Category Archives: Writing

#SOL19: #OLW Celebrate


My One Little Word (#OLW) was out in force this holiday weekend.

Celebrate

So many choices . . .  It was a family weekend . . .

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Relatives  and a funeral

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Saturday Wedding

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The beginning of the NCAA football season . . .

Sunday AMarekN Family

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Monday Labor Day Dinner and 15 Mareks/Ruths

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A blog post for Literacy Lenses:  All Learning is Social and Emotional:  Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyond.  (link)

It began with a text!

“Good morning, Fran. Just realized you’re in the great state of Iowa and so am I this weekend!  My brother lives in Kalona.  How far am I from you?”

The irony.

And so noteworthy!

On Saturday we were playing cards at my aunt Janie’s in Kalona which is about 100 miles from my home.  I was there in Kalona the day before.  Kalona, a town in the northwest part of the county where I grew up.

It was an irresistible invitation. We solved the problems of the world, literacy, schools, and the state of education on Sunday when I met up with Dayna Wells, from California, that I met in real life in New York City at a TCRWP Saturday reunion over four and a half years ago (Link). A reader. A writer.  A blogger.  A Slicer. A TCRWP learner!

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How did you celebrate Labor Day weekend 2019?

What were your choices?  




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Celebrate Life


Live, Laugh, Love, Linger . . . and Learn

Celebrate . . .

Between conferences, sessions at ILA, NCTE, CCIRA, and . . . family, it seems like I have many days and nights on the road.

Hotels

Amenities

What comes with the room?

What did I forget?

What does that schedule really look like?

Life is often complicated.

There’s the community from #G2Great.

Voxer Cousins

The Slicers

TWT Educators as Writers

#TeachWrite

#TCRWP

and last week #HUSLI19.

Social media groups  . . . (another post here “Social Media as a Purposeful Professional Learning Tool”)

Rockstars:  Colby Sharp, Cornelius Minor, Jennifer Serravallo and Lester Laminack. Hours of Life. Laughter. Book Loving and Lingering over stories shared and learning, learning, learning!

A bit of rain. Yes a business center. Not a restaurant. Some minor inconveniences.

While in a neighboring state, my mind is with Mia, her family, and her “communities” at the Calivista Motel.  I didn’t stay long enough to be a “weekly” but how do I move adeptly in and out of groupsWhat can I learn from Mia?

When I sketch it out, how does it look in Front Desk?  

In one view I have the Calivista Motel, the “front desk”, the school Mia attends, and then China.  The second page has Mia and her parents, including their hopes and fears.

Is Mia really on a “point of a triangle” or is she in the middle of every community? And how many individuals does it take to “form” a community?


I was wishing for a 3-D representation (or at least a page of chart paper as 8.5 x 11 was severely limiting. Barely drafted and I am looking to revise. I am not a fan of covering every inch of the page YET. Still admiring white space.  Perhaps that will continue to evolve.

And how am I doing with my goals for #BookLove in its last week? 

Where is my Writing About Reading headed? 

Is it improving?

Slowly moving forward is today’s celebration of life and learning! 

What is yours?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Celebrate Learning


Summertime . . .

Summertime . . .

Summertime . . .

Where and how will you be learning?

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In person?  Face to Face? 

The lineup includes: Jeff Anderson, Mary Howard, Maria Walther . . . Rockstars All!

Online Book Study?

Summer Book Love – Elementary and Secondary (FB Live with Cornelius Minor today from Boothbay!)  Supporting Teachers and Classroom Libraries! Register at Summerbookclub.org

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This is the lineup of authors already scheduled by Clare Landrigan for FB live sessions! (plus some surprises as well)

Literacy Essentials – Stenhouse Publishers on Facebook now

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Regie Routman:  Engagement, Excellence and Equity!

These 6 Things – Twitter Slow chat – check out the #These6Things hashtag

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Dave Stuart’s book is a must read for simplifying your teaching life!

Welcome to Writing Workshop – #cyberPD

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What a great way to revisit the basic components of Writing Workshop with Stacey and Lynne!

