#SOL17: Memories


memories

Memories

Moments in time

Preserved

Perhaps captured with a camera flash

Or the stroke of a pen.

 

Memories

Moments in time

Experiences shared

As families, as friends, as spectators, as coaches

Preserved

Perhaps a story told

Or laughter shared.

Memories

Moments in time

Voices murmuring

Beckoning here and there

Preserved

Shared out loud

Multiplying our love!


How are you storing up each moment?  

How do you capture that smile, that glance, that word, that memory?


Thank you, dear friends, for all your kinds words, support and love these past few weeks,  There.are.no.words.to.express.the.depth.of.my.appreciation.

thank you pic


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: Procrastination City


Today’s idea and format is borrowed from Liz Garden’s Post “Procrastination Queen” here.

Procrastination City

I should work on my PD presentations.

But let me read one more section of the Writing Strategies.

I should work on my PD presentations.

Oh, is it raining out?

I should work on my PD presentations.

I need to respond to my “Slicers”.

I should work on my PD presentations.

Just one more cup of coffee.

I should work on my PD presentations.

Mya is ready for a walk now.

I should work on my PD presentations.

What’s happening on Twitter now?

I should work on my PD presentations.

Just a quick snack now.

I should work on my PD presentations.

I’ll just check my email quick.

I need to work on my PD presentation for tomorrow.

But . . .


Do you have those times when work is calling and any excuse will pull you away?  

How do you focus?  

What’s your secret?  

How do you teach “Focus” to your students?


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Learning?


 

Screenshot 2017-03-26 at 8.34.52 AM.png

Today’s Topic: A Burning Question

 

 

 

digilit Sunday button

More posts with Margaret Simon here

 

Who is learning and how do we know?

Are the students learning?

How do we know?

What can they tell / show us about what they can do NOW that they could not do before instruction?

Is the learning important enough that the student will use “this” the rest of his/her life (beyond school)?

Am I learning?

How do you know?

You can search my blog for the following topics and see my learning:

TCRWP

NCTE

ILA

Shouldn’t our learning be public?  

Shouldn’t we have multiple pieces of evidence about our learning?

(Hint:  It does not have to be a number.)  

How are you sharing your learning?

What is your “Burning Question”?


Learning a new device has kept this post brief, but I conquered “Where do downloads go on a chromebook?”, inserted a picture, and posted it all with this new chromebook!


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: A Box


Brown cardboard box.

Inside the front door.

Big enough?

Ah, small package in front.

Another book.

Not unusual.

The bigger box?

4 x 18 x 12

IS IT?

My arms are full.

Mya wants in.

The ground is wet from the steady rain.

What do I do?

The Amazon delivery at my door?

The bags in my hand?

Major decision.

I want to rip the box open.

I need to set other bags down.

Is it possible to handle all simultaneously?

Nope.  Only two hands!

Push the door open, set down bags in hands inside the door, pick up Amazon items, carry in, and open, ooh and ah, YES!, open, open, open, plug in, wait,

NOT PATIENTLY WAIT,

MUST WAIT . . . .


This morning,

Joyfully,

With occasional twinges of anxiety-

All that newness,

Crafting my post

On my new chromebook plus.

Bells and whistles not understood

But adjusting to the new keyboard

A new “touch feeling”

A new sound to my fingers pressing the keys

More of a thud.

Not a click, click, click.

Celebrating double clicks.

A new language on the tool bar.

Learning

AGAIN!

chromebook-plus-open-pen_675403

learn more about chromebook plus here

How do you merge anticipation and reality?

How do you learn new things?  

Just dive in OR read all the materials first?

What are you looking for in your next NEW device?



Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: Math Homework


math brain.jpg

I can do math.

It’s not my first choice.

Give me a book.

Let me write,

let me deliver a speech or two,

Just let me choose!

It’s not that math’s hard.

