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2018: In the Rear View Mirror


What a year!

What does the data say?

Looking back is something of a habit as the New Year dawns.  Here were my reflective posts from 2017,  2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.  It was fun to see where the emphasis has changed over time.

My Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of all time are:

5. How do we know students are making progress in writing? (2014)

4.  Generative Writing as a Formative Assessment (2015)

3.  Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)

                 2. Close Reading in Kindergarten? Is it possible? (2013)

1. #TCRWP and a Teacher’s Toolkit for Writing (2014)

Data analysis is interesting.  Four of the five posts were in my top 5 all time last year.  #2 this year is a new addition to the top 5. It leapfrogged to #2 by passing up three previous “all time” posts.

I continue to wonder if my OLD writing is more popular than my newer writing with two posts from 2013 in the top 5. “Or does the popularity mean that these posts are STILL topics/issues that present day literacy teachers are struggling with?”  Maybe these are topics that I need to review during the course of the year. They are definitely already on my March Slicer “To Write About” list.

My Top 8 Posts (by the number of readers) out of the 109 posts that were written in 2018 were:

8. #SOL18: Lit Essentials – Regie Routman’s Literacy Essentials with an entire section dealing with Equity!

7. #TCRWP: 3 Tips – Patterns of Power (Jeff Anderson), Mentor Texts with Simone Frazier and Heart Maps with Georgia Heard

6. #SOL18:  Reading Research  – Is all reading research equal?

5. Bloom’s and Thinking – Reconceptualizing Bloom’s Taxonomy

4. #SOL18: March 25 – Updated Reprise of #3 above “Lexile Level is NOT Text     Complexity (2013)

3. #NCTE18:  Digging Deeper #1 – Kass Minor, Colleen Cruz & Cornelius Minor

2. #SOL18:  March 15 – Barriers to Learning, Allington’s Six T’s, Student           Progress

1.#SOL18:  March 11 – Increasing Writing Volume

And this – Reading Research from the end of October and both a November post about NCTE and a December post can make it into the “Most Read in 2018” list within 4 – 8 weeks of the end of the year.  So Interesting!

What patterns do you see? 

Which topics did you find most compelling? 

What work do you review annually or over even longer time frames?




PROCESS:

Reflection

Analysis

Planning

Re-Reflecting

Wrapping up Curious with a Focus on being Joyful for this first chance to CELEBRATE!

 

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#SOL19: #OLW18 Finale


#OneLittleWord (AKA #OLW)

This post has more about the origin of #OLW and links to other past posts about the purpose and process. Today’s post is a reflection on my 2018 OLW.  It was evident on my blog as it literally was a part of the wallpaper:  Curious!

Screenshot 2019-01-01 at 9.30.28 AM

 

How did “curious” impact my life?

Seeing it at least weekly on my blog kept curious in my brain but even without the constant reminder, curious is in my bloodstream.  Considering life and life actions through the eyes of others has always been a part of my repertoire so “curious” was the perfect word for #OLW18.

Where did “curious” take me?

My learning journey included:

3rd Anniversary #G2Great Chat

CCIRA in Denver – February

TCRWP Writing Institute

#BookLove Summer Book Study

Iowa Reading Conference

ILA

Everyday Practices that Engage and Empower Readers and Writers – Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle – DSM

Nell Duke – JCCL – Cedar Falls

NCTE

Read, Write, Teach – Ignite Curiosity and Instill Confidence in Freeport, Maine with Linda Rief and Penny Kittle

Reading, reading, reading . . . professional texts

Researching

Writing about my reading

Twitter chats:  #ILA, NCTE, #bookaccessforall, #TCRWP, and #G2Great

What other words have chosen me?

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015     Focus
  • 2016    Joyful
  • 2017    Brave
  • 2018    Curious

I’ve narrowed my 2019 word choice down to three . . . A Decision and More in the next post!

How did you put your #OLW into action in 2018? 

What did you learn that will guide you in 2019? 

What will be your evidence of learning / use of your #OLW?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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#SOL18: Merry Christmas


Hope your day was filled with

JOY,

LOVE,

FAMILY, and

FUN!

And that whatever your beliefs, traditions, customs and celebrations,

That you also set aside some time to think about your thoughts, deeds, and actions in 2018.

FB_IMG_1545740292814

Screenshot 2018-12-25 at 11.39.44 PM

 

Which visual image matches your thinking?

How do you open your heart? 

How did you celebrate with friends and family? 

What memories did you create today?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Learning with Penny Kittle & Linda Rief


Balmy winter day.

A Friday.

December in Maine.

Spending time with Paula Bourque.

Talking Literacy.

Northern Lights and LLBean and Karen Cook of Heinemann hosting a workshop with Penny Kittle and Linda Rief, “Read Write Teach: Ignite Curiosity & Instill Confidence in Readers & Writers.”  A room packed with educators!  LEARNING TOGETHER!

