Tag Archives: Dayna Wells

#SOL19: #OLW Celebrate


My One Little Word (#OLW) was out in force this holiday weekend.

Celebrate

So many choices . . .  It was a family weekend . . .

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Relatives  and a funeral

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Saturday Wedding

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The beginning of the NCAA football season . . .

Sunday AMarekN Family

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Monday Labor Day Dinner and 15 Mareks/Ruths

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A blog post for Literacy Lenses:  All Learning is Social and Emotional:  Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyond.  (link)

It began with a text!

“Good morning, Fran. Just realized you’re in the great state of Iowa and so am I this weekend!  My brother lives in Kalona.  How far am I from you?”

The irony.

And so noteworthy!

On Saturday we were playing cards at my aunt Janie’s in Kalona which is about 100 miles from my home.  I was there in Kalona the day before.  Kalona, a town in the northwest part of the county where I grew up.

It was an irresistible invitation. We solved the problems of the world, literacy, schools, and the state of education on Sunday when I met up with Dayna Wells, from California, that I met in real life in New York City at a TCRWP Saturday reunion over four and a half years ago (Link). A reader. A writer.  A blogger.  A Slicer. A TCRWP learner!

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How did you celebrate Labor Day weekend 2019?

What were your choices?  




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Reading Goals: What Do You Measure?


Disclaimer:  The ideas in this blog are not novel.  They are not original.  They are appropriately “sourced” where credit can be applied.  What is new / different / novel is perhaps the thinking that connects the ideas.  Research-based.ideas!  Student-centered.ideas!  Many folks KNOW this. But do the teaching practices match the teacher beliefs?

  1. Students need to read more in order to be better readers.  Volume matters. (Richard Allington)

How can students read more?

A.  Donalyn Miller – 40 book challenge

B. Book logs that keep track of books read. Compare lists over time.

C. Book lists kept by students that rate the books (scale of 1-5) and list genre.

D. Independent reading during class time followed up with time to talk about what was read.

Which ones of these have you tried and abandoned?

Did they work for awhile but then student interest seemed to wane and it seemed like students were “cheating” and recording books that they really hadn’t read?  Or perhaps books that students began to read but when the going got tough, the books were abandoned?

Did you REALLY understand the goal / purpose behind that undertaking?  Did you read the book behind the practice pushed into the classroom?  Participate in a book study?  Or did you find the pages on Pinterest or TPT and “try it” as a pilot with a high degree of skepticism.

If you went to the link above for Donalyn Miller’s 40 book challenge and read and even digested that post, you read these two paragraphs.

“The 40 Book Challenge isn’t an assignment you can simply add to outdated, ineffective teaching practices. The Book Challenge rests on the foundation of a classroom reading community built on research-based practices for engaging children with reading. Assigning a 40 Book Challenge as a way to generate grades or push children into reading in order to compete with their classmates corrupts everything I have written and said about reading. The 40 Book Challenge is meant to expand students’ reading lives, not limit or define it.

The 40 Book Challenge is a personal challenge for each student, not a contest or competition between students or classes. In every competition or contest there are winners and losers. Why would we communicate to our students that they are reading losers? For some students, reading 40 books is an impossible leap from where they start as readers, and for others, it’s not a challenge at all.”

This is just a small piece of Donalyn’s 40 book challenge.  Reading one blog, one tweet, or attending one hour long session at a conference is not enough for deep learning.  But it is enough to whet your appetite.  Your appetite for life-long learning as well as your yearning for a solution that makes sense to you, your students, and your community will grow.  Your appetite may lead to a mini action research cycle as you implement a research-based strategy in your classroom.

A week ago a friend of mine asked on Twitter:  “Does anyone have a genre chart they can share to encourage strong readers’ growth?”  And Dayna had several results immediately.

Steve shared this:

and Julieanne shared this:

I immediately drooled over both and wondered about combining them and adding

  • Quarter 1 Goal ________________
  • Quarter 2 Goal ________________
  • Quarter 3 Goal ________________
  • Quarter 4 Goal ________________

and then Steve added that his students also do this quarterly in google slides:

Why is this important?

Dayna Wells (@daywells) a principal in California asked the question. Two 5th grade teachers replied. Steve Peterson (@inside the dog) from Iowa and Julieanne Harmatz (@jarhartz) from California. Teachers collaborating online to share their practices. (And of course commercial #107 for WHY you really should have a professional Twitter account! joyful) Because if you followed them on Twitter, you would also know that they all three blog as well and you would have access to additional resources about / from each of them! (Commercial #108 for Twitter)

Relevance?  What do you measure?

Matt Renwick (@ReadByExample), a public school administrator in Wisconsin, believes that “volume” is not enough for reading goals in his January 1, 2017 post “I didn’t meet my reading goal (and is that okay?)”.  Goodreads said, “Better luck in 2017.” But his reading was rich.  And look at all the qualities that Goodreads did include in their report as compiled by Kendra Grant:

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If you go back to answer choices A, B, C, and D above, how do those match up with the goodreads list.  I think 5 of the 7 data points are easily covered.  Do you NEED 5 data points? Maybe.  Maybe not.  Do you need ALL 7 data points?  Maybe. Maybe not.  It all depends upon the ultimate goal of your independent reading.

