Category Archives: Writing

#SOL18: Planning


planning

Do you love to plan? 

Do you hate to plan? 

Planning can take many forms.  Planning to write in the form of creating an outline and then following it point by point . . . just the thought of it, makes me nauseous.  In the vernacular of “slicers”, then am I a “pantser” meaning I plan by the seat of my pants . . . in the moment?  Actually not.  I’m somewhere in between.

It all depends . . .

What’s your process for planning in your personal life? 

It’s time for a weekend get away or a family vacation.  Do you investigate possibilities on line via “The Google”? When and where do you plan?  As you are packing? Or in advance so you can make sure that everything fits?  That might necessitate packing that “carry on” bag in advance to make sure everything fits.  That might mean “lists” depending on the length of the stay.  That might mean a careful assessment of “technology needs” in order to be prepared.

What’s your process for planning in your work life?

As the school year winds down are you preserving those notes?  More of “x”. Less of “y”.  Scrap a, b, and c. How do you make those decisions?  That might mean lists of “If . . . , then . . .”, T charts of pros and cons that precede the inner debate, or even basic boxes and bullets.

Lists of lists???

Again, it all depends . . .

If you are a secondary teacher (grades 6-12), then you need to immediately order this book and join one of the many book studies that are planned for this summer. (Note that I did not say, if you are a secondary ELA teacher, because I believe there is merit in the principles and ideas in this book for social studies teachers, instructional coaches, principals, and curriculum directors.)

180 days book

The hashtag for this book is #180Days.  But I want to draw your attention to the subtitle:  “Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents.”

And in case you missed it, the full title is 180 Days:  Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents. 

Let’s face it.

A “How to” book with QUEST, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER in the title.

There are probably days when you scratch your head and wonder, “WHY?  Why am I doing this to myself?”  Other days in moments of honestly, your first period class really sucked, second period was better, and third period rocked.  WHY?

That opportunity to practice.

That opportunity to tweak the lesson.

A different beginning.

A different ending.

That opportunity to re-vision the lesson.

Some teachers have the opportunity to adjust and discuss situations as they occur with collaborative teaching partners.  But in this book you have the collective wisdom of Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle as they share how they planned, the basis for their decisions, their varied class periods (each day, Kelly and every other day – block schedule, Penny) as they taught and collaborated across the country, NH and CA.

Not sure if this is the book for you?  Resources that may help you decide are:

Book

Sample Chapter

Heinemann podcast 1

Heinemann podcast 2

Facebook page

Travis Crowder’s Review

Podcast part 1 – ReadAloud

And if that’s not enough, please join the #G2Great Twitter Chat this Thursday night.

180 days chat.PNG

Added – Literacy Lenses post about 180 Days #G2Great Chat  5.20.18

Do you “engage and empower” your adolescents on a regular basis? 

Do you worry about being responsive to life and also “fitting it all in”?

This book will show you how to make better decisions about your students  – based on the needs of your students – so that you can and do ENGAGE and EMPOWER them!

WHY does it matter?

180 quote.PNG

How will you be planning for next year?




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

Advertisements

#SOL18: Signs of Spring


Screenshot 2018-04-23 at 7.07.02 PM

Signs of Spring

What do I see?

I see slivers of green

peeking through the brown grass

in the yard, the fields, and along the road.

Hopeful for fresh asparagus, daffodils and mushrooms.

What do I hear?

I hear choruses of birds

loud and excited

quiet and steadily constant.

Hopeful for woodpeckers and their staccato beat.

What do I smell?

I smell the earth

fresh-plowed and ready for seeds

anticipating the new growth.

Hopeful for abundant, fruitful crops to feed the world.

What do I feel?

I feel the sun’s rays

as day temps finally rise to 70s

and nights remain in the 50s.

Hopeful for no more sleet, slush, or snow.

Signs of Spring

What signs of spring are present in your region? 

How will you celebrate spring?




