Category Archives: Slice of Life 17

#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

August #TCRWP Reading: Day 1


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Monday arrives with rain and yet the fire in my brain flames on . . .

Lucy Calkins keynote . . .

Laughter with Natalie Louis . . .

Learning with Kelly Boland Hohne

Illumination with Cornelius Minor

Such was the Monday in my life!

Today’s post is a recap of information from Cornelius Minor from his closing session: “Using Digital Tools to Offer Access to Students with IEPs”

Access for all Kids – Why is Access Important?  (AKA “Research to Weaponize”) 

  •        UdL – more inclusive
  •        On heels of Civil Rights
  •        Architects – ADA compliant – door width, door knob  (designed from inception)
  •        Knowledge of the three networks that access the brain:
    • Recognition (input – see, hear, perceive);
    • Strategic (executive functioning); and
    • Attitude (and feelings about teacher and learning)

 

Here is a chart I developed to organize some of the information shared by Cornelius.

                                                             What is the main thing?  
Skills Instruction
Vocabulary

Alfred Tatum – Teaching Reading to Adolescent Black Boys  (Chicago) (EL)
Start with verbs – most common  (not ameliorate)  to speak, to move, to think

Build on strengths!

Synonyms:  Ponder, saunter, exclaim – derivatives of most common words.

Camera  saunter A , B photographer

Video ponder B, A videographer

Develop criteria together.

Make pic for word wall – Use students in the class

Social – Doing and Talking

Fluency

The sound of my voice when I am reading text I care about.  (have to like my audience as well as my text)

Teen ink  is a source

“The day I met you was a bad hair day”

Need texts that are worthy of practice.

“Going to play Simon says. You are going to read the poem like I do!”

3 different emotions:

  1. “You just ate the last Dorito” and I wanted it
  2. “Cutest baby” – change voice to match your meaning
  3. Accused, but didn’t throw paper ball!

   Annotate text for emotion

Specific Chrome Tools

  • Announcify
  • Read and Write for google
  • Ginger – grammar checker
  • Google dictionary – define and save
  • Text compactor – summary
Have 3 or 4 that are extremely effective.

More is NOT better.

Can also change readability

Effort

Behavior mirror

Transfer – Use contexts that are familiar – Audio / Video – Students use daily!

Do what the leader does!  SELL it!

Effort lives in our methodology.

What was something tried and true?  

What was new?  

What will you do next?




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: #TCRWP Writing – New Friends – Day 1


It began with a DM:

Coaching institute or writing institute?

And of course, there was no easy answer.

It depends!

Knowledge, background, willingness and ability to THINK

and apply.

Such a pleasure to meet that coach this week at the #TCRWP August Writing Institute and to sit in the front row together,

listening to Lucy Calkins together,

tweeting together,

nourishing our social media connections and

our face to face interactions.

NOT on Twitter?  

Then you are missing out on PD opportunities from your home like:

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And I don’t say that lightly!  What a great morning!  More in another post! (Shana Frazin)

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What was your story of Monday?  What did you read or write?

I know 140 characters doesn’t cut it for some folks.  Being concise is an art.  But check out this blog post by my friend Sally Donnelly who I also met via Twitter and TWT for a beautiful summary of Lucy’s keynote with some staggeringly wonderful organization!  I just have a glorious collection of stories!

Keynote – “Fun with Reading and Writing Blog”

Homework caused this post to be quick and light.  More later!




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

AND YES, My Craft Moves is now autographed by the Author!  Thanks, Stacey!

#SOL17: Just Wait . . .


What sentences or words caused

Anxiety,

Fear, or

Trepidation

in your Impressionable Growing Years?

Was it the dreaded . . .

Dum, ta Dum . . .

giphy

Just wait til your dad gets home?

It was a dark and stormy night

(Sorry, Snoopy, I had to borrow that, but it’s so untrue

so that’s why the strike through was used!)

Rules

Expectations

Permissions

One memory

That persists

Decades and decades later . . .

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

for Dad to get home.

What had I done?

Nervous,

Anxious,

Apprehensive . . .

