A board covered in canvas protecting maps. Black and white maps. Maps of farmland. Maps that showed crops, waterways, and entrances and exits for fields. My first remembrances of maps were maps that my dad used in his part-time work at the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) office.
These maps were a part of family life. We would wait in the car after Sunday Mass while Dad met with a farmer. Kids in a car. Sometimes reading. Sometimes writing. Sometimes playing games like “I Spy.”
When completed these black and white maps would have markings on them in colored pencil noting changes. Each map was a section of land. One square mile. 640 acres of land. Math, Social Studies, and a lot of talk. An interdependence of content decades and decades ago.
History is filled with maps that share information about exploration, settlement, and expansion of populations. How do the visuals add to our understanding?
Are maps important today? Why? What maps do students need to learn about? What maps do students need to create?
Let’s face it. Maps are readily accessible through google and our smart phones or gps devices. It is easy to get oral directions or a map from a business location online.
But what about maps like Georgia Heard’s Heart Maps? What about capturing and creating connections between ideas that I want to remember. Heart Maps add another dimension to writing and then reading. Not familiar with Heart Maps? Check out this link for additional details.
What skills do you use to understand maps?
What maps do you use on a regular basis?
Are you a map consumer or a map creator?
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.
NEA and Maps (link)
US Interactive History Map (link)
Heart Maps (link)
2018: In the Rear View Mirror
What a year!
What does the data say?
Looking back is something of a habit as the New Year dawns. Here were my reflective posts from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. It was fun to see where the emphasis has changed over time.
My Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of all time are:
5. How do we know students are making progress in writing? (2014)
4. Generative Writing as a Formative Assessment (2015)
3. Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)
2. Close Reading in Kindergarten? Is it possible? (2013)
1. #TCRWP and a Teacher’s Toolkit for Writing (2014)
Data analysis is interesting. Four of the five posts were in my top 5 all time last year. #2 this year is a new addition to the top 5. It leapfrogged to #2 by passing up three previous “all time” posts.
I continue to wonder if my OLD writing is more popular than my newer writing with two posts from 2013 in the top 5. “Or does the popularity mean that these posts are STILL topics/issues that present day literacy teachers are struggling with?” Maybe these are topics that I need to review during the course of the year. They are definitely already on my March Slicer “To Write About” list.
My Top 8 Posts (by the number of readers) out of the 109 posts that were written in 2018 were:
8. #SOL18: Lit Essentials – Regie Routman’s Literacy Essentials with an entire section dealing with Equity!
7. #TCRWP: 3 Tips – Patterns of Power (Jeff Anderson), Mentor Texts with Simone Frazier and Heart Maps with Georgia Heard
6. #SOL18: Reading Research – Is all reading research equal?
5. Bloom’s and Thinking – Reconceptualizing Bloom’s Taxonomy
4. #SOL18: March 25 – Updated Reprise of #3 above “Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)
3. #NCTE18: Digging Deeper #1 – Kass Minor, Colleen Cruz & Cornelius Minor
2. #SOL18: March 15 – Barriers to Learning, Allington’s Six T’s, Student Progress
1.#SOL18: March 11 – Increasing Writing Volume
And this – Reading Research from the end of October and both a November post about NCTE and a December post can make it into the “Most Read in 2018” list within 4 – 8 weeks of the end of the year. So Interesting!
What patterns do you see?
Which topics did you find most compelling?
What work do you review annually or over even longer time frames?
Wrapping up Curious with a Focus on being Joyful for this first chance to CELEBRATE!
#TCRWP: 3 Tips
Day 3 Countdown . . .
Working with Jeff Anderson’s Patterns of Power this week in Marie Mounteer’s section has been a special treat in a section where our focus has been on Interactive Writing,
The steps for a lesson.
When to use.
Work with Conventions. Spelling. Capitalization.
Work with Grammar.
Beginning with the standards.
Using student writing to determine needs.
Formative assessment at its best.
Analyzing student writing to plan for one small group of three students with different needs.
Lifting the level of work for all.
It all began with this:
Everything you will need for planning is in Jeff Anderson’s book. Sample sentences from fabulous literature that you will be reading to your students. The only exception would be an actual sentence from the reading students are doing in your classroom.
Don’t consult other sources like TpT!
Use the research-based work from Jeff Anderson! (never a rip off) as you work and plan with a partner – Priceless!
Simone Fraser and Toolkits
What do you include?
- Mentor Texts
- Checklists from Writing Pathways
- Progressions from Writing Pathways
- Tools to do big work (micro-progressions! Also see Kate and Maggie and DIY Literacy – link)
- Anchor Chart – Anchor Charts for the whole unit as well as charts from previous years
How do you organize?
So many possibilities. By units or within bends.
“I organize by the stages of the writing process.”
Working collaboratively to create tools and share . . .
Do.not.ever.pass.on.an.opportunity.to.hear.Georgia.Heard. What an inspiring keynote!!!
Her writerly life will inspire you as she details her process and shares the final product.
Her student examples will bring you to tears.
Gaspar’s Heart Map with a single wavy line down the middle to represent the line at the Mexican border. He wrote a poem off of that map about his Mexican heart and American heart with alternating lines written in English and Spanish. Awe-inspiring.
“Heart maps are a powerful tool for writers and writing. No one has ever said, ‘I have heart map block.’ Many students have said (prior to heart mapping), ‘I don’t know what to write about.’ Small moments can change us. My writing teacher who wrote ‘add more details’ was really saying, ‘pay attention and gather ideas for your writing.'”
What are you learning this week?
How are you filling and fueling your brain?
How are you filling and fueling your writing heart?