#DigiLitSunday: Summer Slide


summer slidedigilit-button

Is this your belief?  

For your students?  

For yourself?  

How would we know?

What is summer slide?

Summer slide reports what students lose over the summer if they don’t read or write.  Reading and writing over the summer can promote growth for students.  But is that growth equitable?  Does it work for all students?  How much do they need to read and write?  Renown educator and researcher Richard Allington addresses this issue in School Library Journal here.

WRITING

There isn’t a lot of research about summer slide and writing.  Graduate students might want to consider that for an action research project.  What is the effect of “not writing” for a student after they write daily for 180 days?  How could we measure that? This may just be a cartoon but think about this from a student perspective for just a minute.

summer slide three

READING

There are many different infographics outlining summer slide. Which one will motivate you to action?

summer slide repeat.JPG

summer slide info.JPG

What can teachers and parents do?  Ask questions!

Writing:

Decorate new journals

Wonder logs for the summer

Writing stories with your child

Make a summer writing heart map of ideas to write about

Continue blogging – slice of life/ kidblog

Keep Learning Going Through the Summer series – #TWTBlog

Student or Adult Writing Partners

Reading:

Brain Chase

TBR Lists – (To Be Read)

Establish Reading Partnerships for conversations about the book

Set personal reading goals

Start a series (or two)

5 Apps for Summer Learning (not all are free)

summer slide four

How will you share this information with your students and their families?

summer slide five

 How will YOU continue your own learning over the summer?  

What professional book will you read?  

What book study will you join?

How will you model that “love of learning”?

summer slide six

#SOL17: Thanks!!!


thanks

Every day is a day to cherish and give thanks!

Thanks for the guidance

And for NOT saying, “I told you so!”

Thanks for being there . . .

When I had questions

Thanks for modeling grace

In times of trouble

Thanks for listening

To what I didn’t say as well as the words.

Thanks for loving books

And allowing me to bury my nose in books.

When this arises . . .

mom

I wonder . . .

What would Mom say or do?

Sometimes I don’t listen so well to that inner voice

And I think there might be a different, better way

But often I find that

Mom was right.

Each sunrise brings me joy, thanks to you.

Each time we talk is joyful, thanks to you.

Degrees I have four, thanks to you,

I can be brave, thanks to your example.

Every breath I take, I give thanks to you.

This week, I wish you joy, love and peace!

happy mothers day

This day was meant for YOU!

20170505_055722




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

Just found this AGAIN.  Here’s my “placeholder” . . . real moms!

cartoon

#DigiLitSunday: Wonder


What is left to accomplish at school?

Building stamina as a reader:

Reading Volume

Reading Choice

Joy Reading

Talk about Reading

Writing About Reading

Building stamina as a writer:

Writing Volume

Writing Choice

Joy Writing

Talk about Writing

Writing About Reading

Why is stamina important at the end of the year?

Stamina in both reading and writing is one way to counteract the “summer slide”. Reading and writing are NOT just “something to do” at school.  Reading and writing are both tools for living and need to be a part of everyone’s life . . . every day.  We need to find and celebrate the richness and relevancy that reading and writing bring to our “everyday” lives!

Important Wonderings:  

How much reading should students do in the summer?  

How much writing should students do in the summer?  

How much “talk” should students do in the summer?

 Is “talk” equally as important as writing about learning?

Encouragement, Advice, and Plans for Students for the rest of this year . . .

  1.  Build TBR plans
  2.  Build monthly Literacy action/Bingo Boards (Writing Bingo Board from TWT) or the Wonder Board below where students generate their own questions to answer
  3.  Schedule school library “open” days
  4.  Coordinate literacy events with the public library
  5.  Continue Family Literacy events

wonder board

What are your wonders?


Check out Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche for more posts about “Wonder”.

digilit-button

 

#CelebrateLu: Reprise


The sun is shining. The temp is in the 60’s and rising. What a fabulous weather report that takes me back to my farming roots! It’s spring and I’m thinking of home (after a writing workshop last Saturday)!

And yet . . .

Spring is a time to celebrate . . .

rebirth  as plants nudge their way through the ground cover

life as baby animals appear with their families

longer days of leaving home in the daylight and still having daylight on the return at the end of the day

end of the year activities . . . concerts, track events, music contests

And all those dreaded LASTS . . .

The last time the seniors . . .  before they graduate

The last time the juniors . . . before they move to the senior world

And so on . . .

But today I celebrate last Sunday’s reprise . . .

All seven of us who went to Rome . . .

Together . . . plus a few more!!!

“We set off on a journey to Rome, yes a religious trip, but also a trip to the heart of civilization.  This is a city of 300 churches with 200 more in the suburbs.  It’s a city of many diverse nationalities and personalities.  It was a pleasure to be in a group of seven . . .

