Moments in time
Magical because of the connections
Across interests . . .
Magical Mentor Moments
“We come from: Oklahoma, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada. Mentors All.” (10 points to you if you know the context of this quote.) TY: #G2Great for so many magical moments at #NCTE18.
Writing in the Wild = Margaret Simon
“Slicer” Dinner = Mentor Writers
An annual tradition from #TWTBlog. Three of the authors from #TWT and some of the bloggers at dinner and sharing literary gifts!
And then the sessions:
So many great ones.
So little time.
What fuels the choices?
Friday, November 16, 2018
Passion and Power
Activism means thinking, talking, reading, writing, and growing your passions.
I love this 5th grader’s quote shared by Justin Dolci.
And the people . . .
Magical #NCTE18 Moments
Where have you found your magic?
And your mentors?
Try, Try, Try again
Last week, #G2Great hosted Tanny McGregor with a lively chat about representing ideas in #sketchnotes. I participated, watched, and on Sunday dug out Paper 53 on my mini iPad.
What was my goal?
Responding to these two quotes from Tanny (and our chat) and a Facebook post by Dr. Mary Howard after her RTI keynote in St. Louis Saturday.
Here’s Draft 1 (first attempt with Paper 53, no stylus, and 0 video tips):
Here’s Draft 2 (the old fashioned way with paper and Flairs:
And here’s the same concept in an old familiar format: Google Drawings
– – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – –
– – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – – Can Do – – – –
This was the picture in my brain that captured many of the basic concepts from this Facebook post by Dr. Mary Howard.
What I learned?
Jumping in and using an app with just trial and error did not work. I was frustrated because I wanted a background color. Without a stylus, drawing and writing with my finger was not always legible. I’ve typed notes for over 20 years in order to make them legible so a stylus is needed.
I watched three videos and downloaded an app to my Samsung phone. I watched two videos and entered three questions in the “help center”. The automated reply said that I would receive a response within 72 hours and between 9 to 5 when the offices were open.
I went back to paper and pencil and posted that second effort in the thread on Mary’s post. I thought about all the things that went wrong with Draft 1 and Draft 2.
I went to Google Drawings and created using a familiar format to capture basic ideas. Approximately two and a half hours on this representation of Mary’s FB post.
Stuck in that cycle
my first grade teacher
tore up my paper
in front of me
because she didn’t like
my red sun
my purple sky
and flowers with green blooms.
What do you do when learning doesn’t go as planned?
How do you continue?
What helps you push past your self-doubts?
How do you teach your students to persevere?
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.
Wakelet from our #G2Great chat: Link
Jenn’s post about our chat will be on Literacy Lenses soon.
Heinemann podcast here
Thank you for the amazing warm welcome, a supportive place to celebrate with friends, the learning, and the many great dining adventures.
Spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips . . . Austin, Texas news . . . here
Celebrations . . .
Celebrating meeting so many in our #G2Great family as well as friends near and far.
A book birthday.
A real live face to face birthday!
With friends from afar. . . FB Live (Julieanne & Justin) Facetime (Kitty & Justin)
With friends we have known for years are are just now meeting IRL (in real life)
Our Montana connections!
The learning . . .
From the President of ILA, Doug Fisher . . .
and not because of zip code!
From Cornelius Minor
“Being nice in the face of oppression is not enough. Nice does not create change. Kindness does. Kindness means I care enough about you to call you out.”
For more from the keynote – see Mary Howard’s facebook post here.
We don’t know what we don’t know.
Trust the wisdom of our children.
Check the language you use.
Who does not fit in?
How can I be more inclusive?
Listen, Research, Self examine.
Also – look at the books you have out when parents and students arrive. Do they see themselves in your classroom?
Learn more than you can do. Keep learning.
Keep your head and heart ahead of your actions.
From Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins
“What’s more important than text level when considering text selection by teachers?1) Student Identity,
3) Reading Process,
4) Depth of Thought
From Reading Wellness
A weight lifting metaphor
3# = light effort- People magazine
5# = A Kitchen House – Kathleen Grissom
8# = Where good ideas come from – Steven Johnson
10# = Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading – Alverman
Why is this not the same for our students?
Recommendations from the locals . . . Thank you, Terry and Clare. We loved Uncle Julio’s.
And then pure decadence.
Banana Foster Bread Pudding.
Melt in your mouth.
How was your Saturday?
2018 is the year of books!
These are just some of the books that I have read (and blogged about) during the last school year. I’ve left out Ellin Keene’s Engaging Children, Tom Marshall’s Reclaiming the Principalship, and Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz’s Kids 1st From Day One. So much to continue to learn. So much to continue to read and write about. So much to continue to be curious about.
