Category Archives: Reading

#DigiLitSunday: Vocabulary


vocabulary-2-5-17 digilit

 

 

 

 

 

Additional DigiLit posts can be found at Margaret Simon’s blog, Reflections on the Teche.  Check them out here!

I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing “feral” posted in a variety of tweets and blogs over the last year.  I know what I thought it meant but before writing this morning, I decided to “see” what a definition really looked like!  Here’s what I found!

feral.JPG

What if our students were encouraged to have feral vocabulary experiences?

Would that be too extreme?  

What if students were thinking users of vocabulary?  

That was the premise of a session led by Katy Wischow (@kw625) at the 89th #TCRWP Saturday Reunion that was summarized in this post.  Vocabulary is complicated.  It cannot all be taught through context.  But when do we KNOW that a student really knows a word?

I believe that it’s when a student owns the word and uses it in his/her writing and quietly sit and wait for the teacher response after the word is found. It’s also when the student says, “Ms. M, I tried out “plethora”.  I think it works; please check it out for me!”

I gained an even deeper understanding of vocabulary at #NCTE16 with a presentation by Valerie Geschwind, Shana Frazin, Katy Wischow, and Char Shylock summarized here.

What do you believe about vocabulary instruction?

Does it “WORK” for all students to “study” the same words on a list?

When it comes to Vocabulary, I have more questions than answers.  If I am a “wide reader”, I have exposure to more words.  I can still remember my first exposure to “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious”!  Such a fun word that over shadowed the plot in “Mary Poppins” for days!  And words like “loquacious”, “accolade”, “capricious”, and “ubiquitous” add fun and joy to my life!  None of those words were ever on a vocabulary list for me to memorize or write in a sentence!  (Just sayin’.)

What words do you like to USE?  

How do you collect and use new words?

Bonus:

For those of you who coach others or provide PD, here’s an example of a Vocabulary Hyperdoc created by members of our literacy team for our local coaches designed to help teachers reflect on their vocabulary instruction and assessment practices.   (Content + Technology)

 

#SOL17: Evidence of a Reader


book

Does this sound like YOU?

How do you collect evidence of Reading Anchor Standard 10?

R. A.10. “Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.”

“Note on range and content of student reading

To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts. Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success.”  Source

How do we measure this goal?

Some teachers use reading logs and activities after reading.  However, those aren’t always popular with students, especially students who would prefer to simply

READ!

Check out this post by seventh grader Paul Sinanis, “Yes, I Love to Read!

Are teacher actions inadvertently causing students to read less?

Students today want voice and choice.  Written book reports, especially 5 paragraph essays, are probably NOT working in many classrooms.  Readers may simply not be “recording” the books that they are reading in order to be spared  what they see as the mind-numbing expectations of an adult.  Expectations that they don’t see as relevant.  Collecting titles and comments as part of a portfolio of a reader / writer may appeal to some students.  But what else can be used?  (This post about reading goals had some options to consider.)

Are you adding book covers to your classroom door?

Do you list what you are currently reading at the bottom of your email?

Do you talk about the books you’ve read?

How do YOU share your reading life with your students?

Are YOU, the teacher, using the same mechanisms for reporting that you require of your students?

How do we know what our Reader-in-Chief is reading?  We have been fortunate to have a President that reads for the last 8 years.  And his reading has been well-documented by the press in pictures, articles, and lists. Check out the New York Times story or  Electric Literature’s summary of President Obama’s reading here for two different perspectives on reading and the President.

What are the possibilities that you could consider?

A top 10 list?

A top 5 list?

A “TBR” picture?

An adaptation of Car Karaoke?

A conversation with a reader?

How will we know that YOU are a reader?  What evidence will YOU share?

slice of life

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

Reading Goals: What Do You Measure?


Disclaimer:  The ideas in this blog are not novel.  They are not original.  They are appropriately “sourced” where credit can be applied.  What is new / different / novel is perhaps the thinking that connects the ideas.  Research-based.ideas!  Student-centered.ideas!  Many folks KNOW this. But do the teaching practices match the teacher beliefs?

