Hello, Darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping. …
I still recall writing that first dreaded college term paper about the role of imagery in this song as it related to The Graduate. It took forever with numerous false starts and many teacher conferences as I had ZERO clue about what the instructor wanted. At that stage, writing was all about meeting the perceived needs of the instructor.
Silence at church was a requirement or knuckles were rapped by a ruler-wielding nun who was confident of her identification of the chattering troublemaker (s).
More recently discussions among friends have focused on Catholic guilt and silence. The expectations. The dynamics. Problems that were not aired publicly. Often not even aired privately. Suffering in silence was a reality.
Growing up and silence was a tool of punishment. “Be quiet” often buzzed in my ear as I opted to study in “my room” (a room always shared with either a sister or multiple sisters).
Silence. Friend or Foe? Maybe I should have questioned the evidence and the “cause of death” . Mistakes happen. I do wish I had queried the ever-changing stories. Hindsight is often noisy.
I must use my White privilege to listen.
I have much to learn. Two books that I am studying in book clubs this summer are:
I need to understand my biases.
I can rely on friends, family and teammates to support me and call me out on this learning journey.
I have to raise my voice to question and call out White privilege where I see it/hear it.
I will amplify IBPOC voices and support their work.
I must speak up in order to see justice. To remain silent is to be complicit.
I must do this work myself and commit to a lifetime of anti-racist work even though I don’t know exactly where that journey will take me.
Silent, no more!
Envisioning 2020: A Year of Action
How will you avoid “silence” in your future?
What actions will you commit to undertaking?
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.
31 Days of IBPOC posts – Link
Sheldon Eakins – “Framing Brave Conversations about Race and Ethnicity” – Link
“Do you belong to a book club?”
This question came out of the blue from a student who was working through some “online” course requirements. My response, “Yes, and do you want to hear about it or see it?” was quickly answered with “Show me, please!”
As I shared the Facebook platform with units via the ubiquitous shared desktop in zoom, the students’ eyes glittered. “You mean you are going to read different books EVERY week?”
I shared how the process had worked last year and that this year my goal is to participate in both elementary and secondary book clubs simultaneously so I will actually plan to participate in two DIFFERENT book clubs EVERY week! Now the student’s eyes glazed over under the realization that I was not the person who would say that reading a few chapters in one book each week was a silly assignment as I would really be reading whole books each week.
It’s year 3 for my participation in #BookLove. Each year has looked a bit different because the elementary book club is only in its second year of operation. You can find out more about the goals of “BookLove” here and the classroom library grants for teachers which is one reason why I continue to join. But it’s not just the book grants. It’s the community of readers, writers, teachers, and authors who come together each day/week that STRETCH my thinking. The very best part of #BookLove is the summer book club. You can see the book selections under the tab for Summer Book Club Registration.
BUT only one option is available. The online membership that provides the community of learning alongside the hundreds of teachers who will also be reading the books this summer. You will have to order your own books from your favorite bookseller.
Not yet convinced? I wrote about #BookLove19 here. So many changes in our lives this summer so I don’t yet know how many book clubs I will participate in, but I do know that I will be reading, writing, thinking and responding with hundreds of friends in #BookLove20.
What book clubs are you participating in?
What does your book club WORK look like?
How does your book club work mirror the work that is expected of students?
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.
I blew it! What was I thinking?
Twitter Chats are easy. A few questions. A few responses. Let’s talk. And then taking my turn on writing a summative blog post. Predictable patterns.
Book clubs . . . What’s the format? What’s the end goal? What’s my role? More questions than answers. And each club . . . renegotiating the roles and the expectations.
Check. Deadlines met.
Check. Responses entered.
Check. Make no waves. Agree with the participants
Check. Check. Check.
I was focused on the product and got lost in FEAR!
I was worried if it was good enough and was frozen in time!
I rushed to task completing and forgot it was about the thinking!
This was the format for my early book club participation and it has followed me around worse than the groundhog’s shadow ever since. Book clubs were a place of similar thinking; thinking outside the box resulted in social ostracism.
I went underground as a reader as I have had a LOVE/HATE relationship with book clubs. Some have been fun. Some have been tedious. All have provided learning. But what was that learning?
I love talking about books. Mary Howard and I talk about a tweet, a blog post, or a book on a regular basis. Her reading is also voracious! At CCIRA, Regie Routman handed me a book, I thumbed through it, and I had to order it. Penny Kittle told me about a book and I forwarded the title also to my sister and a niece. I hadn’t even left Maria Walther’s session and I was forwarding the book list. Reading and talking about books is fun!
And then last night I watched this video of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. You can watch it too if you are a member of the Summer Book Love Club 2019. What do you notice? What would you name as the key points of the video?
And because the link does NOT work if you are NOT a member, here are the TOP 10 REASONS you should join Summer Book Love 19 from the Nerdy Book Club here.
Here’s what Penny said about the FB Live session:
“From Concord, CA… I’m here with Kelly Gallagher, my co-author and friend, to talk about the importance of book clubs in his professional life.”
The importance of book clubs in his professional life.
The sheer joy.
The number of books he has read as a part of a book club.
The fact that he, a good reader, learns something from every book club meeting and that they celebrate the different ideas everyone brings to the book club.
I lost the sheer joy of talking about books in a book club.
The book club became about the process of my notes, my annotations or my writing about reading.
The book club became more about compliance than learning!
I became that “kid” who completed the work but
maybe didn’t invest very much of myself.
It’s book club season. I will be in several this summer. I will be watching my own learning. And just as I detailed the process for “Professional Learning” in the last 5 posts about Repeated Reading, so will I also monitor my own learning, processes and products. I think it will be critical to be brutally honest with myself.
And I can do that personally with a process that is also set up for bigger systems work.