Mom

Brother

Sister

Brother

Uncle

Aunt

within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).”   “SOL16:  Travel Trivia”

Other posts about Rome are here, here, here, here, and here with this one quick photo from O’Hare before our international departure.

2016-08-30-13-54-06

and here we were again . . .

But this time in Iowa

A band concert

Taking advantage of time together

Eight months later to gather for a celebratory meal (Leo & Shirley’s upcoming 9th anniversary)

And a high school band concert directed by a son / grandson / nephew/ husband / father   . . .

Central DeWitt:  Sunday, April 30, 2017

Copy of 20170430_190022.jpg

band program

band zero

band one

band three

band four

And always, one of the fans in the seats!

concert

Home can be family.

Home may not be one specific physical place.

Where do you celebrate and call home?




celebratelu.jpg

Check out for celebrations at the link with Ruth!

#SOL17: My Brother


farm

There’s something about a farm and a farmer.  A sense of resiliency.  A sense of pride.  A sense of worth at the end of the day.

The end of the day for my older brother was last Tuesday.  The corn was in the ground.  He laid down to rest.

And our hearts are broken again.

He’s with dad.

He’s with our brother Joe.

He’s with nephew Joe and his wife Ashley.

He’s with our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

No doubt, encouraging them to think of his view.  His stories. His love of family.

But our hearts are broken again.

We didn’t have the chance to say goodbye out loud to him.

We didn’t get to talk one last time.

It’s been a tough year.

An aunt,

An uncle,

My godfather (also an uncle)

My nephew

My nephew’s wife

And now my brother.

And our hearts are broken again.

Thank you, my friends, for your love and support.

Thank you, my friends and co-workers for your kind words and offers of assistance.

Thank you again, dear Lynn (and Bruce), for trekking across the state (and do remember that we take TREKS seriously in the town of Riverside).

A salute to farmers everywhere.  The salt of the earth.

The Life of a Farmer

Jim

Our stories are many:

Growing up . . . In a family of six kids

Birth order, #2 in the family, BUT the oldest boy

Sharing a bedroom with 2 sisters on one side of the wall and another brother on the boys side

Chores:  milking cows, raising pigs, feeding chickens, planting potatoes, watering small foot high evergreen trees one bucket at a time  . . .

Remembering . . . About age 8, ONLY getting one half of a hamburger when Grandma Ruth took the kids to MacDonalds

In 1970 working ALL the time on the new house and then being chief worker on tearing down the old house

Being 16 when the Mareks got a color TV . . . and the weekend shows were Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan

Chopping up Fran’s knee instead of the cockleburrs in the bean field

Being in the Washington HS Jazz Band when it went to Switzerland

Playing chauffeur and playing Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out for Summer” for his younger brother on the ride to school

Paying his sister $2.00 at least twice a year to wash and wax the outside of his car

Playing ball out by the barn with our double first cousins

Roller skating on the cement in front of the machine shed, hopping the pipe, and completing the skating circle inside

As a prankster:  “Pass the green beans” at dinner to Frank (and it was really asparagus);

Putting baby powder in the vents of Gerard’s car at his wedding.  That car always smelled like baby powder.

Shaking and bouncing up and down on the suspension bridge at the Royal Gorge; and

Complaining about his oldest sister’s “pancakes” – EVERY Saturday night  – and a bit flat!

As an uncle . . .

Making sure the kids always had NOISY toys at Christmas.

Telling 3 year old Neel Chary to eat the chocolate kiss out of the peanut butter blossom and put the rest of the cookie back on the tray at Christmas

Telling the Chary boys to pinch off the frosting on Josh and Amanda’s wedding cake because no one would miss it

Promising to give Evan a horse and then forgetting it until the next time he saw Evan (Fran says “Thanks – for real”)

Being a godparent for Jessica Marie

And our hearts are broken again . . .

 




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

#DigiLitSunday: Advocacy


advocacy

Margaret Simon’s tweet announcing this week’s #DigiLitSunday topic was intriguing.  I had seen the link to Cornelius Minor’s new podcast.  Thanks to my Voxer group I also know that it is part of a series of podcasts.  I also know that  Cornelius is a powerful advocate for students and is not afraid to take on difficult topics.  But yet, I’ve not had time to actually dig into advocacy.

In order to begin this post, I had to back up and make sure that I clearly understood what advocacy is so I went to the dictionary and this is what I found.

advocacy defwebsters

So what’s the big idea about advocacy?  Everyone has rights.  If you don’t believe you have been treated fairly, you always have the right to ask about ways to remedy the situation.  Advocacy is important because it is a way for you to access what you are entitled to and have your individual rights upheld.

SO what?

