Category Archives: Slice of Life 18

#SOL18: Cookies


It began with a tweet.

And then my #OLW, “curious” surfaced.

What would a student response be?

Quirky, out of the box. Unexpected!

How about response #2?

And again, an unexpected answer!

Now, all in, I had to ask 3 more so I had an even 5.

Small data pool.

But yet, bigger than an N of 1.

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Answer 1: “He will have to take the 98 burned cookies sprinkled in powdered sugar because Cameron’s friends and family ate the 185 good cookies!”

Answer 2: “If he promised to take 283 cookies, Cameron will go to the store and make 98 more cookies so he can take the cookies he promised.”

Answer 3:  “Cameron wanted to make sure the cookies were good, so he ate four.  Then he could only fit 135 cookies into his container.  He took 135 cookies to the cookie swap and left the rest for his brother.”

Answer 4:  “Cameron will be so embarrassed that he burnt the cookies that he will not go to the cookie swap.  He won’t be taking any cookies.”

Answer 5:  “Cameron was taking the 185 cookies that were fine to the cookie swap. Along the way, he met a man who was hungry so he gave the man five cookies.  Then he met his friend Albert who was not going to the cookie swap because he didn’t have any cookies.  Cameron gave him 80 cookies.  Cameron took the 100 he had left.

Thinking? 

Reasoning? 

If any of these students “chose” a multiple choice answer and filled in the bubble, would we have known WHY they missed the answer?

100% accurate according to the stories.  Hmmm. When a wrong answer is a RIGHT answer!  




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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#NCTE18: Saturday


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The  magical learning continues at  #NCTE18 and a theme that emerged on Saturday:

Slow down . . .

Yes, there is a sense of urgency. 

Make every minute count.

BUT stop counting every minute. 

Stop.

Slow Down.

Look into the eyes, heart and soul of every student. 

The day flew by and again there were folks that I never saw. Decisions about sessions were incredibly hard to make.

The #BowTieBoys, Jason Augustowski and Dr. Mary Howard 

It is all about the heart. And paying attention to the students. Listening. And learning WITH them. This quote from Jason is a great snippet for teachers to consider.

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Roundtable sessions planned and executed by the students. Simply amazing.

Articulate

Poised

Powerful

Interactive

Showing not just telling

Students from middle school through high school.

Not to be missed!

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Responsive Teaching:  The Courage to Follow the Lead of the Reader

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The respect, love and joy of this panel made my day!  Students at the heart of our work.

 

A perfect merger.  And such important work!

Think about a teacher who loved you into being.  Responsiveness begins with heart . . .”
Don’t rush to “check it off”.  Skill and expertise has to come behind. Don’t land on the side of “judgment”.  “What’s going on?” “Wonder.” And then the learning that comes from the four quadrants.  

“Step back so your students can step forward.” Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris


Tom Newkirk has been a favorite of mine from my first #NCTE conference when he bemoaned that “the hamburger graphic organizer is not only an insult to a paragraph, but is also such an insult to a hamburger”.

4 Battles Literacy Educators have to Fight

  1. Economy – Curriculum as Hoarding (add, add , add & nothing is deleted)
  2. Louise Rosenblatt – Model of Reading – Literacy as Transaction
  3. The battle for writing. Writing should not be colonized by reading.Literary analysis 795,000 fanfiction pieces about Harry Potter
  4. Battle for choice- Carnegie – “public library”  Teachers will need to make it free!

    Questions to Ask when you Write

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When Phonics is the Foundation – in a Curriculum of Authentic, Deep Literacy

Lucy Calkins,  Rachel Rothman-Perkins and Rebecca Cronin

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Rebecca, Rachel, Lucy and Mabel

“To teach well is to rally your people with heart and soul to learn with courage and enthusiasm. Fear:  Is this curriculum going to cover everything?  Mastery? Proven? Everything? Fear-driven anxious place is far too common with NO place in child’s emergent literacy. Voice is the single quality that matters most. Voice matters for teaching, and learning (as well as writing). To teach phonics well, imagine yourself at kitchen table talking to someone right there with you. Teaching phonics is leading and teaching. “

“That sense of connectedness matters tremendously.  Connecting matters. Connecting to reading and writing. TRANSFER – only reason to teach phonics for reading and writing. TEACHING kids identity. Language is a joyful world!”