But because it’s “One Right Answer”

I fret,

I worry,

I dither,

And I change my mind

Again,

and AGAIN,

and YET AGAIN!

I forgot my lifelines . . .

I could have skype messaged Lynn

or text messaged Katie.

I could have contacted Chad or JJ.

Under pressure

I folded

I contacted THE GOOGLE.

I was checking my great nephew’s 5th grade math.

Confident was I

After all I had taught fourth grade

And I thought I was successful

Even if it was back before Columbus discovered America!

REALLY, How hard could it be?



Problem Example (No REALpictures – didn’t think of that either!)

math homework five

Something like this block . . . repeated about 50 million times like it had been stamped onto the paper as a block of problems about 30 times.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen something that looks like exponents.  I’m pretty sure that I did not see this in my grade 5 math.

What did I need?

Confirmation of this:

math homework

or even this chart:

math homework two

or even this would have been helpful

math homework three

OR even this (all courtesy of THE GOOGLE!)

math homework four


I was brave.

I researched.

I checked.

I googled again.

Checking my great nephew’s math homework.

Worrying that it would be “WRONG”

When it looked pretty darn “RIGHT”!


After all,

I’m NOT just an AUNT;

I’m the World’s BEST Great Aunt!

math homework six

My confidence wanes

I’d hate for the homework to be counted wrong.

So I ask THE GOOGLE one more time

Then I text my niece and nephew,

“If B’s math is wrong, it would be my fault.  He had me check it.  I used a bit of Google and believe it to be all good.”

His mother replied,

“Excellent. I stopped being able to help him with math in second grade when they switched to the common core.”

Math woes . . .

Literacy is so much easier!

How do you solve problems?

How do you know when your problem solving works?

Who do you ask for help?  

What do you do when you don’t “KNOW something”?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

 

 

#SOL17: My Day By the Numbers


Thanks to Phyllis Sutton at “Keeping the Wonder Alive” for her “My Day By the Numbers” post yesterday that finally led me to my own version.

numbers

My Day By the Numbers

 

my day by the numbers

What numbers do you see in your day?



slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

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early morning slicer

#SOL17: Troubles


Troubles often come in multiples. What number strikes you?

I couldn’t access wordpress so I didn’t know if my post had published as scheduled. Two thirds of the 21 days of slicing have had computer troubles so I knew it was going to be a typical terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

word press security

When I finally accessed wordpress, I saw my post was published so I linked up to the “Call for Slices”.  For some strange reason, I decided to check the posting and I discovered that an earlier draft had published on my work laptop . . . the computer I had abandoned because it was soooooooooo sssslllllloooooooowwwwwwwwww! That was NOT the final version so I quickly edited the published slice and updated it because I knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

troubles one

I went to start my car and the low tire light came on.  I backed the car up to the garage but the air compressor would not turn on so even though I found the little emergency air compressor in my car and did get it aired up –  I knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

troubles two

Tire finally aired up and then my phone rang.  A call I had to take because the first ten minutes from my house have no signal . . . hills, dips, and bridges – as I answered the phone I knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

troubles three

After I finished my phone call, airing up my tire, editing my post, and checking wordpress, I sat down and had another cup of coffee.  This was not the day to leave in the dark, hit a deer and make a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day EVEN WORSE!

Calm, cool, collected . . . and caffeinated after two cups of coffee, I left for the day.

Safe.

Sound.

Done with the annoyance and the aggravation.

Ready for the rest of the day to proceed as positively as possible. Ready for any and all learning opportunities.  After all, I had already solved MANY problems!

problems five

How do you handle your troubles?  

How do your students handle their troubles?  

How do we persevere in the face of adversity?  

How do we define adversity?



slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

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#SOL17: My Favorite Five


Joining Leigh Anne and Terje’s Favorite Five Party

What would I bring?

