#SOL19: Frustration


Screenshot 2019-02-04 at 12.17.21 PM.png

It is just a simple thing.

Measure.

Pour.

Wait.

BUT,

Oh, NO!

I will admit to being “bleary-eyed” and not totally awake.  But measuring, checking the line, and then pouring.  Seemed like a piece of cake.

It’s running over.

Screenshot 2019-02-04 at 12.16.03 PM

 

It’s early.

Maybe it is operator error!

Try again!

Oh, NO! This time it’s barely half full!

Screenshot 2019-02-04 at 12.20.39 PM

 

ARRGHH!

It’s too early!

This is making me mental!

I have been using a liquid Pyrex measuring cup.

Maybe my eyes are still too tired!

Screenshot 2019-02-04 at 12.17.57 PM

Solution:

A simple solution

I quickly devised

After a month of stewing

Fretting

Cleaning up messes . . .

I fill my coffee cup with water and then pour it into the Keurig.  No errors.  No mess. Perfect coffee every time.

A simple solution?

Often a simple answer is correct. That belief is courtesy of Occam’s Razor. Perhaps in our personal and professional lives we need to

stop,

take a deep breath,

and think of simple solutions.

Avoid the complications.

Avoid the perception from above that may cause you to under measure  or the perception that rounding it to that next line  while holding the measuring cup is good enough.  If the goal is the “right amount of coffee”, the water input does matter.

A different lens, a different view, a different solution.

When will one of those serve you well at school?

Considering the student view.

Asking for student input.

Stepping back so students can own the solution.

Closing your mouth so student input is prioritized.

What might you do differently the next time that you are frustrated?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

Advertisements

#SOL19: Unexpected


Forecasts warned

Weather maps with new colors

Falling temps

Records anticipated.

Piles of snow

Rhythmic slapping of tree branches

Blowing snow – sometimes hazy, sometimes white outs

And cold.

Can’t catch your breath cold.

Hurts when you breathe cold.

No tracks in the snow cold.

Pristine snow.

The Weather Channel says:

screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.05.37 am

screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.05.18 am

Unexpected?

Yes

Unprepared?

No

The ticker tape at the bottom of the TV screen lists the school closings. Plans to keep all safe.  Time to tackle that TBR or TBW list. Check for extra supplies.

Check on a neighbor. And a neighbor’s pets.

What plans do you make, in times of weather uncertainty, for you and your household? 

How do you prepare for the “Unexpected” in your life?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#SOL19: Celebrate Action


 

Nobel Peace Prize 1964  . . .

Because of his words and actions.

Read more here.

To do

Or not to do

To take action

Or not to take action

Make a decision

Don’t let indecision freeze your thoughts or actions.

Equity featured in my post here last year.

When? 

When do we move beyond surface quotes?  Using that quote that pops up on Google or Twitter and move to deeper knowledge? 

What was the essence of MLK Jr?

Screenshot 2019-01-21 at 9.02.52 AM.pngscreenshot 2019-01-21 at 9.01.50 amscreenshot 2019-01-21 at 9.01.02 am

screenshot 2019-01-21 at 8.57.54 am

screenshot 2019-01-21 at 8.58.38 am

screenshot 2019-01-21 at 8.59.45 am

screenshot 2019-01-21 at 9.00.23 am

screenshot 2019-01-21 at 8.59.06 am
Screenshot 2019-01-21 at 8.58.14 AM.png

screenshot 2019-01-21 at 8.55.35 am

As I “celebrate” (#OLW19) the life of Martin Luther King, my actions will be to speak up and out about “white privilege.” Information is the first step towards action and power.

I hold these words close, “What the main sections of the civil rights movement in the United States are saying is that the demand for dignity, equality, jobs, and citizenship will not be abandoned or diluted or postponed. If that means resistance and conflict we shall not flinch. We shall not be cowed. We are no longer afraid.” (Nobel Prize Lecture, 1964)

What will you say? 

What will you do? 

How do you honor MLK’s legacy?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2018-11-01 at 7.09.50 AM.png

#SOL19: Publish


The Writing Process

Is it a straight line with rigid steps?

Is it a circle? 

Does it depend on the type of writing and the purpose? 

What does your writing process look like?

I began with google images and was shocked to find that most images of the writing process were line by line lists vertically presented.

But I just published and I know that my process was more like this:

            ink

 

My publication as Lead Author for an ILA Brief on January 14, 2019:

Creating Passionate Readers through Independent Reading

This is me!

Screenshot 2019-01-15 at 6.13.27 AM.png

How do we ensure that students get this excitement? 

Where do your students publish their work? 

Where do YOU publish your work?

 





Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2018-11-01 at 7.09.50 AM.png

#SOL19: Phonics Reprise


“The cat sat on the mat.

The fat cat sat on the mat.

