Category Archives: #OneLittleWord

#SOL19: Day 9 SOLSC


Knock, Knock

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Lettuce.

Lettuce who?

Lettuce in, it’s cold out here!


Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Banana-rama.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Banana-rama.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Orange.

Orange who?

Orangen’t you glad I didn’t say banana?


 


Art Linkletter and “Kids Say the Darnedest Things”

What role does humor play in your day? 

What are your “go to” sources of humor?




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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The Awkward Yeti

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#SOL19: #OLW19 Celebrate


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Celebrating 2019 Reading

29 books listed for my 52 book goal in Goodreads

7 of 29 books are professional books.

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Celebrating Writing and 2019 Publications

Two posts at Literacy Lenses: “Creating a Conversational Thread:  Engaged Reading, Writing and Talking Across the Curriculum” and Game Changers!

Here at Resource – Full:  22 posts this year in 56 days

25 PUBLISHED!

Celebrating 2019 Talking (Twitter Chats)

Cohosting an #ILAchat on Independent Reading on 2/14/19 http://bit.ly/ILAchat_IndependentReading

Cohosting #G2Great chats – 7

Celebrating 2019 Learning Destinations

Minneapolis with Kathryn, Kari and Cornelius Minor

Denver CCIRA – 3 fabulous days of learning here, here, here, here, and here

TOTAL  29 + 25 + 8 + 2 = 64 literacy reasons to celebrate

Evidence of Reading, Writing, Talking (Chats), and Learning . . . 

What are you celebrating in 2019? 

How are you progressing with 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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#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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#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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Milestones


Milestones vary.

As the odometer turned 48884, a mathematical palindrome, I wondered about the 50,000 mile warranties that would soon expire. And the endless phone calls and junk mailings about warranties . . .

I watched the green mile markers as I traveled . . . another mile completed.

In life:

The big ones are birth and death.

But what is in between?

Everything that happens in year 1 is a milestone:

that first bottle

that first cooing sound

that first “roll over”

that first “pulling up”

that first step.

And then as life progresses –

Age 5 – eligible for kindergarten

Age 13 – teenager

Age 18 – voting rights

Age 21 – adult rights

And then the “0” birthdays . . .  30, 40, 50 and beyond.

All these milestones are CELEBRATIONS!

For clarity, here is a definition of milestones:

What do milestones look like?  

A fairly even and balanced stack of smooth, polished events?

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Rough shapes, each one unique, that are part of a route?

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Smooth shapes with a highly polished finish?

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A combination of  shapes, sizes, colors and routes?

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Do we recognize and celebrate the scholarly milestones that grow our students into readers and writers? 

Do we make allowances for alternate routes for students? 

Must all students meet the exact same criteria at the same moment?

Who chooses the milestone path? 

Milestones and benchmarks:  Helpful?  Harmful?  Does it depend on how they are used? 

Benchmarks that are used to “sort” students into colors, red/yellow/green, or groups for intervention or instruction may fall short of their goals because they are artificially imposed goals.  They also may be goals that are set independently of the assessment measure being used. Benchmarks that are used in “punitive” ways to slow down instruction and build isolated skills that are not used in real world literacy activities may fit into the category of “unhelpful” or even harmful benchmarks.  Benchmarks that require additional information to be collected including multiple reading and writing samples are a part of a “body of evidence” that covers many milestones . . . more than once!  And more than one type!

What milestones are critical for your grade level?  Why?

 

 

#SOL18: Reflections


I was amazed, disheartened, and ready to stop writing several years ago when I discovered and announced fairly publicly that my narrative writing skills were weak.  Maybe lower than weak.  Definitely NOT where I wanted them to be.

So what did I do?

I committed to writing more narratives.  I tracked when I wrote narratives.  I pulled out some rubrics. I studied some mentor texts. I wrote more.  I did not avoid writing narratives even though I can candidly report that I still “don’t love writing narratives.” My writing slowly and painfully improved.

And then having made some gains, I set narrative writing aside.

Does that process sound familiar?

Make a goal. Set a criteria as a measuring point.  Work towards the goal. Goal met!

DONE!

Perhaps it’s the “hurry up and git’r done” nature of many goals.  Perhaps it’s the idea of “taking your medicine quickly” to get it over with.  At any rate, I fear that I have lost some of those skills in the lack of volume in my writing and, in particular in my narrative writing.

I’m going to continue to study my writing as I also consider my “OLW” for 2019.  A couple words have fallen from the sky in front of me lately.  They are on the list.  But are they the “one“?  I don’t yet know.




