Category Archives: #OLW

#SOL21: Willing to Celebrate


It’s birthday season. The next four months each have birthdays in my son’s family. It’s easy to celebrate. The grandkids love all sorts of things. As do the big kids. Sometimes there is a list. Sometimes not.

It’s not as though a Grandma would spoil the boys.

What other birthdays do we celebrate?

In my family (the siblings), it really varies. If they are on to grandkids themselves the siblings are SOL unless it’s one of those big numbers. This is a year for a big number for Mom. Her last big number 10 years ago involved a cruise of the Meditterranean with the youngest daughter.

How do we celebrate?

Well, it depends. (Not that answer again!) But it does.

So how do you celebrate when two second cousins have their 104th and 105th birthday?

The answer:

A birthday parade.

Led by a sherriff’s car.

Four firetrucks

Cars decorated in birthday trimmings.

Trucks

ATVs

Tractor

Tractor

Tractor

Tractor

And a squad of Harleys.

Just a Saturday afternoon birthday parade

In Hills, Iowa.

Need a bit of a “Good News Happy Celebration”?

Article Link with video

Celebrating 209 total trips around the sun

Two cousins

In small town Iowa

Friends and relatives

Willing to celebrate safely

On a Saturday afternoon.

How do you celebrate birthdays? Whose birthdays do you celebrate? What are you willing to celebrate?

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#SOL21: Habits


Tulips in Iowa – April 19, 2021

Will they survive? Will they flourish?

Three nights of freeze warnings and this view in the daytime.

It’s spring. A time of growth. A time for blooming. And yet, a time for snow and freezing temperatures.

Do we let Mother Nature take her course? Do we try to mitigate the results? Plants, flowers, pleasing to the eye. What’s our response?

In our schools, it’s the season of standardized tests. Tests in the midst of the pandemic that continues on. A year+ like no other. What are the options?

What’s the cost? Check out Tim Wheeler’s blog.

What are our goals? What are the habits that we want students to develop.

Melanie Meehan and Kelsey Sorum have this gorgeous new book. We featured it on our #G2Great chat March 25th and Val Kimmel’s blog post is here. It was featured on TWT here.

One of my favorite resources in this book is Chart 1.9. It speaks to me of reasons why I write daily. It speaks to me of why students need to write daily. And it speaks to me of things that are not so easily counted. Not so easily measured. But habits that I want all students to have. In their writerly lives. In their daily lives. In their student lives. In their adult lives.

To name just a few habits:

Perseverance

Empathy

Resilience

What habits in life are you willing to identify today? What habits will you nurture today? What habits do you actively support? How do you do that?

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

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#SOL21: #OLW


This year’s pace seemed lethargic. Too many words. Too much time. Too many choices. Inability to make a decision created angst. Worrying. Fretting. Reviewing previous words to ensure duplications did not occur by chance. Acceptable on purpose but not by chance!

A Review of Previous Words:

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015    Focus
  • 2016    Joyful
  • 2017    Brave
  • 2018    Curious
  • 2019 Celebrate
  • 2020 Envision

Not sure about the goal or purpose of #OLW? Here’s a video to check out more information about #OneLittleWord. If you know/understand the basic premise, keep reading or you can enter #OLW in the search box to see other blog posts I have written about #OLW since 2014.

This in my Twitter feed meant a lot this week as I was narrowing down my words.

My sister already tweeted out her #OLW for this year. And I love that she said it’s “part compass, part motivator, and part mirror.”

Nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. Words that can be more than one part of speech. Does it matter? Trying out the word. Does it fit? How well does it fit?

A final check of quotes and this one sealed my word.

“When you are willing, you don’t need to confront anything. It’s you that puts the resistance and unwillingness there. Put willingness there and resistance melts away.”

― Meir Ezra

So for this year . . .

I anticipate this will be a phrase that will include many actions . . .

Willing to . . .

