Category Archives: Writing

#SOL17: Heart Mapping


As a reader I have many “Fan Girl” moments. The list of favorite authors is even longer and my “TBR” stack has collapsed upon itself. So it’s time to write.  Pick up the book. Test out some of those post-it marked pages and try it on.

But wait . . .

I signed up for the webinar.

Please, oh, please

Procrastinate until  the webinar.

And that gem . . .

The idea of waiting

WAS

BRILLIANT!

Have you noticed?

One of my all time favorite topics is writing about my learning!

Ahhh, you have noticed!

Thanks for traveling this learning journey with me!

As a result of my learning . . .

A Heinemann PD webinar with Georgia Heard,

I created a heart map with some of the best quotes.

Not an assignment.

My choice.

A way to collect and perhaps savor some ideas that I heard.

heart map for the webinar.JPG

And now I know that this is bigger than a topic list.

It’s bigger than just writing any old ideas into a heart shape.

It’s about REAL writing.

Writing that comes from my heart.

(Crap . . . can’t fake it . . . Must make it real . . . Writing!)

It’s about “an ache with caring”.

The passion to write comes from the connections I have to that topic that I have chosen …

Learning

Thinking

Writing

Checking out Mentor Texts . . .

What is the purpose of writing.JPG

“Heart Mapping” Webinar with @GeorgiaHeard

So many REAL reasons to write . . .

To Think,

To Dream,

To Play,

To Share,

To Dare,

To Capture Thoughts . . .

tips for writing from heart maps.JPG

I don’t just write to persuade, to inform or to entertain. (PIE)

I reject only having three reasons to write.

I write for many reasons.

Most of all, I write for me.

I write about ideas that matter to me.

Why do you write?

Plan:  To create a heart map after PD to hold onto favorite quotes or ideas. That visual learning map of the important parts that I choose to store visibly so I can return and unwrap their precious wisdom. My Learning Map.

Text Based Questions (Close Reading of my Webinar):

Phase 1:  What are Heart Maps? When would I use them?  Why would I use them?

Phase 2:  How does the design of a Heart Map support its use?

Phase 3:  How will students be able to use Heart Maps to increase their passion for writing?

How can models of Heart Maps result in crafting authentic, personal writing?

slice of life

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


Additional Information about Heart Mapping:

Georgia Heard’s website

Heinemann

#DigiLitSunday: Vocabulary


vocabulary-2-5-17 digilit

 

 

 

 

 

Additional DigiLit posts can be found at Margaret Simon’s blog, Reflections on the Teche.  Check them out here!

I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing “feral” posted in a variety of tweets and blogs over the last year.  I know what I thought it meant but before writing this morning, I decided to “see” what a definition really looked like!  Here’s what I found!

feral.JPG

What if our students were encouraged to have feral vocabulary experiences?

Would that be too extreme?  

What if students were thinking users of vocabulary?  

That was the premise of a session led by Katy Wischow (@kw625) at the 89th #TCRWP Saturday Reunion that was summarized in this post.  Vocabulary is complicated.  It cannot all be taught through context.  But when do we KNOW that a student really knows a word?

I believe that it’s when a student owns the word and uses it in his/her writing and quietly sit and wait for the teacher response after the word is found. It’s also when the student says, “Ms. M, I tried out “plethora”.  I think it works; please check it out for me!”

I gained an even deeper understanding of vocabulary at #NCTE16 with a presentation by Valerie Geschwind, Shana Frazin, Katy Wischow, and Char Shylock summarized here.

What do you believe about vocabulary instruction?

Does it “WORK” for all students to “study” the same words on a list?

When it comes to Vocabulary, I have more questions than answers.  If I am a “wide reader”, I have exposure to more words.  I can still remember my first exposure to “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious”!  Such a fun word that over shadowed the plot in “Mary Poppins” for days!  And words like “loquacious”, “accolade”, “capricious”, and “ubiquitous” add fun and joy to my life!  None of those words were ever on a vocabulary list for me to memorize or write in a sentence!  (Just sayin’.)