And because this is not an “All About” post since I promised “snippets” I will write later about the fabulous session from Colleen Cruz, Kassandra Minor, and Cornelius Minor.


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#NCTE18: Friday


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Moments in time

Moments suspended

Moments desired

Moments expected

Moments shared

Magical because of the connections

Across time

Across states

Across texts

Across interests . . .

Magical Mentor Moments

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“We come from:  Oklahoma, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada.  Mentors All.” (10 points to you if you know the context of this quote.) TY: #G2Great for so many magical moments at #NCTE18.

Writing in the Wild = Margaret Simon

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“Slicer” Dinner = Mentor Writers

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An annual tradition from #TWTBlog. Three of the authors from #TWT and some of the bloggers at dinner and sharing literary gifts!

And then the sessions:

Choices

Difficult choices.

So many great ones.

So little time.

What fuels the choices?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Passion and Power

Be you.

Be real.

Activism means thinking, talking, reading, writing, and growing your passions.

I love this 5th grader’s quote shared by Justin Dolci.

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And the people . . .

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Mentors

Readers

Writers

Thinkers

Storytellers

Magical #NCTE18 Moments

Where have you found your magic? 

And your mentors?




NCTE Highlights

#SOL18: Literacy Superbowl


 

Which memory stands out?

The first attendance?

The first “Slicer” dinner?

The first presentation?

The first sighting of _______?

The first time meeting ______ IRL (In Real Life)?

The roller coaster ride by many #G2Great friends?

The first signed book by a #G2Great author?

Meeting up with #WRRD chat mates?

Catching up with #TCRWP friends?

Meeting “Slicers” IRL?

Seeing and hearing about upcoming publications?

The incredibly cold, cold, cold weekend?

Impressed by the articulate #BowTieBoys?

The amazing learning?

Sitting on the floor in an auditorium learning with and from literacy giants?

Not being allowed by venue staff to sit on the floor?

Packing devices to tweet and record notes at the speed of light?

Meeting and learning with authors of student books?

Too many memories to make a decision

Which story to tell?

Which one will be left out?

Embracing the past five years of attendance

Learning, Laughing, and following literacy giants

Receive awards and humbly elevate friends

And peers who made all things possible.

Reading, Writing, Talking, Thinking,

Sharing as we meet,

Celebrating each other’s accomplishments

Celebrating our uniqueness

Celebrating our differences

Celebrating our similarities

Celebrating our togetherness!

Houston, home of #NCTE18 in 10 days!

Will you be there?

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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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#SOL18: Mirrors and Windows


In kindergarten I read books about Dick, Jane, Sally, Puff, and Spot.  They lived in a town with houses, sidewalks, and fenced yards. They seemed to have fun and play a lot. The girls and Mother always wore dresses and the older characters had the longer dresses.  As for the guys, the Dad always wore long pants and the boys wore shorts and long sleeve shirts or sweaters. It wasn’t my neighborhood (a farm) or the way we dressed (church clothes, school clothes, play clothes).  I didn’t know if the stories were real or pretend.

I was reading before I went to kindergarten so I’m not sure of the impact of the environment depicted in Dick and Jane books. I already loved books. And I dearly loved reading. School was fun, for the most part. But some of it was sheer drudgery.  The silly workbooks, the round-robin reading, and reading one story a week was so . . .

excruciatingly . . .

slow.

As well as dry, dull and desperately boring. We stopped all the time to answer questions about our reading. The pacing was synonymous with a turtle and at many times, so darned tedious.  But I loved books.  And I loved reading. I loved reading for the windows into other worlds . . . enchanted, far away worlds! I didn’t see myself, my family or my neighbors in any of the stories I read.

But what if I hadn’t loved reading?

A groundswell exists for an elementary curriculum that includes both mirrors and windows for ALL our students.

“All students deserve a curriculum which mirrors their own experience back to them, upon occasion — thus validating it in the public world of the school.” (Source)

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Are ALL of our students validated?