Running to the door.

Announcing to all,

“HE’S HOME!”

Then running to get the tools.  It was time.

The house was brand new!

It took an

“Act of Dad”

For measuring, drilling holes and pounding mollies into the wall.

Unthinkable?

It wasn’t drywall.  A nail couldn’t just be pounded in.  A different form of gypsum board.

Not really a control issue.

A forward-thinking Dad who did’t want to spend future days patching holes and matching paint.

“Just wait ’til Dad gets home to hang items on the wall!”




Where do your ideas come from?

What techniques do you use to build anticipation in your stories?  

Could this structure work for you?




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

Idea Source:  A one line memory (often-used phrase)

Technique:  Like a riddle, give clues, without revealing until the end.

Graphic:   Giphy search for “waiting for dad”

#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. 

 

#SOL17: Lunchroom Monitor!


Two score and four years ago . . .

A difficult job

An unfortunate situation

Unrealistic expectations

I found a vacant lot. “I should have googled it. Did I really think that I would remember the exact location?” The new building, the replacement school, has been  there for more than 30 years. “What was I thinking? Duh!”

Not thinking!  Duh!

Why now?  What crazy impulse had possessed me to drive around . . . today?

Spare time?  A feeling of nostalgia?  Perhaps the search for a story  brought back the idea.  An attempt to verify facts . . . shore up the details!

It was just a job.  One of THREE job assignments that I had for work study.

Lunchroom Monitor in a K-6 school building.

Rows and rows of these tables.

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Really?

“Your job,” said my supervisor, “is to make sure that students are quiet. We would prefer NO talking, but that’s pretty impossible.  Whispers only, AND ONLY when everyone is done eating.”

My job.

My work study job.

Was there even a minimum wage back then?

(Back to the topic!)

One of my first paying jobs was to “supervise” elementary students and make sure they were quiet in the lunchroom.  In fact, so quiet that they were ONLY whispering in the lunchroom, after they had finished eating.

Not my first lunchroom job as I had wrapped silverware, scraped trays and cleaned tables in grade six for free lunches.  (But I digress AGAIN!)

I was six years older than some of these kids.  Kids that didn’t look like me.

Kids.

Kids with lots of energy especially after they had finished their lunch and could not go outside until the bell rang.  Kids who were not supposed to talk. And yes, this was before lunchroom stop signs for noise levels had been invented!

Quiet?

Whispering only?

What did I do?  

I shut the door.

I am sure that there are those of you, dear readers, who are shocked that I would subvert authority just as there are those of you nodding your head and saying, “Go, girl.”

It was a paying job.

They were to be quiet.

My job was to “supervise”.

However, I would argue that my job was NOT to “stupor-vise” and falsely require students to be as silent as a church mouse. (Definitely an old colloquial simile.)

Contrast that with the teachers’ lunchroom in the same building during the same time period.  It was impossible to hear yourself talk in a conversational voice in any corner or even in the middle of that room.  Definitely not quiet.  Definitely not whispering.  The hypocrisy bothered me.  Power?  Position?  Abuse of power?  I didn’t know any of those phrases.

But what I knew was that kids should be kids.

So we made an agreement. A bit of my job/your job and some negotiation.

The kids would eat quietly.  The focus was on eating, and that oh, so careful mastication!   After cleaning trays, students could move around the room, congregating in twos, threes and more.  Leaning in, chatting quietly, relaxing.  Not wandering aimlessly because the wooden floor was quite noisy.

Some choice.

No conflict.

Both sides being reasonable.

A realistic negotiated conversation.

Waiting behind closed doors for freedom to ring from the playground bell . . . the signal to run, yell, and play hard!




Have you ever broken a rule for the “right” reason?  

Have you ever fought back against a perceived injustice?  

How did that work out for you?

And the rest of the story . . . The next year I still had “in school” work study jobs, but I was not back at that elementary school.  Younger, less impressionable students who believed in following the rules were recruited . . .

And I was thankful to be released from the quietude of the lunchroom packed with students.




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

 

 

#SOL17: #CyberPD


I read.

