Coffee deliveries may be the highlight of your day. Sharing the love, being responsible for alternating days, vulnerability in early morning hours . . . exquisite moments in time!
Life in the dorm!
The Big Ideas of Teaching Spelling and Grammar are so important.
- What is the purpose? Purpose vs. rule
- Time for practice
- Having a focus or goal
- Differentiation that works
- Bite-sized pieces
- Consider reading level
- Provide opportunities for transfer
And then we dug into the actual lessons to find where they occur. How can you, the teacher, make them more explicit? Notice them during a Read Aloud or use them in Interactive Writing before that lesson so the students have the language in their repertoire!
Tears of laughter and joy from Colleen Cruz’s closing. But this I will remember.
Use the resources in the Units of Study. Here’s the “problem“.
Here’s the solution.
Build your community. Follow #TCRWP on Twitter and on Facebook. Find your “family reunion” at TCRWP (nothing like being called out by Lucy Calkins in her speech at the closing). There is no better support in the world than in the #TCRWP community whether you leave your red knapsack in the subway, have questions, or are “going it alone” in your district. Reach out. There will be support!
What great learning!
What great adventures?
How will you continue your summer learning?
Fantastic Four Fireballs
Fantastic learning continues and today’s countdown of learning is from Thursday at the June TCRWP Writing Institute.
From Simone Fraser’s session, there are at least three different ways to teach grammar.
- Interludes and Extravaganzas
As teachers, we need to reflect:
Who is doing the work?
Who is doing the most talking?
Do we always use the same group size? Or do we vary whole group, small group, partners, 1:1?
Do students really have enough “work” to really understand?
When do students become more independent?
Which method leads to the best transfer?
If you are only using one method, which one would you add to your repertoire?
From Marie Mounteer and our Interactive Writing session,
When making choices, we always want to go back to purpose.
When making choices, we always want to go back to purpose.
When making choices, we always want to go back to purpose.
The WHY? is critical.
Marjorie Martinelli’s message in her choice session was exactly what I needed to hear. When we consider any practices in our writing workshop, we need to consider these three lenses:
We were looking specifically at writing centers, routines and rituals, and anchor charts, but these three bulleted ideas can frame our discussions about classroom environments, all parts of the writing workshop, writing process and even genre work. Reminding ourselves of the WHY or purpose behind our work is always a great beginning to review our goals and purposes in order to keep our eye on how all students can have increased access, agency and independence in writing.
Katharine Bomer knocked it way out of Cowin Auditorium with her keynote titled, “With an Air of Expectancy: Teaching Writing with Belief, Hope, and Respect”.
Which one is more inviting? Which one is more inclusive?
They aren’t the same. Just as learning and achievement are not the same.
But this is my favorite and what every teacher needs to remember:
““Let us become ambitious about believing kids and lifting them up… let us see their knowledge, their experience, their languages as gifts. All kids.”
What are you remembering?
What are your big ideas?
What will you DO as a result of your learning?
What’s the key word connecting today’s “Fantastic Four Fireballs”?
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?
Read Alouds are to be savored and today was a day to be all in because after hearing the back story, we had the distinct pleasure of having Matt de la Pena read Love to us.
It won’t be the same. You won’t be in Cowin Auditorium with 600+ best friends. You won’t be in the front row. But here’s your opportunity to have the book read to you. Read by Matt de la Pena.
That came from one little poem
About seeing “love” in the mirror.
Need more? Interview with author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Loren Long here.
Tissue Alert! Tissues Needed!
Pure Delight for those of you that work with the precious “littles” in kindergarten. I attended Marie Mounteer’s Choice Session on the new kindergarten writing unit out in July – “Show and Tell: From Labels to Pattern Books”. The room was packed with teachers and the excitement bubbled within the room as Marie previewed some of the 17 sessions in the unit.
I am totally in love with this progression of spelling development.
Nerd out over spelling.
I see that eye roll!
But how do we explain this to colleagues? That first, yes, there is a progression and second, that not all students arrive at the same time on the same day. I believe that the explicitness in this chart makes it easier to describe ALL the things that a student can do on their journey as they develop as spellers.
The key is growth.
The key is celebrating growth along the progression so a child who enters kindergarten may be at a different stage than peers, but just look at the journey. It’s not about color coding whether a child is green, yellow, or red at any one stage. Instead it’s all about building on what the child can do . . . writing in kindergarten . . . so important to recognize that it is a journey. A journey students will love! A journey we will love!