What words do you like to USE?  

How do you collect and use new words?

Bonus:

For those of you who coach others or provide PD, here’s an example of a Vocabulary Hyperdoc created by members of our literacy team for our local coaches designed to help teachers reflect on their vocabulary instruction and assessment practices.   (Content + Technology)

 

#SOL17: The Story


The ball swishes through the net as the buzzer sounds.  A sigh of relief as the two points are recorded on the scoreboard.  The basket was a buzzer beater.

Final score 25 to 17.

The last second score was icing on the cake.  Another two points in the book for a seventh grade athlete.  Kids who had been running up and down the court chasing and being chased by the opposing team.

Proud Great Aunt.  My great nephew’s team wins again!

A never-ending third quarter that saw each team make only one basket.  So much energy expanded.  WAIT.  Delete that.  Wrong game. Memory mix up. Wrong details supporting the 8th grade B game. Three different games now in my memory bank.  Time to focus.

Visiting with my sister, my niece, my great niece. Receiving a hand-written note from Autumn. Enjoying the ambiance of a junior high gym, whistles blowing, athletes competing, and fans cheering.

Where do I start?  What is the heart of my story?

THE PROCESS TODAY:

I ran through the events in my mind.  I collected ideas without a single keystroke or graphic organizer.  I began to sift the details with mental rehearsal.  Decision made.  The beginning point is the basket that ended the game.

And then doubt sets in . . . And the questioning . . . Do I really want to begin with the end of the game?  The final three seconds?  Then what will be next?

What is the important part of my story? 

The important part is that I write. I write at my keyboard while my coffee is brewing.  Intent on capturing the words that I rehearsed as I hit the snooze alarm.  It’s Tuesday. It’s “Slicer Day”. I need to write a story so I’m rehearsing a story.  Not across my fingers. Not across pages.  But in my head.  Cross-checking the most important facts.

BUT, what about that  note from Autumn?  She’s three.  It’s the first writing she’s given me.  Her name – carefully printed across a small piece of paper.  Written with love. Received with love.

Some days I just HAVE to write!  

The words come pouring out. The screen fills.  Then the doubt and worry arrive.  Delete, fix up, fancy up the piece.  But it all begins with the writing.

How can I teach writing without writing?

How do I understand that there isn’t one perfect prompt?  One perfect process?  One perfect story map?   . . . If I also don’t know the joy, the agony, and the freedom of writing?

Why am I writing?

I want to win the writing game.  I know it takes practice.  I know it takes time.  Writing.  Writing.  Writing. Slicing to continue to improve my narrative writing.  (But while I write I continue to think, to study and reflect on my process. I can’t turn off the teacher side.)

Today.  Flash drafting. Metacognitively reviewing my process. Recording my thinking. And yet sometimes, it’s all about “the doing” – Just writing!

slice of life

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

 

#DigiLitSunday: Balancing Goals & Needs


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When teaching, goals and needs often become blurred due to perspective.  Whose goals and needs are the basis for planning, instructing and assessing?  When are student voices heard?  When are parent voices heard?  When does the community have input?

Today’s topic seemed like an easy one:

Balancing Goals and Needs

YET

This morning I had a lengthy conversation with Mya over coffee.  Her needs seem simple:  food, water, shelter, hugs and kisses, time to play.  How many of those do I define?  How many of those does she define?  I laughed last week as she went nose to nose with an opossum and it was not playing.  As Mya barked, the opossum snarled back.  Not the quiet, placid Mya who walks among the deer without a sound.  Not the quiet Mya who allows Harry the cat to tell her what to do.  So I’ve been wondering what are Mya’s needs and what are her goals?

On this foggy Sunday morning Mya has no need to head outside.  She’s curled up on the love seat napping.  She’s already had her breakfast, her treat, a bit of conversation and she’s now in her own little world.

Are her needs met?  Are her goals met?