  1. Students need to read more in order to be better readers.  Volume matters. (Richard Allington)

How can students read more?

A.  Donalyn Miller – 40 book challenge

B. Book logs that keep track of books read. Compare lists over time.

C. Book lists kept by students that rate the books (scale of 1-5) and list genre.

D. Independent reading during class time followed up with time to talk about what was read.

Which ones of these have you tried and abandoned?

Did they work for awhile but then student interest seemed to wane and it seemed like students were “cheating” and recording books that they really hadn’t read?  Or perhaps books that students began to read but when the going got tough, the books were abandoned?

Did you REALLY understand the goal / purpose behind that undertaking?  Did you read the book behind the practice pushed into the classroom?  Participate in a book study?  Or did you find the pages on Pinterest or TPT and “try it” as a pilot with a high degree of skepticism.

If you went to the link above for Donalyn Miller’s 40 book challenge and read and even digested that post, you read these two paragraphs.

“The 40 Book Challenge isn’t an assignment you can simply add to outdated, ineffective teaching practices. The Book Challenge rests on the foundation of a classroom reading community built on research-based practices for engaging children with reading. Assigning a 40 Book Challenge as a way to generate grades or push children into reading in order to compete with their classmates corrupts everything I have written and said about reading. The 40 Book Challenge is meant to expand students’ reading lives, not limit or define it.

The 40 Book Challenge is a personal challenge for each student, not a contest or competition between students or classes. In every competition or contest there are winners and losers. Why would we communicate to our students that they are reading losers? For some students, reading 40 books is an impossible leap from where they start as readers, and for others, it’s not a challenge at all.”

This is just a small piece of Donalyn’s 40 book challenge.  Reading one blog, one tweet, or attending one hour long session at a conference is not enough for deep learning.  But it is enough to whet your appetite.  Your appetite for life-long learning as well as your yearning for a solution that makes sense to you, your students, and your community will grow.  Your appetite may lead to a mini action research cycle as you implement a research-based strategy in your classroom.

A week ago a friend of mine asked on Twitter:  “Does anyone have a genre chart they can share to encourage strong readers’ growth?”  And Dayna had several results immediately.

Steve shared this:

and Julieanne shared this:

I immediately drooled over both and wondered about combining them and adding

  • Quarter 1 Goal ________________
  • Quarter 2 Goal ________________
  • Quarter 3 Goal ________________
  • Quarter 4 Goal ________________

and then Steve added that his students also do this quarterly in google slides:

Why is this important?

Dayna Wells (@daywells) a principal in California asked the question. Two 5th grade teachers replied. Steve Peterson (@inside the dog) from Iowa and Julieanne Harmatz (@jarhartz) from California. Teachers collaborating online to share their practices. (And of course commercial #107 for WHY you really should have a professional Twitter account! joyful) Because if you followed them on Twitter, you would also know that they all three blog as well and you would have access to additional resources about / from each of them! (Commercial #108 for Twitter)

Relevance?  What do you measure?

Matt Renwick (@ReadByExample), a public school administrator in Wisconsin, believes that “volume” is not enough for reading goals in his January 1, 2017 post “I didn’t meet my reading goal (and is that okay?)”.  Goodreads said, “Better luck in 2017.” But his reading was rich.  And look at all the qualities that Goodreads did include in their report as compiled by Kendra Grant:

goodreads.JPG

If you go back to answer choices A, B, C, and D above, how do those match up with the goodreads list.  I think 5 of the 7 data points are easily covered.  Do you NEED 5 data points? Maybe.  Maybe not.  Do you need ALL 7 data points?  Maybe. Maybe not.  It all depends upon the ultimate goal of your independent reading.

Quantity?

Quality?

Who our students are?

Who our students might become as readers?

What’s the ultimate goal?

Is the purpose for a reading goal . . . to hold a student accountable for what they read? Or provide proof that they read and understood and (gasp) remembered a boatload of details to answer a quiz?

Or is the purpose of the reading goal to provide an opportunity to NURTURE a love for reading?  And to encourage / nudge EVERY student to become an avid reader? See “Let’s Not Kill the Love of Reading” by Dr. Tony Sinanis (@TonySinanis).

