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#DigiLitSunday: “Possible Sentences


Join Margaret Simon at “Reflections on the Teche” for additional #DigiLit Sunday reading here.

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Kylene Beers and Bob Probst are both speakers that I can listen to time and time again I’ve seen them at ILA, NCTE, and Kylene more than once at #TCRWP.  One strategy that I participated in that has stuck with me is “Possible Sentences”.  As a workshop participant, it went as Melanie Swider of “Two Reflective Teachers” described here although the session I attended was on a different date.

today

How can students more “authentically” USE vocabulary words and do more of the vocabulary “heavy lifting” in understanding and owning the words?

Possible Sentence Basic Process:

The teacher chooses vocabulary words.

The students, doing the work, predict and use the words in sentences.

*Then as a class, all the sentences are compiled and then questions are generated for each sentence.

Students read.

Students return to their sentences and questions to revise them based on the understanding of the topic after reading.

How could we start using “Possible Sentences” in Book Clubs or in Content Area classes and add in some meaningful, very purposeful, use of technology?

Here’s what I proposed for our first learning practice:

You can go to the actual documents through the links below and save your eyesight:

Google Drawing Student Task Card link

Google Drawing Teacher Card linklink

Tools:  NewsELA article, Wordcounter.com, Google Drawings cards, Google Docs – Response

Are you using “Possible Sentences”?

Have you added a technology component to increase student collaboration?

What tools did / would you use?

#SOL17: Evidence of a Reader


book

Does this sound like YOU?

How do you collect evidence of Reading Anchor Standard 10?

R. A.10. “Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.”

“Note on range and content of student reading

To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts. Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success.”  Source

How do we measure this goal?

Some teachers use reading logs and activities after reading.  However, those aren’t always popular with students, especially students who would prefer to simply

READ!

Check out this post by seventh grader Paul Sinanis, “Yes, I Love to Read!

Are teacher actions inadvertently causing students to read less?

Students today want voice and choice.  Written book reports, especially 5 paragraph essays, are probably NOT working in many classrooms.  Readers may simply not be “recording” the books that they are reading in order to be spared  what they see as the mind-numbing expectations of an adult.  Expectations that they don’t see as relevant.  Collecting titles and comments as part of a portfolio of a reader / writer may appeal to some students.  But what else can be used?  (This post about reading goals had some options to consider.)

Are you adding book covers to your classroom door?

Do you list what you are currently reading at the bottom of your email?

Do you talk about the books you’ve read?

How do YOU share your reading life with your students?

Are YOU, the teacher, using the same mechanisms for reporting that you require of your students?

How do we know what our Reader-in-Chief is reading?  We have been fortunate to have a President that reads for the last 8 years.  And his reading has been well-documented by the press in pictures, articles, and lists. Check out the New York Times story or  Electric Literature’s summary of President Obama’s reading here for two different perspectives on reading and the President.

What are the possibilities that you could consider?

A top 10 list?

A top 5 list?

A “TBR” picture?

An adaptation of Car Karaoke?

A conversation with a reader?

How will we know that YOU are a reader?  What evidence will YOU share?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL16: Quiet Anticipation


anticipation

Excited and thinking the best,

Anticipating

Friends .  .  .

Fellow Twitter Friends

Fellow Voxer Friends

Fellow Bloggers

Fellow #NCTE14 and #NCTE15 attendees

The shiny ball is going to drop on #NCTE16 and I can’t wait!

Professional Development is an “investment in yourself” – Check out this blog post from #NCTE15! Continual growth matters!

Learning

Listening

Learning

Eyes wide open

Learning

Within a cocoon of friendship

Learning

Around every corner

Learning

At every session

Learning

In Atlanta!

Looking forward to meeting up, face to face, with “Slicers” Saturday night.

Will you be there?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

What have I learned from #NCTE in the past?

#NCTE 14 (First Timer Report) here,  (Community, Collaboration & Social Justice) here,  (Our presentation – Story as the Landscape of Knowing) here,  (Top 10 Quotes I Have Used from #NCTE14) here and (Close Reading and the Little Ones – Chris Lehman, Kate Roberts and Kristi Mraz) here.

