Category Archives: TCRWP

Trusted Resources


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What was your “Most Trusted Resource” for 2017? 

Who do you turn to?

I listened to the local meteorologist this morning to hear that the temperature was -10 with a wind chill of -35.  I did not turn to the Weather Channel.  I did not want to see an entire country enveloped in cold.  My little region with the ticker of church cancellations across the bottom of the screen was sufficient.  It met my needs.  I did not need a second source.  I already had verification when Mya was outside for less than one minute.  It’s cold!  It’s REALLY cold!  Right now Iowa is as cold as the South Pole.

So if the local TV weather and my dog’s reaction were “enough” today . . . how do I typically make decisions about resources? Here’s the process that I typically use with my criteria.

1. What’s my learning goal? 

Begin with the end in mind.  What is the end point learning?  What do I want to be able to know and do after the use of the resource that adds to my knowledge base? Because I value this thinking, I often search for UbD resources, Understanding by Design – Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.  Resources built on a UbD framework already encapsulate some basic learning principles that I value as shown in this ASCD resource.  How well does this learning goal align with the standards, assessments and learning targets?  How will I measure learning.  All of these questions and more are evaluated in the UbD process!

2. Are the resources accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant?

Putting four criteria together is daunting because these can and should all be evaluated separately.  But here’s the deal, if they aren’t all present to a high degree, the resource is really useless.  Not needed.  Not wanted.  Not going to be in a “fixer-upper” pile as life is too short to be re-working resources that are not accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant.

3. Have the resources been written, taught, and vetted using a process/protocol to improve them?

How were the resources developed?  Were they written by persons who haven’t been in a classroom since they were students?  Or are they written and reviewed by teachers who are constantly striving to improve their teaching practices and who are willing to work collaboratively and diligently to appropriately give credit to original authors for their ideas?  Was a template or framework used so developed materials align vertically within the content area and horizontally across grade levels and content areas?  What information is available about the process?  What information is available about the review?

What resources meet this criteria?

One FREE source is found with the Massachusetts Department of Education.  You will need to create an account (good for 30 days) and agree to honor copyright – you can’t profit from the work!  Here’s the link – doe.mass.edu    

“Why these resources?”  

  1.  Massachusetts is getting results in literacy.
  2. This resource comes from their state department of education website and was the result of a collaborative process Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe and hundreds of teachers.
  3. You can begin by using a unit and adding or subtracting learning activities based on the needs of your students.
  4. There is a TRANSFER goal in every unit.
  5. FREE
  6. Outcomes, Assessment, Standards, and Instruction are aligned.  Resources are the last to be chosen.  That’s a part of the UbD model!
  7. The resources are accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant.
  8. FREE
  9. The materials reference sources and are not plagiarized intellectual property.
  10. The units only require a registration (and renewal after 30 days).

Check out the resources NOW! 

Access to multiple grade levels can help you with pre-requisite skills and learning expectations!

Grade 2 Example ELA Units:

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Grade 9-10 Example ELA Units:

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What are YOU waiting for? 

How could using these units as “mentor” units help you increase student learning? 

What process are you using when you search for learning resources?

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#NCTE17: Saturday


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And the answers were:

Bob Probst:  “I would give students more access to models of student discourse so they can talk about the content.” 

Lucy Calkins:  “I would give teachers more time for professional conversations, to dive into problems of practice together as a community and share their discoveries.”

Kylene Beers:  “I would double your pay and cut the number of students in your class in half.”

This last question posed by moderator Lester Laminack who was seated on stage with the panel was:  “If you had a magic wand in public education today, what would you do with it?”

Was this the most memorable question of the day?  Why begin here?  Because Saturday was a ginormous day of learning at #NCTE17.  My day was filled with nonstop sessions and meetings from 7:30 am until 10:05 pm.  It was Saturday.  I was in St. Louis.  And let me repeat, “my day was filled with nonstop sessions and meetings from 7:30 am until 10:05 pm.” And it was Saturday.  If you do the math, the answer is something like 14+ hours.

Details:  The first meeting was a breakfast. The last gathering was dinner. 15 minutes in between sessions to race from one end of the convention center and settle in for 75 minute learning opportunities… On a Saturday!

NCTE

What is personalized learning?

What is the role of technology?

