Tag Archives: Maggie Roberts

#TCRWP 89th Saturday Reunion Closing and Recap


Gold or Curmudgeon?

What is your mindset for a full day of professional development?

When the day is a FREE day at Teachers College with the most brilliant minds in the field of literacy, it’s so easy to look for the GOLD!  Lucy Calkins’ Closing was titled:  Straight Talk where do we go from here? and it was PURE GOLD!

As always, Lucy was passionate about her topic!

The future of our students is in our hands – the teachers.  What we believe about our students is what they will accomplish.  If we think, “oh, that’s too hard for them!”, it will be too hard.  Our expectations set the ceiling for students! We MUST dream impossible dreams.  We must work towards challenging goals.  If not, our students will continue to be stuck in their current reality.

 Is that what we really want? 

As a writer, I appreciated hearing that a younger Lucy writer was asked to try 25 different beginnings for a piece.  When we are challenged to do better, we can and do accomplish bigger and better things!


Study student work.

Give ambitious feedback.

Teach, teach, teach – and yes, this is not the way we were taught.

Work collaboratively – find/make a group that can and does work together!

To review the learning, the chapters in my blog posts for #TCRWP 89th Saturday Reunion (in order):

NYC Bound . . . Anticipation
From Riverside to Riverside . . . The Learning Continues
Begin at the Beginning: #TCRWP 89th Saturday Reunion and Mo Willems
#TCRWP 89th Reunion: Mo Willem’s Keynote
#TCRWP 89th Saturday Reunion: Laughter and Learning Session #1
#TCRWP 89th Reunion: A Reprise
#89th TCRWP Saturday Reunion and a Bit of Grammar
#TCRWP 89th Saturday Reunion and FUN Vocabulary Learning!

Additional Post about the 89th Saturday Reunion:

Learning Never Ends with the Sessions; Learning Continues in the Conversations . . .

How and what are YOU learning?

#SOL14 – Gratitude

success and happiness

How do you define success and happiness?

Two great posts recently include this from Kate and Maggie and this from Anna Gratz Cockerille.

As a “Slicer”. . .

I want to express my gratitude to the Two Writing Teacher blog and bloggers.  After meeting and hearing from five of them at #NCTE14, I am even more impressed with their prolific blogging, slicing, and “regular working lives”.  As with everyone, there is the need to be cautious and not burn oneself out in an attempt to do EVERYTHING!  I am very grateful for this supportive space to read, write and reflect!

As a “Blogger” . . . 

I want to express my gratitude to all those who follow my blog,  read my posts, and especially for those who comment.  I really appreciate knowing which ideas or words captured your thinking as you read my blog posts. We are all busy so I am very grateful for the extra time that you take to not only read but also to stop and comment!

As a “Tweeter” . . . 

I want to express my gratitude to my followers who RT and / or “favorite” my Tweets.  Special thanks to those who don’t moan on nights when the Twitter feed fills up during a # #T4Tchat or #TWTchat or a #TCRWP chat.  I love learning online and I am so grateful for the brilliant ideas shared!

As a “Reader of Professional Texts” . . .

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I want to express my gratitude to the authors (their families), editors and publishers of these great books that were a part of my professional development during 2013-2014.  Even more importantly, I thank those who participated in the book chats and freely shared their thoughts and ideas.  I am amazed at the new things I learn every day as I read and reread these books, and I am grateful for having met these fabulous authors! (And I am so fortunate that I can “wear” evidence of my PD in the form of an autographed t-shirt!)

As a “Fra-mily” . . . 

I want to express my gratitude to those of you who may also be in all the categories above but who have become a part of my friends + family as a result of our personal face-to-face connections (often over a beverage or dinner), Twitter chats, blogs and Slices.  You range from Arizona, California, Washington, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland to Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana.  It is an honor and a pleasure to “KNOW” you and I am grateful for the time spent with you sharing online, face-to-face, personally and professionally.