And then another new book emerges . . .
This week’s #G2Great chat will be about this new book from Stenhouse by Kari Yates and Christina Nosek. And I’ve been waiting
Conferring is still an area where I need to improve. Where I need to listen more and talk less. Where I need to grow. And conferring about reading!
The title is captivating: “to know and nurture a reader: Conferring with Confidence and Joy”. I love the conventions, and their use in the title. I love “confidence and joy”.
Have you checked out the resources?
I have two chapters left to read and then I will be ready for the chat Thursday night. I can’t wait to spend more time practicing and improving my conferring skills with students and teachers. The videos, the tips, and all the problem solving has thus far been on target.
What are you reading?
What are your working on?
How will we know?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
That big star? Always in the North?
Easier to see out in the country
Away from “city” lights
Easily 100 carats bright
A stationary beacon.
It was a lab extra credit. We took turns looking through a telescope. But we really liked the view from the quilt on the ground. The sky sprinkled with twinkling lights was mesmerizing. And the “city slickers” slowed down to observe just a bit of nature. I didn’t want to be there. The ground was hard. It was late. A book was surely calling my name.
Read me. Read me.
But the uncertainty of whether I needed the extra credit made me linger. I knew my lab partner probably needed my points as well. That night – a peaceful view, a bit of learning and the company of friends and classmates.
I knew this. I didn’t have to be there. But it was Easy. No challenge No stress. Just time, a different location, and an opportunity for an out of the ordinary instructional experience.
There’s something magical about the North Star. I’m not sure if it’s the “constancy”, the fact that it doesn’t move, or just the symbol that guides us that sparks my curiosity (#OLW18).
What is your guiding star?
One of mine is my insatiable need to continue learning… and reading …and writing … I’m currently stuck on E’s
and these quotes from our #G2Great chats:
My current North Stars – my source of direction comes from:
What is your North Star?
Where does it come from?
What sustains it?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
What is essential in literacy instruction?
How do you know?
Is this something you were taught?
Or is this something you have learned?
As you can see, “curious”, my #OLW is already in play for 2018. It sits on my shoulder daily encouraging me to wonder about new and old issues. So let’s take up “essential”.
What does essential mean?
“1. absolutely necessary; indispensable:Discipline is essential in an army.2. pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.3. noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.
4. being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous:essential happiness.” Dictionary.com
Why this book?
What additional information is available?
“”…without that culture of joy and celebration of strengths…we are never going to get our students where they need to be and where they want to be.” @ talks about her new book, Literacy Essentials:”
What makes this book so appealing?
- The format of the book.
The three big “units” are Engagement, Excellence, and Equity.
You CAN begin with any of those sections. They are very well cross-referenced so that you can dip into the pieces that you need!
2. The format in the chapters.
There’s a conversation with Regie with facts, questions, and anecdotes that illustrate the point. Then there is a detailed “Take Action” section. This is repeated multiple times in each chapter which has endnotes for a closing. A single teacher could choose actions to make changes in their classroom. A group of teachers could choose actions to make changes in their building or district. The possibilities for thinking teachers are endless.
3. The teacher in the book.
Calm, practical, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations. Not a bunch of “mumbo jumbo” from publishers, test-writers, or those who have not been in classrooms recently or perhaps . . . EVER! Real solutions that will NOT add hours to your day. Real solutions that you can advocate for. Real solutions that will bring joy back into your life!
Not yet convinced?
Join the #G2Great chat Thursday, January 11th. Be a part of the conversation or listen in – whichever role is most comfortable for you. Listen in to hear the essence of the text, the indispensable actions, the natural, spontaneous actions that can bring JOY back into your teaching life. Then consider your next steps!
Why does this matter to me?
I remember meeting Regie at a Regis Literacy Institute in the late 1980’s or early 90″s. She was the first real live, up close and personal “edu-hero” that I ever met. She was so kind, so thoughtful and so willing to talk to me even though her coffee was growing cold in the cafe and I was totally interrupting. She’s a teacher. She’s a leader. She’s a reader. She’s a writer. Regie’s amazing!
What professional reading do you have planned for 2018?
What books are you “curious” about?
Where will you begin?
“Bravery is not always a roar; sometimes it’s the quiet strength that we possess when we need it most.” ~@
Are you brave?
It may depend on how you define brave.
I eagerly anticipated “Brave” in 2017 because my word had found me in mid-December. I tried it out quietly, drafted some ideas, rechecked my understanding, watched this video of Kimberly Davis and finally announced it here. I embraced, Brave, and changed the wallpaper on my blog.
