Category Archives: Writing

#SOL17: Revisor


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It’s a typical Tuesday morning at my house.  Tuesdays when I draft, revise, and publish my “slice” before work.

It’s time to write my slice on my blog post, but I don’t know what to write.  Where will my idea come from?

I pace from the living room to the kitchen and back again.  “No idea YET!”

I stare out the window.  It’s still dark.  “No idea YET!”

I reread last week’s post.  “Can I write a part two?  No idea YET!”

I stop.  I ask myself, “What did I do this weekend?”

I went to the Homecoming parade.  I went to the game.  I watched the bands (alumni and current) march. I went to watch high school band competition.

I remembered how much I loved marching band when I was in high school and college.

I was so excited.  When I looked at my pictures from the weekend, I had tons of pictures of both my family and the marching bands.  Finally I have an idea.  I know . . . My slice is going to be about how I found my idea . . . and I begin to type.




And, now for the rest of the story . . . 

Paul Harvey story (Part 2)

The story above is the “Prequel” to last week’s post. I used the prequel in a second grade classroom to demonstrate some revisions that the writers could consider to make their writing stronger.

I am quite confident in my “revising” skills.  It is easier for me to say that I am a revisor than to say that I am a writer.  In the midst of writing, I have doubts.  In the midst of revising, I feel like my super powers are engaged.  There’s structure power, elaboration power, and the so important editing/conventions power.

How does that impact my writing?  

How does that impact my instruction?

I believe that my love for revision enables me to be both a more-focused and a more-flexible writing coach.

Here was my first draft of my writing – deliberately designed so I could use it with my second grade friends! A very short three page story

Draft Document

How did I get from my original nine sentences to the final draft (25 sentences) above?

What were my revision points?  

In our narrative mini-lessons these were some of our teaching points:

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What were student writing goals?

Student goals included strong beginning, writing more sentences across pages, or adding more details.

Beginning – Page one – I need to add where and when because I have the who and what.

Middle – I need more details so I decide to have two pages and decide to repeat the “No idea YET!” (page two)  and on page three I leave the first sentence and change the ending.

Ending – I check to make sure that I add details that bring the story full circle.

I use bright neon paper strips or green marker for my revised sections to make the revisions very visible for my readers and writers.

Google Doc- Revised story

This revision basically happened in order:  beginning, middle, and end.  Not all happen to work that way!

Are you a revisor?  

How do you teach revision?  

How do you match revision, instruction,  and goals?

Did you see Betsy’s post yesterday on Revision?  AMAZING! Sticky Notes, Arrows, and Margins, Oh My!




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

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#SOL17: Voice


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What is my voice?

Am I the calm in the midst of the noise that flows and ebbs, varying in intensity as measured by decibels and heated emotions?  When needed, I am a place of refuge so you can rally and move on.

Am I the voice of encouragement?  Go ahead take a risk. I will stand with you shoulder-to-shoulder because I know that you are an amazing source of strength.  When needed, I will coach you through the work.

Am I the voice of an advocate for those who don’t yet have a voice?  Those who are too young, too weary, or too worn-down-by-daily-trials. When needed, I will help you name the faces that are behind your work.

Am I the voice of reflection?  What have you tried?  What worked?  What didn’t work?  What do you see as your next step?  When needed, I will serve as your mirror?

Am I the voice of radical change? Is it time to chart a brand new course?  Strike out in a different direction?  Try something brand new?  Take a leap of faith?  When needed, I will help you brainstorm many possibilities.

Am I the voice of maintaining the status quo? Continuing on the current course? Knowing that it is not effective but not yet ready to abandon it? 

Definitely not that indecisive!  Maintaining the status quo has seldom been my focus!

So what’s it all about?  

What is voice?

I was shocked, dismayed and flat-out discombobulated when I googled, “What is voice?” and the first page of responses was about finding my range or my singing voice.  What’s up with that? Of course, I didn’t specifically say my writing voice or my speaking voice in my Google query.  I was interested in the broad strokes.  What will “THE Google” say?  (But “voice” is one of the 6+1 Traits of writing!) So this is now my stunned, a bit shocked, and quite skeptical voice continuing on . . .

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A continued search (or rabbit hole) led to the source of “voice” from the Latin word vocare which means “to call, or invoke”.  So to call or, using some of the verbs above

“express … declare, state, assert…proclaim, announce, publish…vent, utter …”

So many ways to use my voice.  But my exploration was not yet over.  The source of “vocation” is also vocare.  In the midst of our work our voice is often called out because it is the underlying WHY of our passion.  When our passion is teaching, it is what we “are called to do”.