PROFESSIONAL Learning Matters!

Have you checked out this work from Regie Routman?

How do you become a more effective teacher?

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Link

Out of the 10 which are you focusing on?

I’m working on these:

  • Prioritize
  • Work Toward a Culture of Collaborative Expertise
  • Focus on whole-part-whole teaching and learning



But what do I know? This data is shocking . . .

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Shared by Penny Kittle, 12.14.18  Source Link

This was looking at Middle School Writing Assignments in 2015.

How are they doing?

WE will have a state writing assessment this year.  Will our students be prepared if this is their background?  If 78% of middle school students’ work requires only short responses or a sentence or two?  Another 14% required a paragraph . . . hmmm ……. 14 out of 100 had assignments that required the student to write a paragraph.

What doesn’t this data say?

The data does not tell us whether 100% of the students attempted the task.

The data does not tell us if 100% of the students completed the task.

The data does not tell us anything about the quality of the paragraphs submitted.

The data does not tell us anything about how the paragraph was scored.

I am not advocating that all students be required to write multiple paragraphs every day.  But can we INSPIRE THEM to write more and CAN we ASPIRE to provide quality instruction that will encourage students to envision and craft stronger examples of personal writing?

But what about the 9% required to write more than one paragraph?

All four of the statements above apply if your change “paragraph” to “more than a single paragraph.”

Volume of writing does matter just as the volume of reading matters.  Based on the data above, students are still probably NOT writing enough per class period, across the day or across each semester of the year.

Where should we begin? 

What steps can we commit to for the long haul? 

What goals will we agree on?

Where is our sense of urgency?




On Friday, I sat next to sketchnote extraordinaire, Paula Bourque.  I did not know that she would be attending, but I had planned in advance to sketchnote and brought my Flairs knowing that I needed my markers in order to make progress.

Here’s my first page of notes from the day!

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My goals:

Take notes.

Add some graphics.

Use some color.

Show improvement.

More ideas than white spaces.

Find one part I really like:

  1. Distraction Addiction and Use Notebooks to slow down thinking
  2. Writing Matters – Emotional Response
  3.  Choices – We have to balance reading and writing

What are you learning that is new? 

How is it going? 

What is your goal?

Curious minds want to know! #OLW18




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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Bloom’s and Thinking 2.0


One aspect of travel time that I love is time to think.  Taking a break from outside stimuli and letting my curious mind wander and wonder.

When I left off last time in this blog post, I was thinking an hour glass fit my model of Bloom’s and how it actually works in a student brain.  After conversation here as well as with friends on Dr. Mary Howard’s facebook page, I decided to think about a broader conceptual piece.  For those of you who know which lobes of the brain really control “what”, please ignore that and think about what happens to the bits of information that are processed inside our brains.  (And do note – this is labelled as Draft 2.0)

20181213_154759

Bloom’s and the Brain:  How ideas may look as they are processed!

Sometimes the “uploading of ideas” may seem structured and other times the process seems to be more organic with much more give and take between levels.

Draft 2.0:  What do you think? 

How does your brain shift from one level to another? 

Is there some automaticity like an automatic transmission in a car? 

Or is there a bit of “gear-grinding” like a standard transmission with a tricky clutch?

  What’s your thinking?  

Bloom’s and Thinking


With the advent of the twenty first century, Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised and all the descriptors were changed to verbs.  One revised view looks like this

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How does this model serve the needs of our students and their lives?

Some might argue that the model is still too “bottom-heavy” as it appears to remain focused on “remembering” – a very low skill level.  Probably not quite as transformative and maybe also why packets still remain in classrooms as there is that “base knowledge” that students need to know . . . before they can move on to a higher order thinking skill.

So should we JUST flip it over and indulge in more creating (note = NOT crafting) and less emphasis on “rote memory”?

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So visually, the colors and words did NOT match so I struggled with thinking and re-thinking about what a re-conceptualism would look like.  “But my goal of drawing” this electronically was proving to be a challenge. So as a veteran color coder, I quickly fixed the word order and colors so I could literally compare apples to apples and the same levels across the board.  Creating was back at the top as you can see in the next iteration!

Screenshot 2018-12-07 at 10.48.53 PM

Some might argue that “Remembering” truly does need a bigger section and that would also help this triangle better “stand on its own base without danger of tipping over. I can go with that.  Some might argue that this might serve to show the cumulative outcomes of an entire educational history.

But what if . . . since we know that we are boring many students, still providing students with few choices, and not giving them a voice to co-construct evidence of learning, we shifted this view again?