Conversation with Mya about basic needs is quite simple.  If either her food bowl or water bowl are empty, she comes and tells me.  Her nose on me is quite telling.  No words are needed.

And when she’s ready to play. OMG!  YES!  She’s bouncing. Or she’s patiently waiting.  That stare.  Those eyes!

And of course, I’m well trained.  When she’s standing, nose against the door, tail wagging, it’s time to open the door for her!

Are her needs met?  Are her goals met?

Because we live in the country, Mya has a LOT of unsupervised, unstructured time outside.  No pen, no fences, no boundary fencing. I like to think that her time outside gives her the opportunity to be an independent free spirit.  (Mya is a Lab and loves recognition for her skills.)

What about balancing my goals and my needs?

My initial draft of this post included a list of goals and a list of needs.  As fast as I listed something in either category, I was deleting it and moving it to the other side.  And then . . . . there were the list items that HAD to be in BOTH categories!  Ay, yi, yi – not productive!  Way too much thinking!

Last week I had the pleasure of learning with and from Cassie Erkens (@cerkens) author of Collaborative Common Assessments:  Teamwork. Instruction. Results. One important point she made was that we must understand the DNA (Desires, Needs, and Assets) of ALL students.

Do we even “know” that information about our students?

So that long conversation with Mya led me to realize this morning over coffee that it doesn’t really matter whether I can specifically IDENTIFY all my goals and needs.  Instead living my life so that I BALANCE my goals and needs in service of being brave and remaining a life-long learner is important.

At home:

Family, Comfort, Love, Peace, Fun, Faith, Joy, Reading and Writing

At work:

Fun, Learning, Collaborating, Equity, Joy, Reading and Writing

In life:

Fun, Family, Reading, Writing, Joy, Faith and Brave Support for a Better World

goals-needs

Can you tell what I am working to “Balance”?

How do you balance your Goals and Needs?  

How do you make sure that all voices are included?

Check out the posts at Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche” for more ideas / thinking about balance!

#SOL17: Goals and Technique Cards Reprise


one-percent

I’m still reeling from the information on goals in Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris’s post about the 1% of the population that set goals and regularly review them. It’s a short post. Go read it here. The numbers are staggering and the consequences for learning are dire if teachers are NOT setting goals in their classrooms.

Let’s Review:  How important are clear learning targets for students?

Hattie, Fisher and Frey say that their effect size is .75 for “Teacher Clarity”. Teacher clarity could easily transfer to deeper student understanding of the desired learning target. Clarity in knowing what the target looks like would make the target  easier to meet..

What kind of goals should teachers be setting for writing instruction?

“Teach the writer,  not the writing.

Teach strategies for elaboration and development.

Teach for transfer.

Teach for increased student independence.”

What could goal setting look like?

One way it could go is through the use of the goal and technique cards from this post. As a writer I could pull out the techniques that I have already taught for the writing types this year.  I could list them in descending order by the frequency with which students are using the techniques.  Then I could check the on-demand writing for the new unit and see which techniques are present. This is one example of using data to determine goals.

Another way it could go would be to set up an inquiry study.  Students could have the technique cards and could self-assess their use and / or understanding of the writing techniques.  Then these students could use the goal cards to set some writing goals for themselves.  Maybe the goals will be about structure, development OR transfer!  Maybe students can begin to be “better than the 1%” if they have:

choice

voice

and time

to practice using the techniques

and goal-setting to improve writing across the text types.

Win/Win in Student Goal-Setting and Teacher Clarity!

narrative-goals-and-techniques

20160930_091010

Are goals for the day, month, or year?

Won’t there be a variety of goals and time lines?  Perhaps there will be an over arching goal that all students will love to write that will have its own steps or mini-goals. Perhaps it will be to improve the quality of the students’ narrative writing during this unit. Perhaps it will be the goals for this week.  But without clear goals . . .  what learning path are you on?

How could you use the techniques cards, goal cards and teacher clarity of work to improve your own writing and/or student writing?

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. 