#NCTE15 (Vicki Vinton & Katie Wood Ray) here, (Kelly Gallagher’s Top 10) here, (Sessions – Colleen Cruz, Jennifer Serravallo, Clare & Tammy, #G2Great) here and  (Involving Students – 2 #tcrwp sessions, Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, Donalyn Miller, Seymour Simon, Linda Hoyt, Kelly Boswell and more) here.

And how do you reflect and review your learning?

How do you know you are growing?

#DigiLitSunday: Mentors


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Join Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche for additional #DigiLitSunday posts here

mentor-four

Mentors . . .

I’ve had a few . . .

Where do I begin

To tell the story

Of how mentors have been my guide?

Mentors . . .

Trusted

Experienced

Advisors or

Guides

Mentors . . .

Teachers. . .

Authors . . .

Speakers . . .

Bloggers . . .

Technology wizards . . .

Mentors . . .

All with a digital presence

via

Twitter

Facebook

Voxer

Blogs

Google docs

and

(gasp)

even old-fashioned

emails.

How do you connect with your mentors?

mentor

Teacher Mentors

Allison

Julieanne

Jenny

 Mary Lee

Ryan

Sally

Sandy

Steve

Tara

Those lengthy conversations as we learned, laughed and studied together.  Asking questions, checking for understanding, and seeking new information . . . on our learning quests!

mentor-one

Online Book Study Groups

What Readers Really Do:  Teaching the Process of Meaning Making by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton – It was a Twitter book study with Ryan, Allison, Julieanne, Sandy and many more included a grand finale with Vicki Vinton.

Good to Great Teaching:  Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters by Dr. Mary Howard – This continues to be a weekly chat #G2Great on Thursday evenings at 8:30 EST.

Who’s Doing the Work?  How to Say Less So Readers Van Do More by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris  – This book study involved a combination of GoogleDocs and weekly Voxer responses.

A Mindset for Learning:  Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth! by Christine Hertz and Kristi Mraz – Book study and Twitter Chat

The Journey is Everything:  Teaching Essays that Students Want to Write for People who Want to Read Them by Katherine Bomer – A book study that resulted in several “essay slices” that included GoogleDocs and a twitter chat.

The Book Love Foundation Podcast Summer Study Session with Penny Kittle – a Facebook group with video, readings, and responses each week.

Craft Moves:  Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts by Stacey Shubitz – This book study involved a combination of Facebook responses and conversations with authors of the mentor texts from Stacey’s book.

mentor-three

Professional Development Facilitators who serve as mentors

  • Lester Laminack
  • Nell Duke
  • Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan
  • Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris
  • Vicki Vinton
  • Jennifer Serravallo
  • Melissa Stewart
  • Linda Hoyt
  • Seymour Simon
  • Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry-Paul
  • Lucy Calkins
  • Chris Lehman
  • Kate Roberts
  • Maggie Roberts
  • Cornelius Minor
  • Colleen Cruz
  • Mary Ehrenworth
  • Kathleen Tolan
  • Amanda Hartman
  • Celina Larkey
  • Katie Clements
  • Shana Frazin
  • Katy Wischow
  • Brook Geller
  • Liz Dunford Franco
  • Brianna Parlitsis
  • Meghan Hargrave
  • Kristi Mraz
  • Marjorie Martinelli

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Bloggers

Many may be a part of the Two Writing Teachers “Slicer” group or this “DigiLitSunday group or just may be bloggers who I have learned from:

  • Vicki Vinton
  • Two Writing Teachers –  Current bloggers Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey (as well as Tara and Anna)
  • Mary, Amy and Jenn at Literacy Lenses
  • Julieanne
  • Dayna
  • Margaret
  • Mary Lee
  • Steve
  • Sally
  • Kathy
  • Erika
  • Leigh Anne
  • Ramona
  • Rose
  • Lynne
  • Linda
  • Elsie
  • Catherine
  • Shana and Katy
  • Clare and Tammy
  • Burkins and Yaris
  • Christina
  • Kari
  • Jennifer
  • Donna
  • Phyllis
  • Justin
  • Susie
  • Michelle

laptop

Technology Mentors

  • Cornelius
  • Maggie
  • Kate
  • Chris
  • Katie and Kristin

Authors of Books about Mentor Texts

  • Ralph
  • Penny
  • Ruth
  • Kelly
  • Stacey
  • Rose
  • Lynne
  • Lisa

(If you need last names for those authors of books about mentor texts, you can check them out in this post!)