I checked in often.
Here in this post today.
Little did I know how BRAVE was going to test me in 2017.
Test me personally. Test me professionally.
Test me mentally. Test me spiritually.
And it was a roller coaster because there were days that went by in a fog and days where time stood still . . . and minutes became months. And then there were the days that seemed to barely last one hour. What a strange construct time can be . . .
And as the calendar pages have turned, I’ve embraced:
(Courtesy of Dictionary.com here)
Amid gnashing of teeth, crying, whimpering, screaming, and yelling . . .
I did not always go quietly into the night.
But as each night faded into daylight,
I welcomed the chance to begin each day anew.
And NOW, I celebrate!
We don’t have to be perfect!
Watch for more wisdom from this source (Released January 16, 2018):
What will my 2018 #OLW be?
How are you preparing for your 2018 #OLW?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
By Sunday the air is bittersweet. Farewells begin. Last conversations are passionate pleas to capture frantic final minutes. Choices are final. Options are few. Time races. No second chances to catch folks as flight departures begin before the sun is above the horizon.
And yet, gems . . .
“What is Authenticity?
Is it the same when viewed with a student lens?
How do we know?”
L. 30 Prioritizing Student Voice: Honoring Independence, Identity, and Advocacy as the Cornerstones of Learning
And from the #G2Great family:
- Samuel Fremin @The Sammer88
- Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson @kkht6912
- Susie Rolander @suzrolander
- Justin Dolcimascolo @jdolci
- Kara Pranikoff @pranikoff
Sam Fremin began with asking us to not constrain student’s creativity! He told us the story of having a two page limit to an assignment that meant he had to cut almost everything out of his original seven page response.
What is the purpose of a two page maximum assignment?
What is your response to a “page limit”?
Is that indicative of the teacher’s attention span?
Sam contrasted that with this year’s AP Lang course where they were to “Write about something important to us” as they compared and analyzed two essays. As a 15 year old, Sam, who likes The Onion wanted to write a satire about “Discrimination not really being that bad” and through multiple conversations with his teacher, worked out the details and “used a display of writing that I will never get to write again. I displayed my need to try that voice.” And the teacher, even though she wanted a tight rein on the expectations, did participate in a two-sided discussion that allowed Sam to write his satire!
And then Sam’s role (as a high school junior) was to continue to introduce each of the panel members. Such poise and great presence for a high school junior and one of the #BowTieBoys! (Sam blogs here.)
We also learned that advocacy for Native Americans is important because Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson shared a US map with reservations marked although only 22% of Native Americans live on reservations. Kathryn teaches at an Ojibwe school so she is very cognizant of appropriate language and respect for cultures. Awareness may be a great first step but Kathryn also encouraged us to be aware that work barely scratches the surface of working with folks who have different beliefs and values. How do Ojibwe students want to be named? When do we ask?
Susie Rolander shared that we need to let student input drive our work. This means we need to revise and renew our professional practice. (A plug for Coppola’s book – Renew!) It’s a Journey! But for students who are struggling there does need to be a Sense of Urgency! And that this meant as an interventionist, Susie wanted her students to be independent. “I don’t know what I would do without you!” from a student was not what she wanted so one big action in her productivity plan was to move to student goal-setting so the students themselves would know if they were meeting their goals. Their goals. Not teacher goals.
Justin had us begin by completing this statement: “I am _____”
I am a:
Am I real? Do my students know my many roles? Do other staff know our roles? Justin shared a “I am” board created in his school.
Justin’s parting challenge was to consider equity and how we build our identity every day of our school lives so that we are not just working on career education in high school. Instead of “What do you want to be?” in terms of a career, Justin said we need to shift to “What great problem do you want to solve?”
Kara Pranikoff, author of Teaching Talk: A Practical Guide to Fostering Student Thinking and Conversation, closed out the presentation with thoughts on how to use talk in the classroom to increase student engagement and agency. And also, “Deep thinking takes time, we’ll wait. Take your time.” Students set the pace. As an instructor at Bank Street College, Kara and Susie routinely invite their students to Twitter chats!
M. 24 Rekindling Our Teacher Hearts and Minds to Reclaim Our Sense of Agency and Purpose
(Ellin Oliver Keene, Vicki Vinton, Donna Santman)
What is the purpose of education? Which of the four statements matches your thinking?
What do you value?
” We overestimate children academically and underestimate them intellectually.” ~Lillian King
Shout out to Regie Routman:
Resources will often dictate practices. (from Read, Write, Lead)
“However, we NEED to begin with Beliefs first, then our Practices, and then choose Resources that align LAST!”
