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?
You can explore the source yourself here.
And at “What Works Clearinghouse” here.
Does that fit into your knowledge base?
Keynote: David Booth
Today’s learning is a view of notes via my Tweets
What was “Between” the Principles?
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:
“We’re done for the week!” announced Natalie Louis.
And I knew I had the first line of my blog post!
(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?
- Read the teaching point out loud.
- Ask what it means? Bumble around
- 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:
Source of Session Information:
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!
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
- Study between the levels of the strands and note differences. What is the key work of this level?
- Try to put into own words or use keywords from description.
- 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!
As 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?
How will you know you are on the learning journey?
How will you know when you are successful?
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?|
Alfred Tatum – Teaching Reading to Adolescent Black Boys (Chicago) (EL)
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
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:
Annotate text for emotion
|Specific Chrome Tools
||Have 3 or 4 that are extremely effective.
More is NOT better.
Can also change readability
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.
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!
This would be a great week to follow #TCRWP on Twitter! Great learning ahead!
What’s on your learning agenda for this week?
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,toughness, determination, tenacity, perseverance, grit”
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!
Begins Day One.
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?
Begins Day One.
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?
Begins Day One.
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!
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?
What a blast! So much learning! So many new friends! So much talent! AAAAAAMMMMMAAAAZZZZIIIIINNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!
I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of having a “split” schedule during the 2017 August Writing Institute so I was learning from Shana Frazin (grades 3-8 emphasis) in the mornings and Shanna Schwartz (K-2 emphasis) in the afternoons. The content aligned a lot but the stars were in perfect alignment on Friday when a chunk of time in both sections was focused on editing!
Editing can become a “hot button” topic pretty quickly as many teachers have strong beliefs around the fact that “kids need to write in complete sentences” AKA “Kids need to write in complete sentences with capital letters at the beginning and terminal punctuation.” Capital letters (K) and ending punctuation (1) are in the learning progressions and are a part of instruction. This post is not going to hypothesize about why those skills/strategies/habits don’t appear to transfer across genres or grades and why students in MS and beyond don’t seem to “use” what they have been taught. That’s a great conversation to pair with adult beverages face-to-face!
Editing: What’s Working? What’s Not Working?
There are so many components to “editing”: spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization that blanket statements about the effectiveness of instruction are difficult to accurately tease out. In general the research has been clear that the effects of isolated drill in traditional grammar instruction has had negative effects on improving the quality of writing. (Steve Graham)
So what can we use? Try? Test out in our own classrooms?
One FUN method used by this author is editing sticks and you can read more about those clear sticks here. Students can work on the MEANING, or purpose for punctuation, as well as explore how the meaning changes with these editing sticks.
Shana Frazin proposed editing stations and even demonstrated small group instruction to work on editing skills around commas. The students in the group used “checklist strips” straight from the WUoS to determine whether they had commas in their current piece of writing, and then they checked their comma use against the purposes for using commas in the information writing unit. If they didn’t use commas, they were then adding commas into their continued writing during that small group work.
Because “run-on sentences” are listed for fifth grade in the progressions, I chose to use 5th grade as a target grade level to tackle the “I can fix run-on sentences” from the editing checklist.
Here’s the task card I drafted:
Some practice sentences:
Here’s one tool (idea from Shana Frazin):
Here’s a second student tool ( 3 x 5 post-it matching the task card):
This still feels “Drafty-Drafty” as it shows two types of run-on sentences from student work. Run-on sentences with zero conjunctions. Run-on sentences with too many conjunctions or “Scotch Tape Words”. The easiest way to develop a task card or tool would be to check the full range of WUoS and see what work is already built into the units around run-on sentences. That “go to” response could save hours of angst and searching for solutions outside the resources!
(Unfortunately I did NOT have the entire set of books in my dorm room in NYC to peruse!)
Here’s what I heard Shanna Schwartz say in our K-2 session:
“Light editing could occur during every writing workshop session in second grade.”
This is not about being mean and telling students they have to “FIX” their writing every day before they can write anything else. This is not about REQUIRING students to EDIT every session.
This is one idea. This is one way that editing might go in order to build up habits that lead to being a stronger, more confident writer.
PLAN: “Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today. I want you to read back over it and look for ‘x”. I am going to set the timer for one minute. Read back over your writing for one minute and then you may continue writing.”
Parsing / Processing (What did I see and hear?):
- Light editing – 1 minute required
- It’s a short break with a minimal disruption to the writing flow but yet it underscores the importance of YOU, the author, rereading your work in order to fix this one thing.”
- Respectful – “second grade writers”
- Time limited – 1 minute. Could extend a bit longer if the student is really “fixing something. But if it interferes with writing production, that will create a different issue during writing workshop sessions.
What might these skills be?
- Something that has previously been taught.
- Something that has previously been assessed.
- Something from earlier grade level progressions.
- Something that is a necessary foundation skill.
- Something that is not sticking for the majority of the class so the first use of editing minutes will be whole class.
“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today. I want you to read back over it and check for capital letters at the beginning of every sentence . . . ” (Set the timer for one minute.) (K)
“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today. I want you to read back over it and check that you have put punctuation ( . ! ? ) at the end of your sentences. Reread and check . . . ” (Set the timer for one minute.) (1st)
“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Choose three words from the word wall. Look at the writing that you have done today. I want you to read back over it and check your writing to make sure that you have spelled those three words correctly . . . ” (Set the timer for one minute.)
“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today. We have been working with word endings in word study. Read back over your writing and check your words for the endings “er”, “ed”, and/or “ing and make sure those endings are spelled correctly . . . ” (Set the timer for one minute.)