So I’m apologizing to those literacy mentors who I left out in error – one of the disadvantages of making lists – but the point of my post is that these mentors, many of whom are in MORE than one list are all people that I know in the digital world as well as the physical world.

Through Twitter, Voxer, #TCRWP, ILA and NCTE, my horizons have expanded exponentially.  Now my mentors come from many, many states across this country.  All delightful folks that I have had the priviledge of learning with and beside .  .  . Mentors and Friends!

How do we know the impact that your mentors have had?

These pictures reflect my most recent thinking with some of my mentors! Can you name them?

#SOL16: “Around the World”


Standing next to the desk, two more to go.

“Easy or hard?”

Ready.

Confident.

Focused.

Quiet.

flash-card-two

“Fifteen.”

Answered before my opponent opened his mouth.

One to go.

Waiting patiently.

Ever ready!

Calm.

flash card one.JPG

“Fifty-four.”

“Not even an attempt from my last opponent.”

Totally.

Psyched.

Out!

Final card for today . . .

One to clinch the win.

flash-card-three

“Fourty-four.”

I pushed my glasses back up on my nose.

Cheers erupted around me.

I made the victory lap back to my seat.

I had just won “Around the World.”

It was my third day in a row.  And I was so excited.  I slipped a small green clover from my fist into the pencil rail of my desk.  I wasn’t sure if it was skill or luck, but I was not taking any chances.  I carried my lucky charm when playing “Around the World” in math because I was not tempting fate.  I rejoiced in the fact that it was my third day in a row winning basic multiplication facts in third grade.

lucky charm.JPG

How long would my “Lucky Charm” work?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Around the World – perhaps better suited to small groups and vocabulary practice in today’s world than memorizing math facts without a conceptual understanding .

#DigiLitSunday: Agency


 

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The link up to other #DigiLit Sunday posts can be found at Margaret Simon’s Reflections On the Teche. Please check out what other bloggers are writing about today!

And today’s topic:

agency.jpg

What does agency mean to me?

It means choice.  Yesterday I chose #TheEdCollabGathering created by Chris Lehman (definition one below) and I made sure that I acted on that agency (definition two) by attending sessions live all day.  Barely pausing for conversation, my brain on fire, I moved from one session to the next, each one carefully chosen as a tapestry of confirmation.

Topics I needed to revisit.  Topics I needed to dig deeply into again.  Topics I needed for inspiration and affirmation seven weeks into this new year.  Welcoming learning with friends.  Welcoming new friends in the Twitterverse.  Welcoming a day of JOYFUL learning from my home on a Saturday. (Agenda for #TheEdCollabGathering here.)  The sessions were free.  The sessions will remain free and accessible.  The sessions can be accessed at your leisure. The.sessions.are.well.worth.your.time!  TRUST ME!  Check them out!

agency-two

Evidence of Agency for me yesterday?

  1. That I could choose the free sessions to attend from the comfort of my home.
  2. Attending the sessions, tweeting out and having conversations with fellow attendees, presenters, and colleagues from around the world  . . .                                   and then Blogging about my attendance and learning today!

Interesting?

Yes

Life Shattering?

No . . . er . . . I don’t know YET!

Affirming?

Yes

Inspiring?

Yes

New?

Kind of . . .

I have been working with Webb’s Depth of Knowledge lately. Those four levels that in some circles have replaced Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I don’t think either one is exclusionary and in fact believe that there are some positives in each. Both invite thinking in order to move up the levels.

These Depth of Knowledge levels are available about writing at this Edutopia resource.

