Tag Archives: Dr. Mary Howard

#SOL17: Wondering


Do you believe this?  What’s the evidence of your belief?

every.PNG

Doug Fisher, SDSU, August

Just Wondering . . .

How much “LEARNING” do you engage in during a year?

I learn daily as I read and write.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly in Twitter chats.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly as I blog.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly in my Voxer groups.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn monthly, semi-annually and even annually from some major events.

Last week led me to learning in Davenport, IA on Monday with Dr. Mary Howard and

in Des Moines, IA on Thursday with Lucy Calkins.

Passionate speakers sharing research-based ideas.

Tirelessly

Leading

Encouraging

Thoughtful

Implementation of Best Practices in Literacy Instruction and

Assessment.

In three weeks I will be at #NCTE17.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I’m “retired” from a full-time job and yet since retirement, I have engaged in

15 days

of professional learning of my choice!

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

That does not include book clubs (6 this year).

That does not include Twitter chats (often 2 per week).

That does not include reading . . .

That does not include writing . . .

WHY?

Learning is growing.

Learning is addictive.

Learning is necessary . . . breathe in, breathe out, read, write!

Living a learning life!

What does your learning life look like?




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 




What is the Bill of Rights for Writers according to Lucy Calkins?

Link

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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:

goodreads.JPG

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!

kylene-beers-lifetime-readers

Beginning the School Year!


welcome

What’s your focus for the beginning of a new school year?

If your students have not yet begun:

What do you know about school, the year, your grade level, your students and yourself as you begin to plan? How do you set your priorities?  What are you planning based on your own personal belief statements?

If your students are already attending, think back to how you began the year.

the beginning

Nobody knows how much you know until they know how much you care.  Theodore Roosevelt

Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Anonymous

How important are relationships?

As an adult, how comfortable are you in those situations where you “play” icebreaker activities?  Which ones work for you?  Which ones make you think “Is this really the best use of my time?”

Dana Murphy addressed this conundrum in her post, “The Chicken and the Egg”.  Please go read her blog if you haven’t yet!  The notion of “Significant 72” is critical. Relationships are critical.  But how can relationships, fun and academics all work together during the “Significant 72”?

Obviously in upper grades, this would not mean “boring and endless reading of the classroom rules” for we know that co-constructed roles, expectations, and norms result in increased collaboration and learning.

And then Shaelynn Farnsworth’s post, “Kicking Off Back to School with Camera Fun”, caught my eye because it combined content, learning targets and building relationships within the classroom.  Of course it was also FUN! But I also loved the ideas because they involved some form of “creation”, higher level of Bloom’s or DOK, as well as a source of formative assessment for the students, if I chose to use the student products to not only tell me about the students but also to tell me what my students currently know about 6 word memoirs.

How do you make decisions about your learning priorities?

I see Dana’s thinking about how writing together can build relationships as well as Shaelynn’s “fun” and “technology” as integral parts of first days of school relationship building and setting the classroom expectations for learning.  “It’s all about the learning” would be a mantra of mine! As well as “It’s about ALL learning“. How much do my beliefs and values enter into my decisions?

what matters atwell

Tricia Ebarvia posted this on twitter on 8.15.15 and it’s a quote that I plan to hold onto.  It matches Kylene Beers keynote at TCRWP during the March Saturday reunion as well as the August Reading Institute.  A reader has to read in order to be a better reader. How do students get that time?  How do teachers provide that time?  How do systems protect that time?

Twitter has also provided other sources of inspirations and decision making.  A favorite quote of mine from Dr. Mary Howard is “Tick Tock, Every minute counts and must be designed to make the most of precious available time with students!”

tick tock

Time is finite.  Our minutes with our students are limited.  In order to teach both the reader and the writer, we must make deliberate choices about how to spend that time.

To begin the year I choose:

  1. Quality Read Alouds – where students will choose a word, phrase or sentence that captures their “ears” that they want to linger with. (Relationships will be built as we consider who has similar words and phrases as well as WHY the choice was made.)
  2. Writing about our Read Alouds – what are some of the most important things in my world?  (Relationships will be built as we talk with partners about the ideas in Margaret Wise Brown’s The Important Book.)
  3. Speed Dating with Books – Read a book and share with others in my group about who might want to read it and why. (Relationships will be built as students create To Be Read, TBR, lists.)
  4. To watch and listen (no interrogations) as students talk, read, write, and speak to capture their words and the essence of their thoughts.

 Why does it matter?

Sharon Salzberg says it best, “We learn and grow and are transformed not so much by what we do but by why and how we do it.”

Check out Tara Smith’s post “Begin the Writing Workshop Year by Writing on ‘Day One'”!  It’s fabulous!

How will you begin the year with fun, learning, literacy, AND relationship building?

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