 

#DigiLitSunday: Craft


Check out the links to other DigiLit Sunday posts at Margaret Simon’s blog here.

Craft:  What is it?

A woodworker has many tools that may range from hand tools like chisels. planes and mallets to power tools like saws, drills, and presses that can aid the process of turning out finely crafted projects.

Is the craft in the “Doing” or is the craft in the “Final Product”?

In writing there are many sources of craft.  Some of my favorites are:

art of writing calkins.jpg

Lucy Calkins,

Ralph Fletcher,

Lester Laminack, and

craft-moves

Stacey Shubitz to name just a few.

So many sources of craft information exist. Do I need craft information along the way as I draft or do I need the information as I revise and improve the clarity, anticipate a reader’s questions, and add additional information to make the work more interesting?  I believe that writers need both skills. The more that a writer knows and anticipates in the drafting process, perhaps the revision will become less burdensome.

What is a teacher to do?  Where should the teacher begin?

Many strategies and craft moves can be and are taught, but at some point the choices used by writers will come down to the individual authors.  Strategic use of those moves needs to fit within the piece of writing that the author has undertaken.  A wide repertoire of moves that fit into a grade level range of writing will come from mentor texts.  Those mentor texts are often published texts, teacher written texts or student written texts.  What a student will use will depend on the applicability to this piece.  Teaching students to “self-assess” and even to “self-reflect” on their use of craft will be important.  That’s one of the  reasons why I believe these items in a fifth grade opinion writing checklist that students can use are absolutely critical!

Development . Elaboration and Craft.jpg

Writers make many decisions as they draft and revise about their own writing.  Tools with visible examples that students can use when talking about their writing or matching to a checklist or a rubric will put the power of writing choices in the hands of students.

Have you equipped your students to be able to make their own decisions about writing craft?  What low-tech and digital tools have been helpful?

How do you make decisions about your own craft moves in your writing?

#SOL16: #NCTE16 Friday Takeaways


Bookended by our Thursday and Friday evening dinners . . .

are over 16 pages of notes, hundreds of storified tweets, pictures galore and thousands of words.  Words Matter.  Words matter whether spoken or written.  Words in the heart matter as well. As a #TCRWP aficionado stunned by the passing of Deputy Director Kathleen Tolan this weekend, I celebrate my learning about small group reading instruction last summer with Kathleen even though I still yearn for more.  That gritty, passionate, talented, brilliant and sometimes “pushy” Deputy Director would want us to carry on . . . Make the students in front of you YOUR PRIORITY! FOCUS on students!

FRIDAY at #NCTE16

The Heinemann Breakfast on Friday honoring the Legacy of Don Graves was a star-studded celebration.  I felt like the red carpet was rolled out to recognize the literacy superstars in the room who all had stories to tell that encouraged us to roll up our sleeves, pay attention to students and get to work.  From Penny Kittle’s, “When Don asked me to do something, I did it!” to her credo “NCTE is a place to settle your soul” we were entranced!  Katherine Bomer reminded us that “Writing to discover what we care about is brave and that writing is a way a student’s voice comes into power and reminds us that we are all human.”  Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell shared that their “mentor text drop box – a way to organize and access mentor text – represents the generosity of Don Graves.” This breakfast was a family breakfast that reminded us of who we are and where we are going together. ( Heinemann Podcast Link)

Charts as Tools for Conversation, Advocacy and Action (Martinelli, Schwartz, & Luick)

The focus of this presentation was on the purpose of charts, ownership and environment, reflection and action.  The two words that I heard over and over were “purposeful planning”!  This is embodied in sketching out the steps to check clarity, the vocabulary used, and the ability of the chart to act as the teleprompter for the teacher.  Of course, a crystal clear teaching point helps!

One caution was to make sure that students’ voices were included in discovering learning together . . .students could contribute definitions, examples, and even make their own tools to use.  Tools that begin in the minds of teachers become ideas that can eventually be handed over to the students. (Isn’t that what transfer is REALLY all about?) I’ve heard many, many, many TCRWP staff members say that when we introduce a tool, coach and provide support for a tool, we MUST have a plan for the tool to go away. Graphics in a chart are really meant to be replaced by pictures or names of your own students. Or even better, by students who make their own charts because they know the purpose and that’s good for teachers, students, and LEARNING!