I reread.

I jot.

I think.

I read.

I write.

I tweet.

Dipping into the facebook group here

@HeinemannPub resources here

and original blog posts at “To Make a Prairie” here.

It’s a delicate dance similar to a waltz.

Read

Think:  “How does this fit into my current beliefs?”

Write down questions, changes, fleeting thoughts . . .

To be absorbed into the mental stream of consciousness

Synthesis

A new belief

Test it out

Problem solving

And with reading, writing, thinking, and more practice . . . It’s time to begin sharing!




What’s up?

This week marks the beginning of #cyberPD for the summer of 2017.  Check out the hashtag and the blogs and hold onto your brains as the pace is quick, the thinking is challenging, and you will question your own beliefs about reading!  Be prepared for the provocative nature of this book, the discussion, and the debate!

Here’s the challenge from Ellin Oliver Keene in the Foreword:

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The book:

dynamic teaching book cover.PNG

The schedule:

cyber pd




Why were Chapters 1-4 challenging?  

Because I didn’t begin with them.  I began with Chapter 5.

Check the text.

Vicki gave readers to start with either part 1: background, values and changes or part 2:  problems and practices.  Of course, I began with Part 2.  It’s my favorite.  But in order to sustain changes, I know that I have to understand the “why” in order to stay the course and continue to “steer the ship”. (page xix)

Values and Beliefs:

Reading is meaning.

Meaning is constructed by the reader.

Use inquiry or a problem-based approach.  What I do 1:1 with striving readers.

Inquiry or problem-based approach with all – that’s new!

Students doing the work.

Students thinking.

Ditch assigned patterns of close reading. (AMEN!)

Critical thinking.

Creative thinking. Hit the brakes!  Do I really get the difference?

Real meaning of read closely and deeply.  (YES!)

Teaching vs. learning (including over scaffolding and too much priming the pump)




I’m still learning about problem-solving.  I understand the basic principles.  As I read this summer, I’m keeping track of what I do when I get stuck, tangled up in the words or tangled up in the ideas.  How do I work through the “stuck” and the “tangles”.  I need to continue to practice on my own reading.

Same for creative thinking and critical thinking.  Such a delicious thought that they are not the same.  I’ve had years  decades of imitating, patterning, and coasting in the shadows.  Am I really creative?  Too early to tell.

What do you value in reading?  

What will you read that will be provocative this summer?  

Do you dare break out of your complacency?




Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community  https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL17: Silver Lake


Where do YOU begin?

Here’s a simple list of words from my writing notebook

Begun with an early morning observation

Sipping coffee

Waking up

At Silver Lake

Some words from the present.

Some from the past.

Some added over time.

words

How does a list evolve?

Grow?

Morph?

What categories would you make?

While waiting for inspiration to strike,

I’ve learned to keep my fingers moving across the keyboard.

Looking for photos

Looking for organization

and word clouds suddenly appeared in my brain.

word cloud oneword cloud twoword cloud threeword cloud fourword cloud five

Changing colors

Changing shapes

Changing colors

Adding a filter.

Using a visual as a stimulus . . .

Ready to write!

One of Those Moments

One of those moments

Etched on my cornea

Burnt into my brain

Captured in my heart

Gray sky

Combinations of clouds

White, thin, wispy

Surrounded by large and fluffy white-topped clouds

With an under girding of gray

Ready for a sprinkle or

Perhaps a shower or

Sheets of rain or

Buckets full pouring from the heavens

Harmony in thoughts shared

Rich in laughter

Engrossed in fun

So much to do!

A boat ride,

Pictionary,

Writing talk,

3 Truths and a Lie, and

Learning to play a ukelele.

Friends

Voxer Cousins

Readers

Writers

Thinkers

Teachers

Students

Bound together by a few moments in time

One of those perfect summer moments!

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June 24 – Silver Lake, MN

How do your thoughts become your ideas?  

What shapes your format?

Where does your organization come from?  

How do you share this process with your students?