How many editing goals?
I would hope and Shanna suggested that students would have ONE editing goal at a time. The student needs to work on this targeted goal until he/she is able to complete it independently. Practice is definitely required before strategies will become a habit. That’s why this skill needs to be practiced multiple times in order for the student to be able to complete it!
The more visible you can make the editing goal the better! You will be watching for this goal during conferences, small group instruction and in the student’s independent work. Once you see a “body of evidence” you will move this goal to the Accomplishment Board where the post it / goal card goes in the pocket by student name like the one posted below.
How are you currently “teaching” editing in the Writing Units of Study?
What might you strengthen?
What might you add?
Hallowed Halls of Learning,
Ivy League Halls of Learning,
and then a Focus for Me.
Closing Choice Workshop:
Supporting Kids with IEPs
Creating an Environment, a Schedule, and Plans that
Accommodate All Your Learners
by Val Geschwind
As we began, Val encouraged us to think of one child. One child to be at the center of our thinking in every consideration for the environment, the schedule and the plans. Just one child. I always loved when Heidi Hayes Jacob did this. So powerful!
So here he is:
What about the Environment for this guy?
The depth of Val’s planning blew me away.
And remember that I come from the field of special education.
It was my life for many, many, many years.
Val shared her thinking as well as explanations for each of these slides in her presentation. The pictures truly added to my understanding, but the pictures were not the main focus. Our focus was on the child at the center of our attention. Were his/her socio-emotional needs met? Physical needs? And what about supporting Risk-Taking?
How is that one child doing? Do you know if that child is “learning”? What evidence do you use?
There’s a paradox here because writing is one area where many might propose that a child with very specific needs as identified by IEP goals must receive a different kind of writing workshop. That view is often focused on a very narrow subset of constrained skills that includes letter naming and recognition, drill on letter formation, and other worksh*ts (a totally out of context reference by Lucy Calkins in her opening keynote on July 31 to the materials that some students use during writing time). However, in the context of “All students are general education students FIRST”, they must receive differentiated instruction in the classroom writing workshop FIRST.
Because as Lanny Ball wrote so eloquently this week for the “Fundamentals of Writing Workshop” series, it is all about Time, Choice, Response, and Community and Cambourne’s Conditions of Learning: Immersion, Demonstrations, Expectations, Responsibility, Approximation, Practice, and Response. (TWT, August 1, 2017, here) Aren’t those the things you want for your “one child” above?
Is every child successful in Writing Workshop?
Not necessarily. But are writers in Writing Workshop classes achieving at higher levels than other classrooms? Are the students able to write independently? Do they CHOOSE to write? What does the data say? What does their instruction say?
How are you measuring “Success” in Writing?
What environmental issues would you add to Val’s list?
One goal of writing workshop may be to have independent and confident writers who can and do share their writing with the world.
Any one in the “reader-sphere” gulping just a little at that? Big, Bold, Audacious Goal! Dream Big!
So how do we REALLY set students (or even adults) up to be Independent? Some might argue that this means that a teacher needs MORE control over a student’s writing so that the path is quick, controlled and successful. But how does that student learn to handle trouble? Work through adversity? Persevere? Does that student ONLY turn to outside sources for validation?
This is a draft. I repeat, “This is only a draft!” But I’ve seriously been considering this since Monday. A LOT!
I wanted to write about it yesterday, but I was still thinking! And so last night with the extra hour BEFORE the #TCRWP Twitter chat LIVE from the dorm across the street from TC, I initiated a simultaneous phone conference google doc with a writing colleague.
Testing the waters.
And yes, only a draft for the third time.
Many of us love partners for student work. And we have our own partners. Partners in life. Partners in marriage. Work partners. Writing partners. Reading partners. Thinking partners.
How do we set those up . . . in the beginning.
This idea . . . I heard it, we tried it out in our section and it “felt good”, I read some more about it here, and then I tried it FOR REAL again!
Courtesy of Shana Frazin and Katy Wischow: Open Conferring Notes
“Open notes conferring could be a path to greater independence, more engagement, and stronger connections between us and our thoughtful, fascinating readers.” – Katy Wischow, June 12, 2015, ‘Turn and Talk About”.
Don’t panic! Open Conferring Notes are not notes left with the student. They are notes the teacher takes (his/her accountability) and shares with the student so that the student can SEE that his/her voice is heard. Students participate in conferences differently with Open Conferring Notes because it is more of a partnership than just a turn-taking typical conference.
The notes are simple 2 columns. “I noticed” heads the first column and “Tips” heads the second column. Writing notes as an adult to share with a student DOES feel clunky at first but the notes shouldn’t be a secret. After all, the words were real words out of the student’s mouth. What felt “clunky” was:
- How many notes?
- Which notes to record?
- Can he read my notes?
- Did I capture that thought accurately?
I know over-thinking. Over the top. But that delicate balance between what is said and what is written and am I OVER recording? YES!
Why does this matter?
Do you have student partnerships confer? Do you expect them to tackle this work?
Wouldn’t Open Conferring Notes be the “perfect” scaffold to begin to teach students to “share the conferring note recording pen”?
As the conferee last night for about an hour, I loved this. It felt good to be simultaneously, yet respectfully turn-taking in our excitement as we practiced “Open Conferring Notes”.
Open Conferring Notes
What have you learned, tried out, practiced and investigated further?
Open Conferring Notes – soon to be used with teachers learning to confer as well!
Thanks for teaching me about Open Conferring Notes, Shana and Katy!