Vocabulary Matters!  – Valerie Geschwind, Shana Frazin, Katy Wischow and Char Shylock

How do students ever learn enough words to improve their vocabulary?  How do students become invested in their OWN learning?  Who’s really doing the work in vocabulary learning?

Step 1.  Listen carefully.

Step 2.  Wait.  

Too often when students say things that are untrue or unbiased, teachers jump in. Instead of the teacher teaching 24/7, maybe students should teach us so that they have the skills that they need for the rest of their lives!  

Step 3.  Think.   What do we know ( or What do we think we know) about …”

Step 4.  Audition what you know.  Try it on.  Is this idea never true? Sometimes true? Always true?  (or True for me? True for us? True for you?)  Set up a place or way for students to go do this!!!

Step 5. Revise and rename.  What assumptions changed?

Step 6. Spread the word.

This presentation included opportunities for us to think about shifting our beliefs, taking note of vocabulary words, increasing our word curiosity and consciousness and “settling our souls in teacher church”.  Shana Frazin told us that “English is her superpower and Hebrew is her kryptonite.”  If  we think of a word in another language, how does that add to our repertoire? How does working with “categories” help students access MORE words.  And then Katy  illuminated some FUN, JOYOUS ways to find a few minutes to incorporate vocabulary work. . . in a closure – share, in a mid-class tip, in spare 5 minutes before the bell rings or even a simple conversation like . . .

“Wow guys,  you are doing such fascinating work with characters… let’s talk about…. which would you rather be, character A or character B and why?”

Some activities take time:

  1. Sentence game
  2. Grid game  – person and question
  3. Play with words –  Beck’s Bringing Words to Life  (Would you rather?  How much would you like to ?  Which is more important to ? When/ how should you?)
  4. Word sorts – content words for open or closed sorts
  5. Other work – paintings or artwork.

Vocabulary work that has student learning and ownership as the goal WILL stick with students.  Vocabulary work that has “correct answers on the quiz” as an end goal . . . NOT so much!

The Power of Low Stakes Writing with Ralph Fletcher 

Fun

Laughter

Advice from students

“Use top shelf adjectives and verbs”

Metaphorically

Like a big balloon…

Real choice

Audience (beyond the teacher)

A sense of fun and adventure

Teachers  who value

Invention, originality and voice

So what happened to the big beautiful balloon?

Student Choice increases energy and excitement to make the balloon soar.

Test prep brings the balloon back to the ground.

There is a battle between freedom and discipline

But teachers do have choice and must be

BRAVE to bring choice back with any of these . . . (and also low-stakes)

  • Free Choice Fridays
  • The Writer’s Notebook
  • Class Writer’s notebook- Students inspired by what others write
  • Classroom blogs
  • Slice of Life Challenge
  • Open Cycles – where students chose the topic and genre
  • Need writing green belts – tap into the writing Ss are doing
  • FERAL writing
  • Study Driven Writing (Source  Katie Wood Ray)

Recklessly wonderful writing.

Students choose to work on writing because

The ideas of writing give them energy.

Multiple Layers of Literacy Learning – 

(Amy Brennan, Dani Burtsfield, Jill DeRosa, Kim Gosselin, Jennifer Hayhurst, Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson, Marissa Moss, Stefani Nolde, Erica Picarole, David Schultz, and Kari Yates)

What do you think of when you hear professional development?  Who is it for?  This session included conversations about learning for teachers, parents, and students. Learning, fun, and choice are necessary ingredients for multi-dimensional opportunities for all to grow! Summer school included learning for teachers and the students!