How will I find the gold and the JOY in book clubs?
What is the process for professional learning?
- Set a Goal – Participate productively in book clubs
- Selection of Content which includes Checking the Research – Talk about the books
- Design a Process for Professional Development/Learning – Check the schedule and allow plenty of time. Refusing to allow lack of time to be an excuse.
- Teaching / Learning Opportunities – Checking in. What do teachers need to learn? How will they learn it? How can we set some measurable targets? – Pay attention to my “joy” meter. When does it stop being fun?
- Collaboration / Implementation Reading and Participating
- Ongoing Data Collection including Listen to the Students – Consider my responses to students with actions similar to mine
- Program Evaluation – Going back to the teacher data: Has there been growth? How do we know? Plan ahead – what will I do
ifwhen I get stuck?
- Collecting / Analyzing Student Data – Is the gap closing? Are students growing more capable? Are students more independent? Balancing “habits” of reading, attitudes, processes and products
- (WHY would I use a different process?)
I will be a part of at least three book clubs this summer and as the summer wanes, I will let you know if I was successful and how and when I will be celebrating the continuous JOY in reading and talking about books!
What is your experience with book clubs?
What motivates you to continue to learn and grow as a reader?
What learning targets would you consider?
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.
“Registration is open! Join the Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club to read with colleagues and learn from authors during our exclusive online LIVE events.This year we have both elementary and secondary book clubs. Check out summerbookclub.org @ @ @
So you will go to summerbookclub.org
Watch the video with Penny Kittle.
Watch the video with Clare Landrigan.
You will have three choices:
MS/HS book club (June-July) (Books, swag and online content)
Elementary book club (July) (Books, swag and online content)
Online resources only (open as soon as you register for discussion and specific “units” for each week of discussion) BONUS – all online options see all discussions and content – the whole shebang.
See you at summerbookclub.org
What are you waiting for?
Conversations with teachers,
Conversations with authors,
And more libraries for teachers . . .
Yesterday was the intersection of my #OLW: Curious and my reading goal of 52 books for the year. One per week. Paralleling a student goal of 40 books during the year.
How does Goodreads summarize my reading?
So how am I doing?
We are in the ninth week of the year and I’ve read 18 books so I have a good lead on the year. Never having set a “books read per year goal”, I have no clue what is realistic.
What’s in the future?
March is #SOLSC.
March is blogging daily.
Reading and writing daily.
Both with public goals.
How do I feel about my progress in 2018?
I’m pleased that only 1 / 3 books are professional books. That’s better than I had anticipated. Here’s a look at the professional books.
What’s their focus?
Looks like a pattern or two. I must admit that not all of the books are first reads; in fact, five are rereads. A few more quotes collected for PD work. A bit more solid foundation and many, many more post its and tabs to mark my place. Five are also signed by the authors. That means they reside on a special shelf of honor (when shelved) and are treated royally. Not allowed to be stacked on the carpet or the table. Gentle, loving treatment! Books displayed preferentially!
What’s different about 2018?
I joined a book club group. There are 192 strong of us from across the country. One title came from a student’s blog recommendation. I had to “guess” what the solution to the mystery would be (Alibi) and so I had to buy the book. But 1 / 3 of the books came from watching what others were reading, checking out the recommendations and reading the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.
What’s your process for choosing a book? Is it the same as the one you teach students?
What’s your goal? What’s the goal for your students?
Should you meet or exceed their goal?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Personal goal setting.
No prizes, no trinkets, no stickers.
No book reports.
Yes, some comments on Goodreads or back to the book club members to respond to questions.
No dioramas, no art work, no projects.
Accountability to myself.
Some accountability to my #G2Great team and chat authors.
Public sharing of my choice – my selection, my format, my idea.
How do you model the expectations that you have for your students?
Conversation about this book over dinner, purchased at a book store (Bank Street Books in NYC), and then talked about in person at TCRWP Institutes – all eventually led to an online book chat that culminates tonight in a Twitter chat at 6:30 EDT (#WabtR). The questions for the discussion are located here; please join us!
What have I learned?
This post covered my learning as a reader and as a writer. I am green with envy about a friend’s report that she sat down and read the book all in one sitting. We agreed to read and respond to four chapters a day.
Of course, life in summer was complicated. I was waiting on the mail because I had the books shipped home (so much cheaper than the extra cost for a checked bag)! And when the book arrived, I was a day behind and felt the pressure of “keeping up with the book club”. I didn’t read ahead until I had completed my writing.
A rule follower. Playing school. Unfortunately, my biggest feeling was relief when I completed the book. Adding some creativity to the summary re-engaged me as a learner and made me happy to “come to school again.” During my drive time thinking yesterday I began this.
A Handful of Stars
Hope, wishes, and faith
Hope for the present,
Hope for the future,
Hope for self, and
Hope for others.
Wishes for the present,
Wishes for the future,
Wishes for self, and
Wishes for others.
Faith in present,
Faith in future,
Faith in self, and
Faith in others.
Hope, wishes, and faith
A dog named Lucky
Blueberry barrens, and
Issues from real life experiences!
What do you want to remember most from this book?
I’m not big on book reviews unless they are professional books. My taste in picture books often matches others but when it comes to YA literature, I hit multiple bends in the road. I will read almost anything one time, but the books that I return to and read year after year are often historical fiction or classics. However, I continue to read and read and read. I usually finish a book, albeit quite slowly, when I discover that it is not my “cup of tea”. BUT if you like Cynthia Lord’s books, then you should read, A Handful of Stars!
What are you reading this summer?
How are you experiencing the tasks that you ask your students to do? How are you “walking the talk”?
When an experience doesn’t meet your expectations, how do you turn it around in order to celebrate the “positives”?
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.