Willing to listen

Willing to think

Willing to learn

Willing to take time

Willing to make time

Willing to take action

Willing!

What is your #OLW?

What are you willing to set as your 2021 goal(s}?

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

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#SOL20: Riddles


Riddles abound.

Some in stealth.

Some in plain sight.

Ready to pounce

Perhaps high

Perhaps low.

In math.

In science.

In literacy.

Everywhere!!!

What are the characteristics of a riddle? Link

Why might one work with riddles?  What value is there in working with riddles?

Language practice. Practice writing a description. Practice going from a very broad description to a more narrow, focused description. , Practice revealing an item one characteristic at a time. Practice determining the most defining feature of any object.  To add a bit of fun, joy, levity to the day. To connect with an interest or a passion.

Try this one  . . .

I hold valuables.

In the beginning I was made of leather.

I may be a decoration.

I may be useful.

I have one hole.

When I have two holes, I am useless.

I’m a visible container.

Often empty.

Often waiting.

Under-utilized,

Under appreciated.

I’m a small bag

Attached to an article of clothing.

What am I?

When did you know the answer?   

How many “clues” did it take?

Who does the thinking work when solving or writing riddles?




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

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Answer:

You may see the answer more commonly as this:

Screenshot 2020-07-21 at 6.18.07 AM

But I created this:

Screenshot 2020-07-21 at 6.30.47 AM

Which sent me on a quest to learn more about . . .

a pocket. (The answer to the riddle above.)

#SOLSC20: Day 5


ah, today

Time hop:  Day 5 Idea from 2016 #SOLSC (link)

today:  i breathe and find joy in this life of mine

today:  is a day scheduled with two webinars and a #G2Great chat with Shana & Katy

want to be:  outside enjoying the nice weather

blessings:  my two grandsons, my daughter-in-law, and son (and the rest of the sibs & kids)

thinking:  what new ideas can I add to this format?

planning:  for a big “5” birthday in two months

writing:  daily, taking risks with new formats and loving this habit!

Loving:   time to spend reading, writing, and thinking

grateful:  for my health, my blessings, and my many friends!

and today {again}: i breathe and find joy in this life of mine!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-04 at 10.06.06 PMWhat previous blog posts are you revisiting? 

How do you make that decision? 

How do you ENVISION your writing will go?




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

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#SOL19: Kindness


“Here, have this seat.”

“Please, go in front of me.”

“Is that the announcement you were waiting for?”

“We’ll share this plugin with you since yours isn’t working.”

Celebrating kindness.

It was an airport delay.

It could have resulted in

frustration,

anger,

hurt feelings,

unkindness.

Choosing to look for kindness.

Choosing to search for  signs of thoughtfulness.

Choosing the positive.

Celebrating kindness!

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What will you choose?




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

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#SOL19: Writing Matters


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Writing:

A connectedness

A relationship

An opportunity

A process

A product

Two sides of a coin.

Can be used to learn or

Can be used to demonstrate learning.

Is thinking out loud

Typically on paper.

Thoughts

Sometimes painfully etched

Sometimes spewing out voluminously

Faster than any ability to capture.

Can be long

Or short,

Traditional

Or creative,

Personal

Or public,

With form

Matching the purpose,

Reveling in the need

To create,

To rise like a phoenix,

To leave shadows,

Whispers in the wind,

Songs in the air.

Writing . . .

a compulsion

a living/breathing requirement

a necessary component of life

What purposes do writing serve?

Consider these:

  • The Magna Carta
  • The Articles of Confederation
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights

What do they stand for? 

Why were they written? 

Why do they matter?

A survey of Americans resulted in a list of these Top 10 Milestones in US history.  Do you agree?

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Writing Matters.

In.So.Many.Ways

I am missing the #TCRWP Writing Institute. It’s hard to not have #TCRWPEnvy so I revisited some notes from last year’s Writing Institute to consider for my own writing this summer.

