Tag Archives: Carl Anderson

#DigiLitSunday: Conferring


digilit

Because Margaret’s daughter was married yesterday, today’s digilit linkup is over at Julieanne Harmatz’s blog “To Read To Write To Be” here.  Check out the other links.

digilit

Trust me, Conferring Carl is so right.  Conferring is the whole cake, the whole enchilada, the whole meal because it’s already the combination of many great ingredients in a flavorful mixture designed to entice the consumer!

One goal of conferring is to move the writer to effective and more deliberate practices across multiple pieces of writing.  The goal is NOT to just make this piece of writing better by fixing it.  It’s about going for “big ticket items” that will help all future writing be better.

“How on earth do I do that?”

“Please say more . . .”

Conferring does seem to resemble coaching.  I have been working with coaches lately and I know there’s also a part of coaching  that involves a specific teaching point.  Dana’s post here about teaching points in writing is so spot on.  It’s about:

 

“Writers  (insert a skill) by using (insert a strategy) so that (insert a purpose).”

There’s a part of conferring that requires the teacher and the student to have clear targets and end goals about writing.

Why?

Hattie, Fisher and Fry say it best with this finding from John Hattie (millions of kids in the data pool) about teacher clarity in their book Visible Learning for Literacy.

20160930_091010.jpg

Teacher Clarity has an effect size with the equivalence of almost two years of growth in one year of instruction. That’s what the 0.75 means.  A d= 0.40 means one year’s growth. That’s why the 0.40 is often used as the “cut point” for choosing effective strategies.  (Mini-stats course/refresher)

So what do clear teach goals look like?  What are the possiblities?

Here is an example of one way a class is looking at “leads” for organization in narratives based on checklists (Calkins and colleagues, Units of Study in Writing).  If a student identifies that “leads” are the area of “trouble” that he/she wants to work on in a conference, a checklist like this may have been used.  The student would not just be saying, “This story is not good or this lead is not good.” Instead the student would be saying, “I need to work on leads because my readers have commented on the last two stories that it’s hard for them to get right into the story.” This student may have self-identified that most of his/her leads were only a “one-star” lead according to a chart like this.  The goal might be four star leads.

20160923_125713

Reality Check

The long term writing goal for this student may be about volume, it may even be about stamina, but for now this student really wants to focus on better leads so

the reader

will continue

to read

and not stop reading

because there is no hint of

what might later become a problem for the reader.

Do you see langauge that might lead to a teaching point?

Teachers don’t need a “new and different” list of resources to confer from. They are working with the lessons that have been taught and/or looking for those next step items that will strengthen student writing across the rest of the year.  Leads are important in narratives, informational writing, and opinions/arguments.

Is this the only concern in a narrative lead for fourth graders?

Of course not.  But this use of checklists in goal setting (Calkins and colleagues, Units of Study in Writing) helps students (and teachers) who are not yet expert writers with some common language that can be used for teaching points within a conference to improve all future pieces of writing.  The student made some choices about his/her own writing and made a conscious decision about what to work on.  That’s a win/win.  

The writing conference needs to be about moving forward.  There are many ways to move writers forward throught conferences that are shared in many books (and Conferring Carl’s books are awesome)!  How’s It Going? is a must have for your professional collection and has this review:

“This is by far the best writing on the conference I have read. It is a book that is far superior to the other texts-including my own.
—Donald M. Murray”

But the work ultimately needs to be done by students and involving them in this process and honoring their own goals/wishes/needs is critical. A conference like this with a writer allows the student to continue writing and may well set them up to be able to show peers and parents exactly how personal work with leads has improved his/her own writing.

Who knows?

This student may well be able to teach other students exactly how and why to do this with their own writing. More writers who know why and how . . . that’s a reason to invest time in writing conferences.

Don’t worry about perfect conferences!  CONFER!

What’s your next “Conferring” step?

 

 

 

 

Mentor Texts for Writing


How do you use mentor texts?

There are so many options for mentor texts in both reading and writing.  A search at Two Writing Teachers gives you all of these posts to consider.  You can also check out Rose and Lynne’s website here with many ideas from their two Mentor Text books.

