Category Archives: TCRWP

#SOLSC21: What is a Saturday Reunion?


This set of pictures popped up as a six year memory today and is quite worthy of attention.

The year 2015.

The location: Broadway and Millbank Chapel

A day of learning at the Saturday Reunion at #TCRWP.

My first post about the day is here.

What is a Saturday Reunion?

Approximately 4,000 educators from around the world

Descending on TCRWP

For hundreds of free sessions

From some of the smartest educators in the world!

Friends traveling miles.

The picture above includes

Friends from New Jersey, California and me, Iowa.

Friends learning together.

Checking the schedule and attending sessions together.

Friends chatting,

Meeting each other in real life.

Friends exchanging ideas,

And double checking our notes

As well as the ubiquitous “turn and talks.”

Friends meeting for dinner after,

Lingering for another word

Another minute of like-minded company!

What is a Saturday Reunion?

  • Challenging
  • Collaborative
  • Future-focused
  • Goal-oriented
  • Grounded in practice
  • Relevant
  • Sustained

And above all . . . A “choose your own pathway for learning and fun for the day.”

Saturdays . . .

Not just a day off

Not just a day to reflect

Because Saturday Reunions are endless days of possibilities!

When have you chosen to spend Saturdays learning with friends? What were the convincing arguments? What were the benefits?

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Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC21: Same? Different?


Same

Prep in advance. Study schedule. Decide on big questions. Develop a plan. Set all devices to charge.

On Saturday, review schedule. Develop a “notes” page. Set tabs. Check power levels on all devices. Hydrate. Caffeinate.

10 minute alarm. Ready. Set. Go.

Flurries between sessions for drinks, snacks, restrooms.

Worry about keeping caught up.

Worrying about wi-fi connections.

Worrying about rooms being filled and second and third choices.

Rousing keynotes

Readers, Writers, Makers, Authors, Thinkers!

Informative sessions

Practice doing the work

A wish list . . . long and lengthy

Different

Alone

No subway

No travel

No F2F meet ups

Many square boxes

Sitting in my living room in Iowa

Saying group and individual “hellos” in chat boxes

No time to process with others

No coffee with friends

The 99th!

It wasn’t my first. I wrote about that day here. Six years ago was my first #TCRWP Saturday Reunion (88th), and I missed it terribly yesterday. The hustle and bustle of NYC. The traffic. The navigation. The travel. The farm girl in the big city.

The people. Clare, Tammy, Melanie, Tara, Julieanne, Dayna, Sally, Catherine, Stacey, Ryan, Christina, and Lanny. Just a few of the familiar faces.

The hustle and bustle of the day long ago and yesterday.

Some same. Some different.

What do you find when you compare two days across time and space . . . one pre-pandemic and one still regulated by the pandemic?

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Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#TCRWP 2020 August Writing Institute


We began with Lucy Calkin’s, “We come from . . .” but it wasn’t the countries and states typically heard in Riverside Church. It was about the difficulties and the joys from the past year. It’s easy to focus on March to the end as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year, but let us not forget that August to March was ours. Ours to teach. Ours to plan. Ours to build community. Ours for face to face instruction. And ours to celebrate.

We ended with a celebration. Music greeted us as we entered. These brave authors read their work. They read from their boxes . . . not from the stage in Cowin Auditorium.

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And then Hareem Atif Khan had the closing. So many tears as she shared stories from several stages in her life.

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To bookend the you come from beginning, Hareem said, “You go to your communities, schools, classrooms, children, children whose voices need amplifying. Let’s leave vowing to be the teachers that this world needs.”

I wrote about this summer’s reading virtual institute here. I still missed some of the same things this week during the writing week.  I wanted to sit and chat with my small groups F2F. I wanted the fun of exploring new restaurants and the closing book sales at Bank Street Book. I wanted at least one Broadway show. Not in 2020.

My Writing about Reading from notebook to literary essay daily sessions with Katy Wischow who was the Institute guide for the week, announcing all the keynotes, was beyond my expectations. And our sessions with Alicia Luick . . . ended with singing.  More about both of those later.