Last week at the #TCRWP June 2018 Writing Institute I was reading Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time to a group of third grade teachers.  We were analyzing the text for “techniques” of narrative text and this book by James Howe had many. It was a new book for many of the teachers in the group, but the part that stuck with me were the brilliant words from our leader Simone Fraser:

“Read Alouds in our classrooms need to be more inclusive. It is important that ALL students are represented in our Read Alouds. We need to make sure that we read from at least ALL the bands of text that students are reading.”  Simone Fraser

Brilliant!

Deep!

Broadening the definition of inclusivity.

This sounds so much like  ‘common sense’, but are teachers doing this?

First, qualitatively. I am not saying you would start at Level H and read through to Level O (remembering that levels are only Teacher Tools), but do you purposefully read texts from bands that represent the students seated on the floor in front of you and that allow the students to ‘see themselves reading texts’ in your classroom?

And then a second issue, do the students actually see themselves, their neighborhoods and their cultures in the books in your classrooms?  What of neighborhoods that are so homogeneous that they need to see even more diverse communities? How do you build libraries that expand the world?

As teachers decompress, plan and re-plan for those first days of school next year, I would challenge each and every one to consider how those first days of school (August or September) could be more inclusive.

Planning Considerations:

What if the opening community-building Read Alouds were mirrors of the reading students did in previous years?

What if the opening community-building Read Alouds included one from each band of text – matching the students in front of the teacher?

What if the opening community-building Read Alouds were mirrors of the students and their cultures?

What if the opening community-building Read Alouds were fun, inspirational and then lovingly placed in a basket labeled “Our Favorite Books to Re-Read”?

Why Re-Read?

To feel welcomed.

To feel accepted.

To revisit old friends.

To build community.

To demonstrate the value of re-reading!

To remember the excitement of that “first read”!

How do you welcome EVERY child to your reading community?

How could Read Alouds, that correspond to your students’ previous reading, build empathy and respect as well as empower and engage your students?   

How could those beginning of the year Read Alouds strengthen and build upon student successes, positive attitudes and reading habits? 

How are you including both mirrors and windows in your classroom book collection?

Isn’t this the “Engagement, Excellence and Equity that should be quaranteed for ALL students?




And as you are planning, remember these words from Lin Manuel’s tweet . . .

“You’re gonna make mistakes.

You’re gonna fail.

You’re gonna get back up.

You’re gonna break hearts.

You’re gonna change minds.

You’re gonna make noise.

You’re gonna make music.

You’re gonna be late, let’s GO”  @Lin_Manuel




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

#SOL18: Why #TCRWP?


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Three letters

One word

Connected to my #OLW – curious

WHY?

A recurring theme on Day 1 of the 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP




As the day began in typical fashion at Riverside Church with 1200 teachers strong, “You’ve come from  41 states, 36 countries, those who’ve attended 25 or 26 institutes, as children in workshop schools or those who came alone who are now back with principals and teachers… movers and shakers.”

 

If you are not on Twitter, this is a time you should be.  Because you can capture thoughts such as these:

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Or these .  .  .

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But you had to be there in person in that setting to capture the eloquence as three fifth graders from Tiana Silvas’s classroom stepped up to the podium.  These students were definitely a part of a level three writing workshop as they, oh so eloquently, delivered their memorized poetry and reminded us of all the many reasons that we teach writing and we continue our tireless efforts!

The enthusiasm of the beginning of the day carried the theme of

WHY?

bringing purpose as we considered the energy, independence and transfer that comes from the creation and use of tools with Simone Frazer and building bridges between reading and writing with interactive writing with Marie Mounteer.

Decisions about Choice Sessions are never easy.  They are all amazing.  But Kisha Howell rocked Horace Mann with her tips about increasing writing volume.  The big ideas centered around:  feedback, talk, clear tools, “other texts,” meaningful process, and sketching.  Exquisitely delivered in a way that my ancient brain absorbed, retained and connected the tips in true “showing not telling” fashion . . .

I’m fascinated by this chart.  Where has the feedback that I’ve received fallen short?  What about the feedback that I give?  All feedback is not equal . . .