Advocating for Revision in Reading: Meaning Making as a Journey, Not a Destination  – Ellin Keene, Matt Glover, Dan Feigelson and Kathy Collins

Students who are reading and writing A LOT know a lot.  Ellin had an example of a six year old who understood the use of metaphor.  Students who read and write have the tools to share their thinking at deeper levels than we may have considered.  How do we help them revise their thinking?  Sometimes it means the adult must close his/her mouth in order for the student to take the lead!  Students need to learn to be comprehension decision makers! Students have to be flexible thinkers and not seekers of “right” answers.  Building a “Reader’s Identity” is a desired outcome, not a letter of a level! What are the characteristics of a reader that you admire?  That’s a different question than those that are typically part of a story inquisition! Product and process do matter so

“Privilege all texts”

” Our attention shows what we value!”

“Show reading identities.”

“Elevate the book.”

“Elevate the readers of the book.”

Dear Reader, Are you still here with me?

At this point we were off to the #HeinemannPub reception for the #TCRWP Reading Units of Study Libraries, the #StenhousePub reception for authors, and then dinner with #G2Great Voxer cousins!  Many miles of words and ideas heard, considered and studied!

So what caught your attention on this overview of Friday’s learning at #NCTE16?  

When were you nodding your head and saying, “YES”!

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. 

And a “Paul Harvey – the Rest of the Story” video here . . . How Friday ended!

#DigiLitSunday: Gratitude for #NCTE16 Learning


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Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche encouraged us to blog about “Gratitude” this week.  Read more links here.

.gratitude

My gratitude is for all those who attended (in person or at a distance) #NCTE16 and shared their reflections.  Here are my favorite quotes from our conference days. (Note they are NOT numbered so that I can include those that are “sticking with me” without stressing over the ones that have to be left out!)

  • “Courage is more exhilarating than fear–and in the long run it is easier.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt via Tom Newkirk
  • “We do not teach for mastery.  We teach for revolution.”  – Cornelius Minor
  • “Classrooms have to be spaces of light. That’s our revolution. What you do on Monday at 8:30 is gonna change the world.” Ernest Morrell  
  • Successful readers revise their thinking, and there is a huge chasm between those kids and the kids who grab a thought and then just hold on to it.  – Ellin Keene
  • “You probably don’t know adults’ DRA, you don’t know what level book they are reading. You might not even know what their community values. We acknowledge their habits and behaviors.” – Matt Glover
  • “Exploration, risk, and failure are essential components in a writer’s growth. Exploration and risk will not occur if everything is graded.” – Kelly Gallagher
  • “When we give students multiple choice tests, you get multiple choice test thinkers for an essay world.” – Kelly Gallagher

 

from-julieanne

And from sessions that I did not attend personally but could still learn from due to generous Twitter and blog authors:

  • “End every day with JOY no matter how the rest of the day may have gone.”  – Franki Sibberson
  • “It’s not what I do that matters, it’s what I do in relation to what my students need that makes a difference.” – Chris Tovani
  • “DO NOT USE THE TERM THOSE KIDS. Every kid that walks into the classroom needs an opportunity. They all need you.” – Sharon Draper
  • “All of life is material for writing. I rewrite the past as I wish I’d done.” – Tim Federle
  • “When you don’t know the language, you don’t realize how important it is to have language.” -Shana Frazin
  • “If you don’t struggle in front of students, they think you have a writing gene they don’t.” – Kelly Boswell
  • “When I’m not writing I notice a huge difference in my teaching. I need to be writing.” – Beth Moore
  • “Help kids revalue themselves as readers by explicitly showing them the complex work they are already doing.” – Dorothy Barnhouse
  • “The Just Right Book is the book that meets the head and the heart.”- Penny Kittle
  • ““If I gave a child a topic, I would find out what they know about the topic, NOT what they know about INFORMATION writing.” – Mary Ehrenworth
  • “We must not judge a child’s story by the chapter of his/her life that we walk into.” – Kristin Ziemke
  • “We have an obligation to tell and share stories. And we must make all kids visible in our learning communities.” – Sara Ahmed

What were your favorite quotes? What continues to linger in your mind?