In last year’s keynote, Lucy Calkins addressed levels of writing workshop.  Link 

Where are you?

“Level 1:  Start and Stop.  Do a few days of minilessons.  Do a few worksheets to ‘master the skill’, and then back to some stale writing. No investment. It feels like pulling teeth.”

“Level 2:  The Good Student Writing Workshop filled with compliance. Open any notebook and you will find that students are doing the work. Safe work. They respond to all school assignments, but they never take any risks and share themselves.”

“Level 3: Passion and intensity flow through the notebook, drafts and published writing. There are notebook entries that do not come from a response to day to day instruction.  Students want to write. It’s an ALL IN Writing Workshop.”

What level was your 2018-19 workshop? 

What is your goal for 2019-20 workshop? 

Where will you begin?

(And don’t forget to follow #TCRWP this week for highlights from 1200+ Writing Institute participants!)

(#cyberPD – Welcome to Writing Workshop by Stacey Shubitz and Lynne Dorfman)

Celebrate that your journey has begun and focus on Learning!




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

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Repeated Reading: A Cycle


This is Part 5 and the final in a series about Repeated Reading.  But it could be about any popular  research-based strategy.  It should be!

Student Learning is the Focus. All decisions about resources, including time and money, are based on the cycle of learning. Not just “buying stuff.”  Not just “here’s a PD day to fill.” Not just “what do we like?”

Beginning with student learning. Students at the center of the decisions.  Student Learning driving ALL decision-making!

“Core Beliefs:

o All students can learn.
o The purpose of professional development is to increase student achievement.
o Professional development should be collective learning by all teachers and administrators with an emphasis on improving instruction.”

What is the process?

I. Set a Goal

2. Selection of Content which includes Checking the Research (Part 1)

3. Design a Process for Professional Development/Learning (Part 4)

4. Teaching / Learning Opportunities – Checking in (Part 2) What do teachers                need to learn?  How will they learn it?  How can we set some measurable                targets?

5. Collaboration / Implementation

6.  Ongoing Data Collection including Listen to the Students (Part 3)

7. Program Evaluation – Going back to the teacher data in Part 4:  Has there been       growth? How do we know?

8. Collecting / Analyzing Student Data – Is the gap closing? Are students growing          more capable?  Are students more independent?

Always, Always, Always keeping students at the Center!

Screenshot 2019-04-14 at 2.05.41 PM.png

Also blogged about here

What does the model say?

Participative decision-making

Not just one person making a decision

Not just one person buying a “box of something”

Not just one person saying, “go forth and use this”

The process would be to study the research, consider the needs and then make a decision based on resources, match to student population, cost to implement, and time frame needed for results. Consider the status quo, set up a plan for professional learning, and then get started while watching for checkpoints across the journey.

It looks and sounds easy. It’s not. It’s messy. Forward two steps and back one. People. Temperaments. Knowledge. All impact implementation plans.

But with STUDENT LEARNING (not achievement) at the center, the focus is on the right thing!

Are you focused on learning? 

Are you focused on achievement? 

Which one has life-long implications?

Which one no longer matters after students finally walk out the school doors?

 

 

 

#SOL19: What do you rate?


The plate looks gorgeous. Colorful. Artistically arranged. White space. Yet organized. How well did it match my expectations when I placed my order?

Do I dive in?

Confirming and correcting my prediction?

Do I admire?

Savoring the physical attributes before it is consumed?

Do I snap a quick picture and send it off?

I take a picture but don’t send it anywhere.

Dinner

Screenshot 2019-04-08 at 9.00.47 AM

Prime rib, baked potato &                corn on the cob

 

I have a friend who often uses snapchat or messaging to share her dining cuisine. It’s not a typical go to for me. But sometimes, I think, “Wow. I should take a picture of that.” It’s not that I am thinking of an award for cooking but awards have been on my mind.

Do I fill out surveys about food and service at restaurants?  Sometimes.  How consistent are my ratings from each time to time? And is the criteria the same?  That goes to reliability and validity.  How critical are these ratings?  Are they contextual?