Reading to Make a Difference  – July book study on Facebook

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Lester Laminack and Katie Kelly . . .

Professional books abound.  These are some of my re-reads!

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And currently reading . . .

What will you be reading? What will you be learning?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Writing Matters


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Writing:

A connectedness

A relationship

An opportunity

A process

A product

Two sides of a coin.

Can be used to learn or

Can be used to demonstrate learning.

Is thinking out loud

Typically on paper.

Thoughts

Sometimes painfully etched

Sometimes spewing out voluminously

Faster than any ability to capture.

Can be long

Or short,

Traditional

Or creative,

Personal

Or public,

With form

Matching the purpose,

Reveling in the need

To create,

To rise like a phoenix,

To leave shadows,

Whispers in the wind,

Songs in the air.

Writing . . .

a compulsion

a living/breathing requirement

a necessary component of life

What purposes do writing serve?

Consider these:

  • The Magna Carta
  • The Articles of Confederation
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights

What do they stand for? 

Why were they written? 

Why do they matter?

A survey of Americans resulted in a list of these Top 10 Milestones in US history.  Do you agree?

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Writing Matters.

In.So.Many.Ways

I am missing the #TCRWP Writing Institute. It’s hard to not have #TCRWPEnvy so I revisited some notes from last year’s Writing Institute to consider for my own writing this summer.

In last year’s keynote, Lucy Calkins addressed levels of writing workshop.  Link 

Where are you?

“Level 1:  Start and Stop.  Do a few days of minilessons.  Do a few worksheets to ‘master the skill’, and then back to some stale writing. No investment. It feels like pulling teeth.”

“Level 2:  The Good Student Writing Workshop filled with compliance. Open any notebook and you will find that students are doing the work. Safe work. They respond to all school assignments, but they never take any risks and share themselves.”

“Level 3: Passion and intensity flow through the notebook, drafts and published writing. There are notebook entries that do not come from a response to day to day instruction.  Students want to write. It’s an ALL IN Writing Workshop.”

What level was your 2018-19 workshop? 

What is your goal for 2019-20 workshop? 

Where will you begin?

(And don’t forget to follow #TCRWP this week for highlights from 1200+ Writing Institute participants!)

(#cyberPD – Welcome to Writing Workshop by Stacey Shubitz and Lynne Dorfman)

Celebrate that your journey has begun and focus on Learning!




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

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#SOL19: Really?


I blew it! What was I thinking?

Twitter Chats are easy. A few questions. A few responses. Let’s talk. And then taking my turn on writing a summative blog post.  Predictable patterns.

Book clubs . . . What’s the format?  What’s the end goal?  What’s my role?  More questions than answers. And each club . . . renegotiating the roles and the expectations.

Check. Deadlines met.

Check. Responses entered.

Check. Make no waves. Agree with the participants

Check. Check. Check.

I was focused on the product and got lost in FEAR!

I was worried if it was good enough and was frozen in time!

I rushed to task completing and forgot it was about the thinking!

This was the format for my early book club participation and it has followed me around worse than the groundhog’s shadow ever since.  Book clubs were a place of similar thinking; thinking outside the box resulted in social ostracism.

I went underground as a reader as I have had a LOVE/HATE relationship with book clubs.  Some have been fun. Some have been tedious. All have provided learning. But what was that learning?

I love talking about books. Mary Howard and I talk about a tweet, a blog post, or a book on a regular basis.  Her reading is also voracious! At CCIRA, Regie Routman handed me a book, I thumbed through it, and I had to order it. Penny Kittle told me about a book and I forwarded the title also to my sister and a niece.  I hadn’t even left Maria Walther’s session and I was forwarding the book list. Reading and talking about books is fun!

And then last night I watched this video of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. You can watch it too if you are a member of the Summer Book Love Club 2019.  What do you notice?  What would you name as the key points of the video?

Link

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A photo clipped from the video

And because the link does NOT work if you are NOT a member, here are the TOP 10 REASONS you should join Summer Book Love 19 from the Nerdy Book Club here.