My answer is #NCTE17.  A conference that I choose to attend, at my own expense, in order to learn and grow professionally.  A conference where I renew my professional “joie de vivre“.  I chose my schedule (or does it chose me?).  I make a plan or two. I continually check my list of “Must Learns“. Some items are topics.  Some items are names.  Names of people. Names of books.  And the best intersection . . . authors of books from book chats or book studies. The books in my bag in my hotel room that I forgot to match up to my schedule to bring for autographs.  Those authors.  Those from whom I want to learn MORE!

Personalized = my choice.  Technology = those I have met on Twitter, Voxer, and blogs (that I now meet face to face).  A lasting marriage of Voice and Choice on Saturday for 14+ hours of learning! Learning on my own dime and time.

So what did I learn?

“We still need a balance of technology and print in our literacy lives.  There is not yet a definitive answer on when and how much screen time is appropriate for effective learning.  Think balance.”  Colleen Cruz, TCRWP

Lucy Calkins:  “Transference of phonics is the goal. We don’t need a professor of phonics.”

“Our new work is our best work.  We are always striving to improve and outgrow ourselves as a community of learners.”

To learn more about Jacqueline Woodson, Saturday General Session, check out her website. Simply gorgeous keynote!

F.38 What Matters Most About Reading and Writing 

(Lester Laminack, Kylene Beers, Robert Probst, and Lucy Calkins)

What I will hold onto:

Kylene shared that 80% of adults go to text in order to be right.  So we need to teach HS kids that reading, entering a text, is an opportunity to change yourself.

Lucy Calkins – “Live as if one of the pillars of your thinking is dead wrong.” Go to sessions, work with folks because if we only read our books and stay in our bubble – we will not be surprised and will not outgrow ourselves.

Lester Laminack:  Our children are 21st century citizens . . . ask Siri ‘Why do bees buzz?” (and he did on stage for all of us to listen to) How do we convince Ss to fall in love w/ books?  That’s a question for your, dear reader!

Lucy:  We can grow as writers if we write along side our students when they are writing.  We don’t have to be writers before we begin teaching writing.

Kylene:  Writing to tell or Writing to discover. We can’t and don’t write enough. We shouldn’t teach kids non-fiction means not fake which then turns to true…let’s teach them non-fiction means not fiction. Non-fiction can be fake, not because you don’t agree with it though.

G.04  How to Say Less So Readers Can Do More:  Developing Agentive Readers

(Jan Burkins, JoAnne Duncan, Gravity Goldberg, and Renee Houser)

We read passages at 90% accuracy.  They were tough to understand.  Sometimes reading is tough.  We need to acknowledge that.  But we also need to make sure that students DO THE WORK!  We need to set up those conditions of learning!

who is

Haven’t read it?  No excuse!

You can read about it here, here, and here.

what

Gravity and Renee have this fiction and a nonfiction parallel book as well.  Have you read them? Reflections on the books are included on a post here.

JoAnne shared the journey of a particular student in her building who learned to read and was then given books when she moved from the school. Powerful and tear jerking reminders that our relationships matter.  We have to be a part of our students’ lives.

H.08 Harnessing the Power of Multicultural  Literature and Critical Literacy to Generate Authentic and Enjoyable Writing Spaces That Bring Writers Back into the Workshop

(Brian Kissel, Kristina Kyle, and Lauren Rudd)

The two first grade international teachers  shared the influences of their work:

Critical Literacy

  • James Paul Gee
  • Paulo Freire
  • Vivian Maria Vasquez

Social action  (for a Better World)

  • Randy Bomer
  • Katherine Bomer
  • Stephanie Jones

brian

And then Brian had us read and think alongside his reflections on his student work! For more information about Brian and his work, check out this post.

Thought to Ponder:

What would happen if you read every piece of student work just like you read every published book?

I.20 Recapturing Assessment:  Student Voices in Aiding Our Mission

(Jason Augustowski, Dr. Mary Howard, Dr. Katie Dredger, Cindy Minnich, Sam Fremin, Ryan Hur, Joseph O’Such, Christian Sporre, Dawson Unger, Spencer Hill, Jack Michael, Ryan Beaver, Sean Pettit, and Kellen Pluntke)

Take aways from the #BowTieBoys:

  • Students do not want multiple choice tests.
  • Students do not want to regurgitate facts.
  • Students do not want to write essays every time to show evidence of their learning.
  • Students do not want to sit in rows of desks.
  • Students do not want to listen to lectures.
  • Students do not want a two page writing limit.

Students want choice.

