby Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and many other political and presidential folks.
  4. My shirt-tail cousin, one of the most famous baseball players of all time, Babe Ruth.  Babe Ruth was infamous both on the field and off the field.

Does it need to be MY story or can I retell someone else’s story?

I can make the story MY story by including the details that I find most fascinating.  I can leave out the details that are boring and get right to the heart of the story.  I can elaborate on the most unusual parts or where I “show, not tell” to develop the details.

What are your stories?  

How and when will you share?

story time

#DigiLitSunday: Better


better

Today’s call for slices from Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche immediately makes me think of HOW one gets better.  Previous posts about professional development are here, here, and here. I love learning.  I love learning with friends.  Therefore, one of the best tools that I use for professional development is Twitter because it truly is exemplified by this graphic.

good better best

What?

Learning.  Identifying a topic. Identifying a need.  Finding experts. Reading. Writing. Talking. Learning Together.  There are many ways to “Better Oneself” and one of the fastest routes is through TWITTER!

Start the Challenge

If you’re on Facebook, go to this post of Mary C Howard’s (author of Good to Great) for her Twitter 5-3-1 Challenge.

“TWITTER 5-3-1 CHALLENGE:
So I’m posing a summer challenge that will take very little time.

5: FOLLOW
Follow five people you admire. Just find them on Twitter and click the follow button on the far top right of their page.

3: RETWEET/LIKE
Retweet or like three comments that inspired you. Just click on the comment and then the up/down arrows at the bottom middle and hit retweet (or like with the heart at the bottom).

1: Reply
Make one comment to a tweet every day (even “Thank you.”) Just click on the left arrow at the bottom right and type.

I promise you that my 5-3-1 challenge will enrich you beyond measure this summer. Twitter is a treasure chest of inspiration, ideas, articles, posts, and dedication. If you’re not using it even to a small degree, you’re cheating yourself. This summer is a great time to dip your toe in the Twitter pool. I promise you that you’ll be grateful you did!”

My only addition is to make it the 5 -3 – 1 – 1 Challenge.

The final 1 – Find a chat

Weekly chats might be #TCRWP on Wednesdays or #G2Great on Thursdays.  Monthly chats might be #TitleTalk on the last Sunday of the month.  Additional chats like #TWTBlog may be scheduled after a series of blog posts.

Why a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat will give you an opportunity to “rub elbows” with the experts and grow your own knowledge base as well as your PLN.  You will be amazed at the authors who are available to learn from as well as the inspiration, ideas, articles, and posts that Mary refers to above.

You are at the crossroad.  You must make the decision.

How will you better yourself?

good better

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