Is the purpose to make sure that the teacher is helping all students to “BECOME a reader” (Thank you, Dr. Mary Howard – @DrMaryHoward) ?

What data do you need?

The data needs to match your ultimate goal AND the needs of the students.  Are you thinking, “OK, I can keep doing what I have been doing?”

2. “Students do not need:

Programs / contests that provide extrinsic reward

Book Reports

Packets of activities”

Why are they missing?

THEY.DON’T.WORK!

Section 2 of the table of contents is included so you can see the practices that support increased student achievement.

“SECTION 2: WHY NOT? WHAT WORKS?
Why Independent Reading Matters and the Best Practices to Support It, Barbara Moss

  • Does Independent Reading Influence Student Achievement?
  • If We Know Independent Reading Is Effective, Why Don’t We Do It?
  • A New Reason for Independent Reading: The Common Core State Standards
  • What Practices Are Critical for Effective Independent Reading?
  • Why Independent Reading Matters Most for Striving Readers and English Learners
  • The Last Word: An Overview of Independent Reading Implementation by Teachers

Need more evidence?  Check out “Three Keys to Creating Successful Reading Experiences” by Pernille Ripp (1/4/2017) and  “Revisiting My One Classroom Non-Negotiable” by Christina Nosek.

YOU MUST . . .

  • stop wasting students’ time,
  • stop assigning “activities” in the name of accountability,
  • make sure that anything you ask  require students to do is that which YOU are willing to do as well in your own independent reading life.

DO YOU . . .

  • keep a log?
  • set goals?
  • reflect on your goals?
  • meet your goals?
  • discuss how you feel about your reading?
  • review the text complexity of your own reading?

Do your personal practices match your instructional practices?

You MUST utilize some “lens” or filter to sort out resources.

These are NOT all equal.  A single number is NOT a goal!

How does your goal match your purpose?  What are you REALLY measuring?

Process Goal for this Post:

Combine tweets; google docs, drawings, and slides; blog posts, books and Voxer conversations for a blog post with at least eight links for the reader to peruse and consider as they reflect upon whether their current teaching practices SUPPORT increased student reading!  (And thanks to Dayna, Steve, Julieanne, Mary, Christina, Matt, Tony, Donalyn, Debbie and Barbara for the wonderful way that their work supports each other!)

Added 1.06.17

Kylene Beers facebook post about lifetime readers!

kylene-beers-lifetime-readers

#SOL16: #NCTE16 Friday Takeaways


Bookended by our Thursday and Friday evening dinners . . .

are over 16 pages of notes, hundreds of storified tweets, pictures galore and thousands of words.  Words Matter.  Words matter whether spoken or written.  Words in the heart matter as well. As a #TCRWP aficionado stunned by the passing of Deputy Director Kathleen Tolan this weekend, I celebrate my learning about small group reading instruction last summer with Kathleen even though I still yearn for more.  That gritty, passionate, talented, brilliant and sometimes “pushy” Deputy Director would want us to carry on . . . Make the students in front of you YOUR PRIORITY! FOCUS on students!

FRIDAY at #NCTE16

The Heinemann Breakfast on Friday honoring the Legacy of Don Graves was a star-studded celebration.  I felt like the red carpet was rolled out to recognize the literacy superstars in the room who all had stories to tell that encouraged us to roll up our sleeves, pay attention to students and get to work.  From Penny Kittle’s, “When Don asked me to do something, I did it!” to her credo “NCTE is a place to settle your soul” we were entranced!  Katherine Bomer reminded us that “Writing to discover what we care about is brave and that writing is a way a student’s voice comes into power and reminds us that we are all human.”  Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell shared that their “mentor text drop box – a way to organize and access mentor text – represents the generosity of Don Graves.” This breakfast was a family breakfast that reminded us of who we are and where we are going together. ( Heinemann Podcast Link)

Charts as Tools for Conversation, Advocacy and Action (Martinelli, Schwartz, & Luick)

The focus of this presentation was on the purpose of charts, ownership and environment, reflection and action.  The two words that I heard over and over were “purposeful planning”!  This is embodied in sketching out the steps to check clarity, the vocabulary used, and the ability of the chart to act as the teleprompter for the teacher.  Of course, a crystal clear teaching point helps!