Students want voice.

Students want opportunities to negotiate HOW to share their learning.

Students want to explore their own interest.

Students want to use technology.

Students want to learn even if that takes more work. 

Students are less concerned about “fairness in grading” then they are about having choices in open-ended rubrics.

(edited)  For additional details about the individual presentations from this round table see Mary C Howard’s Facebook post here.

J. 21. Beyond Levels:  Choosing Texts to Scaffold Instruction for Engagement and Agency

(Clare Landrigan, Tammy Mulligan, Terry Thompson, and Dorothy Barnhouse)

It was such a pleasure to see the cover of Clare and Tammy’s new book and then to have Dorothy read Yo, Yes to us. We can find authentic ways to build in engagement and agency without “cute” worksheet pages!  Tammy and Clare’s blog is here.

And of course, ending with the Slicer Dinner!  16 bloggers (weekly and each day in March) meet up for food, fun, continued learning, and conversation. (Again . . . Personalized Learning and Technology) Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

slicers

What is your personalized learning plan? 

Does technology play a part? 

Are you ready to sign up for #NCTE18 in Houston?

#WhyIWrite


typewriter

Why I write:

To think

To reveal

To process

To deepen my understanding

To check my understanding

To analyze my thinking

To share my learning

To wonder

To share

To be a model for teachers and students and

To experience the JOY of a community . . .

Those are some of the reasons I write.

(And as soon as I hit “publish” I will think of at least 10 other “better”reasons that I wish I had thought of during the three days that I worked on this draft!)




Planning

Drafting

Revising

Conferencing

Revising

Publishing

Do these steps look familiar?

But do they match your current reality in your writing?

Do they match your current reality in your writing instruction?

I’ve been spying on my writing for over a year . . . literally in search of patterns that I could identify in my own writing.  Trying to decide on that next big goal for myself – ambitious or “doable”? . . . lofty or practical?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as finding a pattern, setting up some demos and “off you go” because writing is complicated.

Steps are added or revised . . .

If I have to stop and research.

If I have to completely scrap my draft because it is really so pathetic.

If I have to continue my “search for a topic”.

If I have to . . .

So here are some resources,

Quite literally, some food for thought!

Because all of these relate to just one simple standard in writing and yet this standard (and its intent) are often overlooked in a search for a priority or a way to reduce/simplify the writing standards!

“CCR. W.5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.”

A previous blog post that connected to this standard is in the 2014 archives here!


Planning

Planning – Where does an idea come from?  – my blog post

Celebrate Celebrating – a blog post from Julieanne Harmatz (grade 5)

Learn by Writing – Lynne Dorfman’s blog post

Helping Students Plan their Writing – a blog post by Melanie Meehan

Using Technology for a Kindergartner’s Writing Process – a blog post by Melanie Meehan


Writing Goals

Introducing a Hierarchy of Writing Goals – a blog post by Jennifer Serravallo

Goal Setting – my blog post


Drafting:  Beginnings  (somewhere – trying more than just one beginning – trying a new approach

21 of the Best Opening Lines in Children’s Books

The Beginning – my blog post

Strong Leads – Jennifer Wagner (2nd grade)

Drafting – Endings

Behind the Books:  The Perfect Ending – blog post by Melissa Stewart

The Ending – my blog post

Drafting – Telling a Story Bit by Bit

Celebrating Story – blog post by Julieanne Harmatz

Drafting – Organization, Elaboration, and Craft

Elaboration Strategies for Information Writing Dig- Two Writing Teachers

Text Structures – blog post by Melissa Stewart

Specific Examples of the Power of Three – Stacey Shubitz

First Graders Get Crafty – Dana Murphy

DigiLit Sunday:  Craft – blog post by Margaret Simon


Revising

Revising as part of the Process – blog post by Melanie Meehan

No Monkeys, No Chocolate: 10 year Revision Timeline – blog post by Melissa Stewart


Editing as a part of publication

Your Turn Lesson:  The Colon – A blog post by Diane and Lynne

Editing Sticks – my blog post

Editing – my blog post

  • Editing stations for upper grades – Shana Frazin informed
  • Daily light editing – Shanna Schwartz informed

Revising or Editing? – my blog post

Fun tool – Eye Finger Puppets (Amazon or craft stores) – Make editing time special and reminds the reader and the writer to pay close attention to the work!

