Category Archives: #OLW

#SOL19: Phonics Reprise


“The cat sat on the mat.

The fat cat sat on the mat.

The rat sat on the mat.

The fat cat sat on the mat.

The fat cat and the fat rat sat on the mat.”

“What are we working on today?” I inquired.

“I am practicing ‘the’,” was the earnest reply from the first grader.

 

“Can you show me where you see the word ‘the’?”

“All of them?” she queried as she pointed to two examples.

“They aren’t the same,” she added. “These begin with upper case and these begin with lower case.”

 

“Tell me more.” (falling back on that favorite response)

“These line up in a row,” pointing to the The in a vertical column. “And these don’t.”

 

“What did you learn in this story?” I asked.

“”That cats and rats can sit together,” was the response.

 

What was the goal? 

I saw that the student practiced the page three times as directed and then recorded it onto the iPad on a fourth reading.  It was flawless. Every word was pronounced correctly. The student stopped appropriately for end punctuation (periods) and it sounded okay . . . just a bit “sing-songingly” with an attempt to have some rhythm/intonation in the reading.

Is this reading? 

What role does this have in reading?

What happens if this becomes a “major portion of a steady diet” for a reader?

Valinda Kimmel had a great post about Guided Reading here last week, “Why Does Guided Reading Get Top Billing?” Please go read it and consider “WHERE”  you believe the above reading work fits in.

Phonics, Spelling and Word Work?

Guided Reading?

In this instance, the student self-reported that this reading was her fluency practice that she has to do before Independent Reading. Short passage with words she knew. Focus was on sight words “and”, “the”, and “on” according to the posted learning targets.

Fluency has many definitions  that include:

prosody,

reading like an author intended with phrasing, intonation, accuracy, rate, and expression

but all contain some reference to “fluency to support comprehension”.

Fluency – one of the “Five Pillars” of reading from the National Reading Panel report.

And I digress . . . Or do I?

Have I switched topics from Phonics (the title) to Fluency now?

In the classroom next door, the learning target was “practice /at/ phonograms in text and decoding cvc words with short vowel sound made by a.

How did the practice support word work?

37 words total

the – 11 repetitions

on -5 repetitions

and – 1 appearance

/at/- 20 (cat – 4, sat – 5, mat – 5, fat – 4, rat – 2)

This is an example of “decodable” text.  Some might call this “barking at print” because the text can be read but there is no deep meaning attached to the words, phrases, sentences or passage.  Worse yet, this might be something a student would be required to read multiple times, quickly, without hesitation in 30 seconds or less to meet some pre-determined correct words per minute goal. (Fluency, Automaticity, Word Work in “connected text” might be ways this text would be named._

Phonics – this post listed Faux Pas from the past

A need for Due Diligence and understanding Reading Research was the focus here

and yet . . . doubt remains

Check out Stephen Krashen’s response as well . . .

Comments on Morning Edition, January 2, 2019, What is Wrong with the APM report . . .

“There is no evidence that “Millions of kids can’t read …”. But there is
overwhelming evidence that low reading ability is related to poverty, contrary to
the claim in American Public Media’s report.”

The Case Against Intensive Phonics

and Basic Phonics.

What do we need?

Increased clarity of purpose by teachers?

Intentionality?

Continued conversations? 

Common language?

A potpourri of effective strategies and methodologies?

I celebrate the questions that lead informed conversations and decisions about the best instruction possible for students!




Alfie Kohn – phonics added!  Link




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

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Independence: Taught? Or Not?


Who is doing the work?

Students?

Teachers?

How do we know?

Does it matter?

This flow chart from an October 7, 2018 tweet by Daniel Willingham caught my eye this week out in the Twittersphere!

I have studied it on my phone, my iPad, and on my Chromebook. I continue to revisit the subheading “(doing laundry, making lunches, doing dishes, etc.)”

Does this chart apply to routines in the classroom? 

Does this chart apply to instruction in the classroom?

Should it?

Where does my “curious” mind go?  I “celebrate” the opportunities for formative assessment.  Observation and completion of tasks quickly come to mind. Fairly straight forward. Items that I can check off. Routines.

How much of the school day should be “routinized” to this level? 

What’s the end goal?

Previous posts have discussed the fact that many times students do not have enough practice in their work in order to really KNOW and DO the task at high levels of cognitive effort.  Is that a flaw in the curricular design, the instructional design, or in the instructional delivery system? Or a symptom of other issues?