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

My first draft was totally a description – what I saw, heard and felt while outside

But it seemed really boring

And felt like it could be any lake anywhere

So this is Draft Two . . . after some revision!

 

#SOL17: “There’s No Place Like . . .”


Think back to a “Best Time of Your Life”.  Where were you?  What were you doing?  What made it “THE BEST”?

If you were to return to that place of your “Best Time of Your Life” right this minute, do you think it would be exactly as you remember it?

dorothy clicking her heels

“There’s no place like TCRWP!”

Picture this:

#TCRWP

Yesterday

1399 colleagues (?)

Magnificent Riverside Church

“We come from . . .”

A call to action from Lucy Calkins.

We can.

We must.

Ignite the passion

In our students.

“Don Murray: Writing is not easy nor should it be.”

We don’t just recount.

We make meaning in our writing.

And later,

To celebrate the day’s end

A thunderstorm

A double rainbow

double rainbow kitty donohoe

    A Double Rainbow:          Kitty Donohoe, Twitter

Ready to begin anew!

June Writing Institute 2013

My initiation

My trepidation

And yet, filling a hole in my teacher soul

June Writing Institute 2014

Back to fill in the holes in my knowledge

Back to “be with my tribe”

Still anxious about all I did NOT know

June Writing Institute 2015

Armed with a plan

Specific session criteria

And questions for staff developers.

June Writing Institute 2016

Finally knowing “something”

Writing before, during, and after

Adding new knowledge

Consolidating and validating previous learnings

and this year, waiting for

August Writing Institute 2017

Because there’s no place like home with your writerly friends

The Learning at

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project!

So this week I’m following along on Twitter

Checking in for “learning bread crumbs”

Planning for that return to “My Best Learning Place on Earth”!

#TCRWP Writing Institute and #TCRWP Reading Institute

I already know that even though I’m attending in August this year, #TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes will be better than ever!  Much writing and reading (and tweets) before then . . . See you soon!

Where do you go for inspiration?  

That feeling of “belonging”?  

And yet, where you are also “pushed” to be a better you, a stronger you, a more capable you?




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

#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Problem Solving


In Real Life:

“Gramma, sit here.”

“H’mm. It’s a long way down to the floor.”

“Here, Gramma.”

I sit.  I can guess the activity by reading the clues in the area.

I don’t know for sure the plan but does it matter?  

Doesn’t the world revolve around my grandson?

How do I wait, without talking/leading, to see what “our play” is going to be?

In My Professional Life:

Book studies have popped up everywhere.  Which ones should I join?  Which ones are quite intriguing?  Which ones should I avoid?

My professional “shelfie” looks like this: (+Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst)

shelfie.jpg

How do I determine what groups to participate in?  

For example, I know of three different groups reading and responding to Disruptive Thinking. Do I just jump in?  It’s summer after all and I do have more “time” to spend on reading and writing.  Do I develop criteria?  What could/should that look like?

Last week’s #G2Great chat was with Patty Vitale-Reilly (@pattyvreilly) about her book, Engaging Every Learner:  Classroom Principles, Strategies, and Tools.  You can read Chapter 6 of her book from Heinemann here, check out the storify here, or even read my blog post about the chat here.

Where do I think problems with “being an engaged learner” might arise?  Where should I begin? Right now I believe I need to pay attention to actions 1, 3, 5 and 6 below as I develop my plans to participate in book studies this summer.

  1. Consider the three dimensions of engagement
  2. Cultivate engagement in the classroom
  3.  Establish routines to cultivate high engagement
  4.   Use assessments to build engagement!
  5.  Use choice to build engagement
  6. Cultivate my own engagement

My decision is to see which of the aspects of “engagement” hook me into summer book groups and provide the incentive for me to continue participating.  By planning to “problem solve” in advance, both when I get stuck when reading and when my participation wanes, I can gather additional information about both my problem solving and my engagement!

What are you going to learn / study this summer to move your literacy life forward?

When do  I want/need/crave choice and creativity and what role will that play in my decisions/actions?




 

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

Additional #DigiLitSunday:  Problem Solving posts with Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.

digilit-button

 

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