Does “voice” matter?

More and more teachers are expressing that they have little or no voice in what is taught in their classroom.  Content is dictated by a combination of curricula, standards, pacing guides, assessments and/or textbooks.  All of those are part of the WHAT that is current reality across the country.

But . . .

If I am a voice

of calm,

of encouragement,

an advocate,

of reflection,

of radical change . . .

And I am a reader, writer, and a thinker who believes in literacy for all,

The highest possible quality for all,

How do I use my voice to  speak up on behalf of students and teachers?

How do you use your voice?  

Which voices do you use?  

What is your major role?

Does your “day role” ever create conflict over your voice during the “rest of your day”?  How does that affect your voice?




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

#SOL17: Beginnings


Beginnings:

I’ve had a few. (Especially on this post today with technology gremlins!)

More than 50 “First Days of School” as a student, teacher, principal, or literacy consultant.

As a Mom, so many firsts, so much joy, pride and love.

As a Grandma, every visit is an adventure with new accomplishments.

I was in search of song lyrics and found these “Top 10″ but they didn’t include the melody that was bouncing in my brain.  Was it a real song or a “#wanttobeasongIthoughtIknew”?

“Where do I begin to tell the story?”

With two parts to my new “Beginnings”, life will be busy.  The first is going to focus on

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No Eye Roll.

No, “Duh!”

No, “Really, Fran, is this just another excuse to read more books?  Buy more books?

This acronym is complicated!

R-Readers,

E- Everywhere, Taking

A-Action,

D-Daring to Dream

 

My Plan

As I’ve refined my thinking and yes, my writing in the last few weeks, I have faced many surprises. One of the biggest was that I was going to continue to focus on being a reader. The reality is that I’ve been reading for a very long time because I was reading before kindergarten. Yet, I propose to pay more attention to the craft I encounter in daily reading in order to continue my exponential growth as a writer. I don’t have reading or writing notebooks that cover decades of ideas.  Instead, I have bits, fits and dozens of beginnings where I waste precious time falling down rabbit holes as I try to remember where I wrote something. I have now made the conscious decision to move to an electronic notebook. I believe attainment of the bigger goal of being “Writers Extraordinaire” means that we all must be thinking “wide-awake readers” as we construct the meaning behind the words, pictures, videos and texts of the present and the future. Reading as a writer is SO different from the way I used to devour texts.

Reading (and Writing) is not just a school task.  Literacy requires life-long learning. Readers need to continue to choose to read long after they walk out of a school building, video conference or job site.  More careful attention to the world around us will result in a more informed citizenry everywhere in the world – not just in the U.S. With every technological advance the world shrinks and we need to stay connected with our colleagues around the globe to continue to grow as literate citizens of the world.

Joy surrounds us when we are “lost” in the pages of a book.  But even beyond the pleasure of exploring new worlds is the responsibility to think critically and consider sources, biases and points of view.  Thinking often demands taking action – both a right and a responsibility to apply our literacy skills.

As I work on this plan, I am “Daring to Dream” and using my #olw “Brave” to dream big for everyone everywhere.  I don’t know exactly what I will be doing myself but my goal will be to empower others on this journey as I continue to promote literacy for all citizens everywhere.  Current possibilities include:  more writing, adopting a classroom, and always more work with writing.




(Revision Note:  There were so many possibilities for this acronym.  Perhaps you prefer other word choices that better fit you . . .

R – Reflective, Reflection, Responsibility

E – Empower, Empowering, Encouragement

A – All,  Access, Actionable

D – Dare, Dream, Do, Denial)




The second part of my “Beginnings” is focused on Retirement.  August was bittersweet this year when I did not return to a classroom or to professional development in a building.  But I’m looking forward to exploring the opportunities listed in the acronym below (plus “Grandma activities”) that arrived on a retirement card last week. While not the same 8-4 schedule, I will be returning to independent literacy consulting work later this fall and I’m excited for the adventures that await!

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What are your new beginnings?

What new chapters of your life are you exploring?

Where are your literacy journeys taking you?




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

 

 

#SOL17: August


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What’s your future?

Lazy days of summer continuing?

Shear panic as school soon starts?

Last days of vacation?

A room to assemble?

Weeks to go?

Days?  Hours?  Minutes?