Quantity?

Quality?

Who our students are?

Who our students might become as readers?

What’s the ultimate goal?

Is the purpose for a reading goal . . . to hold a student accountable for what they read? Or provide proof that they read and understood and (gasp) remembered a boatload of details to answer a quiz?

Or is the purpose of the reading goal to provide an opportunity to NURTURE a love for reading?  And to encourage / nudge EVERY student to become an avid reader? See “Let’s Not Kill the Love of Reading” by Dr. Tony Sinanis (@TonySinanis).

Is the purpose to make sure that the teacher is helping all students to “BECOME a reader” (Thank you, Dr. Mary Howard – @DrMaryHoward) ?

What data do you need?

The data needs to match your ultimate goal AND the needs of the students.  Are you thinking, “OK, I can keep doing what I have been doing?”

2. “Students do not need:

Programs / contests that provide extrinsic reward

Book Reports

Packets of activities”

Why are they missing?

THEY.DON’T.WORK!

Section 2 of the table of contents is included so you can see the practices that support increased student achievement.

“SECTION 2: WHY NOT? WHAT WORKS?
Why Independent Reading Matters and the Best Practices to Support It, Barbara Moss

  • Does Independent Reading Influence Student Achievement?
  • If We Know Independent Reading Is Effective, Why Don’t We Do It?
  • A New Reason for Independent Reading: The Common Core State Standards
  • What Practices Are Critical for Effective Independent Reading?
  • Why Independent Reading Matters Most for Striving Readers and English Learners
  • The Last Word: An Overview of Independent Reading Implementation by Teachers

Need more evidence?  Check out “Three Keys to Creating Successful Reading Experiences” by Pernille Ripp (1/4/2017) and  “Revisiting My One Classroom Non-Negotiable” by Christina Nosek.

YOU MUST . . .

  • stop wasting students’ time,
  • stop assigning “activities” in the name of accountability,
  • make sure that anything you ask  require students to do is that which YOU are willing to do as well in your own independent reading life.

DO YOU . . .

  • keep a log?
  • set goals?
  • reflect on your goals?
  • meet your goals?
  • discuss how you feel about your reading?
  • review the text complexity of your own reading?

Do your personal practices match your instructional practices?

You MUST utilize some “lens” or filter to sort out resources.

These are NOT all equal.  A single number is NOT a goal!

How does your goal match your purpose?  What are you REALLY measuring?

Process Goal for this Post:

Combine tweets; google docs, drawings, and slides; blog posts, books and Voxer conversations for a blog post with at least eight links for the reader to peruse and consider as they reflect upon whether their current teaching practices SUPPORT increased student reading!  (And thanks to Dayna, Steve, Julieanne, Mary, Christina, Matt, Tony, Donalyn, Debbie and Barbara for the wonderful way that their work supports each other!)

Added 1.06.17

Kylene Beers facebook post about lifetime readers!

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From Riverside to Riverside . . . the learning continues


Until four years ago, this was what I expected to see and hear IF and WHEN I visited New York.

Did you check it out?

That’s what I knew about New York!

My world has shifted on its axis in the last five years and I now trust my good friends to keep me grounded.

Dayna Wells  (@daywells) tweeted this out):

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Dayna’s hometown is about 10-15 miles from our family farm.  To me, the connections are obvious.  My family roots are in the town of Riverside, Iowa.  In fact, I feel that I can positively say that my family, the Schnoebelens, founded the town of Riverside, which is now infamous as the home of “Star Trek”.  St. Mary’s in  Riverside, is a majestic Catholic Church.

Saint_Mary's_Church_and_Rectory_-_Riverside,_Iowa

You can read about the church and the founding families here. In our family, one claim to fame is that all of my mom’s family attended the school at St. Mary’s.  My grandmother was a teacher in a one-room country school.   All ten of her children attended St. Mary’s School! That fact is celebrated in the pictures on the walls of the church hall. We have many fond memories of our local parish church, the school and the cemetary at St. Vincent’s  whch is the resting place for many, many, many family members. A small town church for a small town Iowa girl!

And tomorrow is the 7th time that my learning day (or week in the case of summer institutes) will begin at Riverside Church in NYC.  A majestic setting for a FREE day of learning.  There is no cost for participating in the learning at #SaturdayReunions at Teachers College.

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An eye-opening, mind-blowing learning extravaganza . . .  

Slow Learner, Fran?

There are folks who have attended for more than 25 years!

Before the end of the day, my eyeballs will be rolled back up into my brain – trying to absorb just one more ounce of inspiration, passion and true belief that ALL OUR kids can read and write.  AND read and write at high levels!  AND that all our kids deserve the BEST teachers of readers and writers – THOSE that read and write themselves.

The agenda is seven pages long. Difficult choices for attendees as all sessions will be led by those who have been immersed in the reading and writing units of study by Lucy Calkins and the amazing Teachers College Staff Developers.

How and when do you follow your passions?

What are you learning?

How will we know?

(Thanks for the inspiration, Dayna!)

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