Category Archives: Parent Resources

#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?

 

 

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#DigiLitSunday: Summer Slide


summer slidedigilit-button

Is this your belief?  

For your students?  

For yourself?  

How would we know?

What is summer slide?

Summer slide reports what students lose over the summer if they don’t read or write.  Reading and writing over the summer can promote growth for students.  But is that growth equitable?  Does it work for all students?  How much do they need to read and write?  Renown educator and researcher Richard Allington addresses this issue in School Library Journal here.

WRITING

There isn’t a lot of research about summer slide and writing.  Graduate students might want to consider that for an action research project.  What is the effect of “not writing” for a student after they write daily for 180 days?  How could we measure that? This may just be a cartoon but think about this from a student perspective for just a minute.

summer slide three

READING

There are many different infographics outlining summer slide. Which one will motivate you to action?

summer slide repeat.JPG

summer slide info.JPG

What can teachers and parents do?  Ask questions!

Writing:

Decorate new journals

Wonder logs for the summer

Writing stories with your child

Make a summer writing heart map of ideas to write about

Continue blogging – slice of life/ kidblog

Keep Learning Going Through the Summer series – #TWTBlog

Student or Adult Writing Partners

Reading:

Brain Chase

TBR Lists – (To Be Read)

Establish Reading Partnerships for conversations about the book

Set personal reading goals

Start a series (or two)

5 Apps for Summer Learning (not all are free)

summer slide four

How will you share this information with your students and their families?

summer slide five

 How will YOU continue your own learning over the summer?  

What professional book will you read?  

What book study will you join?

How will you model that “love of learning”?

summer slide six

#SOL15: How many ways?


Does this chart look familiar?

ways to read a book

What does this chart really mean?

What does it look like to read a book in different ways?

As you read the following, think about which chart category applies?

Crinkle the pages

Squeeze the duck on the back cover – “QUAAACK!”

Label the pictures: duck, dog, dog, rabbit, rabbit, goldfish, goldfish, duck – one word per page

Use the same sentence stem for each page:  “I see a __________.”

Name the sound the animal makes with its name for each page.

Name the action the animal makes as it moves in a two word sentence. (“Goldfish swims.”)

Ask a question about each page:  “Do you see the _________?”

Name the picture and say something about its color.

Name the picture and say something about its size.

Count:  “One duck, one dog, two dogs, one rabbit, two rabbits, one goldfish, a second goldfish, and one more duck.”

Take the pages out of the mouth and turn them slowly again, without any words!

Tell a story beginning with “Once upon a time there were some animals . . .

Point to the picture and name the animals again!

How many ways did this grandma read one 8 page book?

How have you taught parents to read a wordless paper book?

What can you add to this list?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Parent Resources for Common Core – ELA and Math


Wow!  More and more resources are available for teachers as they develop lessons to meet the requirements of  the Common Core.   Parents and community members who would like to view some Exemplar lessons for English Language Arts at grades 3, 7, and 8 can do so at this link.

Publications designed to explain the Common Core to parents are available for each grade level at the following links provided by the Council of the Great City Schools .

Parent Roadmaps for English Language Arts – Kindergarten through 8th Grade

Parent Roadmaps for Mathematics – Kindergarten through 8th Grade

How have you informed your parents of the changes required by the Common Core?  And your school community?  How could these resources help your communication processes?

 

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