Here is what I would bring to share with all of you:

  1. Chuck Berry’s Top 10 Songs because a party has to have good music.  link
  2. A “make your own s’mores” snack that includes something healthy, something fun, and something sinfully chocolate because a party needs to meet the food needs of lots of folks and you can create the one that matches YOU!
  3. My laptop, my iPad, paper and flair pens for everyone in a variety of colors so everyone can write/create while at the party.
  4. Space in my heart to create new memories because that’s what friends do!
  5. Comfy shoes because my toes like to be comfortable when I dance around from here to there and sometimes with the music.

 


slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

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early morning slicer

#SOL17: Teacher Student Promises


I can’t get these two pictures out of my mind.  They came from a MS presentation at #TCRWP Saturday Reunion.

expectations.jpg

expectations for students.jpg

How do these expectations offer VOICE and CHOICE to students?  

How do these expectations help promote student independence?  

Who is doing the work?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

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#SOL17 – #DigiLitSunday – Innovation


innovation 3.19.17 digilit Sunday

Link to #DigiLitSunday posts at Margaret Simon’s blog.

Innovation

Not merely regurgitation

Not just analyzing

But moving on to . . . dare I risk it?  . . . innovation?

By reassembling ideas

Through some thoughtful reflection

Should I attempt it?

If you read my found poem yesterday here, you know that I did not attend the 92nd Saturday Reunion sponsored by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  But I did follow along in the TwitterVerse and even collected my re-tweets here in storify.  There are about 150 Tweets there if you want to see some of the quotes, ideas, and Tweets that caught my attention.

In the interest of accuracy, this is NOT my first reporting on LEARNING when I was NOT at the conference.

My Previous Learning Via Twitter instead of In Real Life

Teachers need to have many layers of skills and knowledge.  They need to be EXPERTS with their content skills and strategies (Knowledge Base – the what), pedagogy (how to teach in an interesting and engaging way), design (why and how certain aspects of environment, technology, and instruction overlap) and in student development (to understand the faces/bodies in front of them each day). Which of those gets precedence on any given day?

IT DEPENDS!

As a teacher, it’s important for you to know and understand the skills, strategies of the standards and curricula as well as your goals for your grade level so the learning targets are crystal clear.  Communication skills must be honed so that students clearly understand the purposes of today’s work and the connections that build every day to meet those end goals.  However all of these are totally influenced by teacher beliefs and expectations.  The teacher has to believe that ALL students can learn and learn at high levels.  And what is it that they must learn?

Learning and school CANNOT be about preparation for the next grade. Grade levels assigned by century old arbitrary calendar years are not working for students.  The goal in every classroom must be to prepare the students to be productive and independent citizens of the world.  So that means no more points taken off for papers turned in a day late (where does that REALLY happen in the real world?), and that students need more VOICE and CHOICE in the work that is done in classrooms on a regular basis. And they also need to be risk takers, entrepreneurs, brave, empathetic,  and . . .

“Wow, Fran, I was at #TCRWP and I didn’t hear any of that?”

My Take Aways from #TCRWP by Twitter:

  1.  What do you value?  How do we know?                                                                                      Set clear expectations for your students. Share your expectations for the students with them and then share what they can expect from the teacher. Here is one example from a reading teacher.  Source:  photo and tweet by Jane Losinger

    portfolio expectations                                                                               Why does this matter?  

    This is NOT the same as My Job/Your Job.  These statements share/show what you, the teacher value as a promise to the students. When I see these statements in your classroom or on your class website, I know how you will make decisions about time, resources, and even daily instruction. I can also make predictions about what I think your classroom will look like based on what you say you value!  Bonus:  This maters because of this Hattie result:

t-s-relationships

2.  Be excited, passionate, enthusiastic EVERY minute of EVERY day!

Who knows when or which connection will work for a student?  If it’s boring for you, it may also be boring for your students.  You don’t have to be an entertainer and an expert at “song and dance routines”.  But you do need to be reflective and consider your impact on your students.  Ask yourself, “Would I REALLY want to be a student in this class?”  Source:  Keynote Address – Tweet by Mike Ochs

      “Come to work every day like it’s your first day”—Drew Dudley

Why does this matter?