How does this apply to life?

Awards:  Who is included?  Who is excluded?

Who gets nominated for the CMA Entertainer of the Year?  There were 5 male candidates? Why only men?

Part of the criteria is crowd size in large venues, meaning tours, so if women are not out on the road for long tours . . .  criteria is not met.

Wow!  Criteria for audience rating the winner is . . . audiences putting their bottoms in seats at concerts. So different from having a captive audience where the buses deliver students to school.

What about books?

Books:  How do you rate them?

Informal rating? Formal rating?

In your head?  On Goodreads?  On Amazon with formal reviews?

How do you share your response to books?

Book Rating:  What works for you? A? B? C? 

A.

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Screenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.13.45 AMScreenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.13.45 AM

Screenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.13.45 AMScreenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.13.45 AMScreenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.13.45 AM

 

B.

   MUST READ!

   REALLY, YOU MUST READ!

   DESPERATE, YOU MUST READ!!!

C.

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Screenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.21.41 AM.pngScreenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.21.41 AM.pngScreenshot 2019-04-05 at 10.21.41 AM.png

My Goodreads account consists of mostly books rated 5 with a few 4’s sprinkled in.  Does that mean that all books I read are automatically that good?  I’m sure that you will be disappointed but books that would be below a “4” or “5” star rating on Goodreads, just don’t get entered. Selective memory?  Or was it once a conscious choice to only include the top books.  But you wouldn’t know that unless you knew my methodology for reporting. A bit erratic!  A bit unplanned. My concession to compliance and using someone else’s rating system.

Daily life decisions: Using skills and strategies steeped in literacy. Determining importance. Predicting. Confirming predictions. Re-predicting. Aligning expectations with the “real” thing. Comparing and contrasting. Developing criteria. Communicating.

How do your students rate their books? 

How do your students share their response to books?

What do they prefer?




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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Added:

And yes, the vegetarians in my family would rate the meal pictured above as a -10. The devout pork producers might rate it a 0. The poultry eaters might rate it a -5.  And then you all who hate any medium rare meat might not have gotten past the “shudders”!

It all depends on perspective . . .

and your own definition of a quality meal!

#SOL19: Day 11 SOLSC


I’m pretty sure that the steam rising from my poor computer is clearly visible on all coasts. It’s been rising for awhile but I was determined to really focus more on narratives as I sliced this month.

But life interfered.

I applauded this tweet a week ago.

Finally.

A reputable reading researcher.

I’ve talked about Dr. Nell Duke and research before.

Here, here, and here.

She’s my “go to” when I need the details on research.

 

Screenshot 2019-03-10 at 9.42.05 PM.png

But then all this other gobbledy gook stuff comes up. Pseudo – journalists who, after 2.5 years of studying “the science of reading” bless it as the ONLY way to teach reading and now are having webinars on Edweek, radio shows, and articles purporting to tell teachers how to teach reading.

How to debunk the malarkey?

Start with P. L. Thomas’s “The Big Lie about the ‘Science of Reading'” here.

It’s an amazing article that debunks the whole issue.

And if you need additional reading material, here’s a direct plea for media also by Thomas.

Here is where the journalist said she did not have to report both sides – link

Why?

Because these are the journalist’s sources:

https://mrgmpls.wordpress.com/…/where-i-learned-how-to…/https://jasmineteaches.wordpress.com/…/why-our-kids…/ 
http://pamelasnow.blogspot.com/…/an-open-letter-to… “These “authorities” on teaching reading 1) pre-service teacher 2) teacher in his 4th year of teaching. The other link is a  professor’s blog in Australia about their pre-service program.”

Sources for the condition of reading in the U.S.

Consider the source.

Is the person even in the field of education?  What are their credentials?  What is the source of their data? 

Read critically!

The future of our children literally depends on all teachers.




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

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