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Reading Units of Study Mini-Lessons

MiniLessons are strong invitations to learning! (TCRWP_

Reading and Planning MiniLessons – Rachel Tassler

A Short and Sweet MiniLesson Format – Two Writing Teachers

How to Plan a MiniLesson from Scratch – Two Writing Teachers

There are More Ways than One to Plan a MiniLesson – Two Writing Teachers

How to Read a Unit of Study – Two Writing Teachers


Fundamentals of Writing Workshop – Two Writing Teachers Blog Series August 2017

 

Share Time in Writing Workshop – Lynne Dorfman’s blog

Choice in Writing Workshop – blog post by Tara Smith

(Almost) Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Partnerships I Learned in Kindergarten  – blog post by Shana Frazin


Why I Write – Stenhouse Blog

Writing is Not a Linear Process    


Banned Books – NCTE – 2017



Mentor Texts – Books that would be nice to have as Resources

Craft Moves:  Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts – Stacey Shubitz (Stenhouse)

Writers are Readers:  Flipping Reading Instruction into Writing Opportunities – Lester Laminack   (Heinemann)

Mentor Texts:  Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature  (2nd etition)- Dorfman & Cappelli (Stenhouse)

Learning from Classmates:  Using Student Writing as Mentor Texts –  Lisa Eicholdt  (Heinemann)

What;s Your Plan? 

What are you going to do NEXT?






Today’s best draft, (Kelly Gallager)

this post,

This post I wrote to organize!

August #TCRWP Reading: Day 5


The icing on this week’s #TCRWP Reading Institute was the final keynote by Jennifer Serravallo.  Seeing Jen in Cowin Auditorium, back where she was once a staff developer, was amazing.  The main metaphor for her speech was SNL – Saturday Night Live –  and when in her life she has been different characters.

But this tweet has really sparked interest.

(And I did not look to see who else tweeted it out!)

How much professional development does it take to LEARN something new?

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You can explore the source yourself here.

And at “What Works Clearinghouse” here.

Surprised?  

Does that fit into your knowledge base?

 

August #TCRWP Reading: Day 4


Keynote:  David Booth

Reader

Author

Researcher

Today’s learning is a view of notes via my Tweets

Title Slide:

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Principles:

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What was “Between” the Principles?

The Humor.

The Stories.

Real conversations with Students.

A genuine person.

So many rich quotes:

  “The hardest thing about teaching is understanding that a teacher’s world is not a student’s world.”

“When kids see themselves reflected in texts they think, ‘I am here’.”

“Kids who choose what they read double their understanding in their reading.”

“We read what matters in spite of complexities.”

“Read a novel once a year.  Use it to build community.”

We have decisions to make and we have to begin with our principles or non-negotiables before we can begin to make decisions about

“What to lose?  What to keep?  What to adapt?”

We need to deeply understand the interconnected relationships between our students, their families, their communities and their literacy lives.  We must be respectful of their time at school and leverage the high-return actions that grow literate adults who read, write, speak, listen and think successfully in the world.

Laughter, learning, fun, talk.

Maybe we need to take ourselves just a little less seriously!

Thank you, David Booth, for those important reminders!  

“What will you lose?  What will you keep?  What will you adapt?”




Additional Information about David Booth:

Professional Speaking

Stenhouse

Till All the Stars Have Fallen

David Booth Goodreads

The Dust Bowl – Kirkus Reviews

August #TCRWP Reading: Day 3


“We’re done for the week!” announced Natalie Louis.

And I knew I had the first line of my blog post!

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(To think I thought it was going to be, “I don’t need a roller coaster, I teach kids!”)

The questions Natalie had just addressed were:

How do I get better at the Mini-Lesson so it’s a super-duper imprint on the brain?

Like a tattoo instead of a sleep mark?

And the answer was,

Demonstrate LIVE how to get ready for a mini-lesson from the UoS

What will this look like? What are the steps?

  1. Read the teaching point out loud.
  2. Ask what it means?  Bumble around
  3. Practice delivering the teaching point.

(Warning:  It may take more “practice”  before you are ready to say the teaching point out loud to your class.)

4. Go back and Read the connection (Tip: Read the bolds out loud) 

5. Teaching – Read the bolds out loud (Ask questions as you think of them out loud)

6. Active Engagement – Read the bolds out loud 

7. Link – Read bold out loud (Do you need any materials?)

How do you practice Mini-Lessons?  

How do you check your time frames?

