And the answers were:
Bob Probst: “I would give students more access to models of student discourse so they can talk about the content.”
Lucy Calkins: “I would give teachers more time for professional conversations, to dive into problems of practice together as a community and share their discoveries.”
Kylene Beers: “I would double your pay and cut the number of students in your class in half.”
This last question posed by moderator Lester Laminack who was seated on stage with the panel was: “If you had a magic wand in public education today, what would you do with it?”
Was this the most memorable question of the day? Why begin here? Because Saturday was a ginormous day of learning at #NCTE17. My day was filled with nonstop sessions and meetings from 7:30 am until 10:05 pm. It was Saturday. I was in St. Louis. And let me repeat, “my day was filled with nonstop sessions and meetings from 7:30 am until 10:05 pm.” And it was Saturday. If you do the math, the answer is something like 14+ hours.
Details: The first meeting was a breakfast. The last gathering was dinner. 15 minutes in between sessions to race from one end of the convention center and settle in for 75 minute learning opportunities… On a Saturday!
What is personalized learning?
What is the role of technology?
My answer is #NCTE17. A conference that I choose to attend, at my own expense, in order to learn and grow professionally. A conference where I renew my professional “joie de vivre“. I chose my schedule (or does it chose me?). I make a plan or two. I continually check my list of “Must Learns“. Some items are topics. Some items are names. Names of people. Names of books. And the best intersection . . . authors of books from book chats or book studies. The books in my bag in my hotel room that I forgot to match up to my schedule to bring for autographs. Those authors. Those from whom I want to learn MORE!
Personalized = my choice. Technology = those I have met on Twitter, Voxer, and blogs (that I now meet face to face). A lasting marriage of Voice and Choice on Saturday for 14+ hours of learning! Learning on my own dime and time.
So what did I learn?
“We still need a balance of technology and print in our literacy lives. There is not yet a definitive answer on when and how much screen time is appropriate for effective learning. Think balance.” Colleen Cruz, TCRWP
Lucy Calkins: “Transference of phonics is the goal. We don’t need a professor of phonics.”
“Our new work is our best work. We are always striving to improve and outgrow ourselves as a community of learners.”
To learn more about Jacqueline Woodson, Saturday General Session, check out her website. Simply gorgeous keynote!
F.38 What Matters Most About Reading and Writing
(Lester Laminack, Kylene Beers, Robert Probst, and Lucy Calkins)
What I will hold onto:
Kylene shared that 80% of adults go to text in order to be right. So we need to teach HS kids that reading, entering a text, is an opportunity to change yourself.
Lucy Calkins – “Live as if one of the pillars of your thinking is dead wrong.” Go to sessions, work with folks because if we only read our books and stay in our bubble – we will not be surprised and will not outgrow ourselves.
Lester Laminack: Our children are 21st century citizens . . . ask Siri ‘Why do bees buzz?” (and he did on stage for all of us to listen to) How do we convince Ss to fall in love w/ books? That’s a question for your, dear reader!
Lucy: We can grow as writers if we write along side our students when they are writing. We don’t have to be writers before we begin teaching writing.
Kylene: Writing to tell or Writing to discover. We can’t and don’t write enough. We shouldn’t teach kids non-fiction means not fake which then turns to true…let’s teach them non-fiction means not fiction. Non-fiction can be fake, not because you don’t agree with it though.
G.04 How to Say Less So Readers Can Do More: Developing Agentive Readers
(Jan Burkins, JoAnne Duncan, Gravity Goldberg, and Renee Houser)
We read passages at 90% accuracy. They were tough to understand. Sometimes reading is tough. We need to acknowledge that. But we also need to make sure that students DO THE WORK! We need to set up those conditions of learning!
Haven’t read it? No excuse!
Gravity and Renee have this fiction and a nonfiction parallel book as well. Have you read them? Reflections on the books are included on a post here.
JoAnne shared the journey of a particular student in her building who learned to read and was then given books when she moved from the school. Powerful and tear jerking reminders that our relationships matter. We have to be a part of our students’ lives.
H.08 Harnessing the Power of Multicultural Literature and Critical Literacy to Generate Authentic and Enjoyable Writing Spaces That Bring Writers Back into the Workshop
(Brian Kissel, Kristina Kyle, and Lauren Rudd)
The two first grade international teachers shared the influences of their work:
- James Paul Gee
- Paulo Freire
- Vivian Maria Vasquez
Social action (for a Better World)
- Randy Bomer
- Katherine Bomer
- Stephanie Jones
And then Brian had us read and think alongside his reflections on his student work! For more information about Brian and his work, check out this post.
Thought to Ponder:
What would happen if you read every piece of student work just like you read every published book?
I.20 Recapturing Assessment: Student Voices in Aiding Our Mission
(Jason Augustowski, Dr. Mary Howard, Dr. Katie Dredger, Cindy Minnich, Sam Fremin, Ryan Hur, Joseph O’Such, Christian Sporre, Dawson Unger, Spencer Hill, Jack Michael, Ryan Beaver, Sean Pettit, and Kellen Pluntke)
Take aways from the #BowTieBoys:
- Students do not want multiple choice tests.
- Students do not want to regurgitate facts.
- Students do not want to write essays every time to show evidence of their learning.
- Students do not want to sit in rows of desks.
- Students do not want to listen to lectures.
- Students do not want a two page writing limit.
Students want choice.
Students want voice.
Students want opportunities to negotiate HOW to share their learning.
Students want to explore their own interest.
Students want to use technology.
Students want to learn even if that takes more work.
Students are less concerned about “fairness in grading” then they are about having choices in open-ended rubrics.
(edited) For additional details about the individual presentations from this round table see Mary C Howard’s Facebook post here.
J. 21. Beyond Levels: Choosing Texts to Scaffold Instruction for Engagement and Agency
(Clare Landrigan, Tammy Mulligan, Terry Thompson, and Dorothy Barnhouse)
It was such a pleasure to see the cover of Clare and Tammy’s new book and then to have Dorothy read Yo, Yes to us. We can find authentic ways to build in engagement and agency without “cute” worksheet pages! Tammy and Clare’s blog is here.
And of course, ending with the Slicer Dinner! 16 bloggers (weekly and each day in March) meet up for food, fun, continued learning, and conversation. (Again . . . Personalized Learning and Technology) Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!
What is your personalized learning plan?
Does technology play a part?
Are you ready to sign up for #NCTE18 in Houston?
As many of you know, this has been a driving summer . . .
Florida, Florida, Florida, Florida (it’s a long way from the top to the bottom)
and back plus
Not commuter miles but trips that included LONG days.
So think about this driving analogy.
My trip to Sioux City today.
When to stop / break / gas?
Can I beat the GPS arrival time?
By Des Moines, I had gained three minutes according to the GPS.
And then semi-trucks passing semi-trucks going uphill . . . slowed both lanes down.
And then there was road construction with one lane of traffic and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph.
Results (but I REALLY wanted this to be Synthesis)
Exploring alternate routes.
Considering overall rates of travel and the amount of travel in both lanes.
Learning new vocabulary
- Rest Stop – Parking Only
- Rest Stop – Modern
- Rest Stop with Internet Access (including symbols for phone, Vending Machines and Camper Dump Stations
So the short part of this is that I arrived one minute before my GPS said and my route, although with some adjustments, was successfully completed.
What if ? ? ?
A. What if I had to record notes
Before the trip?
During the trip?
After the trip?
B. I had to record the skills I had mastered
Processes? (Hat tip to Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson for that idea after a Voxer #G2Great conversation)
Have you made the inference about where this is headed? . . .
Hint – Reread Choices A and B
And Oh, My Goodness!
I forgot the Planning that happened prior to the trip including checking for my registration, insurance card, and having the car serviced (oil change & tire rotation) prior to the trip as well as googling the distance from point A and B so I could begin to draft the specifics.
All of these little details matter when driving a motor vehicle. There are big details that have life or death consequences like safely managing a vehicle, keeping it in the right lane, accelerating and decelerating with traffic flow, smooth lane changes WITH a turn signal, safe distances between vehicles, and paying attention to merging lanes, road signs, and . . .
I’m lucky because I’ve been driving for over four decades and I had a refresher when my son would point out driving errors while he was in a driver’s education course. Your driving experience may include more total miles or more city miles than me. That’s a “number” or data-based comparison. But what about “quality”?
In my opinion it all boils down to “my confidence in my driving abilities” because I have experienced a wide variety of situations that have contributed to the automaticity of my driving habits and patterns that also allow me to be responsive and THINK when I must make “in the second/minute” adjustments.
I very deliberately chose this comparison because this “automaticity” is what we want for our students in reading.
How much time does this take?
How will we measure this success?
WHEN will a reader be successful?
And what does this mean for TEACHERS, the adults in the classroom?
They must be equally prepared, confident, and ready for challenges.
That is why I am in several book clubs this summer. Probably too many. But I am pushing my own Planning, Questioning, Reflecting and Synthesizing especially as I work through professional books.
I wrote about the beginning of #CyberPD and Vicki Vinton’s Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading here. This thinking fits with a Facebook and Twitter study of Disrupting Thinking by authors Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. Margaret Simon wrote about both of those today here. As discussed at the last #G2Great chat with Linda Rief, Reading is about the meaning that the reader understands as a result of his/her transaction with the text. Reading is NOT extracting factoids.
Without spending a great deal more words, I believe that when students can and do
on their own (P,Q,R,S) in real authentic work (not just school work), they WILL BE Skilled, Competent, Strategic, Confident, and Experienced Readers!
What do you do daily to help students “transact” with text in the form of stories, books, poetry, nonfiction, art works, video, and audio?
How will you know when students have reached automaticity?
How will you know your students are skilled, competent, strategic, confident and experienced readers?
#DigiLitSunday: More posts from Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.
“Don’t read in the dark!” (Just yesterday in a hotel room while traveling!)
It’s my Kindle on my iPad. It’s lit.
“When did you start reading?”
Have I ever NOT been reading?
I remember reading BEFORE I went to school for kindergarten.
And according to a first grader, “Was that before Columbus discovered America?”
I remember lying in front of a south window trying to sneak in a few more minutes of twilight reading hours. In later years I remember having a flashlight and a book under my pillow in the camper so I could read if I wasn’t sleeping. And now, now I read from my iPad. Sometimes I read just a page or two. Sometimes I flip back to an old boring friend and read just a page or two. And sometimes I read until the book ends!
I checked out and read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books available from our public library in the 1960s and I credit those series for making me a serial reader – every book published by the author. (Note: I love the new versions now available!)
Kylene Beers and Donalyn Miller (#TCRWP Reading Institute) have told us that series readers will be life-long readers. Encourage students to embark on the exploration of a series OR TWO during the summer and they will be on the way to slowing or even stopping the “summer slide”!
I’m not in favor of “mandated lists” because I believe that student choice builds a love of reading. Here’s some advice . . .
These eight bullets can help you, the teacher, increase your own voraciousness as well as that of your students!
Of course, building in a bit of humor as in “How would I rewrite the titles to fit a different concept?” can produce a graphic like “Hungry for Books”!
My final words:
What does your reading list look like?
How many TBR stacks do you have?
When will you start/continue?
How did YOU become a voracious reader?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
And what does this look like in a high school reading workshop???? How would you know if you have voracious readers? Fabulous ideas from students incorporated into this rubric.
Join Margaret Simon at “Reflections on the Teche” for additional #DigiLit Sunday reading here.
Kylene Beers and Bob Probst are both speakers that I can listen to time and time again I’ve seen them at ILA, NCTE, and Kylene more than once at #TCRWP. One strategy that I participated in that has stuck with me is “Possible Sentences”. As a workshop participant, it went as Melanie Swider of “Two Reflective Teachers” described here although the session I attended was on a different date.
How can students more “authentically” USE vocabulary words and do more of the vocabulary “heavy lifting” in understanding and owning the words?
Possible Sentence Basic Process:
The teacher chooses vocabulary words.
The students, doing the work, predict and use the words in sentences.
*Then as a class, all the sentences are compiled and then questions are generated for each sentence.
Students return to their sentences and questions to revise them based on the understanding of the topic after reading.
How could we start using “Possible Sentences” in Book Clubs or in Content Area classes and add in some meaningful, very purposeful, use of technology?
Here’s what I proposed for our first learning practice:
You can go to the actual documents through the links below and save your eyesight:
Google Drawing Student Task Card link
Tools: NewsELA article, Wordcounter.com, Google Drawings cards, Google Docs – Response
Are you using “Possible Sentences”?
Have you added a technology component to increase student collaboration?
What tools did / would you use?
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?
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! ) 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:
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.
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
Packets of activities”
Why are they missing?
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
askrequire 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!)
Kylene Beers facebook post about lifetime readers!
Rain . . .
No outside work.
Rain . . .
Time to read.
(Gotcha – definitely NOT inside work!)
After two glorious days of temps in the 70’s and 80’s, I was so happy that this was waiting at my doorstep yesterday after a long day of work. Perfect timing! Relaxing with friends . . .
It’s available online courtesy of Stenhouse Publishers here. I have been reading (albeit slowly) the online version, but it’s tedious. Reading online means that I have one device open to read and another device open to take notes. No split screen. There’s a limit to the size that I like to view pages in professional texts. Slow. Absorbing. Delighted.
I love this infographic.
“This book does not advocate the simple idea of the teacher doing less. Rather it is a guide to being intentional about what we do less of.” – Joan Moser (Foreword)
This book is truly a gem as it guides the reader to think, and to think deeply about whether teacher scaffolds unintentionally cause greater student dependence. If our goal is joyful, independent, capable readers . . . what should we really do more of? What should we do less of?
I’m savoring this book and pages 14 and 15 are my current favorite because the section is “What Do Reading Levels Mean, Anyway?” and wordlover me is mesmerized by the use of “ubiquitous”. And the thought leaders . . .
Fountas and Pinnell”
Ready for some “next generation literacy instruction“? Ready to learn about “saying less” so students do the work to learn more?
You need to read this book!
And check out how long you resist figuring out where the words come from that are the background for half the page of the book cover. It’s another favorite section of mine. (Truthfully, I thought I would be farther in the book. But I’m rereading. Marking. Post-it-ing! Thinking!)
What’s it like to get that book you have been eagerly anticipating?
Do your students know that joy?
Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thank you for this weekly forum!
A common theme in these four sessions that I attended at #NCTE15 was the importance / necessity of involving students in their own learning. (It’s a connection that I could make about ALL of my #NCTE15 sessions in retrospect.)
1. Bring Students into the Conversation: Goal-Setting, Tool-Making that Supports Transfer
#TCRWP Staff Developers: Valerie Geschwind, Marjorie Martinelli, Ryan Scala, Amy Tondeau began this session with a “Turn and Talk”.
Think of a recent goal that you have achieved.
What were the conditions that helped you to reach that goal?
Motivation is a Result of . . .
- Social interaction
Tools that Support Self- Assessment
- Tools created from Mini-Lessons
Goal Setting with Students and Language that Honors Choice
And then Val introduced the cycle of learning. . . in student language.
- I am working towards a new goal.
- Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it is really hard!
- I need my tool to know each step.
- I am practicing my goal all the time: in every book or in every piece of writing.
- I use my tool as a check-in.
- I can use my goal in lots of places.
- I can teach other people what my goal is and help them do it.
I loved the idea of the three stages. I believe Brook Geller first introduced me to the belief at #TCRWP 2013 July Reading Institute that most “students are over taught and under practiced.” Many students seem to need more practice time with specific feedback and a lot less “teacher talk”. In this case a practitioner is someone who is actively engaged in the doing, who repeatedly exercises or performs an activity or skill to acquire, improve, or maintain proficiency, or who actually applies or uses an idea, a method, or a skill across many scenarios. In other words, our students are the practitioners!
Practice does not have to be boring. There are many methods (see picture below) that can be used to reach “expert” status but the key to this entire presentation was that students would be working on a goal of their own choice and moving from novice, to practitioner, to expert. What wonderful language to put into the mouths of students . . . How motivating and empowering!!!
Caution: These are not stages to be RACED through. They will take time to develop. Students in charge of their own assessment of these stages will definitely be students who know exactly what skills and strategies that they do have in their repertoire.
Be the Force! Help students
- Take on their own learning
- Take on their own change
- Cultivate a growth habit of mind
- See each other as experts
Tools: Checklists, rubrics, progressions, charts from mini-lessons. However, a new look . . . Bookmarks with 3 or 4 choices. Students marked the choice that they were using with a paperclip. Clearly visible!!!! AWESOME!
And then a final reminder .. . .
You’ve met your goal. Now what?
- Maintain your skills
- Teach others
- Get critical
- Set new goals
It was the first time for me to hear #TCRWP Staff Developers Valerie, Marjorie, Ryan, and Amy and I’m definitely looking forward to learning from them during future opportunities!!!
2. Responsible and Responsive Reading: Understanding How to Nurture Skill and Will
Kylene Beers, Teri Lesene, Donalyn Miller, Robert Probst
Of course this was a popular session so I was willing to sit on the floor (don’t tell the fire marshal) because I wanted to be able to be up front and see!
Donalyn’s presentation is here for you to review at your leisure. A very powerful activity included these questions: “What books and reading experiences would form your reading autobiography?” Donalyn explained that: What matters is WHY you chose the book? Insights from these responses lead to deep conversations with students. Convos for Ss
Teri Lesene’s presentation is here. This fact was startling to me! Obviously I need to read more than a book a week!
Kylene Beers and Bob Probst shared a great deal of information about nonfiction reading that has come from the process of writing their new book. This slide is something I want to remember. . . “when I have answers I need to question”.
And this one on the importance of reading.
3. Finding Their Way: Using Learning Tools to Push Rigor, Increase Independence and Encourage Learning in Your Classroom
TCRWP Staff Developers: Mike Ochs, Kate Roberts, Maggie Beattie Roberts
Maggie began this session with many great connections. “We haven’t seen teachers work harder than they currently are, YET sometimes students aren’t working so hard! ” Tools can help students buy into learning. Tools, in our daily life, extend our reach, meet our needs, help us tackle big problems and personally get better! Tools connect, access, build community . . . should change over time!
- Rigor and motivation
- Memory . . . Why don’t we remember things? (short and long term memory) “I’ve taught this 1000 times. I know they learned this!”
“A great coach never achieves greatness for himself or his team by working to make all his players alike.” Tomlinson
And then a typical problem from narrative writing. . . How to stretch out a frozen moment. Kate created a demo page in front of us and told us it was, “Messy!” Lean on a menu of ways, decide the color scheme, and title.
Another tool might be a Micro-Progression. It provides a clear description of behaviors that are expected so students will know where they stand. Middle level is good. Students don’t always have to think they should be at the top level of performance.
Bookmark – 5 or 6 most important things for students to work on. Let students create this for themselves. They can be different!
Mike – Framework for creating tools adapted from The Unstoppable Writing Teacher with a shout out to Colleen Cruz.
Do not plan to use a tool forever. Have a plan to remove the tools. Some tools we will always need (the hammer), some we want to go away/become automatic (steps to hammer a nail) Some tools become references, set aside until needed. Sometimes need an additional/alternate tool. Most writing tools are not designed to be used indefinitely.
Kate: “You find yourself getting as smart as the toolmakers as you use the ‘tools of others’ and you get better as teacher! You don’t want to teach without a sidekick. Your tools can be a sidekick.”
News : Spring 2016 a book from Kate and Maggie!!!! SO EXCITED!
4. Transforming Informational Writing: Merging Content and Craft
Seymour Simon, Kelly Boswell, Linda Hoyt
I think I know this boy!
Seymour’s part was actually titled: Celebrating the Wonder in Nonfiction Storytelling. He began with a discussion of what nonfiction really means. If nonfiction is really “not true” than fiction should be “not real”. There is something about the use of “non” that marginalizes the texts that are labeled nonfiction. After all, who takes anything with “non” in the title seriously?
Not much difference between teaching F and NF. . .
- Who am I?
- What am I?
- What about me?
Mystery, wonder, poem, the universe!
Seymour read aloud many great fiction and nonfiction pairings. One of my favorite pairings was:
Kelly: How Mentors and Modeling Elevate Informational Writing
Mentor texts plus teacher modeling equals quality student writing. When teaching writing, FOCUS! If the target lesson is about leaving spaces between words, only teach “leaving spaces between words.” Don’t teach everything in the world of writing.
Kelly’s example for the text went “something” like this as an example of what NOT to do! “Class, we are going to work on leaving spaces between words today as we write. What does a sentence begin with? Good! Yes, a capital letter. (writes The) Our next word is ‘butterfly’. Let’s clap the syllables in butterfly. How many? Yes, three. What sound does it begin with?”
If the focus is “leaving spaces between words” – that’s the teacher talk!
On mentors and models – read the book once to enjoy, then mine for craft. Use a favorite book over and over and don’t forget to use it for conventions! Here’s an example from Hank the Cowdog.
- Create a culture of Curiosity.
- Provide time for students to ask questions
- Immerse learners in fascinating informational topics and sources
- Focus on content and craft in the writing they see, hear, and produce
- “Float the learning on a sea of talk.” – James Britton
- Teach research strategies
- Teach visual literacy – First grade writing example
8. Writers Workshop Every Day
9. Make sure learners are writing all day long. Write to remember. Write to question. Write to think. Write to express yourself. Write to share your learning. In every subject area.
10. Write Using Elements from Real World Informational Texts (lists, emails, letters, notes, newsletters)
Involving Students Take Aways:
Students can set real goals and self-assess their progress toward their goals.
Students are motivated when they have control and real choices in their work.
Models and tools aid students in moving through a cycle of novice to practitioner to expert.
What are your thoughts about involving students at this point?
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?
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 Probst – Notice 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!
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?
If you are not familiar with Kylene please go to her own blog and read “About” her!
Kylene and Bob Probst are universally known for their 6 signposts for fiction from Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading. Their new book with nonfiction signposts will be out in October and those signposts are listed here.
As a speaker, Kylene is witty, charming, and down to earth. Her closing at the Teachers College paralleled her beliefs posted on her blog in March here. Kylene urged the thousands of teachers packed into the Nave at Riverside Church to examine their own belief systems.
“What do you believe?”
How would we know?
What do you stand for?
You need to have these conversations!
That question, coupled with this statement have been swirling in my brain for the last day and a half, and quite literally will not let go:
Literacy is the 21st century skill.
Not reading separated out.
Not writing separated out.
because of its role in power and privilege.
because of its role in history.
because of its role in history for minorities.
because of its role in history for women.
because of its role in history for the poor and downtrodden.
What are your beliefs?
How do we know?
Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work. So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!
It’s the little things that make life wonderful!
Little things can seem like insurmountable objects . . .
like navigating the NYC subway system to arrive at Teachers College EARLY! I was actually more successful than navigating through my “home” deer country!
like organizing for a day run on an hourly schedule with 50 minute sesions (10 minutes to sprint to the next location) and NO time in the schedule for lunch (encouraged to pack and yes, you may eat in the sessions – ignore the signs that say no food!)
like finding your way among 4,000 friends engaged in learning on a Saturday at Teachers College
like worries about the wi-fi (had some overloads and would kick you off – How many total devices would 4,000 strong have? REALLY?)
and the ability to have a back up plan – First choice closed because you actually stopped to use the restroom? What were you thinking?
Other slicers who have posted about yesterday include:
and of course the many Tweets that emanated from the halls of the Teachers College campus. Right this minute, this tweet says it all:
What a day!
What a glorious day!
What a glorious day filled with laughter, love and learning!
(Notice how I worked on my elaboration there!)
Instead of an “All About Everything Post” the remainder of this post is dedicated to my #OLW “Focus” and will just focus on one key take away from the sessions I attended. (I promise – I will write more about what I learned. Some of it has to percolate!)
Patricia Polacco – Keynote Opening (Row 5)
“Teachers are my heroes. You devote your lives to the minds and hearts of others. What a wonderful calling”
Carl Anderson – Mentor Texts
We take the perfect text and we have to pull the curtain away. We need to love the mentor text. You wouldn’t marry someone you didn’t love. You are going to live with this mentor text day in and out. You have to know it inside and out. Work with a colleague to analyze the text. Make sure that kids will be moved by the mentor text (Not just one that you LOVE)!
Kylene Beers – Nonfiction Sign Posts
This is the picture that Kylene took from the speaker’s podium to show what the audience was doing as she displayed the slide listing the nonfiction signposts. By the way, the book will be out in October and we all had to promise to buy it! The nonfiction signposts are not ALWAYS found in each nonfiction piece of material because of the very nature of nonfiction. (more on that in another post) Here are the signposts in the order of frequency and importance:
Extreme and absolute language
Like this examples
Experts and Amateurs Words
Stats and Numbers
Contrasts and Contradictions
Again and Again
Cornelius Minor – Struggling Students
Cornelius began with an analogy about teaching skateboarding where one will fall the first 5-8 times. So he has to give you 20 opportunities to practice. “My job as a teacher is NOT mastery. Nothing will cultivate practice. Teaching sets you up for practice. Repeated practice sets you up for mastery. Engagement – how do I keep you moving! Multiple and intellectual energy to get some learning going! My job is ‘Teaching light and Practice heavy!'”
The brilliance of that philosophy!
Kylene Beers – Closing (Front Row)
Literacy is about power and privilege.
Slicer meet up at the Kitchenette! – So much fun to visit, share, decompress!
My head and my heart are both full from the learning. Much more to see and do while in NYC so “adieu” for now!
Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work. So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!