One caution was to make sure that students’ voices were included in discovering learning together . . .students could contribute definitions, examples, and even make their own tools to use.  Tools that begin in the minds of teachers become ideas that can eventually be handed over to the students. (Isn’t that what transfer is REALLY all about?) I’ve heard many, many, many TCRWP staff members say that when we introduce a tool, coach and provide support for a tool, we MUST have a plan for the tool to go away. Graphics in a chart are really meant to be replaced by pictures or names of your own students. Or even better, by students who make their own charts because they know the purpose and that’s good for teachers, students, and LEARNING!

Vocabulary Matters!  – Valerie Geschwind, Shana Frazin, Katy Wischow and Char Shylock

How do students ever learn enough words to improve their vocabulary?  How do students become invested in their OWN learning?  Who’s really doing the work in vocabulary learning?

Step 1.  Listen carefully.

Step 2.  Wait.  

Too often when students say things that are untrue or unbiased, teachers jump in. Instead of the teacher teaching 24/7, maybe students should teach us so that they have the skills that they need for the rest of their lives!  

Step 3.  Think.   What do we know ( or What do we think we know) about …”

Step 4.  Audition what you know.  Try it on.  Is this idea never true? Sometimes true? Always true?  (or True for me? True for us? True for you?)  Set up a place or way for students to go do this!!!

Step 5. Revise and rename.  What assumptions changed?

Step 6. Spread the word.

This presentation included opportunities for us to think about shifting our beliefs, taking note of vocabulary words, increasing our word curiosity and consciousness and “settling our souls in teacher church”.  Shana Frazin told us that “English is her superpower and Hebrew is her kryptonite.”  If  we think of a word in another language, how does that add to our repertoire? How does working with “categories” help students access MORE words.  And then Katy  illuminated some FUN, JOYOUS ways to find a few minutes to incorporate vocabulary work. . . in a closure – share, in a mid-class tip, in spare 5 minutes before the bell rings or even a simple conversation like . . .

“Wow guys,  you are doing such fascinating work with characters… let’s talk about…. which would you rather be, character A or character B and why?”

Some activities take time:

  1. Sentence game
  2. Grid game  – person and question
  3. Play with words –  Beck’s Bringing Words to Life  (Would you rather?  How much would you like to ?  Which is more important to ? When/ how should you?)
  4. Word sorts – content words for open or closed sorts
  5. Other work – paintings or artwork.

Vocabulary work that has student learning and ownership as the goal WILL stick with students.  Vocabulary work that has “correct answers on the quiz” as an end goal . . . NOT so much!

The Power of Low Stakes Writing with Ralph Fletcher 

Fun

Laughter

Advice from students

“Use top shelf adjectives and verbs”

Metaphorically

Like a big balloon…

Real choice

Audience (beyond the teacher)

A sense of fun and adventure

Teachers  who value

Invention, originality and voice

So what happened to the big beautiful balloon?

Student Choice increases energy and excitement to make the balloon soar.

Test prep brings the balloon back to the ground.

There is a battle between freedom and discipline

But teachers do have choice and must be

BRAVE to bring choice back with any of these . . . (and also low-stakes)

  • Free Choice Fridays
  • The Writer’s Notebook
  • Class Writer’s notebook- Students inspired by what others write
  • Classroom blogs
  • Slice of Life Challenge
  • Open Cycles – where students chose the topic and genre
  • Need writing green belts – tap into the writing Ss are doing
  • FERAL writing
  • Study Driven Writing (Source  Katie Wood Ray)

Recklessly wonderful writing.

Students choose to work on writing because

The ideas of writing give them energy.