Level 1 (Recall) requires the student to write or recite simple facts.  This writing or recitation does not include complex synthesis or analysis but is restricted to basic ideas.  The students are engaged in listing ideas or words as in a brainstorming activity prior to written composition, are engaged in a simple spelling or vocabulary assessment or are asked to write simple sentences. Students are expected to write and speak using Standard English conventions.  This includes using appropriate grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling.

Level 2 (Basic Application of Concepts & Skills) tasks require some mental processing.  At this level students are engaged in tasks such as first draft writing for a limited number of purposes and audiences.  At Level 2 students are beginning to connect ideas using a simple organizational structure.  For example, students may be engaged in note-taking, outlining or simple summaries.  Text may be limited to one paragraph. Students demonstrate a basic understanding and appropriate use of such reference materials as a dictionary, thesaurus, or web site.

Level 3 (Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning) tasks require higher-level mental processing.  Students are engaged in developing compositions that include multiple paragraphs.  These compositions may include complex sentence structure and may demonstrate some synthesis and analysis.  Students show awareness of their audience and purpose through focus, organization and the use of appropriate compositional elements.  The use of appropriate compositional elements includes such things as addressing chronological order in a narrative or including supporting facts and details in an informational report.  At this stage students are engaged in editing and revising to improve the quality of the composition.

Level 4 (Extended Thinking & Complex Reasoning) tasks may incorporate a multi-paragraph composition that demonstrates synthesis and analysis of complex ideas or themes.  Such tasks will require extended time and effort with evidence of a deep awareness of purpose and audience.  For example, informational papers include hypotheses and supporting evidence.  Students are expected to create compositions that demonstrate a distinct voice and that stimulate the reader or listener to consider new perspectives on the addressed ideas and themes.

As I reflect on my agency and my learning today, I am confident that most of my Tweets fall into the Level 1 category.  I often try to capture exact words – the very essence of the speaker’s thoughts – and that is totally recall.  No doubt. Level 1.  And yet sometimes, I’m pulling in background knowledge or shortening the exact quotes when there are long hashtags and I must cut down the number of symbols.  Is that always Level 1?  Probably not. Is it sometimes Level 2?  Perhaps yes.

And what of this blog post?  Where would it rate?  Ideas from the day are flowing through my brain.  Some pictures are already uploaded. Others are paused.  Too few?  Too many? Which serve the meaning and the understanding of the reader?  Which are examples of MY thinking?

 Right now I think that I am approaching or possibly just peering over the ledge of DOK 3.  Your thoughts?

As I consider all the meaning embedded in Level 4 (Extended Thinking and Complex Reasoning), I believe this is where Katherine Bomer’s thinking lies when she said,

“Capital E, Essay equals thinking!”

A student or adult is agentive and completing that “extended thinking and complex reasoning” when totally engaged in a task of their own choice.  When writing, it may be an essay, a poem, or some great work of literature.  But it’s something the student knows and knows well due to their passionate study.  It may be a study of their own thinking and problem solving as suggested by Burkins and Yaris in Who’s Doing the Work?  when the students are actually working harder than the teachers as they problem solve and persevere in forging their own learning paths when “given the time to do so”.

burkins-and-yaris-nine-mental-process-s-can-use-by-self-takes-time

Jan’s metaphor of shopping was played out in this chart and compared to choosing a just right book.  Students choosing their own books . . . not being handed books by the teacher brings up a question:  “Who SHOULD be choosing the books?”

burkins-and-yaris-eleven-book-process

Tara Smith tweeted out that “agency = knowing how to make choices.” How often do our students struggle with making decisions?  When should they be “practicing” quality decision-making skills? Is that not a skill that should be part of the daily routines during the school day?