The first day of a new job is filled with excitement and wonder.  Share that wonder ALL the time with your students! The students deserve your very best every minute.  There really is no time in the schedule for “do overs” so make every minute count the first time. But also focus on how each student can be a future leader.  Leaders are kind. Leaders are caring. Leaders are compassionate. Teach for long-term transfer.  Know your class well so you can make wise, well-informed decisions that fuel your students’ passions and excitement.

3.  Make the learning work visible and therefore attainable for students.  

Make sure that you have a depth of knowledge about your content so that you truly understand what students need to do for the next increment of learning.  That deep understanding is your own scaffold that you can later remove when students are successful.  Tools that can help students reach for the sky and all those lofty expectations are critical. Source:  Katie Clements tweet

@missalissanyc shares an awesome progression to help Grade 3 mystery readers lift the level of their prediction work.#tcrwp”

progression for gr 3 mystery reader predictions missalissanyc.jpg

Why does this matter?

Students need to have clear learning targets in order to meet them.  They can’t be secrets. They can’t be moving targets.  Clear. Attainable. Clearly defined for self assessment because then students can figure out exactly how to improve their work in order to meet the criteria. Predictions seem like a fairly easy skill but they don’t occur in isolation and need a cycle of predicting, reading/watching/viewing, considering the degree to which the prediction was met, re-predicting (rinse and repeat) with those elements based on both explicit text references and implicit or inferred responses to the text! And to top it off a student needs to be predicting while collecting evidence to help grow other theories.  Reading is COMPLICATED and does not happen one individual skill at a time!

And this bonus from Hattie:

20160930_091010

4. Readers and Writers must be thinkers.

In your adult life are you really expected to be a “fact regurgitator”? Or are you expected to be a problem solver? A creative thinker?  Source:  Tweets from Mary Ehrenworth’s presentation.

“We are not looking for your first thinking, we are looking for your best thinking.”
Create reading notebook pages that open up thinking and develop thinking not tell what you already know.”

Why does this matter?

Thinking in life is not optional.  The twenty first century is leaving the adults in the dust and we REALLY have no clue what jobs will be available for our kiddos when they graduate from school and move into the work force.  We need to stop pretending that we have any real ideas and instead support students to make choices now.  Students need a lot of practice in making decisions and being successful as well as making decisions and FAILING.  That really is part of life.  How we respond in the face of adversity is a true sign of our character.  Let’s support students to be more cognizant of their own need to self-advocate for time, resources, and choices to increase their own learning NOW!

5. Circling back around to values – How are you going to put them into action?

What is your plan?  Where will you start?  What will you do?  “Talk is cheap.” Time is precious! How do you make your actions match your “Professed Values”? Source:  Mr. Minor tweeted by Julie Jee

vision to action.jpg

Why does it matter?

Without specific actions, what will change?  Keep it simple and doable.  Don’t make it another form to be filled out and submitted to the accountability committee for leadership committee for change.  Make it a focus for face to face conversations.  Build a plan with someone else to increase your own accountability!

Ultimately . . .

I am ending with my thoughts after reading many of the quotes from Lucy Calkin’s closing.  I’ve been there. Inspired. Mesmerized. Prepped for action. Ready to conquer the world.  Ready to slay dragons after a day at a Saturday Reunion. And yet I can also imagine the tears shed for our beloved friend, Kathleen Tolan.

Choose something.

Something you believe in.

Support it.  

Work for change.  

The Democracy in your classroom and in the world still needs your voice and the voice of your students who will inhabit this earth for many years to come!

Where will you begin?

Values?

Actions?

How will we know you are using your gift of learning?

gift


Innovation = My application of doing new things as a result of what I thought/believed I heard today in my #tcrwp Twitter Feed.

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

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