Multiple Layers of Literacy Learning – 

(Amy Brennan, Dani Burtsfield, Jill DeRosa, Kim Gosselin, Jennifer Hayhurst, Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson, Marissa Moss, Stefani Nolde, Erica Picarole, David Schultz, and Kari Yates)

What do you think of when you hear professional development?  Who is it for?  This session included conversations about learning for teachers, parents, and students. Learning, fun, and choice are necessary ingredients for multi-dimensional opportunities for all to grow! Summer school included learning for teachers and the students!

Advocating for Revision in Reading: Meaning Making as a Journey, Not a Destination  – Ellin Keene, Matt Glover, Dan Feigelson and Kathy Collins

Students who are reading and writing A LOT know a lot.  Ellin had an example of a six year old who understood the use of metaphor.  Students who read and write have the tools to share their thinking at deeper levels than we may have considered.  How do we help them revise their thinking?  Sometimes it means the adult must close his/her mouth in order for the student to take the lead!  Students need to learn to be comprehension decision makers! Students have to be flexible thinkers and not seekers of “right” answers.  Building a “Reader’s Identity” is a desired outcome, not a letter of a level! What are the characteristics of a reader that you admire?  That’s a different question than those that are typically part of a story inquisition! Product and process do matter so

“Privilege all texts”

” Our attention shows what we value!”

“Show reading identities.”

“Elevate the book.”

“Elevate the readers of the book.”

Dear Reader, Are you still here with me?

At this point we were off to the #HeinemannPub reception for the #TCRWP Reading Units of Study Libraries, the #StenhousePub reception for authors, and then dinner with #G2Great Voxer cousins!  Many miles of words and ideas heard, considered and studied!

So what caught your attention on this overview of Friday’s learning at #NCTE16?  

When were you nodding your head and saying, “YES”!

slice of life

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

And a “Paul Harvey – the Rest of the Story” video here . . . How Friday ended!

#DigiLitSunday: Gratitude for #NCTE16 Learning


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Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche encouraged us to blog about “Gratitude” this week.  Read more links here.

.gratitude

My gratitude is for all those who attended (in person or at a distance) #NCTE16 and shared their reflections.  Here are my favorite quotes from our conference days. (Note they are NOT numbered so that I can include those that are “sticking with me” without stressing over the ones that have to be left out!)

  • “Courage is more exhilarating than fear–and in the long run it is easier.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt via Tom Newkirk
  • “We do not teach for mastery.  We teach for revolution.”  – Cornelius Minor
  • “Classrooms have to be spaces of light. That’s our revolution. What you do on Monday at 8:30 is gonna change the world.” Ernest Morrell  
  • Successful readers revise their thinking, and there is a huge chasm between those kids and the kids who grab a thought and then just hold on to it.  – Ellin Keene
  • “You probably don’t know adults’ DRA, you don’t know what level book they are reading. You might not even know what their community values. We acknowledge their habits and behaviors.” – Matt Glover
  • “Exploration, risk, and failure are essential components in a writer’s growth. Exploration and risk will not occur if everything is graded.” – Kelly Gallagher
  • “When we give students multiple choice tests, you get multiple choice test thinkers for an essay world.” – Kelly Gallagher

 

from-julieanne

And from sessions that I did not attend personally but could still learn from due to generous Twitter and blog authors:

  • “End every day with JOY no matter how the rest of the day may have gone.”  – Franki Sibberson
  • “It’s not what I do that matters, it’s what I do in relation to what my students need that makes a difference.” – Chris Tovani
  • “DO NOT USE THE TERM THOSE KIDS. Every kid that walks into the classroom needs an opportunity. They all need you.” – Sharon Draper
  • “All of life is material for writing. I rewrite the past as I wish I’d done.” – Tim Federle
  • “When you don’t know the language, you don’t realize how important it is to have language.” -Shana Frazin
  • “If you don’t struggle in front of students, they think you have a writing gene they don’t.” – Kelly Boswell
  • “When I’m not writing I notice a huge difference in my teaching. I need to be writing.” – Beth Moore
  • “Help kids revalue themselves as readers by explicitly showing them the complex work they are already doing.” – Dorothy Barnhouse
  • “The Just Right Book is the book that meets the head and the heart.”- Penny Kittle
  • ““If I gave a child a topic, I would find out what they know about the topic, NOT what they know about INFORMATION writing.” – Mary Ehrenworth
  • “We must not judge a child’s story by the chapter of his/her life that we walk into.” – Kristin Ziemke
  • “We have an obligation to tell and share stories. And we must make all kids visible in our learning communities.” – Sara Ahmed

What were your favorite quotes? What continues to linger in your mind?