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

#SOL18: Pinning


15 minutes.

A Pinning . . .

Yes, in nursing,

Yes, in sororities,

Yes, in service,

Specifically in the Army

We sit in a row:  wife, mother, daughter, sister, sister.

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 5.56.13 AM.png

Others slowly gather and fill rows behind us.

Ready and yet waiting.

Adjusting the controls on the screen and listening to the prep work behind the scenes.

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.10.25 AM.png

The promotion . . . (yes, via webcam)

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.00.42 AM

A speech . . .

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.00.53 AM

Changing rank . . .

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.02.25 AM.png

The celebratory cake for the new Command Sergeant Major . . .

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 5.55.43 AM.png

the highest non-commisioned rank in the Army!

And that’s just a small part of “How I Spent My Monday”!




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

Poetry: Love/Hate


Screenshot 2018-04-06 at 9.08.10 AM.png

 

Today’s post is based on the mentor text, “I Hate Poetry”, by a Virginia middle school student.  Her poem can be found here (and all the comments that she responded to individually.  The comments tell exactly why she “hates” poetry!).

How do you feel about poetry? 

Which version best matches your experiences?

Screenshot 2018-04-05 at 1.22.51 PM.png

Happy Poetry Friday!

( Click here for more info about Poetry Friday.)




Process:

  • Read student’s poem.
  • Studied the rhyme scheme.
  • Jotted down some ideas to include.
  • Decided that I wanted definite stanzas (so drafting outside of WordPress).
  • Used the student’s ideas for the first stanza.
  • Decided to repeat part of the first stanza in the closing stanza.
  • Drafted, revised, drafted!

 

#SOL18: March 31


 

Screenshot 2018-03-30 at 8.30.00 PM.png

So long,

Farewell

It’s time to say goodbye.

Goodbye

To daily slicing

Not time to stop writing

But time

to plan for other longer writing projects!

Thanks for reading and writing this month!

And so I leave with this format borrowed from first year slicer, Dani Burtsfield, posted yesterday.

I would rather…..                                                                     ….instead of 

drink diet pepsi                                                                      iced tea

get up early                                                                             stay up late

make piles                                                                               put everything away

own a dog                                                                                own a cat

read a book                                                                             watch a movie

count the deer                                                                       live in a city

plant flowers in a pot                                                           have an acre of garden

play with kids                                                                         be the the adults table

visit relatives                                                                          go to a fancy resort

walk                                                                                         run




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




What have you learned about yourself as a writer this month? 

What will you continue to do?  

#SOL18: March 30


Targeted Writing Instruction to Close the Gap

Checking back in with N before the month ends. ( The story began Here, here and here)

Our Plan:

Week 2

Scaffolded Checklist Paper – Narrative Story Writing (below)  – Repeat 5 days

Week 3

Write Using “Regular” Writing Paper

Remember that the first few days had some focused one:one time that was productive and volume seemed to fly so I was concerned that without that one:one we would see the volume of writing decrease.  It did go down some but not nearly as drastically as we had one teacher and one “me” short video designed specifically for him.  Drastic, yes in terms of some time to create a video by each of us! Helpful that it did not take away from any class time with other students. But remember our ambitious goal – hit 3rd grade targets by the end of the year.

Week 2

N wrote 2 stories on the Narrative Paper with the checklists.  He met the targets on the checklists and it really helped that he was a part of the checklist creation.  He not only knew what it said.  He knew what each item meant.  He fancied one up and published it.  We used cut-up labels to fix some of the spelling words, added in some neon revising strips, and a front cover and a back cover.

He was Jazzed!  Normally fairly shy and reticent in many literacy activities, he read that book to EVERYONE that came into the room.  We recorded it on SeeSaw!

Weekly Goal met! (Support from classroom teacher in person, via video, and me also via video)

Week 3

N identified two goals for himself this week.  He did want to use regular paper (but he wanted the ones with checklists on his desk so he could look at them) and he wanted a writing partner in class. (I was toast and so VERY happy to not be a “required” part!)

He named two possible partners and one was available and willing.  During the week they planned, wrote and worked together. Two teacher conferences.  Two pieces written by the end of the week.  Both had evidence of revision and editing.  Solid meeting of the third grade checklist items.

Weekly Goal met!

Socially:  New friends courtesy of his writing partner. New activities at recess courtesy of changing weather.  Almost a “swagger” when walking in the hall.  Whole new confidence . . . across the entire day!

We don’t have a post on-demand score YET.

Our plan took time to develop. Because he was a part of the classwork he had all the behaviors in the first column.  We tried shared writing.  We added in partner writing with his choice of a partner.  We used the last two items on the volume column and reduced the items on the checklist to close the gap.  We’ll be able to evaluate our plan soon.  We did not “throw everything but the kitchen sink into this plan.”  Reasonable. Repeatable. Sustainable. Doable.  But now we do have some ideas and a framework; if and when the situation arises again.

Screenshot 2018-03-10 at 7.37.56 PM

How valuable is planning?

In this instance it’s not about THE plan, but it is about the conversations as we developed the plan. 

We named a variety of possibilities.

We identified some choices for the teacher and student! 

A win/win!

Remember that this student wanted to write as badly as we wanted to support his writing.  There are no guarantees that this will work for the next student, but we have identified a process, as well as a way to develop and organize some possibilities.  And we maximized our work by adding in some quick video responses without assigning the classroom teacher to be at his beck and call.

We believe the single most important factor: 

Planning to remove the scaffolds before we began.




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

#SOL18: March 29


Serial Story:  Scene 6

Okay before the month ends, here’s a return to Maria’s story.

(Continued from Scene 1Scene 2 & 3, Scene 4, and  Scene 5)




“Only 20 minutes left.” Face wrinkled.  Can smell her fear . . . Staring at the clock again. 9:40 pm.

Maria paced, “What’s the deal with the ambulance?” she wondered.  “The after-game crowd is always here by now.”  She stopped, turned, and peered out the front window.

“What do you think, Juan?  Did the game just go long?”

He came out of the kitchen, shuffling over to the door to check on traffic out in the street. “Nada,” he said.

Smile long forgotten, Maria paced again.  “So close,” she thought. “Just $4.82 more tonight and I will have the rent money.  Anything else i make tonight or tomorrow will be mine to spend.”

The minute hand continued to tick away.  Headlights, and then a car pulled in and parked. Five minutes before ten. Maria raced to fill water glasses, still praying for a crowd . . . but willing to settle for just four or five tables of customers.

As the door opens, her expectant smile turns down.  It’s Joe, the owner.  “Where is everybody?” He looks around as if customers are hiding under the tables.

Maria shrugs her shoulders.  “That’s what we were wondering.  The ambulance went by 20 minutes ago.  It’s quit snowing so at least if someone got hurt they won’t be lying in a pile of snow on the field . . . I hope.”

“Well, what do you two want to do?  Stay open a bit longer or go ahead and close up?” Joe steps behind the counter. “Juan, are you ready to go home?”

Juan starts to nod his head and then sees the expression on Maria’s face.  He remains mute, waiting for Maria to speak.

Maria says, “I think people will be cold and hungry.  If we only knew whether the game was over, then it would be easier to decide.” And in unison, they turn towards the lights and sounds behind them on Main Street. Cars pulling up out front, doors slamming, voices, the door opening and a steady stream of people.  All talking at once. Loud voices.  Cold air. Red noses and cheeks.  Coats tightly fastened to keep out the cold.

“Three coffees over here, Maria.”

“Hot chocolate here, Maria.”