My Tips for a 30+ hour long Virtual Institute

  1. Study the Trail Guide and organize your days.
  2. Figure out a format to organize your links.  Quick access is the key.  This simple table works for my links page.    Screenshot 2020-08-08 at 12.18.39 PM
  3. Consider how you like to organize your notes. Organization matters. How will you access the information? Do you like every session on a single page? Do you like all sessions together by the day?  Or together by the session so all five days of Writing about Reading are together?  WHY?  Set up at least your Monday, Day 1. The 10 minutes between sessions goes so quickly!
  4. Plan your backup for device failure. What is your plan if your device goes wonky during Zoom streaming?
  5. Plan your backup for WiFi failure. What is your plan if WiFi decides to take a break?
  6. Headphones and mic are not really optional if there are other beings in your house. Seriously, conversations are fun and funny with other 2 legged and 4 legged critters  interrupting and dark screens and mics off work, but sometimes your patience gives out first!
  7. Break out rooms – If you have used them, awesome. What did you like?  What did not work so smoothly?  If there was a slide with directions, I took a quick pic on my phone so I would have it. (Borrowing from my friend Lynn, “I am old and my brain leaks.”)  Jot a note. Think about how you focus on remembering and doing the task in small groups.  (Ignore if you are not obsessive about remembering the task; someone in your group will capture it for everyone else!)
  8. Plan to participate as fully as possible. I personally felt the learning was MORE intense than in an “in-person” institute, and I have always felt those were like drinking from a fire hydrant. I didn’t have a plan for evening “think” and “work” sessions.  That work space instead of canning 14 pints of salsa might have helped me to feel less stressed.
  9. Make plans to connect with folks beyond the institute. Your small group? A partner?
  10. Plan to learn AND have FUN! It’s a transformative week! You will be amazed at the tech tips and tools that you use and learn as well!

What tips would you add?

 

 

 

#SOL20: Keynote speeches


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Inspirational?

Motivational?

Aspirational?

What are some characteristics that you expect from a keynote speech?

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of seeing/hearing five different keynotes as a part of the TCRWP June 2020 Reading Institute. Each had its own distinct features due to the knowledge base and presentation styles of Lucy Calkins, Katy Wischow, Sonja Cherry-Paul, Michael Rae-Grant and Sarah Weeks as you can see in the keynote titles below.

Titles:

  • An Opening
  • You Never Read Alone: Community, Identity, and The Power of Talk
  • Radical Teaching: Reading Workshop as a Powerful Space for Transformation and Liberation
  • I Know, Therefore I Am: Why Nonfiction Reading Is About So Much More Than Extracting Information from Texts
  • A Few Choice Words

Some common themes I found:  Communities of learners and stories draw us together in these turbulent times.  The texts of our lives ARE our lives:  Are we living them? We are the sum of our experiences so we need to make sure they reflect our lives. If not you, then who?  Readers are never alone!

But the surprising commonality for the five keynotes was the deep emotional connections:  the tears, the laughter, and the joy of learning in a community. And yes, even through Zoom/electronic devices, the stories were that powerful.

If you would like to learn more about “keynotes” here is a great source from the business world.  Link  Tips 1, 3, 7, and 10 are my favorites. Especially 10. Always 10.

What will be your keynote for the 2020 school year?

How will you focus on priorities? 

What are your expectations from a keynote?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#TCRWP Reading Institute 2020


I miss:

  • the participants
  • the staff developers
  • Riverside Church
  • Horace Mann
  • the up close and personal feel of the FRONT row of the auditorium
  • the subway
  • being asked for directions on the subway
  • living out of “carry on”
  • coffee meet ups
  • packing my lunch
  • dining out on the NYC cuisine
  • the bookstores
  • the impossible and usually untimely return trip home (AKA stranded in NYC on the 4th of July)
  • the conversations as we walk past our location, to the wrong Starbucks, or just wandering
  • meeting up with #TWT friends
  • meeting up with #Voxer cousins
  • squeezing in a #G2Great chat (and what time zone am I really in?)
  • meeting up with #CuriosityCrew
  • and leaving the world behind for that short interlude . . . no TV, few phone calls, few emails.

Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 9.21.09 PM

Thanks to the pandemic, it’s truly a Brave, New World.

Conversation and chatter seems non-stop . . . even if it is typed into a box! Or in a break out room!

It’s Wednesday night. Past the mid-point. My brain is full.  It’s leaking. Time to let something out!

My choice session today was all that I envisioned. (Envision- my #OLW)

And then some.

Grand slam?

Winning game of the World Series?

Kentucky Derby winner?

Gold Medal at the Olympics?

30 minutes of pure bliss.

Head nodding,

Amen-shouting,

Fist-pumping,

Zoom waving,

YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!

Title:  The Six Most Important  Things You Can Do with Your Students Who are Reading Below Grade Level Benchmarks

Find some paper or point to your fingers.

What are your 6 Most Important Things?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6

You don’t have to fuss over the order.  Look at them.  Are those the six most important things you believe in?

Are you sure? 

Are you really sure?

I had a difficult time choosing this session. There were three choice sessions that I needed to attend according to the titles.  This session was not #1. However, I made a guesstimate on the “Six Most Important Things” and I wanted to know if I was right. So I chose this session.

Here were my six:

Know your students / Relationship

Feedback, Self-assessment & Goal-setting

Talk about reading / Rehearse

Stuff to read

Reading, Reading, Reading every day

Was I close?

No bets.

No money.

30 minutes invested in checking my understanding.

Thoughts?




Here were Hannah’s Six Most Important Things.

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One small corner of my brain organized and ready for tomorrow’s learning.

So by tomorrow night I can be back at one of these stages . . .

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 8.07.11 PMScreenshot 2019-06-17 at 6.04.46 PM      Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 9.36.24 PM

Summertime,

Summertime,

Sum, sum, sum, summertime Learning . . .

It’s the best!

 

 

 

 

 

How many devices?


Daily writing withdrawals are real after 31 straight days of posting with #SOLSC20.  This morning I thought I would return to my pre-March schedule of early morning reading and writing. But my brain has been puzzled by an “off kilter feeling.” The last two days have felt disconcerting and uncomfortable as I navigated Zoom links, a Trail Guide and learning via distance media.

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 6.50.19 AM

WHY was it so difficult?

My standard process is to listen and absorb with my chromebook as my note taking device and my phone as a snapshot archivist and a tool for tweeting.  During this institute, my chromebook is my source of information – auditory and visual – as well as the navigation to move from session to session.

That moved my phone to note taking duties. Simple enough as my google doc was all set up with time frames,  speakers, and links.  Yet I was not prepared to enter all my notes on that teeny, tiny keyboard. Not. prepared. at. all. No tweeting during learning. Still in new learning management mode. Off kilter. Stressed.

What I missed most?

Saving seats for friends. Sitting in the front row. Checking in with a friend to make sure my notes were accurate.

Learning

Distance learning

Is not just a change in location

It’s a change in processing

It’s a change in responding

The new reality . . .

Safe learning is hard!

Change is hard!

How many devices do I need for a remote learning institute?

One for viewing that allows me to participate in break out rooms and see all the visuals.  A second device is needed for recording notes and thoughts as I process the information.  And the surprising third device in order to connect with attendees, tweet out words of wisdom, and look up additional resources. Bandwidth limitations that cause Zoom to freeze rule out the practicality of having three simultaneously connected devices, but that’s my dream. Learning. Sharing. Thinking. All from a Virtual Literacy Institute!

How has a virtual world impacted your learning as a facilitator or as a learner?  What words of wisdom can you share?

 

#SOLSC20: Day 30


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So many ways to learn online . . .

This notice pops up on my FB timeline:

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 6.47.06 AM

These three notices were on Twitter.

