Category Archives: #OneLittleWord

#SOL18: Assessment


 

What do we value?  Product? Process? Reflection?

It began with a conversation on Voxer.

How do we know?

My #OLW, Curious, led me on an interesting quest.

So how does this work in real life?


The first group began.  All brass. They blew a few sounds through their mouthpieces.  They were newcomers. Section by section. Each small group played. Then the entire brass group played two songs.

Same process for the woodwinds.  A few sounds. Section by section sound off.  Then the entire woodwind group played two songs.

BRAVE

BRAVE

BRAVE

The Premiere of THE 5th Grade Beginning Band (copied from the program) then played two songs.  Their first practice together – the brass and the woodwinds. Their first practice EVER. During a performance.  In front of a gym packed with family and friends. 

How would you assess this 5th grade group in their first public appearance?

Product? 

The number of students that participated? 

How the three groups sounded?

Process?  

How they have grown in the six weeks since 5th grade band began?

What comparisons would you make between assessing this instrumental group and other “assessments of 5th grade learners?”

I watched instrumental musicians last night representing grades 5-12 in the Central DeWitt school district.  This was my second consecutive year to attend the fall Parade of Bands. It’s a 90 minute extravaganza led by two directors that showcases the performance levels of students in October each year. This year that was a total of 325 band students in grades 5-12:  215 students in grades 5-8 (She is simply amazing!) and 115 students in high school.

Product?

Process?

Reflection?

A combination?

Screenshot 2017-03-26 at 8.34.52 AM

What if . . .

What if all students had to take an identical screener in the fall, winter and spring?

What if the results of the screener was then used to determine which instrument students should play?

What if the students had to pass a “basic knowledge test” before they could choose an instrument?

Would there be 325 students in band if a general “proficiency test” was required of all students?

Again, how is success measured?

Is it measured by the “1 Superior” rating at state marching contest?

Is it measured by the new band uniforms provided by a community drive?

Is it measured by the audience that packed the gym?

Is it measured by the funds raised during the dinner before the Parade of Bands?

Is it measured by the applause of the audience?

Is it measured by the number of students who continue to participate in band year after year?

Is it measured by the distance that audience members travel to attend the concert? (195 miles one way for me)

Is it measured by the “JOY” of the students who continue to participate?

Product?  Process? Reflection? 

Is there any ONE measure that captures the essence of success?

The original conversation began with writing.  Is this a conversation that needs to be a part of every content area in every school building?  

What do we value?

What do we support?

How do we know?




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.                                                     

        slice of life 2016




Full Disclosure: I’ve followed this band director for decades – to concerts and competitions, to the Alamo Bowl, and to the Orange Bowl so I’m a wee bit biased.  Band opened the doors for me to travel in the US and abroad. I attended this concert with his grandmother, mother, wife and daughter. I’ve known him and his work ethic for 40 years, and YET I also know that FUN and a passion for music is also a part of his agenda.  He’s my nephew!

Advertisements

#SOL18: Time


The lyrics from the Byrds have been going through my brain lately as I’ve lost track of day and night, days, and now even weeks, and WOW, how did it get to be August?

“To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven . . .”  Video, 1965.

What does it take to be an award winner?

This song won a Grammy back in the 1960’s.  Ah, yes, before many of you were born. So what is a classic?  What is real?  What needs to be repeated?  What needs to be retired?

Cherish . . . and another tune instantly comes to mind.

Do I have songs on my brain? 

Everything’s coming up roses and in verse! 

There’s something about the JOYFULNESS of song!

I’m hopeful that the joyfulness in my life spills over to ensure that joyfulness is a part of  every classroom this fall.  Enthusiastic teachers. Refreshed. Relaxed. Rejuvenated.

Ready for challenges.

Ready to toil anew.

Ready to advocate for EVERY student.

Ready to lose your heart to that next room full of students!

Screenshot 2018-08-05 at 7.57.22 PM

And yet, every day the clock will continue!  Can you find precious minutes for MORE reading and writing? Can you redistribute the time you have?

The students . . .

Excited students. Excited and eager for routines. Eager for learning.  Eager to make a difference.  Eager and enthusiastic to be back at school.

A time to be curious and focus on their brilliant minds and all the great things they do know. A time to think about next steps and small nudges of growth that will start spinning the success wheel.

 

time

Time shows what we value.

I love this quote from Ralph Fletcher.

“Time is a new kind of poverty. A schedule

that features daily writing communicates to

students: ‘Writing is one of my non-negotiables.

It’s too important for me to squeeze in

once in a blue moon’” (p. 45).

~ Ralph Fletcher

The Writing Teacher’s Companion

Scholastic, 2017.