Beliefs and Practices – Donna Santman @dsantman
What made your current school a match for you?
When Trouble Starts:
What do you do?
What flexibility will be required of me here?
And how will I respond when trouble happens?
Our core beliefs about children;
Our core beliefs about ourselves.
We are humbled in the face of children;
We are humbled by our children.
There has been a huge language slide in our country.
How do we convert deficit language to asset language?
Check out the asset mapping resources on Ellin Keene’s website Mosaicliteracy.com
N.O8 Redefining Authenticity: Empowering Student Ownership
(Do you know their Twitter names? @acorgill @katiedicesare @ruth_ayres @coloreader)
I was expecting to be blown away by Ruth Ayres because I can’t stop talking about her new book just out, Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers. It’s an amazing personal heart-wrenching narrative about her children who struggled with life and then also a “how to” deal with teaching writing. And yet all three of the other panel members complemented that presentation.
Skills and dispositions for writing are the same for real work. We have to get the heart right. Students need to write. Yes, kids are afraid! Writing is where I can help kids see the different ways a story can go.
If we have authentic writing projects, teachers cannot make all these decisions. Students need some choice and voice. This is NOT a free-for-all! You don’t have to leave ALL open! But you must leave SOME open!
How do you ensure that students have an authentic voice?
How do you know that students REALLY believe that they have a voice and some choice?
What did you learn on Sunday at #NCTE17?
A new day. Typical. Some leaving home. Some already arriving at their destination. Snow on the mountain pass. Video from walking through the rainforest. And the ubiquitous, “Are we there yet?” Pictures of the first two arrivals at the airport: Kathryn arriving from MN and Justin from PA. They trickle in. The #G2Great Cousins are arriving from literally across the nation and within 24 hours all attendees will be present.
And then the Gala Event . . .
#NCTE17 began with celebrations divided by grade levels: elementary, middle, and secondary. The Elementary session recognized many attendees for their current work as well as their past work. First time attendees were equally applauded for their presence. The stars were aligned. Ones that I saw and or spoke to included:
Katie Ray Wood
Mary Lee Hahn
Literacy Rock Stars!
The big, big crowd was there to honor and salute the work of Katherine and Randy Bomer, who in their own inimitable style rallied us to action after Kathy Collins’ hilarious introduction of the honorees because she has known and worked with them for year. An interesting factoid is that their November interview is the most retweeted NCTE article. (link)
Critique and resistance are necessary.
What are our values in teaching? How do we translate those into practice?
In a time of resistance, what are we ADVANCING into the world?
Katherine encouraged us to:
- Meet every child with an air of expectancy: open heart, open mind with respect. Awe, wonder, and love. (Maxine Green – TC – “Humans are never done becoming.)
- Delight in students’ voices: “Does it bring joy?” “Student writing is the place where I know I am doing something meaningful.” “Best place to fall in love with student writing is in the notes you find in your room.“ From her mentors: Lucy Calkins, “Children can write, children have stories, and children can write with laser like vision”; and Donald Graves “Children will write if we let them.”
Randy shared that it’s not enough to resist. It has to be part of an action. He proposed that we advance justice and respect.
- Advancing Justice – Critical Lenses – Writing for Change
“Doing critical work is how we continually check the differences among people. How we restratify our relationships. Big concepts are: Groups, Power, and Relationships. Where do we find these in stories?” Student voice, agency, and thinking about hard things in the social world. . . Advancing more critical perspective. Reading our shared lives to see when we see something that someone should do something about – our actions, habits, and lenses.
- Advancing Respect – Appreciative Stance – Critique of Deficit Stance
“Listen to a reader to understand them. Readers come with enough.”
“No deficit perspectives.This has fueled me.” Hold up a mirror to check for an appreciative stance. Call people’s attention to injustices. DO something about them! Polarization that may have begun on internet but have moved to the street. Continue to resist injustice. “White folks are obliged to do that!”
You can hear more from both Katherine and Randy at 9:30 Friday, today, at NCTE. Or check out #NCTE17. Follow the hashtag through Sunday for the best and most important happenings from St. Louis, Missouri.
Final thought I tweeted out before we left the convention center:
“Do we tell teachers? . . .
You are enough!
You don’t need a basal.
You don’t need Pinterest.
You don’t need TpT.
You are enough.
Make decisions for the students in front of you!”
And with that the #G2Great celebration began . . .
Rumor has it that the Friday evening #G2Great meet up will include ukeleles.
How do you celebrate students?
How do you celebrate your own learning?
Who are your ELA heroes?