It looks like every seat is filled.  Maria’s face is consumed by a grin stretching from ear to ear.  “The tips don’t even have to be good and I’ll be able to make some extra money,” she thought. Busy at Joe’s Diner on a Friday night after the football game was often good for $20.00 or more in tips.  But with the excitement of the ambulance, there was a story here that just might cause the diners to linger a little longer to tell their own stories about what delayed the game.  After all, her homework was done and she had no place to go until 11 am when she had to be back at the diner for her Saturday shift.

Disaster averted. Rent paid.  “Wait til I tell Mama when I talk to her tomorrow.  Maybe she’ll have good news about Grandma and she will tell me when she’ll be back. I miss my family. I don’t really like living alone.” She picked up her order pad and started through the crowd taking orders and turning them in to Juan, bouncing from table to table.





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




Did the story end as you predicted? 

What details did you expect to have wrapped up? 

How might you construct your own version of a serial story?

#SOL18: March 28


Screenshot 2018-03-27 at 10.44.27 PM

Drip! Drip! Drip! Drip!

Gently, slowly,

Each drop distinctly different.

Read, comment, read, comment,

Catch up, catch up, catch up,

A slicer’s work is never done!

Booming thunder

Loud and rhythmic

Not just white noise.

Write, read, write, revise

Let it rest, let it brew

A writer’s work is never done!

Pounding, roaring, louder and louder

Mya crouching and hiding

Lightning has arrived.

No time to nap, relax

Or read for fun today

A PD presenter’s work is never done!




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

#SOL18: March 22


My mentor/inspiration text today comes from a middle school student in Virginia and you can read her work here.

Take a minute and check out the link, please!

I wish I wrote this well many days!

Screenshot 2018-04-06 at 9.08.10 AM




Screenshot 2018-03-21 at 10.11.07 AM

Today I couldn’t tell where you were going.

Today I was supposed to just travel from here to there.

Today I was supposed to just take a simple trip that I’ve made before.

I can tell you what, it isn’t easy and not my usual fare.

So, all I can say is,

“Ummm, what’s going on with turn signals?”

Screenshot 2018-03-21 at 10.10.46 AM

Today I watched you slow down, speed up and slow down again.

Today I was supposed to just travel from here to there.

Today I was supposed to catch up on listening to my Voxer posts.

I can tell you what, it isn’t easy and not my usual fare.

So, all I can say is,

“Ummm, what’s going on with turn signals?”

 

 

Weaving in,

Slowing there,

I’m supposed to be in my lane cruising,

I can tell you what,

it isn’t easy and not my usual fare.

So, all I can say is,

“Ummm, what’s going on with turn signals?”

Screenshot 2018-03-21 at 10.10.22 AM

 

How do you respond to situations you cannot change? 

With dignity?  With grace? 

In this case, with road rage? 

So many choices I can make when I decide HOW to respond!  




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

#SOL18: March 20


 

Productivity

Reflection

Time

Writing

How much writing?

Time

Reading

How much reading?

What works?

What doesn’t?

The best thing about March is the #SOL Story Challenge.  This is my fifth year of writing every day in March. But it felt different somehow.  I was writing daily and yet something seemed like I was swimming uphill, because I was actually writing less.  This led to a quick writing log where I kept track of my writing patterns on a calendar. Here’s the basic summary of my data.

Writing Time

SOL – March

5-6:30 am Monday – Friday

250 – 500 words

Slicing and Commenting

Some days only a slice

The whole point of data is to USE it.  So as a result of “confirming my belief” that even though I was writing every day, my writing time was also being consumed by SOL reading and commenting. My response:  I moved my own slicing time to the evenings to draft and ready my post for the next day. I moved my commenting to intermittent times during the day and met some new slicers and regained my productivity.

March Slicing  Time

Writing Time

After 8 pm for the next day

Drafting & pre-setting publication time

Regained Writing Time 5- 6:30

250 – 400 words

Noted more revision & pre-planning across the day

What data do you collect about your own writing or reading?

Is it formative?  Is it summative?

How do you really use it to make decisions?




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

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