According to Your Students:

Is school their safe place?

Is school a friendly place?

Is school a kind place?

Who is welcomed?  Who is not?

Who are the heroes?  Who is not?

What do we read?

What do we write?

Whose interests are included?

Whose ideas are reflected?

Who matters?  

Will you bravely include ALL?  




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

August #TCRWP Reading: Day 1


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Monday arrives with rain and yet the fire in my brain flames on . . .

Lucy Calkins keynote . . .

Laughter with Natalie Louis . . .

Learning with Kelly Boland Hohne

Illumination with Cornelius Minor

Such was the Monday in my life!

Today’s post is a recap of information from Cornelius Minor from his closing session: “Using Digital Tools to Offer Access to Students with IEPs”

Access for all Kids – Why is Access Important?  (AKA “Research to Weaponize”) 

  •        UdL – more inclusive
  •        On heels of Civil Rights
  •        Architects – ADA compliant – door width, door knob  (designed from inception)
  •        Knowledge of the three networks that access the brain:
    • Recognition (input – see, hear, perceive);
    • Strategic (executive functioning); and
    • Attitude (and feelings about teacher and learning)

 

Here is a chart I developed to organize some of the information shared by Cornelius.

                                                             What is the main thing?  
Skills Instruction
Vocabulary

Alfred Tatum – Teaching Reading to Adolescent Black Boys  (Chicago) (EL)
Start with verbs – most common  (not ameliorate)  to speak, to move, to think

Build on strengths!

Synonyms:  Ponder, saunter, exclaim – derivatives of most common words.

Camera  saunter A , B photographer

Video ponder B, A videographer

Develop criteria together.

Make pic for word wall – Use students in the class

Social – Doing and Talking

Fluency

The sound of my voice when I am reading text I care about.  (have to like my audience as well as my text)

Teen ink  is a source

“The day I met you was a bad hair day”

Need texts that are worthy of practice.

“Going to play Simon says. You are going to read the poem like I do!”

3 different emotions:

  1. “You just ate the last Dorito” and I wanted it
  2. “Cutest baby” – change voice to match your meaning
  3. Accused, but didn’t throw paper ball!

   Annotate text for emotion

Specific Chrome Tools

  • Announcify
  • Read and Write for google
  • Ginger – grammar checker
  • Google dictionary – define and save
  • Text compactor – summary
Have 3 or 4 that are extremely effective.

More is NOT better.

Can also change readability

Effort

Behavior mirror

Transfer – Use contexts that are familiar – Audio / Video – Students use daily!

Do what the leader does!  SELL it!

Effort lives in our methodology.

What was something tried and true?  

What was new?  

What will you do next?




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

August #TCRWP Reading & Celebration


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Published Blog Posts as of 08/06/17

What a milestone to celebrate!  500 blog posts.  Little did I imagine that!

And today marks the beginning of the 2017 August #TCRWP Reading Institute!  I’m looking forward to the the opening keynote by Lucy Calkins and then sessions with Natalie and Kelly all week!

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This would be a great week to follow #TCRWP on Twitter!  Great learning ahead!

What’s on your learning agenda for this week?

 

#DigiLitSunday: Stamina


 

Last August, the most difficult day of our trip to Rome was the very first day because it was not a typical day of just 24 hours.  We traveled on the plane overnight.  The perfect opportunity to rest.  Yes, restful, if you were used to traveling like a sardine.  Space between seats was extremely limited when reclined as most passengers were so inclined.  At the airport it was “Hurry Up and Wait” to get baggage collected and through customs.  And then the rain. All.Day.Long! The bus was always parked “just a little ways away” on this day where we had three stops scheduled but yet no “sense of the flow of travel or the schedule” on a bus with 50+ new best travel friends. Our sleep cycles disrupted, dining on new schedules, and walking, walking, walking.  On this day we discovered that the “step” measurements by my siblings were not the same; however, they agreed, we walked over ten miles.  Several of us had to call on every last fraction of an ounce of our stamina just to crawl into our hotel rooms.  Our energy had ebbed with the waning hours, the uncertain schedule and the never ending first day of travel.

I tell that story because any new adventure brings a bit of angst.  Last Monday was the first day of the August #TCRWP Writing Institute which began with a stirring keynote by Lucy Calkins for 1300 attendees, large group sections, simultaneous lunch schedule for all, small group sections and closing sections.  Content may have been familiar or unfamiliar, but the intensity of the schedule both physically and mentally could also make one question one’s personal stamina.