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Elementary Book Club Books July 2019

Here’s what Penny said about the FB Live session:

“From Concord, CA… I’m here with Kelly Gallagher, my co-author and friend, to talk about the importance of book clubs in his professional life.”

The importance of book clubs in his professional life.

The sheer joy.

The number of books he has read as a part of a book club.

The fact that he, a good reader, learns something from every book club meeting and that they celebrate the different ideas everyone brings to the book club.

Somewhere

Somehow

Sometime

I lost the sheer joy of talking about books in a book club.

The book club became about the process of my notes, my annotations or my writing about reading.

The book club became more about compliance than learning!

I became that “kid” who completed the work but maybe didn’t invest very much of myself.

It’s book club season. I will be in several this summer. I will be watching my own learning.  And just as I detailed the process for “Professional Learning” in the last 5 posts about Repeated Reading, so will I also monitor my own learning, processes and products.  I think it will be critical to be brutally honest with myself.

And I can do that personally with a process that is also set up for bigger systems work.

How will I find the gold and the JOY in book clubs?



What is the process for professional learning?

  1. Set a Goal – Participate productively in book clubs
  2. Selection of Content which includes Checking the Research – Talk about the books
  3. Design a Process for Professional Development/Learning – Check the schedule and allow plenty of time. Refusing to allow lack of time to be an excuse.
  4. Teaching / Learning Opportunities – Checking in. What do teachers need to learn?           How will they learn it?  How can we set some measurable targets? – Pay attention to my “joy” meter.  When does it stop being fun?
  5. Collaboration / Implementation  Reading and Participating
  6. Ongoing Data Collection including Listen to the Students – Consider my responses to students with actions similar to mine
  7. Program Evaluation – Going back to the teacher data: Has there been growth? How do we know? Plan ahead – what will I do if  when I get stuck?
  8. Collecting / Analyzing Student Data – Is the gap closing? Are students growing          more capable?  Are students more independent?  Balancing “habits” of reading, attitudes, processes and products
  9. (WHY would I use a different process?)


I will be a part of at least three book clubs this summer and as the summer wanes, I will let you know if I was successful and how and when I will be celebrating the continuous JOY in reading and talking about books!

What is your experience with book clubs? 

What motivates you to continue to learn and grow as a reader? 

What learning targets would you consider?




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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Coming Soon

#SOL19: What do you rate?


The plate looks gorgeous. Colorful. Artistically arranged. White space. Yet organized. How well did it match my expectations when I placed my order?

Do I dive in?

Confirming and correcting my prediction?

Do I admire?

Savoring the physical attributes before it is consumed?

Do I snap a quick picture and send it off?

I take a picture but don’t send it anywhere.

Dinner

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Prime rib, baked potato &                corn on the cob

 

I have a friend who often uses snapchat or messaging to share her dining cuisine. It’s not a typical go to for me. But sometimes, I think, “Wow. I should take a picture of that.” It’s not that I am thinking of an award for cooking but awards have been on my mind.

Do I fill out surveys about food and service at restaurants?  Sometimes.  How consistent are my ratings from each time to time? And is the criteria the same?  That goes to reliability and validity.  How critical are these ratings?  Are they contextual?

How does this apply to life?

Awards:  Who is included?  Who is excluded?

Who gets nominated for the CMA Entertainer of the Year?  There were 5 male candidates? Why only men?

Part of the criteria is crowd size in large venues, meaning tours, so if women are not out on the road for long tours . . .  criteria is not met.

Wow!  Criteria for audience rating the winner is . . . audiences putting their bottoms in seats at concerts. So different from having a captive audience where the buses deliver students to school.

What about books?

Books:  How do you rate them?

Informal rating? Formal rating?

In your head?  On Goodreads?  On Amazon with formal reviews?

How do you share your response to books?

Book Rating:  What works for you? A? B? C? 

A.

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B.

   MUST READ!

   REALLY, YOU MUST READ!