Sometimes in the process of advocating for an issue unintended consequences emerge.  Sometimes it’s in the tone of voice or even a calmly stated, “Now why would you think that?”  A belief that a caring individual would diminish another person’s thoughts or ideas is unfathomable to many, “You must have misunderstood.” Communication is hard.  Precise communication is even harder because it takes time to clearly address issues.

In education, I see two basic advocacy issues that emerge in the world of advocacy.  Teachers as advocates for students.  And the actual teaching so that students can be their own advocates . . .  so they can be advocates for themselves for the rest of their lives.

Teachers as Advocates

What does this mean?  What does this look like?

Empowering students

Providing just what students need . . .

advice

encouragement

a listening ear

Believing that answers lie within the students.

What does this look like in a classroom?

Students have voice and choice in what they read, write, and learn about.  Students have the opportunity to discuss and disagree about what a text (book, story, painting, song, etc.) says and what the deeper meaning really is.  Students can choose to dig into an idea and really STUDY the facets that emerge.

Students do not have arbitrarily 10 page papers assigned.  Students do not have to read whole class books at the same time as everyone else in their class. Students do not have to use “one set format” to respond to the text.

Teachers, who are advocates, make decisions based on the needs of their students. Teachers, who are advocates, see things from a student’s perspective.  Teachers, who are advocates, take a stand for their students.  Teachers, who are advocates, create a positive environment for all the students in the classroom.  Teachers, who are advocates, really take the time to listen to their students.  Teachers, who are advocates, are role models for their students.

What about self-advocacy?

Teachers and supportive classrooms will provide opportunities for students to develop their voices.  Student voices will rise above the clamor.  They will not be silenced.  They will not be shamed. They will be supported as they grow and learn.

Skills:

  • How to disagree without being disagreeable
  • How to consider any action from more than one point of view
  • How to develop one’s own sense of identity
  • How to create checkpoints to maintain a course of action
  • How to develop personal goals including action plans
  • How to develop criteria to evaluate one’s progress in meeting goals
  • How to share learning
  • How to communicate with others
  • How to listen
  • How to play fair
  • How to clean up your own mess
  • How to say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody
  • How to ask for help
  • How to be kind

What are you thinking when you hear the word “advocacy”?

What does it mean for teachers?

 What does it mean for students?

#SOL17: Advice


April is fleeting.  May will soon be here.  How has your year gone?  In retrospect what advice would you give yourself for this year?  What advice do you have for the remainder of this year?

Here is some of my thinking . . .
advice.jpg

First Year Teacher:

  1. Ask for help; don’t twist in the wind when you are stuck! Find someone you can trust to help with day to day questions.  Find someone you can trust to help with instruction/curriculum issues.  (Double bonus if one person fits both.)
  2. Have a Plan A; be ready with Plan B and all the remaining letters in the alphabet!  Plan to learn as you go! Remember that FAIL is First Attempt In Learning and is not permanent.  Learning = growth.  Plan to grow!
  3. Stay out of the drama. Avoid the locations that are filled with drama each day.
  4. Try something new!  Surround yourself with innovative thinkers and doers.  Their creativity and willingness “to do/learn” will be contagious!
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Use transparency as a cloak that surrounds you.  No teacher has ever over-communicated!
  6. Build a PLN!  Locate like-minded individuals for conversations, collaboration and coaching.  
  7. Reflect daily on your learning.  Plan for each day to build upon the day before!
  8. Do what you ask your students to do:  Read and write daily!
  9. When in doubt ask your students; it’s their classroom!
  10. Be professional . . . in your words, actions, and intentions!

Veteran Teacher:

  1. Write out your mission/vision statement.  WHY are you teaching?  Be honest.  Make it personal.
  2. Figure out when and where were the last three times that you laughed with your students about something silly you did.  If it’s not in the last month, you need to lighten up and take yourself less seriously!
  3. Name three things that you have learned this last week from your students.  What have they taught you?  Or reminded you of?
  4. Check your positivity meter.  Do you hang out and learn from positive people?  Change your audience/PLN/cultivate new friendships!
  5. Do you have a growth mindset? What would your fellow teachers say about you?
  6. Be passionate. Love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show!
  7. Find your tribe. It’s always easier to build common understanding collaboratively.  Find a group where you can problem solve, share, read and write together!
  8. Do what you ask your students to do:  Read and write daily! Make the time!
  9. Be a life-long learner! For REAL!  
  10. Practice revision in your life.  Know what it feels like to revise thoughts, plans, and actions.

The waning moments of the school year . . . what advice do you have?  

What would you add?




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

#DigiLitSunday: Fragile Earth


digilit Sunday Fragile Earth

What does the “science” say?

Seattle’s March for Science

New York City

Greenpeace – “9 Reasons to March for Science this Earth Day”

Mobile, AL

Boulder, CO

earth day

Is it really black and white?