As a member of our “Literacy Team” . . .

I want to express my gratitude for those of you who are part of my regular work team.  Together we are better!   Sharing resources, information and learning helps us all grow.  A growth mindset allows us to be continually improving our own skills.  I am grateful for our collaborative nature.

As a “Sister” . . .

I want to express my gratitude to my siblings.  It’s been years since we have been under one roof for extended periods of time, but each family event provides many opportunities to share our hopes and dreams.  Sometimes we even reminisce about the past and we are at that stage where our memories may have faded but our enthusiasm remains.  I am grateful for our time together.

As a “Daughter” . . .

I want to express my gratitude to my parents.  Miss you, Dad, but think of you daily with so much love as I continue to appreciate all that I learned from you.  Mom, I’ll never master crocheting and quilting, but I love your work and still share hearts as I travel.  I especially appreciate your love and support across the years and the miles.

As a “Mom” and soon-t0-be Grandma . . .

I want to express my gratitude to you my readers who have graciously allowed me to share my stories.  I am proud of my growing family and can’t wait to share their brilliance with you!

I wish you all a happy, healthy, joyous, and fun-filled holiday season!

What’s your plan for sharing your gratitude?

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.


CCSS and Writing: The Path to Accelerating Achievement

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The staff at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project are in the middle of their second week of writing institutes for the summer of 2013.  Just six weeks ago I was at the first institute in New York City immersed in a wonderful world of writing authors and experts:  Lucy Calkins, Sarah Weeks, Tony Wagner,  Billy Collins, Patricia MacLachlan, Colleen Cruz, Mary Ehrenworth, Maggie Roberts, Kate Roberts (and the Twitter friends that I met in person including @jennymae and @azajacks).

Lucy Calkins kicked off the keynote and then led the beginning grade 3-8 sessions every single day.  It was one of the most fabulous professional development experiences of my life (even though I was sure I was in the wrong place the first day because writing a narrative WAS HARD!)  The chance to learn from, be challenged to improve, and to ask questions on a daily basis  was literally a slice of heaven.   We did not hear everyone’s story but in a community of 1300 learners from 52 nations and 42 states, there were many stories to be told!

I have many favorite quotes from Lucy Calkins that I will be regularly reviewing to see if I am on course, but her opening  keynote was literally a call to action!

1) “Don’t waffle!”

In order to achieve something, one must “go for it!” Stay the course.  There are many pressures on teachers and public schools, but now more than ever the adults at school need to be doing the right things for the right reasons.  Kids need writing every day, not a little workshop time here and there during the week.  Writing has to be on the schedule daily for students to grow their writing skills!

2) “Work with deliberateness towards crystal clear goals.”

Begin with student writing and then identify goals as next steps.  Research on achievement shows that students who are most successful are those who get feedback and work on getting better.  Deliberate practice with concrete goals will set the learning curve.  Look at Hattie’s research on goals for more information about the effect size of having clear, purposeful goals.

3) “Bring writing to scale.”  

Change is hard so you will need a support group.  Find those communities that will support you because the people who make life-altering changes usually have a support group.  If necessary, be a bottom feeder and move forward because students can and will assume identities as writers with our help.  Use the Common Core to create a sense of urgency to provide writing workshop time so students can develop the writing process with integrity. Remember that three of the reading standards support “writing” in addition to the 10 writing standards that all students are working towards.  Literacy time probably needs to be half reading and half writing and extend across other subject areas in the day as well.  If students are writing every day, their work will be visibly better in three weeks so we have a moral imperative to provide both the environment and the instruction to make that happen in our classrooms.

And my closing  Lucy Calkins gems for today:

“Remember that we are not teaching kids to DO something.  We are teaching them to BE something!”

“What is the Bill of Rights you give to all writers at your school?  What is the promise you give the kids about writing?”

What are your favorite Lucy Calkins quotes?

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