What is on your daily schedule? 

What are your non-negotiables? 

How will we know?  

And just to come to a full circle . . . “So what is a classic?  What is real?  What needs to be repeated?  What needs to be retired?”

What is really necessary in your classroom?

What do students really need to learn?

How will you know?

Life is all about decisions.  Time is in your favor.  Many have just begun.  Many begin soon. Others have about three weeks.  How will you use every precious second in honor of worthwhile and necessary learning?

Screenshot 2018-08-05 at 7.55.30 PM

Before we can ask for MORE TIME, we must make sure that we use our existing time wisely!




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

#ILA18


Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 3.53.50 AM





Dear Austin,

Thank you for the amazing warm welcome,  a supportive place to celebrate with friends,  the learning, and the many great dining adventures.

Love,

#ILA Attendees





Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 5.18.48 AM

Spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips . . . Austin, Texas news . . . here



Celebrations . . .

Celebrating meeting so many in our #G2Great family as well as friends near and far.

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 3.57.22 AM

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 5.00.25 AM

A book birthday.

Screenshot 2018-07-21 at 12.21.53 AM

A real live face to face birthday!

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 4.58.57 AM

With friends

With friends from afar. . . FB Live (Julieanne & Justin) Facetime (Kitty & Justin)

With friends we have known for years are are just now meeting IRL (in real life)

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 4.57.56 AM

Our Montana connections!



The learning . . .

From the President of ILA, Doug Fisher . . .

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 3.56.55 AM

and not because of zip code!

From Cornelius Minor 

“Being nice in the face of oppression is not enough. Nice does not create change. Kindness does. Kindness means I care enough about you to call you out.”

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 3.57.57 AM

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 5.46.24 AM

For more from the keynote – see Mary Howard’s facebook post here.

From Courtney

We don’t know what we don’t know.

Trust the wisdom of our children.

Ask them.

From Jess

Check the language you use.

Who does not fit in?

How can I be more inclusive?

Listen, Research, Self examine.

Also – look at the books you have out when parents and students arrive.  Do they see themselves in your classroom?

From Kate

Learn more than you can do.  Keep learning.

Keep your head and heart ahead of your actions.

From Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins

“What’s more important than text level when considering text selection by teachers?1) Student Identity,

2) Joy,

3) Reading Process,

4) Depth of Thought

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 4.59.34 AM

From Reading Wellness

A weight lifting metaphor

3#  =   light effort- People magazine

5#  =   A Kitchen House – Kathleen Grissom

8#  =  Where good ideas come from – Steven Johnson

10# =  Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading – Alverman

Why is this not the same for our students?



Dining

Recommendations from the locals . . . Thank you, Terry and Clare.  We loved Uncle Julio’s.

And then pure decadence.

Banana Foster Bread Pudding.

Melt in your mouth.

Not Soggy.

Pure scrumptiousness!

Screenshot 2018-07-22 at 5.08.05 AM



How was your Saturday?  

#SOL18: North Star


Screenshot 2018-01-29 at 8.06.27 PM

That big star?  Always in the North?

Shining brightly

Easier to see out in the country

Away from “city” lights

Easily 100 carats bright

A stationary beacon.

It was a lab extra credit.  We took turns looking through a telescope.  But we really liked the view from the quilt on the ground.  The sky sprinkled with twinkling lights was mesmerizing.  And the “city slickers” slowed down to observe just a bit of nature.  I didn’t want to be there.  The ground was hard.  It was late.  A book was surely calling my name.

Read me. Read me.

But the uncertainty of whether I needed the extra credit made me linger.  I knew my lab partner probably needed my points as well.  That night – a peaceful view, a bit of learning and the company of friends and classmates.

I knew this.  I didn’t have to be there.  But it was Easy. No challenge  No stress.  Just time, a different location, and an opportunity for an out of the ordinary instructional experience.

Screenshot 2018-01-29 at 8.05.40 PM.png

There’s something magical about the North Star. I’m not sure if it’s the “constancy”, the fact that it doesn’t move, or just the symbol that guides us that sparks my curiosity (#OLW18).

What is your guiding star?

One of mine is my insatiable need to continue learning… and reading …and writing … I’m currently stuck on E’s

Engagement

Effectiveness

Equity

Embarrassment

and these quotes from our #G2Great chats:

My current North Stars – my source of direction comes from:

Screenshot 2018-01-06 at 5.45.30 PMScreenshot 2018-01-29 at 9.07.46 PM.png

What is your North Star?

Where does it come from?

What sustains it?




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

#SOL18: #OLW


Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 5.09.56 PM.png

Is it the luck of the draw?  The New Year?  A need for focus?