You can and should practice collaboratively.  The “out loud Think Alouds” are critical because delivery of a quality Mini-lesson that sticks with the students takes more effort and thinking than merely reading from the spiral-bound page.  That’s a good beginning!  However, the point is to provide a short, focused intimate lesson.  You don’t get that by reading the lesson word for word.  You also don’t get that from whipping up power point / google slides.  The whole group lessons are designed for delivery straight to students’ eyes, ears and mouths from your own eyes, ears and mouth!

Quality practice can involve rehearsing without students and actual instruction with a room full of students.  You could video tape your mini-lesson and view it with a trusted colleague.  This would require leaving out the “But . . .” commentary and just discovering some of the data that is easily observable:

  • Were all 4 components observed?
  • Was the entire lesson less than 10 minutes?
  • How many times did you hear the teaching point?
  • Was there a bit of engagement during the connection?
  • Did you hear the teaching point in all four parts?
  • Was the goal approximation or master?
  • What key phrases did you hear for each of the parts?
  • What were the last three words?

Audio-recording on your phone could be one step prior to the 21st century skill of video-recording your lesson and/or feedback.

How have you worked on improving your mini- lessons?




What are the parts of a Mini-Lesson at TC?

The architecture of a Mini-Lesson at TC looks like this:

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Source of Session Information:

Natalie Louis

Bolstering Your Nonfiction Units of Study with Mini-Lessons,

Shared Reading and Read Alouds

This was just one small part of my August #TCRWP Reading Institute Workshop learning!

It was an 11 minute demo that was packed with both learning and laughter that will ever linger in my brain!  A demo from a staff developer who was at TC when the architecture of Mini-lessons was developed.  Tips. Gems to be treasured.  Powerful learning!

August #TCRWP Reading: Day 2


My joy of advanced sections during the August Reading Institute at the #TCRWP centers around the thoughtful and deliberate choice of sections to meet my needs.  As soon as I saw this title I was hooked because of the focus on “progressions” and “independence”.  Transfer is always in the back of my mind as well.  If a student doesn’t transfer the literacy work to both other content areas AND life, a lot of time has been wasted for minimal gains.

“Using Learning Progressions and Performance Assessments to Increase Student Skills and Independence” – Kelly Boland Hohne

On Day 1, less than 30 minutes into our first session, we were unpacking a strand.  In a group of five other new friends, digging deeper into the meaning of just one reading strand with this process:

Unpacking  a strand – do 3 things

  1. Study between the levels of the strands and note differences.  What is the key work of this level?
  2. Try to put into own words or use keywords from description.
  3. Try to imagine how that would look in a student’s writing about reading or talk or what it  would look like if the student is doing that work.

I appreciate so many things about the #TCRWP Institutes as the brilliant staff developers each have a different style.  And though my brain felt like it was melting, I was so excited (and yet a bit apprehensive) about digging into this work immediately. As in one strand with gradual release (Teacher modeling, Group Practice) and then a second strand in our group with constant check ins and support (if needed).  All On Day One!  I think this was the point where I tweeted out that I was getting my $$$ worth at #TCRWP.  However, it could also be where I first thought it, but had zero seconds to actually tweet it out!  The pace is not for the faint at heart!

When dealing with the progressions:  Do I have to do everything listed in the level to be “in” the level?   (Have you ever had this question about the rubrics or the checklists?)

No, No, No.   You just need to do more than the previous level.  This is why demonstration texts are critical.  If and when you make the thinking and the writing visible, students can figure out how to rise to the next level.  However, teachers do need to unpack these strands themselves for deep understanding.  Making a copy of someone else’s chart does NOT give you the background knowledge to help a student.  After all you, as a teacher, are more flexible when you understand the tool which is why you need to do this work yourself.

Where might you begin?  Which progressions stand out?

Focus on some key strands to begin with because they are repeated a lot (via Kelly Boland Hohne):

Literal – Envisioning/Predicting

Interpretive – Character Response/Change

Interpretive – Determining Themes/Cohesion

Analytical – Analyzing Parts of a Story in Relation to the World

Analytical – Analyzing Author’s Craft

We worked on these topics in small groups.  Our group focused on “Character Response/Change”, What does this look like across grades?  What would a demonstration piece of writing look like across the grades?  Here’s what the draft of my chart looks like!