Consider how engagement and accessibility play into these four elements.  Jan actually framed and labeled them for the viewers. But at any point there could be a mismatch.  Clare and Tammy would also point out that the mismatches are opportunities for learning and even ownership of their learning. A celebration of learning.  Every data point can also bring hope, joy and agentive power to the students.

clare-and-tammy-assess-two

And what if students were publishing regularly for real audiences?  #TWT authors and bloggers, Beth Moore, Deb Frazier and Dana Murphy literally hit the game-winning touchdown with their sharing and feedback strategies! (It was a Saturday after all-so there was some collegiate football in the background.)  Deb suggested feedback to young writers  on day one, Dana said it could be ‘fancy like “Wow and Wonder”,  “Glow and Grow”, or like “slicers” -1. feel, 2 notice, 3. connection’ and Beth Moore said that someday a student writer  might tell friends about how special their teacher made them feel as a writer. Honoring students and their writing work doesn’t cost a lot of time or money.  Celebrating student learning should be an every day constant.

After all this is “their” learning!   Fewer behavior management systems might be needed if there was more emphasis on “student choice” and so much less emphasis on “compliance” and “silly tasks” but those are both topics for another day!

The intersection of agency, choice, engagement and learning seems to be a good fit for students who are “doing the work” and not passively watching others engaged in the work.  Even kindergarten students want to share their thinking . . . not their fault that sometimes their symbols and/ or work needs translation for our adult brains to make better sense (Clare and Tammy’s story about Zachary) .

But what if the entry point for all students was simply choice?

What if the responsibility and accountability lies with students?

Lucy Calkins reminded us this summer that “To teach well, we do not need more techniques and strategies as much as we need a vision of what is essential.”

What if agency is essential?  How does that change instruction and assessment?

(Did I make it to Level 4 -Extended Thinking and Complex Reasoning? You be the judge!)

#DigiLitSunday: Reflection


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Join the #DigiLit Sunday celebration organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche.

reflection-three

What does “REFLECTION” mean to you?

Google defines reflection as either:

“1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.”

       “the reflection of light”

reflection

“2.  serious thought or consideration.”

         “he doesn’t get much time for reflection”
reflection-two

Which reflection were you thinking of?

Does it matter?

Consider these quotes:

reflection-quote-deweyreflection-quote-confuciousreflection-quote-threereflection-quote-four

Which quote is your favorite?

Dewey?  Confucious?  Teclei?  Garten?

I often talk about being at that age and stage of my life when it would be easy to say, “Oh, well, I guess that REALLY doesn’t matter.”  Yet my passion for learning continues to take me back to the Confucious quote.

Learning is everything.  Acting on that learning by using the learning is important to me.  And yet reflecting on that learning is equally important.  At times, learning and reflection almost feel like the chicken and the egg conundrum!

Reflection is critical for professionals to grow.  Reflection is critical in the collection of data and in the use of formative assessments to adjust instruction.  Reflection is also critical in considering whether the needs of the students are being met both efficiently and effectively.  Self reflection also provides professionals with both the time and the tools to determine whether the “perceived reality” is in fact the actual reality in the classroom!  However, there must be some “learning” to reflect on.  Otherwise, reflection is merely continuing the status quo!

WHEN and HOW do you reflect on your work?

What do you believe are the most critical attributes of reflection?

 

 

#SOL16: Travel Trivia


Where have we been?

What have we seen?

This morning sitting at the Leonardo DaVinci Airport I was literally counting my blessings.

Screenshot 2016-08-08 21.07.57

This was Mom five years ago on her “0” birthday when she went on a Mediterranean cruise with my younger sister.  The idea of returning to Rome has been a recurring topic.

And last evening we celebrated sisters in our tour group in this picture.

image

How many sets of sisters?

And without a picture  . . . How many sets of brothers were on our trip?

What was our location?

How many hills in this city?

How many obelisks?

What US city is at the same latitude as Rome?

How many attended the canonization on Sunday?

How many in the audience at the canonization needed medical treatment due to the heat and the numerous hours in the sun?

How many were within five feet of the Pope on Saturday?

We set off on a journey to Rome, yes a religious trip, but also a trip to the heart of civilization.  This is a city of 300 churches with 200 more in the suburbs.  It’s a city of many diverse nationalities and personalities.  It was a pleasure to be in a group of seven . . .

Mom

Brother

Sister

Brother

Uncle

Aunt

within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).

image1.jpeg

Today’s Slice of Life . . .  Treasuring the “arrivederci”!

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Questions and Answers from above:

How many sets of sisters? 4
And without a picture . . . How many sets of brothers were on our trip? 1
What was our location? Rome, Italy
How many hills in this city? 7
How many obelisks? 11
What US city is at the same latitude as Rome? Chicago
How many attended the canonization on Sunday? 120,000
How many in the audience at the canonization needed medical treatment due to the heat and the numerous hours in the sun? 1,000
How many were within five feet of the Pope on Saturday? ALL 52 of us!!!!

(6 of 9 answers were included in earlier Tweets from Rome! – Just another reason to be on Twitter!)

 

 

#DigiLitSunday: Motivation


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What truly causes one to learn?

Is it the search to answer a question?

The insatiable curiosity of one who just wants to know more?

As I have been traveling in Rome, I have been wondering about this issue. Where does motivation really live?

So I thought about comparing  two of my tours while here.

Tour 1: Catacombs

The local guide, name unknown, used storyboards to illustrate the main points. Her voice was soft for our group of 52 pilgrims. But her voice rose and sped up with her excitement and passion. Some of her questions were rhetorical. But we sat in a group hearing the background information about what we would see in our tour.

I took notes . . . 10 pages of S notes on my phone. I talked to other tour group members, took pictures and even tweeted out pictures and comments. (I have no clue how to copy anything on this new device. . . Mini-iPad 4 so you will have to find the tweets yourself!)

Was I told to take notes? Was I told to pay attention? Was I told “this would be on the test”?

The answer to all those questions is NO!

Tour 2: The Sistine Chapel

The tour guide was a recording. I moved at my own pace. I listened to the first section to learn about the frescoes on the ceiling, a separate recording for The Redemption, more about the Cardinals and the current use of The Sistine Chapel, and then another recording about the care and maintenance of the chapel.

I can speak oF generalities. The voice did not exude passion. I chose to be there. I chose the order of my learning.

And yet, the tour did not inspire me to take ANY notes.   Maybe I was influenced by the constant, “Silencio” and interrupted by, “No video” and “No phone camera”.

But what if the difference was in the lack of personal inspiration or challenge from a real live person whose dedication to the topic encouraged me to learn more? What if the passion and excitement of a teacher FOR their subject matter  is absorbed AND reflected by the students?

What if your students need  a personal connection?

What if the “motivation to learn” is fueled by choice, time and commitment to learning AFTER it is IGNITED by a teacher . . .Or another learner?

How do YOU plan accordingly for students who don’t learn the same every day?

 

please head to Magaret’s DigiLitSunday for more posts.

#TCRWP Reading: Takeaways Day 1


And so it begins  . . . this week I am attending the #TCRWP June Reading Institute and it’s off to an amazing start! This is what my brain felt like about 2 pm on Monday . . . with an hour and a half YET to go.

Exploding head

08 May 2001 — Exploding head — Image by © John Lund/CORBIS

WHY?

Information Overload!

Just plug that CAT 6 cable directly into my brain and let me power on all the assistance I can.  It’s going to be an exhilarating experience!

Lucy Calkins Keynote

Why do we read?  How does reading benefit us as a community?  How does the community benefit when we are readers?  These questions weren’t posed by Lucy but so many questions ran through my mind today during her “Call to Action.”

“We come from 38 countries and 41 states . . . 1300 of you to learn about teaching reading . . . to learn about yourselves . . . to learn from each other . . . From places in the heart . . .To say no . . . To say yes”

TCRWP isn’t just an event. It’s not about attending for a week, soaking up knowledge, returning home, and regurgitating that knowledge to a welcome (or unwelcome) audience.  TCRWP is about the community – face to face this week –  on Facebook and Twitter in the future and even on blogs like this between institutes and Saturday reunions.  If you take risks, are vulnerable this week, you will never be the same reader or teacher of reading in the future.  You will grow. You will stretch. You will fly. Empathy is built day by day.  We can and we must learn and understand by thinking ourselves into other’s places.

Takeaway Questions:

  1. How will you support your reading community?
  2. Maybe we need a new educational story.  To reach, to dream, to grow strong . . What do you need in order to grow yourself?
  3. How can you grow your own version of #TCRWP?  Your own nest?
  4. There’s important work to be done.  It will be hard work.  We as educators are asked to outgrow our own work.  How will you outgrow your own work?
  5. It’s not just about naming the strategies, but inducting kids into the identities and values of READERS! How will you create a safe community for your readers?

 

Amanda Hartman

Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)

Funny.

Fast-paced.

Articulate.

Explanation and Demonstration.

Powerful Whole Class Instruction for K-2 Students

  1. Clarity and Concise Language
  2. Engaging and Engaged
  3. Assess and Give Feedback
  4. Links and Skills (Strategies) to Independent and Partner/Club Work
  5.  Opportunities for Oral Language Development “

 

Read and Study Mini-lesson individually. (1st grade, lesson 10 – Readers learn new words as they read.) Mini-lesson Practice with Partners.  Mini-lesson planning table group. Mini-lesson Delivery. Debrief. Discuss Goals. Video of Mini-lesson. Discussion of how that was the same and how that was different. Mini-lesson Delivery. Discussion of Goals.

. . . and in all that “What were we studying in the Mini-lesson?

Teaching Point

Pacing – Vitality, Having students think alongside us, Student talk/listen/feedback

Assessment

Feedback

Takeaways:

  1. Whole class teaching – staying focused is critical! Don’t let student responses lead you down the rabbit hole!
  2. Knowing the Teaching Point is critical. Forward, backward, what comes next? What came before? What it looks and sounds like when a reader REALLY does this.
  3. Focus on one Teaching Point. Not a “Never ending Teaching Point”
  4. Growing students means lots of practice.  That lesson won’t have teacher demonstration but will instead have tons of student practice – PLAN.FOR.IT.
  5. Study lessons together. Discuss the work together.  Build your own community to support your learning about the teaching of reading!

Kathleen Tolan

Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)

“Small group work is hard.  Our goal this week is to open up our repertoire about different methodologies to deliver small group instruction.”

What is your vision of small group work?  I’m most familiar with guided reading groups but also like literature circles and book club work.

What’s preventing small group work?

Management – What are the rest of the kids doing?

Fear – I’m not good at it! (not enough practice)

Results – It doesn’t really work for my kids. Or took 40 minutes to “drag that group through the lesson.” There’s no time to do that every day!

Today, I saw, heard and was a part of . . .

  1.  Demonstration Small Group
  2. Read Aloud Small Group

We watched Kathleen in action and then “copycatted that exact same lesson” into our small groups with two different members as the teacher (not me, not me!)

Remember that brain on fire at the top of this blog . . . this was the first time I’d ever seen a Read Aloud Small Group. So new. So much to absorb and process.  My mind was swirling. . . Where would this happen?  When?  With which students?  Why?

I had to take a deep breath.  And then another one. The engagement of the students in the Read Aloud Small Group was intense.  No student could hide.  Everyone had to do the work – in order to contribute to the learning. What a way to know exactly what kids are thinking and to “get them unstuck” and moving!

Takeaways:

  1.  On any given skill I could be the top, middle, or bottom. The goal of small groups is to grow and move ALL readers – not just the “struggling readers”.
  2. TC – Kathleen – said that they have been studying small group work for the last year and a half.  It’s okay that I don’t know this!
  3. Increase your accountability for small groups with a public, visible schedule.  That will push you as the teacher as well as the students.
  4. Teachers over plan small group work.  The small group work should be a continuation of the mini-lesson.  It’s not about going out and finding new, wonderful text to use. It’s about more practice – more student practice and way less “teacher talk”.
  5. Feedback is hard.  It is about tone.  It is about the length of the message.  It’s also about giving and receiving feedback.  So very complicated!

 

What new skill/strategy are you practicing?  

Have you found / created a safe community to practice?  

How does what you are learning from your own learning impact your planning for instruction for your students?

slice of life 2016

This is my story of learning.

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Writing makes us all more human!

 

 

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