My goal – reenvision how much time is spent on each of the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. What would the graphic look like if it more accurately portrayed the time that students need to be doing the thinking, reading, and writing work during the school day?

How do we shift to what STUDENTS need?

What if the shape was more of an hourglass?

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Where does your work as a teacher fit right now? 

Are you creating?

Are you analyzing and applying a lot?   

What would your new “thinking” or “curiosity” about Bloom’s lead you to?

How does this fit or align for students?




Can’t stop thinking – even if it is a Saturday . . . How would you “re-draw” Bloom’s?

#SOL18: Reading Research


What was the first thing that came to mind when you saw that blog title?

Which emoji matches your thinking?

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.07.33 AM

Reading the Research 

that someone else has done?

Research about Reading?

These are not necessarily the same.  So let’s explore just a bit.  If I put “reading research” into “The Google” – this is what I get:

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Think about it.  695,000,000 results and the first one that comes up is Reading Rockets.  It’s a “.org” so I can breathe a sigh of relief.  It’s not a commercial site so I don’t have to worry about ads or someone selling things. Reading Rockets link

How reputable is Reading Rockets?

Who runs it?

Where does the information come from?

What biases exist?

When would I use this site?

Some of those questions can be answered from the “About Page”. Some require a bit more clicking.  The information is reasonable and the classroom strategies might be a source to use as a quick survey or “screen” of what’s available.

And just in case you did not click and go to Reading Rockets, here is part of their home page.

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.22.45 AM.png

But is this a source you can trust?

.  .  .   It depends.

What do you need?  What are you looking for?

If instead I go to Google Scholar (which is on my toolbar for quick access), here’s what the same “reading research” search results look like.

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.09.13 AM

The results are fewer.  About 5,030,000. And the very first citation is the National Reading Panel Report from 2000.  I can see the number of times this source has been cited as well as related articles. If you’ve moved on to a major eye roll because you did not need “Research 101′ in this blog post, just stop and think. How many of your peers know the difference?  How many of your administrators know the difference? (And if you think it’s old, 2000, do remember that it was the last independently convened panel to study reading research . . . despite its flaws!) (Krashen, S. (2004) False claims about literacy development. Educational Leadership 61: 18-21.

Why does it matter?

If the solution to a questions is a Google search, I have just shown you the difference.  Terms that are thrown around in the education world a lot are “research-based, evidence-based, and scientifically research-based.”  And they are NOT without a great deal of controversy.

A Second Example

The following blog post was referenced on both Twitter and Facebook.  Hmmm . . . sometimes nefarious social media platforms. Sometimes NOT.  Sometimes a great source.  In my farming background, again, how do we sort out the wheat from the chaff?

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.23.46 AM.png

LINK

I don’t know Lindsay, but I do plan to find out if she will be at #NCTE18 to connect.  DOL is one old, out-dated practice that has to stop. Over 50 years of research has proven that grammar instruction does NOT improve writing.  Writing improves writing. Showcasing “golden sentences” in personal work and patterning writing after others. Some brilliant minds like Jeff Anderson and Dan Feigelson have published examples as well as many chapters in other books have research-based examples.

A Third Example

This list.  Research-Based Programs

“Where did it come?

What criteria was used to curate the list?

Who developed the “protocol” that was used to evaluate the programs?

Where are the reviews/protocols of the programs on the list?

What can I learn from the URL?

What questions remain after a quick perusal of the list?

How do I find answers to these questions?”

Who do I turn to when I need answers?  Who are my sources? Who are my most trusted sources?  Who are my experts? Who are my “super-experts”?

RESEARCH EXPERTISE

One source that I can always trust is Dr. Nell Duke.  Her article “10 Things Every Literacy Educator Should Know about Research” is a MUST READ. Every. Educator. in. EVERY. building. link

Tune in Thursday night to the #G2Great chat at 7:30 CST/ 8:30 EST for a lively conversation about just this topic. #BetterTogether

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.09.47 AMPer usual, my #OLW “Curious” brought me to this point.  On October 2, 2013, I blogged about the research on the “Effectiveness of K-6 Supplementary Computer Reading Programs” here.  Do those same considerations apply?  Do you now have data that supports that those programs work for your students in your building? Or are you still in search of the one perfect program?




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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Another Resource:      Link      

Truth & Research: What to Consider Before Selecting Literacy Curriculum and Programs

The Straw Man aka Balanced Literacy is NOT Whole Language Link

Problems with the National Reading Panel Report – From the Teacher in the Room – Link

 

 

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