Thanks to all who tweeted and / or blogged about #NCTE16!  Amazing Learning!

thank you languages

#SOL16: Back to School


Joyful Learning!

school

Depending on your geographic location,

  • you could have been in school already for over two weeks – Allison in Arizona,
  • have completed one week with students – Justin in Kentucky and Kathryn in Minnesota,
  • have students returning today – Julieanne in California or
  • even have students waiting for floodwaters to recede like Margaret in Louisiana.

Whereever you live, the calendar is marching on, and school will soon begin.

In 2015 this back to school blog post focused on relationships and learning priorities while the 2014 post here included blogs and quotes and Lucy Calkins’ challenge to “outgrow ourselves as readers”.  And more recently, this #DigiLit Sunday post was also about planning for the new school year.

Are you prepared?  And what does that mean for you?  

Is your room ready?

Have you added some alternative seating?  Additional partner seating?  How do you allow the students to have some say and choice in the room arrangement?  What does your library look like?  Are students able to easily access books in the classroom library?

Are your first instructional days planned?

How will you greet your students?  What is your first Read Aloud going to be?  Your first mini lesson for reading workshop?  Writing workshop?  Your own first demonstration writing piece?  And what about that first poem?

“The First Day of School

I wonder if my drawing will be as good as theirs
I wonder if they’ll like me, or just be full of stares
I wonder if my teacher will look like mom or gram
And I wonder if my puppy will wonder where I am.

~Aileen Fisher”

Have you set your goals for the year?

My wish is that every child will have joyful learning every day of school that will allow him or her to grow beyond belief in reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, math and research (science and social studies). Each classroom will have a skilled, enthusiastic and passionate teacher who focuses on meeting the needs of the whole child!

kafele.jpg

Not sure if you are ready?  Need some more ideas?  Sarah Brown Wessling writes about her pledge to students here or check out this NEA Back to School Guide!

Are you REALLY ready?

What are your planning priorities right now?

And what about personal priorities for your very own children?  Are they starting a new school year as well?  As a student? As a teacher? As a parent?

What rituals do you share with them?

My son and I had a first day “back to school tradition” of dinner out.  Dinner out at a fancy schmantzy restaurant where we could talk about the first day of school and everything that happened away from the rush of meal prep or the stack of ever-present work.  A joyful celebration of new beginnings!

slice of life 2016

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

 

#DigiLit Sunday: Planning Process


digilit

Margaret Simon has invited us to blog about planning for the new school year today for DigiLit Sunday. You can read more posts here at Reflections on the Teche.

Planning has been on my mind lately and actually has been my blog topic the last two posts here and here.

Where to begin?

With my #OLW – JOYFUL!

What’s my end goal? (Backward Design)

Joyful Learning for all!

How will I achieve my end goal?

Careful appraisal of my current status,

Develop a plan to integrate my learning from this summer,

Plan, plan, plan

Short term targets and

Long range goals!
foundation

Foundation:

Bricks = Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

Mortar = Mindset, “YET”, Brave, JOYFUL

Filling the inside with all that I know . . .

Determining Priorities Based on Data . . .

and then continuing to collaboratively increase my knowledge with my colleagues who blog, tweet and vox about literacy, learning, passion, joy, leadership and fun for students!

Sounds simple?  “The proof will be in the pudding . . . 

I will be planning on monthly check ins with my plan.

Approximately 200 days to fruition.

How will you know if your plan is working?

I’m borrowing this MLK quote from a PD session led by Justin (@jdolci). . .

mlk

 

#SOL16: Footprints


 

footprints

Straight paths to learning this summer . . .

At TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes

Bookstudies for “Who’s Doing the Work?” and “The Journey is Everything”

Blogging

Twitter chats

Voxer conversations

Reading

Writing

Thinking

Paths to Fun . . .