20180619_023753

This opening day of 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP satisfied my “WHY” to attend . . . . in order to continue and grow with some of the brightest literacy minds. Thank you, #TCRWP, for being a place to satisfy my “curious” and grow my thinking!




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

#SOL18: March 2


 

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The waning days of February brought back thinking about how March would begin . . .

and how it would end . . .

The lion . . .

or the lamb?

Or in “Slicer Circles”, the “calm before the storm”.  And my curious nature took over, I just had to explore. Besides, the kids asked,

“What does that mean?  Does it really get quiet before it storms? Or did you just make that up?”

And I gulp.  I know there are days where I am filled with useless, irrelevant information that was stored away during the decades where memorization of trivia was the goal. So now, I’m stuck.

 “Do I know? Do I just think I know?”

I have no problem consulting google for an answer.  In fact we look at the screen together.

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For Farlex Dictionary of Idioms:
the calm before the storm. (n.d.) Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. (2015). Retrieved February 25 2018 from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/the+calm+before+the+storm

And then we were off to explore idioms.

“Are all idioms figurative language?  Or just the ones that have no literal meaning?”

One example that I use is “play it by ear”.  It is an idiom.  It’s also figurative language.  We talk about what it means.  And then the ultimate question:

Are there other ones?

We settle on a video with song excerpts.

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We talk about the songs, the figurative language, and what it all means.

A car pulls up, the horn honks and the kids gather up their books, backpacks, and coats.

“See you!”

And the library returns to quiet.

I’m still waiting.  Last pdf to download. Now it’s almost too quiet!

Who knew?  My “slice” was found at the public library!




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

#SOL18: Goals


Yesterday was the intersection of my #OLW:  Curious and my reading goal of 52 books for the year.  One per week.  Paralleling a student goal of 40 books during the year.

How does Goodreads summarize my reading?

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So how am I doing?

We are in the ninth week of the year and I’ve read 18 books so I have a good lead on the year.  Never having set a “books read per year goal”, I have no clue what is realistic.

What’s in the future?

March is #SOLSC.

March is blogging daily.

Reading and writing daily.

Both with public goals.

How do I feel about my progress in 2018?

I’m pleased that only 1 / 3 books are professional books.  That’s better than I had anticipated.  Here’s a look at the professional books.

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What’s their focus?

Literacy,

Reading,

Reading,

Reading,

Writing,

Writing,

Writing

Looks like a pattern or two.  I must admit that not all of the books are first reads; in fact, five are rereads.  A few more quotes collected for PD work.  A bit more solid foundation and many, many more post its and tabs to mark my place.  Five are also signed by the authors.  That means they reside on a special shelf of honor (when shelved) and are treated royally. Not allowed to be stacked on the carpet or the table.  Gentle, loving treatment!  Books displayed preferentially!

What’s different about 2018?

I joined a book club group.  There are 192 strong of us from across the country. One title came from a student’s blog recommendation.  I had to “guess” what the solution to the mystery would be (Alibi) and so I had to buy the book.  But 1 / 3 of the books came from watching what others were reading, checking out the recommendations and reading the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

What’s your process for choosing a book?  Is it the same as the one you teach students?

What’s your goal?   What’s the goal for your students? 

Should you meet or exceed their goal?




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




Note:

Personal goal setting.

No prizes, no trinkets, no stickers.

No points.

No quizes.

No book reports.

Yes, some comments on Goodreads or back to the book club members to respond to questions.

No dioramas, no art work, no projects.

Accountability to myself.

Some accountability to my #G2Great team and chat authors.

Public sharing of my choice – my selection, my format, my idea.

How do you model the expectations that you have for your students?

#SOL18: #OLW


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

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

Synonyms of my word from Dictionary.com:

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

What’s your best guess at this point? 

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

It’s all about word choice.

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

My history of #OLW

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

A visual for another hint . . .

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Got it? 

Just seven letters . . .

__  __  __  __  __  __  __

What is your #OLW? 

How and when will you reveal your #OLW?




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

And the answer is . . .

c

u

r

i

o

u

s . . .

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

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

2:00 pm – Changed the background

5:00 pm – added final graphic

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