Whatever draws you to #OneLittleWord, do consider how that word will impact you for the next year.  I’ve been considering words since #NCTE17, that gathering of so many talented friends with so much learning, love, and laughter all rolled together.

Synonyms of my word from Dictionary.com:

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 8.50.18 AM.png

Disquisitive caught my eye. (” 1. Relating to disquisition; fond of discussion or investigation; inquisitive.”)  I tested it out and thought it would score well in Words with Friends2 but it just didn’t have the “OOMPH” I wanted in my #OLW.  Prurient also caught my attention in a negative way as that was not a synonym that I was expecting.

What’s your best guess at this point? 

What one word is a synonym for those in the Word Cloud above?

It’s all about word choice.

“CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.” (Link)

My history of #OLW

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

A visual for another hint . . .

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 5.31.36 PM

Got it? 

Just seven letters . . .

__  __  __  __  __  __  __

What is your #OLW? 

How and when will you reveal your #OLW?




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

And the answer is . . .

c

u

r

i

o

u

s . . .

When were you 100% sure that you had identified the correct word?  How important are our words?  What precise meaning do your words carry?  Do your perceptions match those of your students?

So much to consider in the area of building “word knowledge” in 2018!!!

2:00 pm – Changed the background

5:00 pm – added final graphic

Screenshot 2018-01-02 at 4.50.45 PM.png

Opening Doors to be Curious in 2018

 

#SOL17: Brave


“Bravery is not always a roar; sometimes it’s the quiet strength that we possess when we need it most.” ~@OnStageKimberly

Are you brave?

It may depend on how you define brave.

I eagerly anticipated “Brave” in 2017 because my word had found me in mid-December.   I tried it out quietly, drafted some ideas, rechecked my understanding, watched this video of Kimberly Davis and finally announced it here.  I embraced, Brave, and changed the wallpaper on my blog.

I checked in often.

Here

Here

Here  and

Here in this post today.

Little did I know how BRAVE was going to test me in 2017.

Test me personally.  Test me professionally.

Test me mentally. Test me spiritually.

And it was a roller coaster because there were days that went by in a fog and days where time stood still . . . and minutes became months.  And then there were the days that seemed to barely last one hour.   What a strange construct time can be . . .

Pulled.Stretched.Elongated.

Shortened.Retracted.Truncated.

Screenshot 2017-12-11 at 9.18.46 PM

And as the calendar pages have turned, I’ve embraced:

“courageous,

valiant,

 intrepid,

heroic,

 bold,

fearless,

gallant,

daring,

plucky, and

audacious.”

(Courtesy of Dictionary.com here)

Amid gnashing of teeth, crying, whimpering, screaming, and yelling . . .

I did not always go quietly into the night.

But as each night faded into daylight,

I welcomed the chance to begin each day anew.

And NOW, I celebrate!

We don’t have to be perfect!

Screenshot 2017-12-11 at 9.08.18 PM.png

Watch for more wisdom from this source (Released January 16, 2018):

Screenshot 2017-12-11 at 6.30.39 PM

Available January 16, 2018

 

What will my 2018 #OLW be?

Screenshot 2017-12-11 at 5.30.14 PM.png

How are you preparing for your 2018 #OLW?




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: Beginnings


Beginnings:

I’ve had a few. (Especially on this post today with technology gremlins!)

More than 50 “First Days of School” as a student, teacher, principal, or literacy consultant.

As a Mom, so many firsts, so much joy, pride and love.

As a Grandma, every visit is an adventure with new accomplishments.

I was in search of song lyrics and found these “Top 10″ but they didn’t include the melody that was bouncing in my brain.  Was it a real song or a “#wanttobeasongIthoughtIknew”?

“Where do I begin to tell the story?”

With two parts to my new “Beginnings”, life will be busy.  The first is going to focus on

Screenshot 2017-09-12 at 8.09.14 AM.png

No Eye Roll.

No, “Duh!”

No, “Really, Fran, is this just another excuse to read more books?  Buy more books?

This acronym is complicated!

R-Readers,

E- Everywhere, Taking

A-Action,

D-Daring to Dream

 

My Plan

As I’ve refined my thinking and yes, my writing in the last few weeks, I have faced many surprises. One of the biggest was that I was going to continue to focus on being a reader. The reality is that I’ve been reading for a very long time because I was reading before kindergarten. Yet, I propose to pay more attention to the craft I encounter in daily reading in order to continue my exponential growth as a writer. I don’t have reading or writing notebooks that cover decades of ideas.  Instead, I have bits, fits and dozens of beginnings where I waste precious time falling down rabbit holes as I try to remember where I wrote something. I have now made the conscious decision to move to an electronic notebook. I believe attainment of the bigger goal of being “Writers Extraordinaire” means that we all must be thinking “wide-awake readers” as we construct the meaning behind the words, pictures, videos and texts of the present and the future. Reading as a writer is SO different from the way I used to devour texts.