What if the Earth Treated us the way we treat the Earth . . .

blog fragile earth

Link to watch the YouTube video here.

How do we know?

Here’s what NASA says and the graph on carbon dioxide emissions should REALLY get your attention!

What sparked global warming?

Burning carbon fuels, cutting down forests, . . .  link

Whatever the cause . . .

THINK . . .

Recycle

Reuse

Clean up after yourself

CELEBRATE . . .

Earth’s beauty

Earth’s mysteries

All living things

CONSERVE . . .

Ask yourself:

Is it really necessary?

Is there another way that is better for the planet?

Another way that is better for fellow mankind?

Am I leaving my “space” on Earth in better shape?

For future generations?

make every day

What’s your plan for Every Day Earth Day?

 

 

 

 

 

#SOL17:  Structure


I had to go back. my fifth time to reread the opening chapter.  This is the first paragraph:

” She stood at the window of the Manhattan apartment, peeking through a slit In the drapes. Her hands trembled.”

I knew the “she” was Gabriela. That was obvious from the first reading. But what did I know about Gabriela. Or more importantly, what had I MISSED about Gabriela?

MY task . . . Self-imposed . . . To make sense of Jeffery Deaver’s The October List. 

I had already read the preview on my kindle. I was going to check the library for a print version, but there it was at eye level at the Dollar Store with a $3 yellow sticker.

The inside flap:

“Gabriela waited desperately for news of

Her abducted daughter.

At last, the door opens.

But it’s not the negotiators.

It’s not the FBI.

It’s the kidnapper

And he has a gun.”

How did Deaver create suspense?

He chose Structure.

He began with the ending and went backwards one scene at a time.

As a reader, I had to figure out which details were important in the past and where were the red herrings that led me off the path? Rocket science? No! BUt I was reading this book as I began Vicki Vinton’s,  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Learning, and I did not want to merely read it as a “plot junkie” as mentioned in chapter five.  I wanted to consider HOW I deliberately made sense of this text in order to better inform my reader lay self (and perhaps borrow the idea for a longer writing task).

I started a list. Basic jots of key details.

I wished for a talking partner to share ideas.

I made some oral notes on my phone.

I began to look for patterns.

How much time and how many chapters elapsed between key details?

Tally marks were replaced with questions

And then with possible solutions.

But how could they be solutions when I already knew the ending?

Events revealed.

Important?

Too soon to know.

But the compelling story line . . .

Two days,

A mother, a kidnapped six year old daughter,

A half million dollar ransom

And “The October List” to be delivered within 30 hours

OR . . .

Narrative Structure?

Typical structures include:

Plot Line

Story Arc

Story Map

Sequential

Flashback

Episodic

Scene by scene

Beginning, Middle, End

How does an author decide?

And even more importantly, how does a reader make sense of the structure?

What works for you?

And thanks to fellow slicer”Arjeha”, I already knew the key to the Structure, but not the key to the kidnapping!  Check out additional slices at TwoWritingTeachers.wordpress.com

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

#SOL17: Service?


“I can understand complete sentences.  Please speak in complete sentences.”

Please connect me with a service representative.

“I can help you with that.

I need your first name and last name.

I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

Would you please repeat your first name and last name?”

First name. Last name.

Slower and Louder the second time.

“What is your billing address?

Please include your full address:

Street,

Apartment number,

Town,

State,

Zipcode.

Please clearly state your full address now.”

Full Address

“Please tell me the first name and last name of the person on the account.”

First name. Last name.

“And who am I speaking to today?

Please tell me your first name and your last name.”

First name. Last name.  A.G.A.I.N.  Seriously?

“What is the phone number associated with your account?

Please state the entire 10 digit number.”

Phone number.

“What is your account number?

This is the 10 digit number associated with your account.

There are no letters.

They are all numbers.

Please tell me if you need time to get your account number.”

Account number.

“How can I help you today?”

I have no phone or internet service.  Please connect me with a service representative.

“I can help you with that.”

Today is DAY NINE.  One service tech visit later and two hours of working internet.

One brief interlude.

Now gone.

Anatomy of phone calls . . .

The shortest time from a call to a “real person” is five minutes and two seconds.

And guess what that conversation is once I am connected to a “live” person:

“Could I have your first and last name?

Could I have your 10 digit phone number?

Can I have your address?

. . .

What is acceptable in terms of service response time?  

A lack of internet is a HUGE problem for me.

(Teaching an online class, work tasks, twitter, messages & pix from all) 

To Windstream?

Apparently not!

On the upside, I have read more in the last week.

On the downside, my patience with any technology issues is now -10 and dropping rapidly!

Advice?  Suggestions?  Similar situations?



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

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

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading

chartchums

Smarter Charts from Marjorie Martinelli & Kristine Mraz