And this unit gives students so many access points to be successful writers who can explore their passions. Thanks, Marie Mounteer and Lizzie Hetzler for authoring such an important unit and for all the wisdom from Natalie Louis and Lucy Calkins (and other staff developers and teachers) that helped bring this joyful unit to life.
What were your top 2 Highlights from Day 2 at the 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP?
Connected to my #OLW – curious
A recurring theme on Day 1 of the 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP
As the day began in typical fashion at Riverside Church with 1200 teachers strong, “You’ve come from 41 states, 36 countries, those who’ve attended 25 or 26 institutes, as children in workshop schools or those who came alone who are now back with principals and teachers… movers and shakers.”
If you are not on Twitter, this is a time you should be. Because you can capture thoughts such as these:
Or these . . .
But you had to be there in person in that setting to capture the eloquence as three fifth graders from Tiana Silvas’s classroom stepped up to the podium. These students were definitely a part of a level three writing workshop as they, oh so eloquently, delivered their memorized poetry and reminded us of all the many reasons that we teach writing and we continue our tireless efforts!
The enthusiasm of the beginning of the day carried the theme of
bringing purpose as we considered the energy, independence and transfer that comes from the creation and use of tools with Simone Frazer and building bridges between reading and writing with interactive writing with Marie Mounteer.
Decisions about Choice Sessions are never easy. They are all amazing. But Kisha Howell rocked Horace Mann with her tips about increasing writing volume. The big ideas centered around: feedback, talk, clear tools, “other texts,” meaningful process, and sketching. Exquisitely delivered in a way that my ancient brain absorbed, retained and connected the tips in true “showing not telling” fashion . . .
I’m fascinated by this chart. Where has the feedback that I’ve received fallen short? What about the feedback that I give? All feedback is not equal . . .
This opening day of 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP satisfied my “WHY” to attend . . . . in order to continue and grow with some of the brightest literacy minds. Thank you, #TCRWP, for being a place to satisfy my “curious” and grow my thinking!
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Reading is a struggle.
Beginning to avoid reading.
Now hates reading.
What do we do as reading coaches when students get stuck?
What do we prioritize?
What are our go to resources?
Earlier this week, I asked . . .
How do you make decisions about changing instruction? Or Practice? Or Allocation of Time? in the writing context. Think about that post. link
I’m a process person so in reading my first step is to consult the research. If students are stuck, I’m going back to Richard Allington’s 6 Ts of Effective Reading Instruction.
When a student is struggling, what’s our first instinct? Often it seems like we want to “double down” and do “more.” But again, how do we prioritize and make sure that we double down and do more of the RIGHT stuff?
After participating in a brilliant #TCRWP Twitter chat last night led by Staff Developers, Shana Frazin, Marie Mounteer, and Cheney Munson, here’s what I believe.
Here’s where I will begin . . .
- Know all the students and build a relationship with each and every one . . . yes, even the prickly one(s). That means that I can answer these questions about barriers in order to operate from a “strengths-basis” as much as possible.
2. I will self assess my balance of Allington’s 6 T’s with what I know about the student. Everything is connected and interrelated. What are my “absolute musts” for reading instruction every day? Always read alouds. Always workshop time. More time, but less texts = counterproductive. More Talk by Teachers = Less time for reading which is also counterproductive. So I might consider how some of these questions would add to my knowledge base about what I know about reading instruction, practice, and the curriculum for this particular striving student.
3. I will ask for help. I will continue to think about the whole child but will not be so proud that I can’t ask for help or so “unaware of the urgency (“Hello, it’s February and Susie is on a E and her goal is J, but no worries.”) I will find my tribe that I can safely ask: “Hey, what should I do when I have a student who does this, this, and this, but struggles with __, __, and __?”
Every day that Susie feels like she is is failing is a day too many!
4. But I will ALWAYS remember that my goal is to ensure that students can read, will read, and above all else, LOVE to read! So remembering that Susie will be a great reader is critical! I will not advocate for a program, a basal, a Pinterest or TpT resource. I will begin with the child, the child’s family, and the community of the classroom. (The WHY which has to be behind every decision.)
How does this match your thinking?
Where do you start when a student is stuck?
What are your priorities?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Marie Mountneer’s storify of the #TCRWP chat here
During the chat Shana Frazin posted this chart of Harvey and Ward’s from Striving to Thriving. What a great tool to think about during text selection for our striving students!