Time with my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandson

That infectious laughter

That unquenchable love

That precious 14 month old that pushed the button on the phone to make the zoo animal reappear

Paths that endure . . .

My godparents celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary

Meeting “Slicers” face to face

Hearing stories from authors

Laughing and crying simultaneously

Our journey . . .

Friends continuing to learn together

Friends and colleagues collaborating across the miles . . .

Striving to improve

To meet previously unmet needs

To grow

To learn

To respect all

As a teacher, coach and colleague, how do I live these?

How do those around me know that these are important?

mindset stances mraz and hertz

Back to learning

Two days of Student-Centered Coaching

Prepping for Professional Development

Reviewing,

Considering Possibilities,

Studying where I have been . . .

Continuous Reflection

What footprints am I leaving?

How do I know?

slice of life 2016

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

What footprints will you be leaving this week?

(Thanks Kristi and Christine for the infographic from A Mindset for Learning:  Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth!)

#SOL16: Who’s Doing the Work


The quality of professional development texts for 2016 has been amazing.  One book that I continue to return to time and again to deepen my understanding is this one by Jan Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris.

work

Twitter chats, Voxer discussions and Google docs have been the electronic formats that we’ve used for our conversations.  You can review the storified chats by clicking on the links to these Literacy Lenses posts:  Read Alouds, Shared Reading, and Guided Reading,and Independent Reading.  You can also see connections and learning about/from this book in my previous posts here, here, and here. Some of you may have been fortunate to be a part of this group that presented at the #ILA16 Institute “Who’s Doing the Work? last Friday or been in the audience to see the presentation.

wdtw ila16

For those of you who don’t participate in Twitter chats, Voxer discussions or Google doc conversations book studies,

YOU HAVE MISSED SO MUCH LEARNING!

I’m not saying that you have to do all three of those but if you are a teacher of reading or writing, you must be doing some reading and writing in the summer. Learning is both efficient and effective when it includes collaborative study with peers.  I still have to do the work and wrestle with my own understanding, but then I also appreciate hearing other perspectives from colleagues and coworkers.

 Here are just a few samples from my work with understanding this book!  These are some excerpts from my writing about my reading!

A. Word Splash from Chapter 1  

Write a paragraph that uses five or more of the words listed below and is related to teaching reading.

  • scaffold
  • empowered
  • energy
  • transformative – not used
  • love
  • process
  • motivation
  • risk – not used
  • learn
  • effort
  • choice
  • trust
  • Independence    (used 11)

“Reading well requires students to put many processes to work simultaneously in an effort to understand whatever material he/she is learning from.  Factors that play into success in reading are enhanced when the student is allowed choice and is trusted to spend time reading materials of his choice.  Independence in reading takes effort and energy as a reader is empowered to construct his own meaning of texts.  Too difficult text may be frustrating and may cause the student to be too dependent on teacher scaffolds.  Motivation to continue to read may come from the synergy of the right text at the right time with the right amount of practice!”

 

B. Quotes to Ponder – Chapter 1 (Respond both before reading and after reading)

“To grow and develop as readers, children need instruction that mirrors the ‘end’ goal–readers with smoothly operating, balanced reading processes who feel empowered and motivated to take charge of their reading lives.”  (p.24)

Before Reading:  Readers need to read in order to grow and develop as readers.  Answering a barrage of questions as before, during , and after reading does not make them better readers.  The right amount of instruction matched with the right texts will build independent readers who can and do read.

“Knowing a student’s reading level, however, does not tell us anything about how that student reads … .”  p.24

Before Reading:  Reading level only tells you approximately what level text the student was last successful on.  That letter or number doesn’t tell anything about the reader and what they CAN do!

After Reading:  I am so fascinated by the fact that these two sentences followed each other in the text.   All 3 cueing systems need to be firing simultaneously (like all pistons in an engine) in order to efficient, effective reading.  Instruction can’t be parsed out and over-focused on any one element! (quote 2) All three readers had same letter but different issues.  The level is only one piece of the data puzzle.  It’s not the end game.