The rat sat on the mat.

The fat cat sat on the mat.

The fat cat and the fat rat sat on the mat.”

“What are we working on today?” I inquired.

“I am practicing ‘the’,” was the earnest reply from the first grader.

 

“Can you show me where you see the word ‘the’?”

“All of them?” she queried as she pointed to two examples.

“They aren’t the same,” she added. “These begin with upper case and these begin with lower case.”

 

“Tell me more.” (falling back on that favorite response)

“These line up in a row,” pointing to the The in a vertical column. “And these don’t.”

 

“What did you learn in this story?” I asked.

“”That cats and rats can sit together,” was the response.

 

What was the goal? 

I saw that the student practiced the page three times as directed and then recorded it onto the iPad on a fourth reading.  It was flawless. Every word was pronounced correctly. The student stopped appropriately for end punctuation (periods) and it sounded okay . . . just a bit “sing-songingly” with an attempt to have some rhythm/intonation in the reading.

Is this reading? 

What role does this have in reading?

What happens if this becomes a “major portion of a steady diet” for a reader?

Valinda Kimmel had a great post about Guided Reading here last week, “Why Does Guided Reading Get Top Billing?” Please go read it and consider “WHERE”  you believe the above reading work fits in.

Phonics, Spelling and Word Work?

Guided Reading?

In this instance, the student self-reported that this reading was her fluency practice that she has to do before Independent Reading. Short passage with words she knew. Focus was on sight words “and”, “the”, and “on” according to the posted learning targets.

Fluency has many definitions  that include:

prosody,

reading like an author intended with phrasing, intonation, accuracy, rate, and expression

but all contain some reference to “fluency to support comprehension”.

Fluency – one of the “Five Pillars” of reading from the National Reading Panel report.

And I digress . . . Or do I?

Have I switched topics from Phonics (the title) to Fluency now?

In the classroom next door, the learning target was “practice /at/ phonograms in text and decoding cvc words with short vowel sound made by a.

How did the practice support word work?

37 words total

the – 11 repetitions

on -5 repetitions

and – 1 appearance

/at/- 20 (cat – 4, sat – 5, mat – 5, fat – 4, rat – 2)

This is an example of “decodable” text.  Some might call this “barking at print” because the text can be read but there is no deep meaning attached to the words, phrases, sentences or passage.  Worse yet, this might be something a student would be required to read multiple times, quickly, without hesitation in 30 seconds or less to meet some pre-determined correct words per minute goal. (Fluency, Automaticity, Word Work in “connected text” might be ways this text would be named._

Phonics – this post listed Faux Pas from the past

A need for Due Diligence and understanding Reading Research was the focus here

and yet . . . doubt remains

Check out Stephen Krashen’s response as well . . .

Comments on Morning Edition, January 2, 2019, What is Wrong with the APM report . . .

“There is no evidence that “Millions of kids can’t read …”. But there is
overwhelming evidence that low reading ability is related to poverty, contrary to
the claim in American Public Media’s report.”

The Case Against Intensive Phonics

and Basic Phonics.

What do we need?

Increased clarity of purpose by teachers?

Intentionality?

Continued conversations? 

Common language?

A potpourri of effective strategies and methodologies?

I celebrate the questions that lead informed conversations and decisions about the best instruction possible for students!




Alfie Kohn – phonics added!  Link




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2018-11-01 at 7.09.50 AM.png

Phonics


Screenshot 2019-01-06 at 8.24.08 AM.png

Letter – Sound Relationships

One part of learning to read

One part that serves the reader in his/her meaning making reading work!

Avoiding Instructional Missteps in Teaching Letter-Sound Relationships

Go read it.  Bookmark it. Download it.  Study it!

7 Pitfalls from the past . . .

How to teach phonics . . .

How not to teach phonics . . .

“Specific, Applicable Generalizations

Simplistic, broad generalizations or “rules” do not work. For example, if we say that silent e signals a long vowel sound all the time, then we have a lot of issues. But if the generalization is made more specific, it is more applicable. For example, the silent e pattern is consistent more than 75 percent of the time in a_ei_eo_e, and u_e, but only consistent 16 percent of the time with e_e.”

Details matter.  The quote above came from #7 in the linked article. Perhaps you skimmed over that section.  I believe it is probably one of the most critical sections.  And in case you missed it, #7 is

7. Missing Essential Elements of Phonics Instruction

Teach Letter – Sound Relationships.

Check the research on teaching letter-sound relationships. 

Check the instruction in your classrooms. 

Then check the student learning. 

What work with Letter-Sound relationships have your PLN’s been doing?




Arm yourself with knowledge!

How do you know what students understand about letter-sound relationships?

By their writing.

What do they use?  How do they apply their knowledge?

Have you studied these?   Utility of Phonics Generalizations

Due Diligence


“If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck . . . ”

probably a duck!