YET have high expectations.Stamina:

Synonyms include “endurance, staying power, fortitude, strength,toughnessdeterminationtenacityperseverancegrit”

Although it’s August, there are many stages of “school life” across the country:  students who have been in session for over a week, those who are returning this week, those that return in the looming weeks of August, and of course those who don’t return until after Labor Day in September.

Is back to school “stamina” a teacher issue?  A student issue? Both?

Already, I can hear the voices . . .”My kids can’t sit still that long.”  “I can only start with five minutes.”  “I’ll be lucky if they are able to sit for two minutes.”

It’s not about torture and being mean. Be realistic. 

YET have high expectations!

Plan for your situation!  And be purposeful!

Reading Workshop

Begins Day One.

Reading.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1.  Plan for some book exploration.  Think about a soft start.  Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

It’s not about cutesy perfectly organized classroom libraries.

It may be about having students organize the library

as they review the books.

Do you have a book bin of “Favorite Treasures from Years Past”?

It may be that the students have book baggies

that were filled at the end of the last school year.

It may be that you create book baggies for your students . . .

ready and waiting for eager hands to cherish! 

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

What series of “work” will you begin on Day 1 in order to build stamina?

Writing Workshop

Begins Day One.

Writing.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1.  Plan for some small “bits of writing”.  Think about a soft start.  Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

No rushing off to buy “The First 20 Days” .

No “cutesy” worksheet of “interests to fill in.

Writing Units of Study are written to begin on Day 1.

If you change the order, read the first bend of book 1.

What habits do you need to build?

What writing of your own will you share?

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

What series of mini-lessons might you use across the day to build stamina?

Read Aloud

Begins Day One.

READ ALOUD.Happens.EVERY.Day.

NO.EXCUSES!

If it’s a “Non-negotiable”, plan for how it will go on Day 1. Think about how your respect for your students, their time and their year will be evident in all that you say AND all that you do!

What book?

When?

Where?

So many decisions?

When is it a physical challenge?

When is it a mental challenge?

How do we merge the two challenges?

How will your Read Alouds progress so that your students 

will be independently sharing THEIR OWN Read Alouds by the end of this year?

What are your classroom non-negotiables?  

How will you build your stamina?  

How will you help your class build stamina?  

What’s your plan?

 

 

August #TCRWP Writing: Day 5


Screenshot 2017-08-04 at 3.05.20 PM.pngWhat a blast!  So much learning!  So many new friends!  So much talent!  AAAAAAMMMMMAAAAZZZZIIIIINNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!

I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of having a “split” schedule during the 2017 August Writing Institute so I was learning from Shana Frazin (grades 3-8 emphasis) in the mornings and Shanna Schwartz (K-2 emphasis) in the afternoons.  The content aligned a lot but the stars were in perfect alignment on Friday when a chunk of time in both sections was focused on editing!

Editing can become a “hot button” topic pretty quickly as many teachers have strong beliefs around the fact that “kids need to write in complete sentences” AKA “Kids need to write in complete sentences with capital letters at the beginning and terminal punctuation.”  Capital letters (K) and ending punctuation (1) are in the learning progressions and are a part of instruction.  This post is not going to hypothesize about why those skills/strategies/habits don’t appear to transfer across genres or grades and why students in MS and beyond don’t seem to “use” what they have been taught.  That’s a great conversation to pair with adult beverages face-to-face!

Editing:  What’s Working?  What’s Not Working?

There are so many components to “editing”:  spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization that blanket statements about the effectiveness of instruction are difficult to accurately tease out.  In general the research has been clear that the effects of isolated drill in traditional grammar instruction has had negative effects on improving the quality of writing. (Steve Graham)

So what can we use?  Try?  Test out in our own classrooms?

One FUN method used by this author is editing sticks and you can read more about those  clear sticks here.  Students can work on the MEANING, or purpose for punctuation, as well as explore how the meaning changes with these editing sticks.

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Shana Frazin proposed editing stations and even demonstrated small group instruction to work on editing skills around commas.  The students in the group used “checklist strips” straight from the WUoS to determine whether they had commas in their current piece of writing, and then they checked their comma use against the purposes for using commas in the information writing unit. If they didn’t use commas, they were then adding commas into their continued writing during that small group work.

Because “run-on sentences” are listed for fifth grade in the progressions,  I chose to use 5th grade as a target grade level to tackle the “I can fix run-on sentences” from the editing checklist.