Screenshot 2018-12-16 at 8.22.16 AM

Wakelet link

 

The Wakelet link is above.  More to follow as I have less than a page of notes in Google Docs and many pages in sketchnoting.  Some ok. Some not so much. But where is that darned notebook?

And from 180 Days, these are the college expectations.

Screenshot 2018-12-16 at 8.35.16 AM

 

Wouldn’t thoughtful, forward-thinking, responsible teachers be checking in on students’ independent reading at some point?  Can / Do students read 5,000 pages in a year?

Quizes not required.

Reading Logs not required.

Can students meet this Independent Reading goal?  How do we know?

Do our students read independently?

If not, why not?

#NCTE18 Bound: #G2Great


Today’s the day!

Screenshot 2018-11-05 at 11.27.25 PM

#NCTE18 begins!

Have you chosen your sessions?

This sign will be greeting you in Houston!

Screenshot 2018-11-14 at 7.44.02 PM

If it’s your first time to attend, check out the “First Timer’s Breakfast” Thursday morning to make some new friends, meet a group of people at your table, and hear Donalyn Miller and Ernest Morrell.

Add your twitter name to your name tag.

Look for those folks you have seen on #NCTE chats.

Look for those folks you have seen on #G2Great chats.

Make these days be about your learning.

What do you need to learn?

Be kind.

Enjoy!

Say hello to at least three new people every day!

Welcome to Houston!

Welcome to #NCTE18!




Time Warp

5 years ago

My first NCTE

#NCTE14:  First Timer’s Report

IRL:  #G2Great at #NCTE15

Anticipating #NCTE16

Saturday Learning at NCTE17

#SOL18: New Learning


New ideas

New thinking

Try, Try, Try again

 

Title (1).png

Last week, #G2Great hosted Tanny McGregor with a lively chat about representing ideas in #sketchnotes. I participated, watched, and on Sunday dug out Paper 53 on my mini iPad.

What was my goal? 

Responding to these two quotes from Tanny (and our chat) and a Facebook post by Dr. Mary Howard after her RTI keynote in St. Louis Saturday.

Quote OPEN (1)

Quote CLOSE (1)

Here’s Draft 1 (first attempt with Paper 53, no stylus, and 0 video tips):

Screenshot 2018-11-12 at 8.12.42 PM.png

Here’s Draft 2 (the old fashioned way with paper and Flairs:

Screenshot 2018-11-12 at 8.03.41 PM.png

And here’s the same concept in an old familiar format:  Google Drawings

– – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – –

Screenshot 2018-11-12 at 7.42.39 PM.png

– – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – –

This was the picture in my brain that captured many of the basic concepts from this Facebook post by Dr. Mary Howard.

What I learned?

Jumping in and using an app with just trial and error did not work.  I was frustrated because I wanted a background color.  Without a stylus, drawing and writing with my finger was not always legible. I’ve typed notes for over 20 years in order to make them legible so a stylus is needed.

I tried.

I watched three videos and downloaded an app to my Samsung phone.  I watched two videos and entered three questions in the “help center”.  The automated reply said that I would receive a response within 72 hours and between 9 to 5 when the offices were open.

I went back to paper and pencil and posted that second effort in the thread on Mary’s post.  I thought about all the things that went wrong with Draft 1 and Draft 2.

I went to Google Drawings and created using a familiar format to capture basic ideas. Approximately two and a half hours on this representation of Mary’s FB post.

Stuck in that cycle

from when 

my first grade teacher

tore up my paper 

in front of me

because she didn’t like

my red sun

my purple sky

and flowers with green blooms.

What do you do when learning doesn’t go as planned? 

How do you continue? 

What helps you push past your self-doubts? 

How do you teach your students to persevere?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Wakelet from our #G2Great chat:  Link

Jenn’s post about our chat will be on Literacy Lenses soon.

Heinemann podcast here

 

 

#CyberPD: Being the Change


To read.

Surface Learning

To absorb and think about applying.

Deep Learning

To really consider the impact of my own words and the power of my actions, thoughts, and words.

Transfer Learning

We have a phrase in Iowa. It’s “Iowa Nice.”  When are we “too nice” and when do we need to stop and consider the impact of our words?  When do we need to step out of our comfort zone?  Some issues seem easier to advocate for?  Is that my background?  Or just my comfort level?

I wrote about this book just two short months ago before the #G2Great chat with author Sara Ahmed.  It feels like more than two months.   So many changes . . . locally, nationally, and internationally.

Screenshot 2018-04-30 at 8.21.54 AM

I’m rereading it now for #cyberPD . . . just one of several book clubs that I am currently in.  As I thought about “What” to write, it dawned on me.

I read it.

But I didn’t really think it was “about me”.

Being the Change!

I acknowledged my background

And checked it off my list.