Unfortunately, there’s “Trouble in River City” as there are a ton of snake – oil salesmen who preach “Research says . . .”,  “Research says . . .”, and “Research says . . .” who are “building on their own self-interests to increase fear and doubt in public schools and teachers.  Every one who has attended a public school or not (Betsy DeVos to name one) has an opinion about education.

An opinion!

Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the fear mongering.  Be BRAVE. Think. Exercise Due Diligence.

  1. Read the resources.
  2. Check the author’s credentials.
  3. Fact check the statements. (By the way when national normed tests are used, 100% of the population is not going to be successful.  They would renorm the test and change the percentages. Assessment 101)
  4. Take a step back and ask yourself, “Is this even logical?”
  5. What do the researchers really say?

screenshot 2019-01-05 at 10.43.09 am

Research:  What does every educator need to know?  Please download Nell Duke’s  document below and have it ready to email to teachers in your own community. Those you can listen to and respond to. Your community.  Where you can also be proactive. Showcase what you are already doing and your own results.

A.  Nell Duke – “10 Things to Know about Research”  Today’s focus is on #9.

9. Where and How Research Is Published or Presented Requires Particular Attention
Consider a particular news item and the range of different ways it is covered, for
example, by the New York Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist,
Fox News, or the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. These sources will cover the same
story in substantially different ways. Similarly, literacy research in different
outlets, and by different writers, may be reported very differently . . .”

New York Times. NPR.

Think.

What is the goal of an author for those sources?

What is the type of information presented?

B. Instructional Practices Matter 

Round robin reading is not OK. Neither is popcorn reading or “bump reading”. NOT.OK. NEVER! And “BUT my kids like it” is only an excuse and not an acceptable excuse.  What should teachers be doing instead?  Check out Evan Robb’s post here.

Do you have these three types of reading in upper elementary and secondary classrooms?

  • Instructional Interactive Read Aloud
  • Instructional Reading
  • Independent Reading

In addition to Read Alouds?

C. Equity Matters 

Regie Routman covers this beautifully in Literacy Essentials as it it one third of the content. Expectations matter for all learners.  Check out this blog post – “9 Key Actions We Can and Must Take to Ensure Equity for All” link

3. Become professionally knowledgeable. No shortcut here! Until we become highly knowledgeable as teachers of literacy—regardless of what subject we teach–we will always be seeking the “right” program, text, or expert to tell us exactly what to do. Equity for all requires that we teachers and leaders know relevant, research-based and principled literacy practices and how and when to apply those practices in all content areas.”

What do you believe and value?

How does that align with your professional knowledge?

D. Dear Media, Stop Misrepresenting Reading Instruction, Please   link

Who does it profit?

“Here is a final note worth emphasizing: Phonics-intense and phonics-only reading instruction is a gold mine for textbook publishers, reading program shills, and the testing industry.

Consider carefully the who and why of public commentaries screeching about reading instruction, especially when the arguments are full of easily identifiable holes in their credibility and logic.”

Why are those who are NOT certified to teach so blindly convinced that they hold “THE ANSWER” to teaching reading?

There are many other great resources . . . blogs, facebook, and twitter.

BE CAREFUL!

BE DILIGENT!

THINK of that student in front of you!

 

Independence: Taught? Or Not?


Who is doing the work?

Students?

Teachers?

How do we know?

Does it matter?

This flow chart from an October 7, 2018 tweet by Daniel Willingham caught my eye this week out in the Twittersphere!

I have studied it on my phone, my iPad, and on my Chromebook. I continue to revisit the subheading “(doing laundry, making lunches, doing dishes, etc.)”

Does this chart apply to routines in the classroom? 

Does this chart apply to instruction in the classroom?

Should it?

Where does my “curious” mind go?  I “celebrate” the opportunities for formative assessment.  Observation and completion of tasks quickly come to mind. Fairly straight forward. Items that I can check off. Routines.

How much of the school day should be “routinized” to this level? 

What’s the end goal?

Previous posts have discussed the fact that many times students do not have enough practice in their work in order to really KNOW and DO the task at high levels of cognitive effort.  Is that a flaw in the curricular design, the instructional design, or in the instructional delivery system? Or a symptom of other issues?

And then Wednesday night’s Twitter chat with Alicia Luick and Taliah Carter was about the Independent Use of Mentor Texts to Promote Independence in the Writers’ Workshop. Serendipity and another celebration as topics aligned!!!

It helped me when Alicia explained the difference between mentor texts, demonstration texts, and exemplar texts.  All have many uses as we think about a “progression to independence”.

screenshot 2019-01-02 at 6.45.19 pm

screenshot 2019-01-02 at 6.45.35 pm

How do we teach independence?

How do we provide practice time so students can develop confidence, competency and independence?