   DESPERATE, YOU MUST READ!!!

C.

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My Goodreads account consists of mostly books rated 5 with a few 4’s sprinkled in.  Does that mean that all books I read are automatically that good?  I’m sure that you will be disappointed but books that would be below a “4” or “5” star rating on Goodreads, just don’t get entered. Selective memory?  Or was it once a conscious choice to only include the top books.  But you wouldn’t know that unless you knew my methodology for reporting. A bit erratic!  A bit unplanned. My concession to compliance and using someone else’s rating system.

Daily life decisions: Using skills and strategies steeped in literacy. Determining importance. Predicting. Confirming predictions. Re-predicting. Aligning expectations with the “real” thing. Comparing and contrasting. Developing criteria. Communicating.

How do your students rate their books? 

How do your students share their response to books?

What do they prefer?




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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Added:

And yes, the vegetarians in my family would rate the meal pictured above as a -10. The devout pork producers might rate it a 0. The poultry eaters might rate it a -5.  And then you all who hate any medium rare meat might not have gotten past the “shudders”!

It all depends on perspective . . .

and your own definition of a quality meal!

Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club


Penny Kittle announced on Twitter:

“Registration is open! Join the Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club to read with colleagues and learn from authors during our exclusive online LIVE events.This year we have both elementary and secondary book clubs. Check out summerbookclub.org @HeinemannPub @ncte @ncte_cel”

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Secondary (Teachers of Grades 6-12+) June & July

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Elementary – JULY (+ guests Donalyn Miller & Debbie Miller)

So you will go to summerbookclub.org

Watch the video with Penny Kittle.

Watch the video with Clare Landrigan.

You will have three choices:

MS/HS book club (June-July) (Books, swag and online content)

Elementary book club (July) (Books, swag and online content)

Online resources only (open as soon as you register for discussion and specific “units” for each week of discussion)  BONUS – all online options see all discussions and content – the whole shebang.

See you at summerbookclub.org

What are you waiting for?

Conversations with teachers,

Conversations with authors,

And more libraries for teachers . . .

 

#SOL19: Day 31 SOLSC


On this last day of #SOLSC, let’s celebrate. (I know. It was a sneaky way to bring my #OLW back in)

Which would you rather eat?

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This could become a “3 Corner” activity – which do you choose and why?  The choice could be made silently and then after groups are gathered in  their “corners”, they could create a “claim” and supporting reasons for their choice.  (Psst: That’s oral practice first before ever writing a word.)

Where would you rather play?

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All three are outside choices so they are fairly comparable.  Some lend themselves more to “parallel play with a friend.  Would that make the decision harder? Again, this could be a silent, individual choice.  And then what if you introduced the concept that students could choose one activity with a partner.  Now what skills do the students need?

Which would you choose to read?

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What would you choose to write with?

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“The average classroom teacher will make more than 1,500 educational decisions every school day. In an average 6-hour school day, that’s more than 4 decisions every minute.” (TeacherVision, Source)

How do we support students in making decisions? 

Claims? 

Making choices – good, poor or bad? 

How should we support them?




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

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#SOL19: Day 30 SOLSC


New learning . . .

Skippety do dah!

Slicers share so much . . .

Some days it is ideas and

Some days it includes learning tips!

Thanks to my friend Sally

For teaching me about slide show in wordpress.com

Skippety do dah!

I learn so much from my Slicer friends!

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Don’t let fear, doubt, or past experiences defeat you! 

You can do this! 

You can learn something new!

Slide show learning courtesy of Sally Donnelly at “Read and Write by Sally” here! The directions are in the comments section on her blog!




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

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#SOL19: Day 29 SOLSC


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Day 29

Rise and Shine

Walk the narrow line.

Check out the view

What is there to do?

Two days ago the temp was 72

Tonight the forecast includes snow

and wintry mix with winds that will blow.

How will the rest of the week go?


I fear March may yet go out like a lion . . .

The uncertainty of wintry possibilities

Makes for a leery traveler.

But maybe it will reduce that TBR pile.




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

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