At the 88th Saturday Reunion, Carl Anderson (@conferringcarl) began with a story about coaching his son’s baseball team for six years and yet still needing a mentor.  He went on to explain that mentors could be found in Greek mythology and as a friend of Odysseus and adviser of Telemachus actually in the “Odyssey”.  A mentor was a “wise and sage co-teacher” – who wouldn’t want one for life?

Ralph Fletcher explains that mentor texts are, “…any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.”

One role of a mentor text according to Carl Anderson is:

pull back curtain

How can a mentor text help you “pull back the curtain” and reveal the craft in the writing?

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 29 – 88th Saturday Reunion #TCRWP


It’s the little things that make life wonderful!

Little things can seem like insurmountable objects . . .

like navigating the NYC subway system to arrive at Teachers College EARLY!  I was actually more successful than navigating through my “home” deer country!

like organizing for a day run on an hourly schedule with 50 minute sesions (10 minutes to sprint to the next location) and NO time in the schedule for lunch (encouraged to pack and yes, you may eat in the sessions – ignore the signs that say no food!)

like finding your way among 4,000 friends engaged in learning on a Saturday at Teachers College

like worries about the wi-fi (had some overloads and would kick you off – How many total devices would 4,000 strong have?  REALLY?)

and the ability to have a back up plan – First choice closed because you actually stopped to use the restroom?  What were you thinking?

Other slicers who have posted about yesterday include:

Tara 

Julieanne 

Dayna

Sally 

Catherine

and of course the many Tweets that emanated from the halls of the Teachers College campus.  Right this minute, this tweet says it all:

@ReadingTeachNC: We cried with @PatriciaPolacco, we laughed with @KyleneBeers, and we reminded ourselves why we love what we do! #TCRWP

What a day!
What a glorious day!
What a glorious day filled with laughter, love and learning!

(Notice how I worked on my elaboration there!)

Instead of an “All About Everything Post” the remainder of this post is dedicated to my #OLW “Focus” and will just focus on one key take away from the sessions I attended. (I promise – I will write more about what I learned.  Some of it has to percolate!)

word-focus-300x300

Patricia Polacco – Keynote Opening (Row 5)

“Teachers are my heroes.  You devote your lives to the minds and hearts of others.  What a wonderful calling”

Carl Anderson – Mentor Texts

We take the perfect text and we have to pull the curtain away.   We need to love the mentor text.  You wouldn’t marry someone you didn’t love.  You are going to live with this mentor text day in and out.  You have to know it inside and out.  Work with a colleague to analyze the text.  Make sure that kids will be moved by the mentor text (Not just one that you LOVE)!

Kylene Beers – Nonfiction Sign Posts

kylene's picture -signposts

This is the picture that Kylene took from the speaker’s podium to show what the audience was doing as she displayed the slide listing the nonfiction signposts.  By the way, the book will be out in October and we all had to promise to buy it!  The nonfiction signposts are not ALWAYS found in each nonfiction piece of material because of the very nature of nonfiction.  (more on that in another post) Here are the signposts in the order of frequency and importance:

Extreme and absolute language

Like this examples

Experts and Amateurs Words

Stats and Numbers

Contrasts and Contradictions

Again and Again

Cornelius Minor – Struggling Students

Cornelius began with an analogy about teaching skateboarding where one will fall the first 5-8 times.  So he has to give you 20 opportunities to practice.  “My job as a teacher is NOT mastery. Nothing will cultivate practice. Teaching sets you up for practice. Repeated practice sets you up for mastery.  Engagement – how do I keep you moving! Multiple and intellectual energy to get some learning going!  My job is ‘Teaching light and Practice heavy!'”

The brilliance of that philosophy!

Kylene Beers – Closing (Front Row)

Literacy is about power and privilege.

Choice, relevancy, volume. Wantability is more important than readability. @KyleneBeers#tcrwp” Can’t be said/heard enough.

Slicer meet up at the Kitchenette! – So much fun to visit, share, decompress!

My head and my heart are both full from the learning.  Much more to see and do while in NYC so “adieu” for now!

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Teachers | Books | Readers

Thirty-One Educators Connecting Students and Books

Educator *Speaker *Author*coach

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.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.