Category Archives: TCRWP

#SOL18: #OLW


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After a quick search, I found that last year’s check-in on my One Little Word (#OLW) was mid-July so I’m pretty much on target again. July.  Summer.  Heat.  A time to reflect.

Where has “curious” taken me this year?

Paying attention.

Listening.

Watching.

Reading.

Writing.

Thinking.

Curious and Learning

Most recently:

Iowa Reading Association and

#TCRWP

Front row learner

Book Clubs

#BookLove, #CyberPD, and more

Curious and Joyful

Graduations

Near and Far

Birthdays

With Family

With Friends

And special serenades

Curious and Fun

Ladies Football Academy

With my sister

And finding cousins along the way

Teaching

Consulting

PD Prep

Reading, Writing, and Blogging

Curious and Books

A Novel Approach

Literacy Essentials

It’s All About the Books

180 Days

To Know and Nurture a Reader

Engaging Children

Embarrassment

Kids 1st From Day One

Brave Leadership

Being the Change

Megabook of Fluency

Reclaiming the Principalship

What are you curious about? 

How is your #OLW? 

Have you checked in lately?




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

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#TCRWP: Farewell Final Five


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Five: 

Coffee deliveries may be the highlight of your day.  Sharing the love, being responsible for alternating days, vulnerability in early morning hours . . . exquisite moments in time!

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Life in the dorm!

Four: 

The Big Ideas of Teaching Spelling and Grammar are so important.

  • What is the purpose?  Purpose vs. rule
  • Time for practice
  • Having a focus or goal
  • Differentiation that works
  • Bite-sized pieces
  • Consider reading level
  • Provide opportunities for transfer

And then we dug into the actual lessons to find where they occur.  How can you, the teacher, make them more explicit?  Notice them during a Read Aloud or use them in  Interactive Writing before that lesson so the students have the language in their repertoire!

Three: 

Tears of laughter and joy from Colleen Cruz’s closing.  But this I will remember.

Always.

Always.

Always.

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Two:  

Use the resources in the Units of Study.  Here’s the “problem“.

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Here’s the solution.

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One:

Build your community.  Follow #TCRWP on Twitter and on Facebook.  Find your “family reunion” at TCRWP (nothing like being called out by Lucy Calkins in her speech at the closing).  There is no better support in the world than in the #TCRWP community whether you leave your red knapsack in the subway,  have questions, or are “going it alone” in your district.  Reach out.  There will be support!

What great learning! 

What great adventures? 

How will you continue your summer learning?

 

#TCRWP: Fantastic Four


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Fantastic Four Fireballs

Fantastic learning continues and today’s countdown of learning is from Thursday at the June TCRWP Writing Institute.

FOUR: 

From Simone Fraser’s session, there are at least three different ways to teach grammar.

  1. Demonstration 
  2. Inquiry
  3. Interludes and Extravaganzas

As teachers, we need to reflect:

Who is doing the work?

Who is doing the most talking?

Do we always use the same group size?  Or do we vary whole group, small group, partners, 1:1?

Do students really have enough “work” to really understand?

When do students become more independent?

Which method leads to the best transfer?

If you are only using one method, which one would you add to your repertoire?

THREE:

From Marie Mounteer and our Interactive Writing session,

When making choices, we always want to go back to purpose.

When making choices, we always want to go back to purpose.

When making choices, we always want to go back to purpose.

The WHY? is critical.

TWO:

Marjorie Martinelli’s message in her choice session was exactly what I needed to hear.  When we consider any practices in our writing workshop, we need to consider these three lenses:

  • Remind
  • Refresh
  • Reflect

We were looking specifically at writing centers, routines and rituals, and anchor charts, but these three bulleted ideas can frame our discussions about classroom environments, all parts of the writing workshop, writing process and even genre work.  Reminding ourselves of the WHY or purpose behind our work is always a great beginning to review our goals and purposes in order to keep our eye on how all students can have increased access, agency and independence in writing.

ONE:

Katharine Bomer knocked it way out of Cowin Auditorium with her keynote titled, “With an Air of Expectancy:  Teaching Writing with Belief, Hope, and Respect”.

Expectancy:

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Expectation:

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Which one is more inviting?  Which one is more inclusive?

They aren’t the same.  Just as learning and achievement are not the same.

But this is my favorite and what every teacher needs to remember:

““Let us become ambitious about believing kids and lifting them up… let us see their knowledge, their experience, their languages as gifts. All kids.”




What are you remembering? 

What are your big ideas? 

What will you DO as a result of your learning?

What’s the key word connecting today’s “Fantastic Four Fireballs”?

#TCRWP: 3 Tips


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Day 3 Countdown . . .

Tip #3. 

Working with Jeff Anderson’s Patterns of Power this week in Marie Mounteer’s section has been a special treat in a section where our focus has been on Interactive Writing,

The steps for a lesson.

When to use.

Work with Conventions. Spelling. Capitalization.