Back to the drawing board.

Rereading.

Digging deeper.

Not just doing.

But thinking.

And reading.

And writing.

And determining what actions I need to take.

How will others know this is important to me?

What does it mean to “see the humanity”  and to “activate your empathy”? 

How do I remove the “us” and “them” from my vocabulary?

Screenshot 2018-04-30 at 8.57.39 AM

Paying lip service is not good enough. 

Nodding my head is not good enough. 

I must do better. It requires change.

Mea Culpa!




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

Blog Tour: It’s All About the Books


Screenshot 2018-04-29 at 5.40.51 AM.pngAdapted from “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
“Because you know I’m all about the books,
‘Bout the books, everywhere
I’m all ’bout books, in the bookroom, and classroom

I’m all ’bout books, in the bookroom, and classroom

I’m all ’bout reading, ’bout the books,

Because you know I’m all about reading,
‘Bout the books, Read Alouds too
I’m all ’bout independent reading, ’bout book sets.
I’m all ’bout book clubs, ’bout, partners too
I’m all ’bout the books (books)
I’m all ’bout learning, all about growing,
I’m all ’bout poetry, all about the series,
I’m all about adventure, and mystery
We gon’ read fantasy, historical fiction, and nonfiction too.
We know that books save lives
We know they make you feel
We know they take you places
We know they open up the world
We know they are a must
We know that readers have to read
We know…”
This book is a treasure trove of ideas to help teachers, buildings and districts increase student access to books and ultimately with the generosity of the authors to fund elementary and middle school classroom libraries through Penny Kittle’s #BookLove foundation.  I’ve already written about the book here before I’d finished reading the book and here after the #G2Great Twitter Chat (and when I was done reading the book).  This week, posts are also available at the sites listed above.  In the book the color pictures from classrooms and bookrooms are so detailed that you can immediately begin to think of new ways to reorganize your own book collections. Tammy and Clare talk about the need to have school libraries, classroom libraries and a bookroom.

Do you have a bookroom? 

What is the purpose of your bookroom?

There is no “ONE” right way to set up a bookroom.  Tammy and Clare suggest that you can use a closet, a room, a portion of the school library for a bookroom or “book annex”.  The initial step is to inventory your books and the forms that are available from the Heinemann Publishing online resources.

 

Screenshot 2018-04-29 at 3.25.36 PM.png

Mulligan & Landrigan. It’s All About the Books. (p. 41)

 

I’ve been reviewing these bullets as I’ve studied book rooms ever since reading this book (p. 37- 54).  Is your bookroom essentially a “guided reading library” or is it a bookroom in the sense that Tammy and Clare refer to?  Access is a key.  Easy access is even more important.  Design involves the physical aspects of the bookroom space: shelves, baskets, labels, and location as well as the uses of the books. How accessible are your books?

Do all students have enough books to read (volume) to both grow and be inspired to be a life-long reader?

Students need daily access to more books than they can read so they can have choice.  If students are to be reading independently for 30 minutes each day, they need choices from a “limitless pool” of books.  That’s the purpose of the bookroom.  Choice involves considering a redesign or redeployment of current book inventories.  Considering how to meet multiple instructional needs may require changes:  some books in six packs for guided reading/small group instruction, some books as singles for independent reading and some books in 2s/3s for book clubs.  All.without.purchasing.more.books.at.this.time!

Live dangerously.  Check out your bookroom.  Are there some books that are starting to collect dust because they haven’t been read recently?

If those are six packs of books in zip-lock baggies, Tammy and Clare suggest that you may want to consider having them redistributed as singles for independent reading.  This is especially true for the beginning levels where students will need a high volume of books to read daily.  To Consider:  Maybe not all of the books need to be in sets of six in the bookroom.  Is that a novel thought?

What are some other possibilities?

What are the key topics that your students are interested in?  If it’s animals and you are a kindergarten teacher, you may want some A and B books in a basket labeled “Animals”. The label will NOT say A/B  This may even be a basket with a mixture of fiction and nonfiction books (my thinking).  If your first grade students like animals, you may need an E/F basket of animal books or  an I/J basket of animal books.  Again, the label will be the topic. The labels might be topics, authors, or general like “Laugh Out Loud”. Think of how easy it might be to “use” these books in your classroom if the books are already organized into baskets of approximately 20 books that you would be ready to check out and go!

What books do you need more of in your classroom?  Books for independent reading?  Books for book clubs?  Books for small group instruction?  Your classroom needs and student interests can help you figure out additional ways to organize books that may include your science and social studies curricula support as well. Sharing and redistributing books will keep the dust off and provide more reading for more students! What if you were able to reorganize your bookroom with a variety of combinations of books in order to enhance the readerly lives of your students?