Reading (and Writing) is not just a school task.  Literacy requires life-long learning. Readers need to continue to choose to read long after they walk out of a school building, video conference or job site.  More careful attention to the world around us will result in a more informed citizenry everywhere in the world – not just in the U.S. With every technological advance the world shrinks and we need to stay connected with our colleagues around the globe to continue to grow as literate citizens of the world.

Joy surrounds us when we are “lost” in the pages of a book.  But even beyond the pleasure of exploring new worlds is the responsibility to think critically and consider sources, biases and points of view.  Thinking often demands taking action – both a right and a responsibility to apply our literacy skills.

As I work on this plan, I am “Daring to Dream” and using my #olw “Brave” to dream big for everyone everywhere.  I don’t know exactly what I will be doing myself but my goal will be to empower others on this journey as I continue to promote literacy for all citizens everywhere.  Current possibilities include:  more writing, adopting a classroom, and always more work with writing.




(Revision Note:  There were so many possibilities for this acronym.  Perhaps you prefer other word choices that better fit you . . .

R – Reflective, Reflection, Responsibility

E – Empower, Empowering, Encouragement

A – All,  Access, Actionable

D – Dare, Dream, Do, Denial)




The second part of my “Beginnings” is focused on Retirement.  August was bittersweet this year when I did not return to a classroom or to professional development in a building.  But I’m looking forward to exploring the opportunities listed in the acronym below (plus “Grandma activities”) that arrived on a retirement card last week. While not the same 8-4 schedule, I will be returning to independent literacy consulting work later this fall and I’m excited for the adventures that await!

20170912_064156_001

What are your new beginnings?

What new chapters of your life are you exploring?

Where are your literacy journeys taking you?




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: August


august.PNG

What’s your future?

Lazy days of summer continuing?

Shear panic as school soon starts?

Last days of vacation?

A room to assemble?

Weeks to go?

Days?  Hours?  Minutes?

According to Your Students:

Is school their safe place?

Is school a friendly place?

Is school a kind place?

Who is welcomed?  Who is not?

Who are the heroes?  Who is not?

What do we read?

What do we write?

Whose interests are included?

Whose ideas are reflected?

Who matters?  

Will you bravely include ALL?  




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: 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?

 

#SOL17: #OLW Check In!


It’s mid-July.

How am I REALLY progressing with my 2017 One Little Word?

brave-word-art

I love that Melanie also has BRAVE as her #OLW because I so admire her writing, her work and her balance of work and home. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kimberly’s Ted Talk – (@onstageKimberly) – BRAVE!  And of course this quote:

brave-olw

A quick perusal of archives finds these two posts:  my January 3rd announcement here and a March check in here that was incredibly sad.  2017 has been a year of changes.

Highs

Lows

And a lot of muddling around in between

Changes

My summer “brave” exploration has been “deep spying” on my response to reading this summer.  Some of my post public work has been with #cyberpd.

Publicly responding to this text . . .

As I read, reread, jot notes, sometimes draw pictures, reread, write, and yes, add post-its.  What does the text say?  What do I still wonder about?  What will this REALLY look like for teachers and students?

dynamic teaching book cover

My focus has been on these two areas:

  • “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
  • “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”

When it is time for “response to reading”, who makes the decision about format?  audience?  purpose?  

Who should make those decisions?

The standard that is usually “invoked” for writing in response to reading is this:

“CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.”

Two parts – drawing evidence and then doing something with that evidence – that is the goal!  What could this look like?

Possibilities:

Chapter 5 word cloud from quotes

A. Word Art:  Most Frequent Words

Cha. 5 two

B. Specific Quotes

Ch 5 three

C. Evidence and Reflection

(larger versions here on padlet from this post)

Which version would you prefer for your evidence?  Why?  

A. Words or Phrases

B. Quotes

C. Evidence and Reflection

 

How many ways do you know/use to present evidence?




How can I “show” the thrill of figuring it out?  

How can I “show” the messiness of taking a risk and learning?  

How can I also make sure that student VOICE and CHOICE are honored?

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to share evidence.

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to share thinking.

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Have you done this work?  What does your “messy” work look like?

Which domain are you working in?

brave-fullan-and-dimensions-of-teacher-leadership




slice of life

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

 

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.

doctorsam7

Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

A blog by Kari Yates

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching