Category Archives: Writing

#SOL18: #NCTE18 Family


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‘Tis the season to be Thankful.  ‘Tis the season to count my blessings. #NCTE is the perfect kick-off for family events.  #NCTE brings my work family together!

This year’s theme was:

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But, for me, it has also ALWAYS been about finding my own voice. My own family of voices.  A family that allows me to have a voice.

#G2Great

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Slicers

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Teach Write

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Presenters and Authors

 

 

 

Students

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so many facets to MY FAMILY!

How do you nourish your “work family”? 

How do you continue to grow and learn?




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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Additional Links to #NCTE18

Conference of Revolution

Kelly Gallagher’s Top 15

NCTE Sunday

Miss Magee’s Letter to Students

Proud, Fierce Papa Bear

Statement Against Oppression

Advertisements

#NCTE18: Sunday


Sad Sunday Smashing Slashing Schemes

Sad, it’s the last day of #NCTE18

Sunday, wow, really?  It’s easy to lose track of the days!

Smashing! Great line up of sessions. Still difficult to choose!

Slashing!  That was the session back in the dungeon, in the back, back, back, under the auditorium.

Schemes!  Already plotting for #NCTE19

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The final general session with twins, Peter and Paul Reynolds.  Gifted artists. Gifted story tellers.  Gifted.  And what a gift to us!  Peter read two books to us.  The Word Collector and Say Something. Treasured moments!  So much to learn from all of those around us and we do need to share our voices.

What’s New in the 4th Edition of the Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts

This was my second session (ILA the first) about this book.  Critical ideas that teachers and administrators need to be aware of and discussing.

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And on assessment: YOWZA!

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I’m researching more information about #affectiveassessmentsmatter and Comprehensive Reader Portraits through Career Dream Drawing Assessment.  Talk about relevance for students!  (UK parallel research link)

And a quick vocab note:  Bill Nagy, quoted by Susan Watts-Taffe University of Cincinnati, “There is no magic list of vocabulary words.  Cohesion around kinds of cohesion is helpful. Thematic work with vocab offers significant practice.  It’s about what you do with the list.”

Breathe New Life into your Writing Instruction:  Practical Roundtables that Will Push Your Writing Further

Kidblogging – Joy Writing Through Student Blogging with Margaret Simon and 

connecting with Teach Write friends.  First F2F meeting with Leigh Ann.  YAY!

And as the conference wound down, one last social event Sunday evening with some #G2Great friends!

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What’s next on your creating list? 

Where will you go? 

What will you learn? 

And with whom?

Thank you, NCTE!

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In case you have not been following along, here are the links to #NCTE18 . . .

#NCTE18 Bound #G2Great

#NCTE18: Thursday

#NCTE18: Friday

#NCTE18: Saturday

#NCTE18: Saturday


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The  magical learning continues at  #NCTE18 and a theme that emerged on Saturday:

Slow down . . .

Yes, there is a sense of urgency. 

Make every minute count.

BUT stop counting every minute. 

Stop.

Slow Down.

Look into the eyes, heart and soul of every student. 

The day flew by and again there were folks that I never saw. Decisions about sessions were incredibly hard to make.

The #BowTieBoys, Jason Augustowski and Dr. Mary Howard 

It is all about the heart. And paying attention to the students. Listening. And learning WITH them. This quote from Jason is a great snippet for teachers to consider.

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Roundtable sessions planned and executed by the students. Simply amazing.

Articulate

Poised

Powerful

Interactive

Showing not just telling

Students from middle school through high school.

Not to be missed!

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Responsive Teaching:  The Courage to Follow the Lead of the Reader

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The respect, love and joy of this panel made my day!  Students at the heart of our work.

 

A perfect merger.  And such important work!

Think about a teacher who loved you into being.  Responsiveness begins with heart . . .”
Don’t rush to “check it off”.  Skill and expertise has to come behind. Don’t land on the side of “judgment”.  “What’s going on?” “Wonder.” And then the learning that comes from the four quadrants.  

“Step back so your students can step forward.” Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris


Tom Newkirk has been a favorite of mine from my first #NCTE conference when he bemoaned that “the hamburger graphic organizer is not only an insult to a paragraph, but is also such an insult to a hamburger”.

4 Battles Literacy Educators have to Fight

  1. Economy – Curriculum as Hoarding (add, add , add & nothing is deleted)
  2. Louise Rosenblatt – Model of Reading – Literacy as Transaction
  3. The battle for writing. Writing should not be colonized by reading.Literary analysis 795,000 fanfiction pieces about Harry Potter
  4. Battle for choice- Carnegie – “public library”  Teachers will need to make it free!

    Questions to Ask when you Write

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When Phonics is the Foundation – in a Curriculum of Authentic, Deep Literacy

Lucy Calkins,  Rachel Rothman-Perkins and Rebecca Cronin

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Rebecca, Rachel, Lucy and Mabel

“To teach well is to rally your people with heart and soul to learn with courage and enthusiasm. Fear:  Is this curriculum going to cover everything?  Mastery? Proven? Everything? Fear-driven anxious place is far too common with NO place in child’s emergent literacy. Voice is the single quality that matters most. Voice matters for teaching, and learning (as well as writing). To teach phonics well, imagine yourself at kitchen table talking to someone right there with you. Teaching phonics is leading and teaching. “

“That sense of connectedness matters tremendously.  Connecting matters. Connecting to reading and writing. TRANSFER – only reason to teach phonics for reading and writing. TEACHING kids identity. Language is a joyful world!”


And because this is not an “All About” post since I promised “snippets” I will write later about the fabulous session from Colleen Cruz, Kassandra Minor, and Cornelius Minor.


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#NCTE18: Friday


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Moments in time

Moments suspended

Moments desired

Moments expected

Moments shared

Magical because of the connections

Across time

Across states

Across texts

Across interests . . .

Magical Mentor Moments

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“We come from:  Oklahoma, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada.  Mentors All.” (10 points to you if you know the context of this quote.) TY: #G2Great for so many magical moments at #NCTE18.

Writing in the Wild = Margaret Simon

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“Slicer” Dinner = Mentor Writers

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An annual tradition from #TWTBlog. Three of the authors from #TWT and some of the bloggers at dinner and sharing literary gifts!

And then the sessions:

Choices

Difficult choices.

So many great ones.

So little time.

What fuels the choices?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Passion and Power

Be you.

Be real.

Activism means thinking, talking, reading, writing, and growing your passions.

I love this 5th grader’s quote shared by Justin Dolci.

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And the people . . .

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Mentors

Readers

Writers

Thinkers

Storytellers

Magical #NCTE18 Moments

Where have you found your magic? 

And your mentors?




NCTE Highlights

#SOL18: Reading Research


What was the first thing that came to mind when you saw that blog title?

Which emoji matches your thinking?

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Reading the Research 

that someone else has done?

Research about Reading?

These are not necessarily the same.  So let’s explore just a bit.  If I put “reading research” into “The Google” – this is what I get:

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Think about it.  695,000,000 results and the first one that comes up is Reading Rockets.  It’s a “.org” so I can breathe a sigh of relief.  It’s not a commercial site so I don’t have to worry about ads or someone selling things. Reading Rockets link

How reputable is Reading Rockets?

Who runs it?

Where does the information come from?

What biases exist?

When would I use this site?

Some of those questions can be answered from the “About Page”. Some require a bit more clicking.  The information is reasonable and the classroom strategies might be a source to use as a quick survey or “screen” of what’s available.

And just in case you did not click and go to Reading Rockets, here is part of their home page.

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But is this a source you can trust?

.  .  .   It depends.

What do you need?  What are you looking for?

If instead I go to Google Scholar (which is on my toolbar for quick access), here’s what the same “reading research” search results look like.

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The results are fewer.  About 5,030,000. And the very first citation is the National Reading Panel Report from 2000.  I can see the number of times this source has been cited as well as related articles. If you’ve moved on to a major eye roll because you did not need “Research 101′ in this blog post, just stop and think. How many of your peers know the difference?  How many of your administrators know the difference? (And if you think it’s old, 2000, do remember that it was the last independently convened panel to study reading research . . . despite its flaws!) (Krashen, S. (2004) False claims about literacy development. Educational Leadership 61: 18-21.

Why does it matter?

If the solution to a questions is a Google search, I have just shown you the difference.  Terms that are thrown around in the education world a lot are “research-based, evidence-based, and scientifically research-based.”  And they are NOT without a great deal of controversy.

A Second Example

The following blog post was referenced on both Twitter and Facebook.  Hmmm . . . sometimes nefarious social media platforms. Sometimes NOT.  Sometimes a great source.  In my farming background, again, how do we sort out the wheat from the chaff?

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LINK

I don’t know Lindsay, but I do plan to find out if she will be at #NCTE18 to connect.  DOL is one old, out-dated practice that has to stop. Over 50 years of research has proven that grammar instruction does NOT improve writing.  Writing improves writing. Showcasing “golden sentences” in personal work and patterning writing after others. Some brilliant minds like Jeff Anderson and Dan Feigelson have published examples as well as many chapters in other books have research-based examples.

A Third Example

This list.  Research-Based Programs

“Where did it come?

What criteria was used to curate the list?

Who developed the “protocol” that was used to evaluate the programs?

Where are the reviews/protocols of the programs on the list?

What can I learn from the URL?

What questions remain after a quick perusal of the list?

How do I find answers to these questions?”

Who do I turn to when I need answers?  Who are my sources? Who are my most trusted sources?  Who are my experts? Who are my “super-experts”?

RESEARCH EXPERTISE

One source that I can always trust is Dr. Nell Duke.  Her article “10 Things Every Literacy Educator Should Know about Research” is a MUST READ. Every. Educator. in. EVERY. building. link

Tune in Thursday night to the #G2Great chat at 7:30 CST/ 8:30 EST for a lively conversation about just this topic. #BetterTogether

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 12.09.47 AMPer usual, my #OLW “Curious” brought me to this point.  On October 2, 2013, I blogged about the research on the “Effectiveness of K-6 Supplementary Computer Reading Programs” here.  Do those same considerations apply?  Do you now have data that supports that those programs work for your students in your building? Or are you still in search of the one perfect program?




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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Another Resource:      Link      

Truth & Research: What to Consider Before Selecting Literacy Curriculum and Programs

The Straw Man aka Balanced Literacy is NOT Whole Language Link

Problems with the National Reading Panel Report – From the Teacher in the Room – Link

 

 

Gems from #TCRWP Saturday Reunion


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Saturday,

Saturday,

Saturday,

Saturday’s alright for learning . . .

Terribly pun-nish, but that’s what happens when you have to create your own atmosphere! Because you aren’t there learning with thousands of friends!

I literally mined my #tcrwp column on Tweetdeck for some key takeaways for myself! Thanks to all who tweeted and generously shared their learning from #TCRWP.

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7. Screenshot 2018-10-20 at 2.17.58 PM

 

6.   Screenshot 2018-10-20 at 2.18.31 PM

 

5.   Screenshot 2018-10-20 at 2.17.20 PM

 

4. Screenshot 2018-10-20 at 2.15.40 PM

 

3.  Screenshot 2018-10-20 at 2.17.31 PM

 

Tied for # 2

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Closing Keynote

tcrwp three

What was on your Saturday learning agenda? 

What gems did you discover?

 

#WhyIWrite


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I write:

Anxiously,

Bravely,

Challenging myself each

Day to

Extend past my

Fears

Going to new

Heights

Inching towards personal

Judgements (Is this ready to publish?), yet

Kindly

Looking at a

Myriad of ideas

Not knowing where I

Ought to end up as I

Peer into a pool of thoughts

Questioning

Restating

Searching for the very best

Thoughts

Ushered in on

Wings of

Xcitement and

Yearning in order to

Zoom off to new places with my reader.




I write to explore, grow, learn, share, and think . . .

I write to learn more about writing . . .

I write to learn more about reading . . .

#TCRWP 95th Saturday Reunion


Sad

sad

sad

sad

sad

Still not out of my system, but moving on!

A search of my own blog posts showed that I attended the 88th, 89th, and 90th in a row.

Fall Saturdays are so problematic with so many events.

Last week’s issues with Hurricane Michael and flights was an unexpected glitch.

Whether it’s your first or too many to count . . .

Enjoy!

Find the fun!

Find something new!

Don’t just stick

With the tried and true!

Find an online friend

Say hello face to face

Say hello to strangers

Make new friends as you race

From session to session

Learning at a speed of light pace.

No one

Does it better.

50 minutes

of learning.

Encapsulated

In Connections,

Teaching Points,

Teaching,

Active Engagement,

And a link.

Units of Study

Writing

Reading

Phonics

and new best friends Rashid and Mabel.

Riverside Church

Kate DiCamillo

TCRWP Staff Developers

Teachers, Administrators, and Authors

by the droves . . .

Enjoy!  Learn!  Enjoy!  Laugh!  Enjoy!  Make New Friends!

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teachers college

 

#SOL18: Assessment


 

What do we value?  Product? Process? Reflection?

It began with a conversation on Voxer.

How do we know?

My #OLW, Curious, led me on an interesting quest.

So how does this work in real life?


The first group began.  All brass. They blew a few sounds through their mouthpieces.  They were newcomers. Section by section. Each small group played. Then the entire brass group played two songs.

Same process for the woodwinds.  A few sounds. Section by section sound off.  Then the entire woodwind group played two songs.

BRAVE

BRAVE

BRAVE

The Premiere of THE 5th Grade Beginning Band (copied from the program) then played two songs.  Their first practice together – the brass and the woodwinds. Their first practice EVER. During a performance.  In front of a gym packed with family and friends. 

How would you assess this 5th grade group in their first public appearance?

Product? 

The number of students that participated? 

How the three groups sounded?

Process?  

How they have grown in the six weeks since 5th grade band began?

What comparisons would you make between assessing this instrumental group and other “assessments of 5th grade learners?”

I watched instrumental musicians last night representing grades 5-12 in the Central DeWitt school district.  This was my second consecutive year to attend the fall Parade of Bands. It’s a 90 minute extravaganza led by two directors that showcases the performance levels of students in October each year. This year that was a total of 325 band students in grades 5-12:  215 students in grades 5-8 (She is simply amazing!) and 115 students in high school.

Product?

Process?

Reflection?

A combination?

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What if . . .

What if all students had to take an identical screener in the fall, winter and spring?

What if the results of the screener was then used to determine which instrument students should play?

What if the students had to pass a “basic knowledge test” before they could choose an instrument?

Would there be 325 students in band if a general “proficiency test” was required of all students?

Again, how is success measured?

Is it measured by the “1 Superior” rating at state marching contest?

Is it measured by the new band uniforms provided by a community drive?

Is it measured by the audience that packed the gym?

Is it measured by the funds raised during the dinner before the Parade of Bands?

Is it measured by the applause of the audience?

Is it measured by the number of students who continue to participate in band year after year?

Is it measured by the distance that audience members travel to attend the concert? (195 miles one way for me)

Is it measured by the “JOY” of the students who continue to participate?

Product?  Process? Reflection? 

Is there any ONE measure that captures the essence of success?

The original conversation began with writing.  Is this a conversation that needs to be a part of every content area in every school building?  

What do we value?

What do we support?

How do we know?




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.                                                     

        slice of life 2016




Full Disclosure: I’ve followed this band director for decades – to concerts and competitions, to the Alamo Bowl, and to the Orange Bowl so I’m a wee bit biased.  Band opened the doors for me to travel in the US and abroad. I attended this concert with his grandmother, mother, wife and daughter. I’ve known him and his work ethic for 40 years, and YET I also know that FUN and a passion for music is also a part of his agenda.  He’s my nephew!

#SOL18: Hello, friends!


Literacy is important.  It’s been a part of my life for years.  Teaching, modeling, teaching, modeling, demonstrating!  And yesterday was no different,

EXCEPT

I was a learner in the audience.  A learner.

Here’s just a window into the learning:

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If you are on twitter, you may know where I was and who I was with for my learning fun. but if you were not online, think about these quotes.

What surprises you?

What is worth talking about?

What would you say to a thought partner?

What would you write?

Instruction needs to change.  Students need to be engaged.  That doesn’t mean teachers need to do “a song and a dance” every day.  But teachers do need to think about the needs of their students.  And how students’ needs and teachers’ needs can both be met in better ways. Responsive teaching is hard.  It means that the data from today drives the instruction for tomorrow. That data comes from a variety of sources:  conferences, book talks, flipgrid responses, book check ins, student goals, teacher goals, the questions students ask, the questions students do NOT ask, student writing, and teacher writing.

It’s not a unit per quarter.  It’s not a whole class novel per quarter.  It’s not low level responses.  It’s not fake reading. It’s not giving up accountability.  It’s not about abdicating responsibility for learning.

It’s also not easy.

Teachers are change agents

Teachers change the world.

What was the message?

Here is a quick glimpse . . .

 

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Who were these masterminds of change?

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In West Des Moines, Iowa

About 340 of us . . .

Engaged

Empowered

 Great learning!




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.                                                              slice of life 2016

Additional Resources:

Literacy Lenses:  Link

180 Days

Sample Chapter

Heinemann podcast 1

Heinemann podcast 2

Facebook page

Podcast part 1 – Read Aloud

Resourceful – Planning

Travis Crowder Review

Kelly Gallagher website

Penny Kittle website

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.

doctorsam7

Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

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