If students are going to read a lot and become readers who love to read, they need access to books.  A lot of books. Single books for independent reading are needed in many classrooms because “rereading” the guided reading books are boring after awhile as are the Xeroxed books at the low levels, and perhaps FEWER books are needed for guided reading, especially after Level K.  (Moving to “strategy groups” for instruction allows the teacher to use the same mini-lesson for all students and provide practice in a text that shows they fully understand the strategy.) Practice, practice, practice in texts allows the student to build confidence and a skilled teacher can also consider how to close the gap for striving students.  That means fewer books will really need to be stored in groups of six.  Instead, baskets of books could be set up in the bookroom so teachers are able to rotate baskets to provide “new” titles for classroom libraries without depleting the school library. Independent student reading books can be refreshed and reinvigorated for immediate access in the classroom. (And it books are reassigned, perhaps the school book budget can now include some “new” purchases as new titles are published!)

Check out this April 29, 2018 Facebook Live session with Tammy and Clare here.

What ideas about bookrooms have intrigued you? 

What books could maybe be read more often if some changes were made in your current book collections?

Are you using your books in the most productive ways for students?




Heinemann has graciously donated a copy of It’s All About the Books for each stop on the blog tour. To enter, comment below and either post a picture of some part of your classroom library or your bookroom with the link in a comment or write about your thinking or your questions about bookrooms.  At the end of the week (Friday after 8 pm),  a random winner will be chosen to receive a copy of this fabulous new book!

#SOL18: A Ripple


When do you speak up? When do you take action?  When have you “had enough”?  


I have a question. 

I see an injustice. 

Do I remain quiet? 

Do I speak up? 

What if my question is not accepted? 

What if  . . . 

What is the worst that can happen?

 

risk.PNG

I love this poem that Vicki Vinton posted on Twitter (as well as a new source for poetry)!  It can apply to so many situations in life.

Inaction . . .

Inertia . . .

No longer acceptable . . .

What is the tipping point?

Relative Truths:

Do no harm?

Truth?

What will be the cost of speech?

What will be the cost of inaction?

ripple.PNG

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water,

the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”  Dalai Lama

“This is what kindness does, Ms.Albert said. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.” Jacqueline Woodson

What will your “ripple” be?




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

#SOL18: March 12


How much do typos bother you?

In Blogs?

On Facebook?

On Twitter?

I hate spelling errors in any form of social media.  Some formats are particularly difficult because revision provisions do not exist.  So careful review is necessary before hitting the button that sends the message out into the world.




This tweet . . .

Screenshot 2018-03-11 at 10.54.26 PM.png

is proof that money obviously cannot buy you an education.

Not even billions of dollars.

If this was your mentor text . . .

How many errors can you find?  What needs to be fixed?

Let’s parse it by sentences.

  1. “Great public schools will always work well for many kids, but if it’s not working for an individual child, they should have access to options.”

2. “No one should ever feel trapped or stuck.”

3. “No parent should have to feel like they are settling when it comes to their       child’s education.”

And in case you missed it, here was her interview on CBS 60 minutes last night.

What a train wreck!

And that’s probably the kindest way that I can phrase my complete and utter disbelief!




There are several ways you could “fix” this tweet.  Here’s just one view.

  1. “Great public schools will always work well for many kids, but if it’s the schools are not working for an individual child, they he/she should have access to options.”

2. “No one should ever feel trapped or stuck.”

3. “No parent should have to feel like they he/she are settling when it comes to their               his/her    child’s education.”




3:45 pm correction.  Courtesy of Donalyn Miller: “they is singular nonbinary.”

correction 

  1. “Great public schools will always work well for many kids, but if it’s the schools are not working for an individual child, they  should have access to options.            (error – contraction/possessive/or pronoun) and then 2 and 3 are correct! So there is a reason not to overreact toooooooooo quickly!



And in all fairness to Ms. Betsy, here is her response to 60 Minutes.

:“She asked me one thing about schools, and then another, and another,” she said. “If I had to answer every question she had about schools, I would have had to bone up on education for a month.” (Betsy DeVos, NewYorker)

Well, Duh!  You should have known the answers to those questions before you took the job.  Then you wouldn’t have had to “bone up on education for a month.”  THAT’S YOUR JOB!




This is called pronoun – antecedent agreement.  Khan Academy has a video here.

Practice with the Online Writing Academy can be found here.

Here’s a quiz from Oxford in case one would like to consider a proficiency level.  Link




Data:

Total Words:

  • 50 words
  • 4 errors 1 error
  • 92%   98 % correct grammatically

Pronouns:

  • 4 words
  • 4 errors   1 error
  • 75 % correct grammatically

And what about the message in her tweet?

She was not talking about “failing schools.”  She was talking about “Great public schools” that might not work for an individual child . . .




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




Addendum:

This week:  I was going to comment about this . . . but the Washington Post beat me to it.

I had already passed on this . . .

 

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