Category Archives: TCRWP

#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.

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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 . . .

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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.

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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:

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These three notices were on Twitter.

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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.

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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”.

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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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#SOL19: Collaborating


“How can I help our students continue their writing work? What do I need to know?”

Silent fist pump.  Huge silent cheer.

Collaborating with all staff that work with our students is sometimes daunting.  How can we make support services more seamless? It takes conversation between adults and students. Choices. Work. Fewer absolutes. More choices.

We’re making sure the same resources are available for students, no matter what their working location is. English Learning support. Special education support. At risk support. Support spaces are limited. Chart paper could maybe hang on the back of the classroom door.  Here’s an example of our “first-draft collaborating thinking” to make sure the students have access to supports . . . if needed or when needed.  Here is one example built on a file folder that a support teacher is using so language, instruction, charts, and tools are the same across classrooms.

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Portable Folder with Session 1 Up the Ladder Narrative

How are you sharing supports? 

How is that working for teachers?

How is that working for students?


 

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In Every Child Can Write, Melanie shows examples of bulletin boards that display tools and charts that students can access as they need them.  This post extended that across classrooms for students and teachers who provide additional support. Last week’s Blog Tour is summarized here.  The winner of the free book for this post was Kelsie Elias.

Check out the posts here:

  • Blog Tour Stop 1 with Clare Landrigan – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 2 with Kathleen Sokolowski – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 3 with Paula Bourque – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 4 with Lynne Dorfman – Link
  • Blog Tour Stop 5 with Fran McVeigh – Resourceful Link

FYI:  I reviewed an advance pre-publication copy of “Every Child Can Write”.

 




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

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#SOL19: Saving Lives


Miss Fran  Miss Fran  Miss Fran  Can you come here  We need help  Jeannie fell down and she is crying

20 simple words

Words that I had to replay in my head to understand what I had just heard

The sense of urgency The fear The need

20 simple words that were uttered totally like verbal diarrhea that can make sense in print with a rereading or two Capital letters help with sentence sense but the work is difficult when punctuation is left out

I do believe the message on this shirt that I found on Facebook

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Source:  Facebook

Punctuation can save lives as illustrated by the Tshirt above.

Punctuation. can. cause. major. headaches.

Who is punctuation for?

If you are still reading this post, how did you make sense of the text above the picture.  How were you able to read text without punctuation?  Often in a fast and furious draft, punctuation is spotty or left out.  Ideas.are.the.focus.

Thinking about punctuation brings to mind one of my favorite tools – punctuation sticks and I wrote about them here.

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Because these are clear, they can easily be inserted into several points in a line in order to determine that best location in any particular piece of writing. It’s a playful way to experiment with varying punctuation as well!

Why does it matter? 

Today is National Punctuation Day.  Try varying your “usual” punctuation today. 

Does anyone notice? 

Is punctuation more important for a Reader or a Writer?




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

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#SOL19: #OLW Celebrate


My One Little Word (#OLW) was out in force this holiday weekend.

Celebrate

So many choices . . .  It was a family weekend . . .

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Relatives  and a funeral

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Saturday Wedding

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The beginning of the NCAA football season . . .

Sunday AMarekN Family

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Monday Labor Day Dinner and 15 Mareks/Ruths

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A blog post for Literacy Lenses:  All Learning is Social and Emotional:  Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyond.  (link)

It began with a text!

“Good morning, Fran. Just realized you’re in the great state of Iowa and so am I this weekend!  My brother lives in Kalona.  How far am I from you?”

The irony.

And so noteworthy!

On Saturday we were playing cards at my aunt Janie’s in Kalona which is about 100 miles from my home.  I was there in Kalona the day before.  Kalona, a town in the northwest part of the county where I grew up.

It was an irresistible invitation. We solved the problems of the world, literacy, schools, and the state of education on Sunday when I met up with Dayna Wells, from California, that I met in real life in New York City at a TCRWP Saturday reunion over four and a half years ago (Link). A reader. A writer.  A blogger.  A Slicer. A TCRWP learner!

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How did you celebrate Labor Day weekend 2019?

What were your choices?  




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

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