Category Archives: Uncategorized

#DigiLitSunday: Wonder


What is left to accomplish at school?

Building stamina as a reader:

Reading Volume

Reading Choice

Joy Reading

Talk about Reading

Writing About Reading

Building stamina as a writer:

Writing Volume

Writing Choice

Joy Writing

Talk about Writing

Writing About Reading

Why is stamina important at the end of the year?

Stamina in both reading and writing is one way to counteract the “summer slide”. Reading and writing are NOT just “something to do” at school.  Reading and writing are both tools for living and need to be a part of everyone’s life . . . every day.  We need to find and celebrate the richness and relevancy that reading and writing bring to our “everyday” lives!

Important Wonderings:  

How much reading should students do in the summer?  

How much writing should students do in the summer?  

How much “talk” should students do in the summer?

 Is “talk” equally as important as writing about learning?

Encouragement, Advice, and Plans for Students for the rest of this year . . .

  1.  Build TBR plans
  2.  Build monthly Literacy action/Bingo Boards (Writing Bingo Board from TWT) or the Wonder Board below where students generate their own questions to answer
  3.  Schedule school library “open” days
  4.  Coordinate literacy events with the public library
  5.  Continue Family Literacy events

wonder board

What are your wonders?


Check out Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche for more posts about “Wonder”.

digilit-button

 

#SOL17: Service?


“I can understand complete sentences.  Please speak in complete sentences.”

Please connect me with a service representative.

“I can help you with that.

I need your first name and last name.

I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

Would you please repeat your first name and last name?”

First name. Last name.

Slower and Louder the second time.

“What is your billing address?

Please include your full address:

Street,

Apartment number,

Town,

State,

Zipcode.

Please clearly state your full address now.”

Full Address

“Please tell me the first name and last name of the person on the account.”

First name. Last name.

“And who am I speaking to today?

Please tell me your first name and your last name.”

First name. Last name.  A.G.A.I.N.  Seriously?

“What is the phone number associated with your account?

Please state the entire 10 digit number.”

Phone number.

“What is your account number?

This is the 10 digit number associated with your account.

There are no letters.

They are all numbers.

Please tell me if you need time to get your account number.”

Account number.

“How can I help you today?”

I have no phone or internet service.  Please connect me with a service representative.

“I can help you with that.”

Today is DAY NINE.  One service tech visit later and two hours of working internet.

One brief interlude.

Now gone.

Anatomy of phone calls . . .

The shortest time from a call to a “real person” is five minutes and two seconds.

And guess what that conversation is once I am connected to a “live” person:

“Could I have your first and last name?

Could I have your 10 digit phone number?

Can I have your address?

. . .

What is acceptable in terms of service response time?  

A lack of internet is a HUGE problem for me.

(Teaching an online class, work tasks, twitter, messages & pix from all) 

To Windstream?

Apparently not!

On the upside, I have read more in the last week.

On the downside, my patience with any technology issues is now -10 and dropping rapidly!

Advice?  Suggestions?  Similar situations?



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

#SOL17: Books I will read?


How many books do I read a year?

This sounds like a possible algebraic equation with:

a = the number of books purchased for demonstrations

b = the number of YA books purchased to read and/or share

c = the number of professional books read

d = the number of books reread

e = audiobooks, scripts, shorter print resources

In a simple world:

a + b + c + d + e  = the total number of books read.

Do I really keep track of my books?

no

Not at all!

Can I make a guess?  Sure!

Each week I probably read 2-3 kid lit books, 2-3 books for fun (often conspiracy theory books), and 1-2-3 professional books.  DISCLAIMER:  The professional books are not read from cover to cover all the time.  Often a professional book begins with one chapter here or another chapter there and then I dive in and read the rest of the book!

I love to read!

I love to read series books!  

I love to read!  

I love to read a lot!

So a blog post titled “How Many Books Will You Read Before You Die?” caught my eye.  My interest was totally due to the “How Many Books Will You Read?” part of the question.  I’m not interested in the last three words (although we have many more widows in my mother’s generation 5 and 0 widowers) because I’m really into living in the here and now (except for when my nose is in a book).

Interesting data categories:

Average reader per year = 12 books per year

Voracious reader per year = 50 books per year

Super reader per year = 80 books per year

Would you be an average reader?  

Would you be a voracious reader?  

Would you be a super reader?  

Would you be an “Extreme Reader”? 

As you are thinking about your category, consider the data in this chart.

atlas_SJOIaZe3e@2x.png

Retrieved 3.28.17 from Source Here

What do I see in this data?

 I think I need to increase my reading drastically.  I vote for a book or two EVERY DAY EVERY YEAR!  That would be a minimum of 3,650 books every decade or APPROXIMATELY 10,000 books left.  That’s better than being a 25 year old, don’t you think?

What books are on your MUST READ list?

How many books a year do you think you read?  

How do you keep track?



Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

 


My guesstimate =  Extreme Reader  = 300 books each year

I love to read.

I love to read a lot.

I love to read.

I love to binge read everything an author has written.

I love to read.

#SOLSC17: Paying Attention


Which narrative matters?

Is it the one I see?

Did you see Melanie Meehan’s March 9th #SOL post? It has a video from the parents of Sandy Hook. Please go watch it here and then come back.


Life consists of layers.

There’s what is happening on the surface.

You might only see what happens as a reaction to surface actions.

Your neck may hurt because you are constantly swiveling to take in as much information as possible.