Here’s the task card I drafted:

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Some practice sentences:

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Here’s one tool (idea from Shana Frazin):

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Ending punctuation flip book

Here’s a second student tool ( 3 x 5 post-it matching the task card):

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This still feels “Drafty-Drafty” as it shows two types of run-on sentences from student work.  Run-on sentences with zero conjunctions.  Run-on sentences with too many conjunctions or “Scotch Tape Words”.  The easiest way to develop a task card or tool would be to check the full range of WUoS and see what work is already built into the units around run-on sentences.  That “go to” response could save hours of angst and searching for solutions outside the resources!

 (Unfortunately I did NOT have the entire set of books in my dorm room in NYC to peruse!)




Here’s what I heard Shanna Schwartz say in our K-2 session:

“Light editing could occur during every writing workshop session in second grade.”

This is not about being mean and telling students they have to “FIX” their writing every day before they can write anything else.  This is not about REQUIRING students to EDIT every session.

This is one idea.  This is one way that editing might go in order to build up habits that lead to being a stronger, more confident writer.

PLAN:  “Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today.  I want you to read back over it and look for ‘x”.  I am going to set the timer for one minute.  Read back over your writing for one minute and then you may continue writing.”

Parsing / Processing (What did I see and hear?):

  • Light editing – 1 minute required
  • It’s a short break with a minimal disruption to the writing flow but yet it underscores the importance of YOU, the author, rereading your work in order to fix this one thing.”
  • Respectful – “second grade writers”
  • Time limited – 1 minute. Could extend a bit longer if the student is really “fixing  something.  But if it interferes with writing production, that will create a different issue during writing workshop sessions.

What might these skills be?

  1. Something that has previously been taught.
  2. Something that has previously been assessed.
  3. Something from earlier grade level progressions.
  4. Something that is a necessary foundation skill.
  5. Something that is not sticking for the majority of the class so the first use of editing minutes will be whole class.

Possibilities:

“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today.  I want you to read back over it and check for capital letters at the beginning of every sentence . . . ” (Set the timer for one minute.) (K)

or

“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today.  I want you to read back over it and check that you have put punctuation ( .  !  ? ) at the end of your sentences.  Reread and check . .  .  ” (Set the timer for one minute.) (1st)

or

“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break.  Choose three words from the word wall. Look at the writing that you have done today.  I want you to read back over it and check your writing to make sure that you have spelled those three words correctly . . . ” (Set the timer for one minute.)

or

“Second grade writers, it’s time for our editing break. Look at the writing that you have done today.  We have been working with word endings in word study.  Read back over your writing and check your words for the endings “er”, “ed”, and/or “ing and make sure those endings are spelled correctly . . .  ” (Set the timer for one minute.)

How many editing goals?

I would hope and Shanna suggested that students would have ONE editing goal at a time.  The student needs to work on this targeted goal until he/she is able to complete it independently.  Practice is definitely required before strategies will become a habit. That’s why this skill needs to be practiced multiple times in order for the student to be able to complete it!

The more visible you can make the editing goal the better! You will be watching for this goal during conferences, small group instruction and in the student’s independent work.  Once you see a “body of evidence”  you will move this goal to the Accomplishment Board where the post it / goal card goes in the pocket by student name like the one posted below.

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Accomplishments Class Board

How are you currently “teaching” editing in the Writing Units of Study?  

What might you strengthen?

What might you add?  

WHY?

 

 

 

August #TCRWP Writing: Day 4


tc columbia

#TCRWP

Hallowed Halls of Learning,

Ivy League Halls of Learning,

1300 Learners

This Week

Here

There,

Laughter,

Tears,

Learning

and then a Focus for Me.




Closing Choice Workshop:

Supporting Kids with IEPs

Creating an Environment, a Schedule, and Plans that

Accommodate All Your Learners 

by Val Geschwind

As we began, Val encouraged us to think of one child.  One child to be at the center of our thinking in every consideration for the environment, the schedule and the plans.  Just one child.  I always loved when Heidi Hayes Jacob did this.  So powerful!

So here he is:

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What about the Environment for this guy?

The depth of Val’s planning blew me away.

And remember that I come from the field of special education.

It was my life for many, many, many years.

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Self- Monitoring

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Partnerships

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Talk

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Physical

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Support Risk-Taking

Val shared her thinking as well as explanations for each of these slides in her presentation.  The pictures truly added to my understanding, but the pictures were not the main focus.  Our focus was on the child at the center of our attention.  Were his/her socio-emotional needs met? Physical needs?  And what about supporting Risk-Taking?