Screenshot 2017-08-09 at 4.38.12 AMAs we use the chart, it’s highly probable there will be some revisions.  It’s also possible that there will be continued discussion about “quantity” and “quality” of responses.  Those are some of the common issues in trying to measure/assess learning. The key is to:

 

  • Make a plan.
  • Think about the information you plan to use.
  • Work collaboratively to consider theories about student work.

Making the invisible visible in reading comprehension is a lofty, noble and worthwhile goal.  It CANNOT be handed to you in a book, a set of standards, or even a set of progressions.  The meaning comes from digging into the work.

What work are you doing to build students’ independence?  

Transfer?  

How will you know you are on the learning journey?  

How will you know when you are successful?

 

 

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

August #TCRWP Reading & Celebration


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Published Blog Posts as of 08/06/17

What a milestone to celebrate!  500 blog posts.  Little did I imagine that!

And today marks the beginning of the 2017 August #TCRWP Reading Institute!  I’m looking forward to the the opening keynote by Lucy Calkins and then sessions with Natalie and Kelly all week!

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This would be a great week to follow #TCRWP on Twitter!  Great learning ahead!

What’s on your learning agenda for this week?

 

#DigiLitSunday: Stamina


 

Last August, the most difficult day of our trip to Rome was the very first day because it was not a typical day of just 24 hours.  We traveled on the plane overnight.  The perfect opportunity to rest.  Yes, restful, if you were used to traveling like a sardine.  Space between seats was extremely limited when reclined as most passengers were so inclined.  At the airport it was “Hurry Up and Wait” to get baggage collected and through customs.  And then the rain. All.Day.Long! The bus was always parked “just a little ways away” on this day where we had three stops scheduled but yet no “sense of the flow of travel or the schedule” on a bus with 50+ new best travel friends. Our sleep cycles disrupted, dining on new schedules, and walking, walking, walking.  On this day we discovered that the “step” measurements by my siblings were not the same; however, they agreed, we walked over ten miles.  Several of us had to call on every last fraction of an ounce of our stamina just to crawl into our hotel rooms.  Our energy had ebbed with the waning hours, the uncertain schedule and the never ending first day of travel.

I tell that story because any new adventure brings a bit of angst.  Last Monday was the first day of the August #TCRWP Writing Institute which began with a stirring keynote by Lucy Calkins for 1300 attendees, large group sections, simultaneous lunch schedule for all, small group sections and closing sections.  Content may have been familiar or unfamiliar, but the intensity of the schedule both physically and mentally could also make one question one’s personal stamina.

YET have high expectations.Stamina:

Synonyms include “endurance, staying power, fortitude, strength,toughnessdeterminationtenacityperseverancegrit”

Although it’s August, there are many stages of “school life” across the country:  students who have been in session for over a week, those who are returning this week, those that return in the looming weeks of August, and of course those who don’t return until after Labor Day in September.

Is back to school “stamina” a teacher issue?  A student issue? Both?

Already, I can hear the voices . . .”My kids can’t sit still that long.”  “I can only start with five minutes.”  “I’ll be lucky if they are able to sit for two minutes.”

It’s not about torture and being mean. Be realistic. 

YET have high expectations!

Plan for your situation!  And be purposeful!

Reading Workshop

Begins Day One.

Reading.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1.  Plan for some book exploration.  Think about a soft start.  Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

It’s not about cutesy perfectly organized classroom libraries.

It may be about having students organize the library

as they review the books.

Do you have a book bin of “Favorite Treasures from Years Past”?

It may be that the students have book baggies

that were filled at the end of the last school year.

It may be that you create book baggies for your students . . .

ready and waiting for eager hands to cherish! 

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

What series of “work” will you begin on Day 1 in order to build stamina?

Writing Workshop

Begins Day One.

Writing.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1.  Plan for some small “bits of writing”.  Think about a soft start.  Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

No rushing off to buy “The First 20 Days” .

No “cutesy” worksheet of “interests to fill in.

Writing Units of Study are written to begin on Day 1.

If you change the order, read the first bend of book 1.

What habits do you need to build?

What writing of your own will you share?

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

What series of mini-lessons might you use across the day to build stamina?

Read Aloud

Begins Day One.

READ ALOUD.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1. Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

What book?

When?

Where?

So many decisions?

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

How will your Read Alouds progress so that your students 

will be independently sharing THEIR OWN Read Alouds by the end of this year?

What are your classroom non-negotiables?  

How will you build your stamina?  

How will you help your class build stamina?  

What’s your plan?

 

 

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