Yet, do we OVER focus on what is probably not what it seems?

Not what it means?

Not the “REAL” action?

Not the “REAL” story?


It’s all about perspective.

What do you see?

perspective one

It depends.

What do you see?

perspective

Perspective can be tricky.


Life is scary.

One second of inattention can be life changing.

Especially while driving down the road.

It might be you.

It might be another driver.

Life happens.

Change happens.

How do you stay “in the moment”? 

How do you pay attention to “the REAL story”?

How do you focus on living life?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

welcome-wagon-volunteer-with-border.jpg

early morning slicer

#SOLSC17: Two Views of Time


     A Gift of Time

  Time Lost  

I wake up early

I should still be sleeping

I can read or write

I can go back to sleep

I think of slicer topics

I can hear each second pass by

I read

I close my eyes, reflect on my reading . . . sleep now?

I read some more

I stare at the clock, count backwards, close my eyes tighter

I begin to write

I wish I were back asleep

Ideas flow

But sometimes my best ideas are my morning ideas

My spirit says “JOYFUL” with this found time

My body says “tired” and it’s way too early to be awake.

Extra Reading and Writing Time Today!

Starting the day our tired and curmudgeonly!

When faced with polar opposites, which do you choose?

How does your choice impact you?


Reader Information:

This post was inspired by Erika Victor’s Slice “That Happy/Sad Feeling” found here.


slice of life

 

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

welcome-wagon-volunteer-with-border.jpg

early morning slicer

#SOLSC17: “Your connection is not secure”


Have you ever gotten this message?

If not, consider yourself fortunate.

Unfortunately, this morning it is my message on Google Chrome.

It is my message on Firefox.

It is my message on my Dell.

It is my message on my iPad mini.

Fortunately. It is not my message on my Samsung phone.

TOTAL TECH FAILURE

On Day 2 of the SOLSC!

     Change in plan.

      Change in topic.

      How does this work from the app?

      New learning?

      Relearning?

It’s really a small blip in the day.

But after 79 minutes of  computer frustration, my writing time is totally gone.

What other surprises will I find today?

(P.S. My computer was in the repair shop from 7:30 – 11:00 a.m.)

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#DigiLitSunday: Critical Thinking


 

digilit-button

Additional posts at Reflections on the Teche

So I had a week’s worth of thinking about this topic after Margaret Simon proposed it last week in a response to my blog here. But this quote really caused me to pause yesterday. “Critical thinking” is a buzz word; what does it really mean?

blog-critical-thinking

. . . “not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”

In the field of education and state standards, Iowa was the LAST state in 2008 to adopt state standards for all students in Iowa because of our much lauded “local control”.  So when I look for “critical thinking” I rely on the 21st century standards that are in addition to the literacy standards that apply for all content areas.

“The reality of building capacity for the 21st century is that we do not know what the work of the future will be like (Darling-Hammond, 2007) or how technology will influence health and financial issues. The challenge is to prepare students to think critically, to engage in mental activity, or habits of mind, that “…use facts to plan, order, and work toward an end; seek meaning or explanations; are self-reflective; and use reason to question claims and make judgments…” (Noddings, 2008). It may be that our task is not only to prepare students to “fit into the future” but to shape it. “…If the complex questions of the future are to be determined… by human beings…making one choice rather than another, we should educate youths – all of them – to join in the conversation about those choices and to influence that future…” (Meier, 2008).”

This challenge continues to be hard work. “To think critically”, “to engage in mental activity” and “…use facts to plan, order, and work toward an end; seek meaning or explanations; are self-reflective; and use reason to question claims and make judgments…”  Those quotes are hard to define, explain, teach and even harder to assess.

What does “critical thinking” look like in a classroom?

Well, the easiest answer is to go directly to Vicki Vinton’s post today.  Yes, NOW!  Stop.  Go read it.  Then come back.  THAT post is all about critical thinking!  Is that the work that your fifth graders are doing?  Is that the work that your high school students are doing?

In the spirit of full disclosure,

that is work that I NEVER did even in college.

I seem to be saying that a lot lately.  Maybe I went to the wrong school.  Maybe I was educated in the wrong era.  Maybe I was never “pushed” to go beyond the literal.  Maybe I was not really paying attention.  Maybe I never had to do any critical thinking in school.  YEP, I was thinking, without a single clue of HOW to be thinking!

This might have been a school’s approach to “Critical Thinking” in the past. . .

critical-thinking

or still in the present. You be the judge!

Has it been effective?

When problem solving is a part of the critical thinking conversation the water may be muddied as the two are not necessarily the same.

critical-thinking-two

Nevertheless, critical thinking will be required of all our students in their lifetime.  They need the best preparation for life possible and that DOES include learning to read and understand at deep levels as well as a call to action to solve problems and think of creative solutions.  Critical thinking does require a variety of skills as shown in this graphic.

critical-thinking-three

And unfortunately, we will continue to expect folks to use all of these critical thinking skills to process driving situations, TV commercials, and yes, printed text almost simultaneously.  In order to be able to do this efficiently and effectively, our students will need a lot of practice.

How will you continue to define and study your own knowledge base of “critical thinking”?

When do you use “critical thinking” in your life?

How do you model, plan for, and provide time for critical thinking in your classroom?

critical-thinking-four

#DigiLitSunday: “Possible Sentences


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

digilit

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?

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

A blog by Kari Yates

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading