Tag Archives: Kate Messner

#SOL17: Stories


Where do ideas for stories come from?

Some stories come from a picture that captures an idea.

Some stories come from an observation.

Some stories come from a conversation.

Some stories come from a thought or idea inside the brain.

Some stories come from a question.

I had the pleasure of hearing Kate Messner share with a panel on Friday where the idea for Over and Under the Snow came from . . .

tracks and then a hole in the snow

over and under

And then this book became a mentor text for additional texts.

About Over and Under link

Advice for writers from  Kate Messner here

Where are your ideas coming from? 

What are you paying attention to? 

What are you wondering about?




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 




Additional information:

Neil Gaiman on ideas here

Story Nuggets here

Wiki how here

Heart Maps by Georgia Heard here

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#ILA15: Treasures Continued


What messages am I hearing every day at #ILA15?

Teachers Matter!

Kids Count!

Ask students what they need

Words Hurt

Engagement Matters

Read More

Data is more than a number

ILA

What treasures remained from Saturday’s sessions at #ILA15?

1. The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the  Craft of Writing

     Ruth Culham, Kate Messner, and Lester Laminack

Mentor texts in the form of fiction and nonfiction picture books  provide teachers with a powerful teaching strategy to help students of all ages learn to write.  Good models come in many forms:  picture books, chapter books and everyday texts that allow students to study craft techniques in order to create their own strong writing using the writing process.

Ruth Culham shared some of her beliefs about mentor texts that are elaborated in Writing Thief. She read Bully to us as we focused on the reader’s view and then had us “re-read” paying attention to the author’s craft and studying the writing as an author.

one

She also shared a video from the author about the book.  Her text includes Author Insights from:  Lester Laminack, Lola Schaefer, Nicola Davies, Toni Buzzeo, Ralph Fletcher, David Harrison, and Lisa Yee.

Kate Messner shared her writing mentors:  Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.  They taught her how to read like a writer and how to find mentors on her own bookshelf when there were not live mentor authors in her hometown.  Kate also shared that her own daughter knows how to find mentors.  Merely by asking, “How are you doing that?” she found her own hula-hoop mentor. We should use that question with students and encourage students to query authors using that question to grow their own knowledge of the skills and strategies that authors use. Kate reminded us that mentor texts are found in the books that we love, so students who are readers will also have the background necessary to be a writer!

Lester Laminack wants Read Alouds to be FUN for students.  He does not want every Read Aloud to be an “interactive read aloud” and even said that you can only “unwrap” the gift of a book once – let kids get lost in the story the first time. Lester is fun, funny and literally pulls no punches.  My favorite quote was that “Read Alouds should be like drug dealers: deliver a little somethin’ somethin’ today, then come back tomorrow and deliver a little more somethin’ somethin’ on a schedule.”  Showing up, delivering, creating a deep need and continuing to meet that need.

Read Alouds feeding the soul.

Read Alouds helping students grow.

Read Alouds for fun.

Take Away:  Mentors are all around us:  books, authors, teachers, and yes, even students!  Choose and use wisely!

2.   In Defense of Read-Aloud 

       Steven Layne

Steven Layne literally had to stop his presentation to wipe the tears, from laughter, from his own eyes.  Steven provided an overview of some of the instructional highlights from his book. Chapter one, In Defense of Read Alouds, is basically an overview of Why Read Alouds are needed.  This is one of two slides listing benefits.

three

Launching a book requires intentional planning.  Teachers carry an invisible backpack that includes their schema, but care needs to be included in developing schema with students.  An example that Layne used was The Giver which would need two and a half 40 minute class periods to launch WELL!  It’s a complex text.

The shared letters were my favorites, letters and responses to:

Witless in Walla Walla

Addled in Anchorage

Troubled in Telluride

Crazy in Calabasa

And if you are relatively new to Read Alouds, you may want to check out chapter 4, “The Art of Reading Aloud”.

Take Away:  All students deserve carefully planned Read Alouds that introduce them to all genres of texts in order to find personally loved texts.

3.   Accountability, Agency, and Increased Achievement in Independent Reading

       Jennifer Serravallo

     4:45-5:45 p.m.

Hundreds of teachers attending a session at this hour of the day on the first full day of the conference?  REALLY?

Yes, it’s true!

Jennifer Serravallo masterfully led us through some possibilities for instruction and conferring to meet student self-chosen goals.  With accomplishment of these goals, students will also increase their motivation to read and their student reading growth.

Beginning Point:

How much time is spent on reading?

Do classrooms have books?

Great questions that can jump start student reading!

four

I love this look at Hattie’s rating scale.  It’s a great visual to remind us of the importance of that .40 effect size lynch pin (the light blue area). Kids need to read a ton but with goals and feedback they will be successful.  Jennifer referenced some of the visuals from her book.

strategies

As with her previous texts, Conferring with Readers, Teaching Reading in Small Groups, The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook K-2 or 3-5, I knew this was a great book but I have an even greater appreciation now that I understand the depth of care and attention given to each of the strategies.

I also believe that we need to “Teach strategies based on student needs – not just off of Pinterest randomly”. And the fact that we need to use common language in our buildings that matches the assessment language was clearly explained with “not slip and slide that may have come from Pinterest.”  We must work on consistency of language in our classrooms for STUDENT success, not just because “I like this idea that I found somewhere”!  Student learning is at stake!

Prompts fit these basic five categories.  Do you know the differences?

  • compliment
  • directive
  • redirection
  • question
  • sentence starter

When and why would you vary your use of these five types of prompts?

This is a great text that is going to be so helpful for teachers!!!

Take Aways:  The goal of strategies is to learn the skill so well that the reader uses the strategy automatically on a regular basis!  Students must be a regular part of goal setting!

Many sessions still remain at #ILA15.  Did you attend any of these sessions?

What would you add?

What are you hearing at #ILA15?

#ILA15: One Week and Counting!


This summer is a FEAST of professional development for me.  I had the great fortune of being accepted for two weeks of learning at TCRWP for Writing and Reading Institutes. (You can check out my public learning log under the “Recent Posts” at the right.)  Next weekend I will be in St. Louis for ILA.

How are you preparing for your learning?

preview

What information do you need to KNOW before you look at specific sessions?

Do you look for specific PEOPLE?

Do you look for specific TOPICS?

Here’s the link to the 16 page preview guide pictured above.

I used the search tool to create a DRAFT LIST of those I know that I MUST see.

Chris Lehman –  Sunday, Writing from Sources is more than. . .”The Text Says”

Jennifer Serravello – Sunday, Accountability, Agency, and Increased Achievement in Independent Reading

Nell Duke – Saturday, A Project-Based Place

Lester Laminack, Linda Rief, and Kate Messner – Saturday, The Writing Thief:  Using Mentor Text to Teach the Craft of Writing

Penny Kittle and Donalyn Miller – Sunday, Complex, Rigorous and Social: Fostering Readerly Lives

and then added in others previously marked in the program:

Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan – They are authors of the book Assessment in Perspective: Focusing on the Reader Behind the Numbers.

Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry-Paul – Preconference Institute – Friday, Reading with Rigor:  Interpreting Complex Text Using  Annotation and Close Reading Strategies

Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins – They are the authors of Reading Wellness. Check out a bit of their work here.

Kylene Beers and Bob ProbstNotice and Note and Nonfiction version to be out in October.

Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey – Many, many ELA texts involving Gradual Release of Responsibility

Other faves that I hope to see at ILA15 include:  Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse – What Readers Really Do; Dr. Mary Howard – Good to Great; and ANY and ALL TCRWP folks!

And?

Any Two Writing Teacher Slicers? – please say hello in person!

Any #G2Great chatters?

Any #TCRWP afficionados?

I’m ready to rename ILA15 as “Gateway to the STARS!” as I look at this line up of literacy greats.  What great learning opportunities and I’m still at the pre-planning stage.  (Maybe I will find Hermione’s secret so that I can be in at least two locations at the same time!)

Who would you add to this list?

Writing: Planning, Revising, Editing, Rewriting, or Trying a New Approach (CCR. W.5)


If you are in a Common Core state, you may already have digested this standard:

“CCR. W.5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.”

 

If you are still trying to figure out what it means for you as the teacher (instruction) or for the students (learning) or even to real-life authors, you need to check out Kate Messner’s book:  Real Revision –  Authors’ Strategies to Share with Student Writers.

Why?

It’s written by a REAL teacher who is also a REAL author who has REAL practical, crystal clear examples.  You can preview parts of the book online here at Stenhouse!

Not convinced?

Here is the Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: Real Revision: Where Stories Start to Sing
Chapter 2: Creating a Revision-Friendly Classroom
Chapter 3: The Elephant in the Room (And It’s Ticking Away the Minutes!)
Chapter 4: Back to Brainstorming
Chapter 5: Real Authors Don’t Plan . . . Or Do They?
Chapter 6: Big-Picture Revision
Chapter 7: Returning to Research
Chapter 8: Magic in the Details
Chapter 9: Are the People Real?
Chapter 10: Whose Voice Is It Anyway?
Chapter 11: The Words We Choose
Chapter 12: Cut! Cut! Cut!
Chapter 13: Talking It Out
Chapter 14: Clean Up: The Copyediting Process
Chapter 15: What If the Writing Is Already Good?
Chapter 16: Technology Tools of the Trade
Chapter 17: The Revision Classroom, Revisited
Appendix
Resources
Index

What grade levels would benefit from this text?

This book is listed for grades 3-9, but it could work at any grade with some thoughtful planning by the teacher. The copyright is 2011 but the strategies will withstand time!

Check it out!
Remember:
“When you’re done, you’ve just begun!”   – Lucy Calkins

Preview here.

Image

Example:

Chapter 6 “Big Picture Revision”

“Revise for:

    • theme – What is this piece really about?
    • seeing the forest instead of the trees  – Create a “to-do” list
    • reading to revise – listen to the piece; how does it sound?”

 

And then how is this supported by what this first grader revises here in “Austin’s Butterfly”

and what Lucy Calkins says here in “Being a Good Writer”?

 

Have you read this?  What did you think?

Slice of Life: TCRWP Bound


ImageTuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

*      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *      *     *     *

 

The last three months have seemed like a year.  Why?  I was waiting to hear about the status of my application for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s June Writing Institute and July Reading Institute.

It seemed like “forever” since I saw the first tweet that said “…accepted!”  Multiple friends received news of their status.  My reading application status was “wait list” so I tried to be patient and believe that “no news is good news!”  Finally I received notice that I was accepted for the Writing Institute. And last week my reading application was accepted!  Two weeks at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project!  Woohoo!

Image

 

After my application was accepted I realized the truth of this statement.  Institute paid.  Housing paid.  Flight booked.  Checking time frames. . . Planning to maximize time and learning opportunities.

 

Why is this blog worthy?

Simply,

Image

My two weeks at Teachers College last summer for the Reading and Writing Institutes was one of the most fabulous learning experiences of my life!  With the new writing Units of Study, my large group sessions every day were led by Lucy Calkins.  She can build confidence and inspire all teachers to “do more” to increase the reading and writing of students.  Anything and everything is possible with Lucy’s guidance!

 

And the many rock stars at #TCRWP. .  .  My daily choices included Mary Ehrenworth, Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts.  It was so fun to “know” many of the staff and presenters because of their “Twitter presence” and so easy to thank them for their accessibility!  Unbelievable learning.  And yet, I have to confess, I was ready to go home last year when the first night’s assignment was to write a narrative. I spent hours (some whining and complaining) writing, drafting, rewriting, drafting.  It was not pretty and basically fit the third grade rubric according to the #UoS rubric.  Frustrating, yes; empathy for students, YES!

I am so ready to learn more. Do more.  And I have been working on developing my own writing muscles this year – blogging, tweeting, and developing models.  June Writing Institute!  July Reading Institute!  Love Learning!

My NYC agenda contains:

June Writing

Advanced AM Section:  Reports, Nonfiction Books, Journals, Feature Articles: Information Writing and ELA Across the Day (3-8) Mary Ehrenworth

Advanced PM Section:  Seeing Patterns in Student Work, Then Teaching Small Groups (and More) to Build New Habits and Skills (3-8) Emily Smith

 

July Reading

Advanced AM Section:  Accelerating Students’ Progress Along Levels of Text Difficulty: Guided Reading, Assessment Based Teaching, and Scaffolds for Complex Texts (3-8) Brooke Geller

Advanced PM Section:  Social Studies Centers Can Lift the Level of Content Knowledge and Reading Instruction (3-8) Kathleen Tolan

 

 How will you continue to learn about reading and writing this summer?

Here are two writing opportunities for you to consider:

 Summer Writing for You, The Teacher (Two Writing Teachers blog post by Betsy Hubbard)

#TeachersWrite (Kate Messner)

 

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