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 6.50.22 AM

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And I can read professional books.

These are just a few of the books that I am currently re-reading as I plan for this #G2Great learning opportunity this week.

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 6.57.54 AM

What is your learning plan for today? 

What is your learning plan for the week? 

Where do your ideas/information come from?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC20: Day 21


RIGHT NOW

Right now,

I would be sitting in the front row.,

Reading the schedule,

Making my plan,

Saving seats for friends.

Right now,

I would be anticipating our welcome,

Words of wisdom

Designed to elevate our thinking

And bringing us together in solidarity.

Right now,

I would be awestruck

In the ambiance and grandeur

Of my surroundings in Riverside Church.

Right now,

I would be poised to learn,

With four thousand plus friends,

Instead I am reviewing notes and connecting with previous posts.

Right now,

I am finding my own learning path,

Focusing on joy,

Envisioning our future

With high expectations

Empowering students, families, and teachers . . .

In our new current reality imposed by COVID-19.

Right now,

Adding some humor . . .

Checking in with Mary Ehrenworth and

5 things you should NOT DO when filming a mini lesson (Adult Humor) – Link

           My Saturday Reunion “learning fix”.

Screenshot_20200321-083029_Chrome

Right now,

Call a friend,

Write a note,

Reach out and contact someone.

Strengthen your relationships and find a reason to laugh

RIGHT NOW!

What grounds you?

How are you staying connected?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#TCRWP Response


SAP (Student Achievement Partners) announced the results of a review that many in the press and social media have hailed as the gospel.

Immediately questions arose:
But according to whom?
What was the criteria for selection of the “review panel”?
What conflicts of interest did the “reviewers” reveal before, during and / or after the review?
What were the criteria that were being “reviewed / evaluated”?
Did the “reviewers” conduct a thorough study of the resources?
Where was the line between opinion and fact?
What would any other panel of seven qualified literacy reviewers say?
Where is the evidence of the scientific study of the research (and subsequent results) the “reviewers” were quoting as the magic elixir for all children to read at high levels?

Here’s the response from #TCRWP: Link

Note the FIVE concerns with Methodology:

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SAP Review:

  • Not independent
  • Not peer reviewed
  • Opinions
  • Perceptions
  • Incomplete

Read and reflect on the response from #TCRWP: Link

Addendum:

A reviewer who did not read . . .

#SOL19: Fueling the Soul


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I returned to #NCTE19 in the same site as #NCTE14 to present as part of a different panel group.  Excited to rejoin face-to-face friends and colleagues. Exhilarated to learn with new friends and colleagues and just a bit exhausted from the prep and planning to take advantage of every single moment.  Celebrating friends. Celebrating peers. Celebrating communities. Celebrating learning. So ready to lean into my #OLW: Celebrate!

NCTE:  National Council of Teachers of English. So many folks from so many places. One night around the table, we represented Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Virginia, Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, Connecticut, and Michigan.  That was the night of the Slicer dinner.  Two new friends. Many face to face friends. Slicers all who intersect with #G2Great, #TCRWP, #CCIRA and our #NCTE presentation – the four of us together for the first time! Talking. Sharing. A laughing video of a grandson. Sharing of children’s artwork. Shared quotes. Food, drink, conversation, and fun. With just a touch of rain that did not dampen our spirits!

There is nothing like scintillating conversation, learning with peers, celebrating with authors, and after hours gatherings to fuel the soul . . . sparking a joyous celebration of friends, families, and ever increasing meet ups of social media friends.  As the world shrinks when we write and speak collaboratively on social platforms, our knowledge base grows exponentially.

As I continue to reflect on my travel and learning while I sift through my notes, I will add three outside sources here.

One of my favorites from NCTE is Kelly Gallagher’s Top Ten Things he heard at NCTE:

Melanie Meehan, co-author of Two Writing Teachers wrote about three sessions here.

Stop and Think Reading List and Resources here.

How do you collect and organize your learning? 

How are you refueling your professional soul?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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