How is that one child doing? Do you know if that child is “learning”?  What evidence do you use?

There’s a paradox here because writing is one area where many might propose that a child with very specific needs  as identified by IEP goals must receive a different kind of writing workshop.  That view is often focused on a very narrow subset of constrained skills that includes letter naming and recognition, drill on letter formation, and other worksh*ts (a totally out of context reference by Lucy Calkins in her opening keynote on July 31 to the materials that some students use during writing time). However, in the context of “All students are general education students FIRST”, they must receive differentiated instruction in the classroom writing workshop FIRST.

WHY?

Because as Lanny Ball wrote so eloquently this week for the “Fundamentals of Writing Workshop” series, it is all about Time, Choice, Response, and Community and Cambourne’s Conditions of Learning: Immersion, Demonstrations, Expectations, Responsibility, Approximation, Practice, and Response. (TWT, August 1, 2017, here)  Aren’t those the things you want for your “one child” above?

Is every child successful in Writing Workshop?

Not necessarily.  But are writers in Writing Workshop classes achieving at higher levels than other classrooms? Are the students able to write independently?  Do they CHOOSE to write?  What does the data say?  What does their instruction say?

How are you measuring “Success” in Writing?

What environmental issues would you add to Val’s list?

August #TCRWP Writing: Day 3


One goal of writing workshop may be to have independent and confident writers who can and do share their writing with the world.

Any one in the “reader-sphere” gulping just a little at that?  Big, Bold, Audacious Goal!  Dream Big!

So how do we REALLY set students (or even adults) up to be Independent?  Some might argue that this means that a teacher needs MORE control over a student’s writing so that the path is quick, controlled and successful.  But how does that student learn to handle trouble?  Work through adversity?  Persevere?  Does that student ONLY turn to outside sources for validation?

This is a draft.  I repeat, “This is only a draft!” But I’ve seriously been considering this since Monday.  A LOT!

I wanted to write about it yesterday, but I was still thinking!  And so last night with the extra hour BEFORE the #TCRWP Twitter chat LIVE from the dorm across the street from TC, I initiated a simultaneous phone conference google doc with a writing colleague.

Testing the waters.

And yes, only a draft for the third time.

Many of us love partners for student work.  And we have our own partners. Partners in life. Partners in marriage.  Work partners. Writing partners. Reading partners. Thinking partners.

How do we set those up . . . in the beginning.

This idea . . . I heard it, we tried it out in our section and it “felt good”, I read some more about it here, and then I tried it FOR REAL again!

Courtesy of Shana Frazin and Katy Wischow:  Open Conferring Notes

 “Open notes conferring could be a path to greater independence, more engagement, and stronger connections between us and our thoughtful, fascinating readers.”                    – Katy Wischow, June 12, 2015, ‘Turn and Talk About”.

Don’t panic!  Open Conferring Notes are not notes left with the student.  They are notes the teacher takes (his/her accountability) and shares with the student so that the student can SEE that his/her voice is heard.  Students participate in conferences differently with Open Conferring Notes because it is more of a partnership than just a turn-taking typical conference.

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 6.42.30 AM

The notes are simple 2 columns.  “I noticed” heads the first column and “Tips” heads the second column.  Writing notes as an adult to share with a student DOES feel clunky at first but the notes shouldn’t be a secret.  After all, the words were real words out of the student’s mouth.  What felt “clunky” was:

  • How many notes?
  • Which notes to record?
  • Can he read my notes?
  • Did I capture that thought accurately?

I know over-thinking.  Over the top.  But that delicate balance between what is said and what is written and am I OVER recording?  YES!

Why does this matter?

Do you have student partnerships confer?  Do you expect them to tackle this work?

Wouldn’t Open Conferring Notes be the “perfect” scaffold to begin to teach students to “share the conferring note recording pen”?

As the conferee last night for about an hour, I loved this.  It felt good to be simultaneously, yet respectfully turn-taking in our excitement as we practiced “Open Conferring Notes”.

Partners

Conferring

Together

Open Conferring Notes

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 6.41.57 AM

What have you learned, tried out, practiced and investigated further?  

Open Conferring Notes – soon to be used with teachers learning to confer as well!

Thanks for teaching me about Open Conferring Notes, Shana and Katy!

 

 

 

 

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