Thanks to all who tweeted and / or blogged about #NCTE16!  Amazing Learning!

thank you languages

#SOL16: Capital E = Essay


There’s a glow, a rainbow, a light spirit still leaking from my pores and so much fun and learning from #NCTE16 yet to be shared! My top two sessions from the three days are a toss-up.

Poetry?     Essay?      Which will change the world?

At #NCTE16 it was readily apparent that BOTH writing forms are capable of reporting on AND changing the world.  You can read more about poetry in last week’s  “NCTE16:  Incredible Learning” here.

A focus on writing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING will of course have the power to potentially change the world because the pen is mightier than the sword.  The constant focus on assessments and screeners that produce fast yet aliterate readers has created a new tension in schools. What’s the solution for this new breed of readers who do not choose to read and who do not fall in love with the written word? Are they an unconscionable byproduct of too much focus on reading “outcomes/products” (ie, something that can be counted as in words read per minute) and too little focus on the thinking, the joy, and the love of words that result from daily writing in schools – daily writing of their own choice?  How can we regain JOY and LEARNING?  Poetry and Essay tied for first place at #NCTE in bringing JOY to my world and in igniting a quest for more learning.

The Transformative Power of Essay

This panel on Sunday was amazing (and had many noteworthy literacy celebs attending as well).  And NO moans or groans because of the word “essay”.

Essay bomer.jpg

From R to Left:  Katherine Bomer, Allyson Smith,  Corinne Arens and Matthew Harper

Story after story.

Straight from the students.

Student writing examples . . .

pages and pages and pages of writing from individual students!

Students conferencing with teachers in videos.

Students sharing what essay means to them.

Students sharing how their lives have changed.

Teachers sharing how their lives have changed.

An administrator sharing how the district has changed.

Summer week long writing institutes in the district.

Building trust.

Building communities.

Teachers doing the “writing work” expected of students.

The audience laughed.

The audience cried.

The audience applauded vociferously.

Transforming our thoughts, perhaps our future actions . . .

Essay with a capital “E”.

(NO five paragraph essays anywhere!)

Thank you, new friends from Blue Springs, MO!

What evidence of transformation?

Tweet 1:

beth-bomer

Tweet 2:

julieanne-michelle-bomer

Did you catch the date?  9-15-16

Not waiting for “routines” but beginning the year boldly with essay writing to allow student voice to “spill yourself onto the page”.

And a final piece of evidence . . . Margaret Simon’s post today found here.

The Transformative Power of Essay

Have you read The Journey is Everything?

bomer the journey is everything    Read it. Try writing an essay and then let’s talk!

slice of life

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Previous posts:

#DigiLitSunday:  The Journey is Everything!#DigiLitSunday:  The Journey is Everything!

Literacy Superheroes (I counted FIVE of these essayists + Katherine in the room!)

Photo Essay (another public  essay!)

A Favor – My essay (with a comment from Katherine Bomer – another fangirl moment)

And the common denominator for both poetry and Essay was Katherine Bomer!

No wonder they tied!

Veterans’ Day


Veteran’s Day

(Blackout poem)

Veterans Day:

an official United States public holiday

November 11

honors military veterans –

persons who served in the United States Armed Forces –

coincides with  Armistice Day and Remembrance Day

the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918

renamed Veterans Day in 1954

Not to be confused with Memorial Day;

Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans,

while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.

On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans:

“We remodeled our industries,

concentrated our financial resources,

increased our agricultural output, and

assembled a great army, so

our power was a decisive factor in the victory.

Out of this victory:

new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert

war showed us the strength

of great nations

acting together for high purposes

the victory of arms

foretells the enduring conquests

which can be made in peace

when nations act justly and

in furtherance of the common interests of men”

veterans

How will YOU celebrate Veterans Day?

 

Original Article  (Source:  Wikipedia)

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans, that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.[1]

On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans:

“ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN The White House, November 11, 1919. A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and just set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. – With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with – solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.

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