“Each instructional context, from read-aloud through independent reading, makes a unique contribution to students’ growth in proficiency and agency.” (p.27)

Before Reading:  The student is a product of all instructional contexts so each, ind. Reading – read-aloud, are important to his/her development.  Those contexts help build the “want to read” motivation so that students are successful later!

“Teaching across the gradual release of responsibility with an emphasis on reading process–versus an emphasis on reading level–will change the way you teach reading forever.” (p.27)

Before Reading:  Reading level is limiting – reading processes open up the universe to the student! Process will help focus on what the student is capable of and will provide the information needed to keep the student moving forward.  Reading is not about a certain % to pass a leveled book test.

After Reading:  Fascinating, again, that these two sentences were also back to back in the text.  Balance in reading processes requires a balance in instructional contexts that creates the internal motivation to read/learn . . that want to read.  And when you focus on reading process (within GRR), your teaching will be changed forever!!!

Subtle shift to “What can you try?”

C. Poem – Chapter 5 (Independent Reading)

Choose from these words to create a poem.

skill independent encounter conferences
learning difficult agentive struggles
automaticity quiet responsibility community
apply strategy differences evolved
solve pleasure assessment books
observe benefits selecting zone
transfer problems passions guidance
strengths exchange reading titles
support individual opportunities energy
habit performing levels just-right
glitches ideas stamina choice

Which words would you choose?

What would your poem look like?  

What would be your evidence of learning?

Here’s mine.

Independent Reading

Choice.

Choice in what I read

Choice in when I read

Choice in where I read

Choice in ideas I explore

Choice in whether I want to or need to reread

Choice.

Choice in community in which I share

A habit, deeply ingrained in my readerly life

My responsibility to monitor

Building on my strengths, my passions, my pleasure in learning

Growing as a reader

Joyful . . .

Choice.

Of those three activities, which would you consider:

A:  Word Splash

B. Quotes to Ponder

C. Poem

And WHY?

How do you work on your learning?

Twitter, Voxer, Google Docs, Blog Posts = Evidence of my learning

Low Tech would be paper, pencil, markers, notes . . .

What’s your evidence of learning / thinking?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  The hardest step is the first step of your learning journey!

 

 

 

#TCRWP Travel


travel

3:47 am landing in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday.

Before that,

we had drinks and snacks served on the nonstop Delta flight.

Before that,

we actually departed LaGuardia.

Before that,

Our captain, with flying hours left, arrived from Canada and was released from his previous plane.

Before that,

we had libations comped courtesy of the captain.

Before that,

we wondered if a captain could be found or if we would be required to deplane.

Before that,

we watched as passengers in the first bus returned because the catering truck left without filling water, ice, and the necessities for flight.

Before that,

we entered a bus to head to our plane scheduled for a non-stop flight to Des Moines.

Before that,

the long awaited announcement that our flight was ready to board.

Before that,

the announcements of restricting the number of flights in NYC airspace.

Before that,

the announcement that the FAA closed the airport due to lightning strikes within 3 miles of the runaways.

Before that,

resettling at a new gate without electrical plug ins.

Before that,

the announcement that our flight would now be leaving from Gate D12.

Before that,

I began writing my blog post for Saturday.

Before that,

As flights resumed, I was finally able to find a seat in a “re-charge” area.

Before that,

I considered myself lucky to have a seat in the terminal packed with folks like me ~ eager to travel ~ but grounded when the FAA closed the airport runways due to a tornado warning.

Before that,

I was recording reading notes and sobbing while reading.

Before that,

I sat and devoured . . .  What a great pairing!  Thanks, Justin, Susie and Sally for recommending such great choices!

 

 

Before that,

I was at the #TCRWP Closing for the 2016 June Reading Institute!  Surrounded by friends and so many folks who LOVE reading!

Before that,

I was at the #TCRWP 2016 June Writing Institute!

 

Screenshot 2016-07-03 08.15.20

 

Eventful travels home from #TCRWP June Reading Institute?  

Still in NYC? 

Safe travels for all learners!   And especially for those soon heading to ILA16 in Boston!

 

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