I love these ideas from Ryan Scala. Students can quickly be “upping their game” so they are ready to lead demonstrations, small groups or seminars!

screenshot 2019-01-02 at 7.14.31 pm

So many ways for teachers to scaffold and support students at their current level in order to “reach” for the next level and continue to stretch and grow.  Sounds easy but supporting all students in a classroom is hard work.

And who is doing the most work?

Do we “teach for independence”?  

Do we provide enough practice time and get out of the way in order to increase independence?

 

2018: In the Rear View Mirror


What a year!

What does the data say?

Looking back is something of a habit as the New Year dawns.  Here were my reflective posts from 2017,  2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.  It was fun to see where the emphasis has changed over time.

My Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of all time are:

5. How do we know students are making progress in writing? (2014)

4.  Generative Writing as a Formative Assessment (2015)

3.  Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)

                 2. Close Reading in Kindergarten? Is it possible? (2013)

1. #TCRWP and a Teacher’s Toolkit for Writing (2014)

Data analysis is interesting.  Four of the five posts were in my top 5 all time last year.  #2 this year is a new addition to the top 5. It leapfrogged to #2 by passing up three previous “all time” posts.

I continue to wonder if my OLD writing is more popular than my newer writing with two posts from 2013 in the top 5. “Or does the popularity mean that these posts are STILL topics/issues that present day literacy teachers are struggling with?”  Maybe these are topics that I need to review during the course of the year. They are definitely already on my March Slicer “To Write About” list.

My Top 8 Posts (by the number of readers) out of the 109 posts that were written in 2018 were:

8. #SOL18: Lit Essentials – Regie Routman’s Literacy Essentials with an entire section dealing with Equity!

7. #TCRWP: 3 Tips – Patterns of Power (Jeff Anderson), Mentor Texts with Simone Frazier and Heart Maps with Georgia Heard

6. #SOL18:  Reading Research  – Is all reading research equal?

5. Bloom’s and Thinking – Reconceptualizing Bloom’s Taxonomy

4. #SOL18: March 25 – Updated Reprise of #3 above “Lexile Level is NOT Text     Complexity (2013)

3. #NCTE18:  Digging Deeper #1 – Kass Minor, Colleen Cruz & Cornelius Minor

2. #SOL18:  March 15 – Barriers to Learning, Allington’s Six T’s, Student           Progress

1.#SOL18:  March 11 – Increasing Writing Volume

And this – Reading Research from the end of October and both a November post about NCTE and a December post can make it into the “Most Read in 2018” list within 4 – 8 weeks of the end of the year.  So Interesting!

What patterns do you see? 

Which topics did you find most compelling? 

What work do you review annually or over even longer time frames?




PROCESS:

Reflection

Analysis

Planning

Re-Reflecting

Wrapping up Curious with a Focus on being Joyful for this first chance to CELEBRATE!

 

#OLW19


Drum Roll . . .

Red Carpet . . .

Celebratory Toast . . .

My final choices were:  Gratitude, Celebrate, and Thankful.

I tested them out with flash drafts of this post.

What was I searching for?

Enduring words:  That would be a part of my life 24/7 – literally woven into the fabric of my life

Practical words: That would be like a ticker tape running in the background of my life.

All encompassing words:  That would be suitable for my professional life, my personal life and my role as a grandmother.

How would I know which word was THE word?

I would easily be able to flash draft a post about the word.

I would NOT check to see who else had chosen the word.

I would be able to use the subtle nuances of the word in my decision-making process.

My selection grid:

Screenshot 2019-01-01 at 6.18.39 PM.png

One Last Review of Previous Words:

  • 2014    Transfer
  • 2015     Focus
  • 2016    Joyful
  • 2017    Brave
  • 2018    Curious

AND . . .

MY CHOICE . . . 

Screenshot 2019-01-01 at 5.35.20 PM.png

Celebrate . . . 

Successes in work – the processes and the product

Successes in learning – the struggle of change and the challenges of implementing those                                              changes

Successes in family life – school and life events

Successes in being present – paying attention to small wins every day to fuel long term                                                          goals

Work attempted

Work completed

And when needed  . . . celebrate that which is YET to come!

My Goal = Celebrate . . . EVERY day!

What is your #OLW19? 

How and when did it find you? 

What will you celebrate in 2019?




Teacher Resources:

  1. One Little Word
@lhighfill

New Year, One Word HyperDocs wke.lt/w/s/5y4xQ via @wakelet A collection of three lessons for reflection/goal setting w students in the new year. Just file and make a copy to edit for your specific student needs. @TsGiveTs @SEANJFAHEY @WickedEdTech @KarlyMoura @SARAHLANDIS

         Check out the wakelet link above!   3 different choices!

       2. Word Comparisons      https://wikidiff.com/

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

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