And then Wednesday night’s Twitter chat with Alicia Luick and Taliah Carter was about the Independent Use of Mentor Texts to Promote Independence in the Writers’ Workshop. Serendipity and another celebration as topics aligned!!!

It helped me when Alicia explained the difference between mentor texts, demonstration texts, and exemplar texts.  All have many uses as we think about a “progression to independence”.

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How do we teach independence?

How do we provide practice time so students can develop confidence, competency and independence?

I love these ideas from Ryan Scala. Students can quickly be “upping their game” so they are ready to lead demonstrations, small groups or seminars!

screenshot 2019-01-02 at 7.14.31 pm

So many ways for teachers to scaffold and support students at their current level in order to “reach” for the next level and continue to stretch and grow.  Sounds easy but supporting all students in a classroom is hard work.

And who is doing the most work?

Do we “teach for independence”?  

Do we provide enough practice time and get out of the way in order to increase independence?

 

#OLW19


Drum Roll . . .

Red Carpet . . .

Celebratory Toast . . .

My final choices were:  Gratitude, Celebrate, and Thankful.

I tested them out with flash drafts of this post.

What was I searching for?

Enduring words:  That would be a part of my life 24/7 – literally woven into the fabric of my life

Practical words: That would be like a ticker tape running in the background of my life.

All encompassing words:  That would be suitable for my professional life, my personal life and my role as a grandmother.

How would I know which word was THE word?

I would easily be able to flash draft a post about the word.

I would NOT check to see who else had chosen the word.

I would be able to use the subtle nuances of the word in my decision-making process.

My selection grid:

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One Last Review of Previous Words:

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015     Focus
  • 2016    Joyful
  • 2017    Brave
  • 2018    Curious

AND . . .

MY CHOICE . . . 

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Celebrate . . . 

Successes in work – the processes and the product

Successes in learning – the struggle of change and the challenges of implementing those                                              changes

Successes in family life – school and life events

Successes in being present – paying attention to small wins every day to fuel long term                                                          goals

Work attempted

Work completed

And when needed  . . . celebrate that which is YET to come!

My Goal = Celebrate . . . EVERY day!

What is your #OLW19? 

How and when did it find you? 

What will you celebrate in 2019?




Teacher Resources:

  1. One Little Word
@lhighfill

New Year, One Word HyperDocs wke.lt/w/s/5y4xQ via @wakelet A collection of three lessons for reflection/goal setting w students in the new year. Just file and make a copy to edit for your specific student needs. @TsGiveTs @SEANJFAHEY @WickedEdTech @KarlyMoura @SARAHLANDIS

         Check out the wakelet link above!   3 different choices!

       2. Word Comparisons      https://wikidiff.com/

#SOL19: #OLW18 Finale


#OneLittleWord (AKA #OLW)

This post has more about the origin of #OLW and links to other past posts about the purpose and process. Today’s post is a reflection on my 2018 OLW.  It was evident on my blog as it literally was a part of the wallpaper:  Curious!

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How did “curious” impact my life?

Seeing it at least weekly on my blog kept curious in my brain but even without the constant reminder, curious is in my bloodstream.  Considering life and life actions through the eyes of others has always been a part of my repertoire so “curious” was the perfect word for #OLW18.

Where did “curious” take me?

My learning journey included:

3rd Anniversary #G2Great Chat

CCIRA in Denver – February

TCRWP Writing Institute

#BookLove Summer Book Study

Iowa Reading Conference

ILA

Everyday Practices that Engage and Empower Readers and Writers – Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle – DSM

Nell Duke – JCCL – Cedar Falls

NCTE

Read, Write, Teach – Ignite Curiosity and Instill Confidence in Freeport, Maine with Linda Rief and Penny Kittle

Reading, reading, reading . . . professional texts

Researching

Writing about my reading

Twitter chats:  #ILA, NCTE, #bookaccessforall, #TCRWP, and #G2Great

What other words have chosen me?

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015     Focus
  • 2016    Joyful
  • 2017    Brave
  • 2018    Curious

I’ve narrowed my 2019 word choice down to three . . . A Decision and More in the next post!

How did you put your #OLW into action in 2018? 

What did you learn that will guide you in 2019? 

What will be your evidence of learning / use of your #OLW?




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

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