Work with Grammar.

Beginning with the standards.

Using student writing to determine needs.

Formative assessment at its best.

Analyzing student writing to plan for one small group of three students with different needs.

Lifting the level of work for all.

It all began with this:

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Everything you will need for planning is in Jeff Anderson’s book.  Sample sentences from fabulous literature that you will be reading to your students.  The only exception would be an actual sentence from the reading students are doing in your classroom.

Everything

is

in

Jeff 

Anderson’s

book.

Don’t consult other sources like TpT!

Use the research-based work from Jeff Anderson! (never a rip off) as you work and plan with a partner – Priceless!

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Tip #2 

Simone Fraser and Toolkits

What do you include?

  • Mentor Texts 
  • Checklists from Writing Pathways
  • Progressions from Writing Pathways
  • Tools to do big work (micro-progressions! Also see Kate and Maggie and DIY Literacy – link)
  • Anchor Chart – Anchor Charts for the whole unit as well as charts from previous years

How do you organize?

So many possibilities. By units or within bends.

“I organize by the stages of the writing process.” 

Working collaboratively to create tools and share . . .

Tip #1

Do.not.ever.pass.on.an.opportunity.to.hear.Georgia.Heard.  What an inspiring keynote!!!

Her writerly life will inspire you as she details her process and shares the final product.

Her student examples will bring you to tears.

Gaspar’s Heart Map with a single wavy line down the middle to represent the line at the Mexican border.  He wrote a poem off of that map about his Mexican heart and American heart with alternating lines written in English and Spanish.  Awe-inspiring.

Heart maps are a powerful tool for writers and writing.  No one has ever said, ‘I have heart map block.’ Many students have said (prior to heart mapping), ‘I don’t know what to write about.’ Small moments can change us.  My writing teacher who wrote ‘add more details’ was really saying,  ‘pay attention and gather ideas for your writing.'”

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What are you learning this week? 

How are you filling and fueling your brain? 

How are you filling and fueling your writing heart?

 

 

 

 

#TCRWP: Day 2 Highlights


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One

Read Alouds are to be savored and today was a day to be all in because after hearing the back story, we had the distinct pleasure of having Matt de la Pena read Love to us.

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It won’t be the same. You won’t be in Cowin Auditorium with 600+ best friends.  You won’t be in the front row.  But here’s your opportunity to have the book read to you. Read by Matt de la Pena.

The hope

The joy

The love

That came from one little poem

About seeing “love” in the mirror.

Need more? Interview with author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Loren Long here.

Tissue Alert!  Tissues Needed!




Two

Pure Delight for those of you that work with the precious “littles” in kindergarten.  I attended Marie Mounteer’s Choice Session on the new kindergarten writing unit out in July – “Show and Tell: From Labels to Pattern Books”.  The room was packed with teachers and the excitement bubbled within the room as Marie previewed some of the 17 sessions in the unit.

I am totally in love with this progression of spelling development.

Nerd out over spelling.

YES!

I see that eye roll!

But how do we explain this to colleagues?  That first, yes, there is a progression and second, that not all students arrive at the same time on the same day.  I believe that the explicitness in this chart makes it easier to describe ALL the things that a student can do on their journey as they develop as spellers.

The key is growth.

The key is celebrating growth along the progression so a child who enters kindergarten may be at a different stage than peers, but just look at the journey.  It’s not about color coding whether a child is green, yellow, or red at any one stage.  Instead it’s all about building on what the child can do . . . writing in kindergarten . . . so important to recognize that it is a journey.  A journey students will love!  A journey we will love!

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And this unit gives students so many access points to be successful writers who can explore their passions.  Thanks, Marie Mounteer and Lizzie Hetzler for authoring such an important unit and for all the wisdom from Natalie Louis and Lucy Calkins (and other staff developers and teachers) that helped bring this joyful unit to life.

What were your top 2 Highlights from Day 2 at the 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP?

 

#SOL18: Why #TCRWP?


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Three letters

One word

Connected to my #OLW – curious

WHY?

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




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

 

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

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Or these .  .  .

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

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

WHY?

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

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

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

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




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

#SOL18: March 26 A March March


Not the first

Probably not the last

But a march for the books

Created by students

Enacted by students

Led by students

Encompassing the world

And demanding change.

What about the “Naysayers”?

They should have stayed in school March 14.

They walked OUT for 17 minutes of silence to honor the 17 dead.

 

 

They should “walk up” and make friends with the disenfranchised.

Respect for their peers, who are alone, should occur every day.

 

 

They should arm the teachers.

Teachers already provide instruction and in many cases, act as:

social workers, nurses, truant officers, coaches, curriculum writers,

test monitors, behavior management specialists,

cooks, transportation provider, time manager, hall monitor, 

and every other role legislated/mandated in your state.

 

 

They should have spent the money from the march on education and services for the mentally ill.

When the President signed the Executive Order that allowed

easier access to guns for the mentally ill?

 When Congress has reduced the funding for mentally ill individuals,

the students should supplant it with their funding?

 

 

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were organized, articulate, and such exemplar products of our public schools.

Speaking (and publicly puking from fear) from the heart to explain that this has become the “new normal” with active shooter drills, in between test prep, and wondering about college acceptance letters, prom and graduation.  Those events their 14 classmates cannot participate in because they are dead. Those seventeen lives lost in six minutes and twenty seconds.

They are fighting for their lives.

They are fighting for the lives of all the children that come after them.

They are fighting for the lives of ALL folks lost to gun violence.

They deserve to be heard.

They deserve our respect.

They deserve our praise.

They deserve our support.

They are our future.




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

And special thanks to Margaret Simon for the helpful advice on this post.  Check out her post, “Marching”, here. Other slices can be found here, here and here.

#SOL18: March 15


Stuck,

Not moving.

Stuck,

Reading is a struggle.

Stuck,

Beginning to avoid reading.

Stuck,

Now hates reading.

What do we do as reading coaches when students get stuck? 

What do we prioritize? 

What are our go to resources? 

 

Earlier this week, I asked . . . 

How do you make decisions about changing instruction?  Or Practice?  Or Allocation of Time? in the writing context.  Think about that post. link

I’m a process person so in reading my first step is to consult the research.  If students are stuck, I’m going back to Richard Allington’s 6 Ts of Effective Reading Instruction.

  1. Time
  2. Texts
  3. Teaching
  4. Talk
  5. Tasks
  6. Testing

When a student is struggling, what’s our first instinct?  Often it seems like we want to “double down” and do “more.”  But again, how do we prioritize and make sure that we double down and do more of the RIGHT stuff?

After participating in a brilliant #TCRWP Twitter chat last night led by Staff Developers, Shana Frazin, Marie Mounteer, and Cheney Munson, here’s what I believe.

Here’s where I will begin  . . .

  1. Know all the students and build a relationship with each and every one . . . yes, even the prickly one(s).   That means that I can answer these questions about barriers in order to operate from a “strengths-basis” as much as possible.

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2. I will self assess my balance of Allington’s 6 T’s with what I know about the student.  Everything is connected and interrelated.  What are my “absolute musts” for reading instruction every day?  Always read alouds.  Always workshop time. More time, but less texts = counterproductive.  More Talk by Teachers  = Less time for reading  which is also counterproductive.  So I might consider how some of these questions would add to my knowledge base about what I know about reading instruction, practice, and the curriculum for this particular striving student.

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3. I will ask for help.  I will continue to think about the whole child but will not be so proud that I can’t ask for help or so “unaware of the urgency (“Hello, it’s February and Susie is on a E and her goal is J, but no worries.”)  I will find my tribe that I can safely ask:  “Hey, what should I do when I have a student who does this, this, and this, but struggles with __, __, and __?”

Every day that Susie feels like she is is failing is a day too many!

4. But I will ALWAYS remember that my goal is to ensure that students can read, will read, and above all else, LOVE to read!  So remembering that Susie will be a great reader is critical!  I will not advocate for a program, a basal, a Pinterest or TpT resource.  I will begin with the child, the child’s family, and the community of the classroom. (The WHY which has to be behind every decision.)

How does this match your thinking? 

Where do you start when a student is stuck? 

What are your priorities?




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




Marie Mountneer’s storify of the #TCRWP chat here

During the chat Shana Frazin posted this chart of Harvey and Ward’s from Striving to Thriving.  What a great tool to think about during text selection for our striving students!

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#SOL18: March 4


Idea borrowed from Mary Lee Hahn’s Poetry Friday – Chocolate Cake (here) (and I don’t even like chocolate cake!)

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Abecedarian #TCRWP Saturday Reunion Love

Articulate,
bedazzled
community
descends.
Energized,
frantically
gobbling
high
intensity
just-in-time
knowledge;
learning
more.
No
one
paid.
Queries
redirected.
Solving
troubles,
uniting
vociferous,
waxing
xenials…
yearning
zealots!




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




Note:  I had visions of productivity after my NYC flights were cancelled, but all of Friday was misspent on pursuing unproductive, alternative options.  Saturday meant following along on Twitter. So that leaves Sunday – newly found time.  Maybe I can plan to read the book that was scheduled for flight time?  Two books at least?  One going and one coming home?

What is an abecedarian? Link

Poetry Dances Link

#SOL18: March 3


                   The Plan

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94th Saturday Reunion

Friends

Learning

Laughter

                The Reality

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                        Flight #3 will arrive at LaGuardia                           at 10:25 pm on Saturday, March 3

A storm

Cancelled flights

Couch learning!




Inspiration:  Kevin’s 6 Word Slices Here

Two required because the first was written in anticipation of the day’s learning on site in person, and the second was written after searching tickets, flights, and airports for HOURS!

Six Word Stories Here

Six Word Memoirs Here




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

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