Tag Archives: Mary Howard

#SOL17: How Many Devices?


Screenshot 2017-10-24 at 7.49.10 AM

Phone? Check

iPad? Check

Chromebook?  Check

Extension Cord?  Check

Charging cords for all three above?  Check

Do I REALLY NEED my laptop?

“It’s a quick overnight for a day’s training plus some family time at a concert?  REALLY?  Can’t I just leave it at home?”

It was a gorgeous learning day.  Devices cooperated for the perfect environment where I could take notes and also have access to text messages, Twitter, and Facebook,

SLICER TIME!

“And that’s why I need my laptop!  I’ve never been able to successfully add a WordPress blog on my chrome book. I’ve messed with a wide range of possibilities, asked on some helplines, and invariably just either drafted on my phone or pulled out the trusty old laptop and started a post.”

It doesn’t matter that I was thinking of ideas before I fell asleep.

The incredible PD with Dr. Mary Howard.

Friendship

Family

Fall

Looming “First Frost”

The impending excitement of #NCTE17

The power of Twitter

The unbelievable magic of Twitter chats

Screenshot 2017-10-24 at 8.00.15 AM

Chromebook?  Tried but nope, no luck with WordPress!

Phone?  Not the finished look I would like!

Is a draft better than NOTHING?

YES!

So today’s slice is brought to you via a draft on my phone and a bit of polish on my iPad.  My plan for my next travel is to save a formatted draft so that I can add text and publish with relative ease from any device.  (Cross my fingers that I remember!)

How do you turn around a failure? What do you learn from it?

What do you do when your device(s) don’t cooperate?

When do you sacrifice BEST WORK for BEST EFFORT?  




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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#SOL16: Rainy Night Results in . . .


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 . . .

Who's doing the work

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.

doing the work

“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 . . .

“Dorothy Barnhouse

Vicki Vinton

Debbie Miller

Regie Routman

Gail Boushey

Joan Moser

Chris Lehman

Stephanie Harvey

Richard Allington,

Peter Johnston,

Mary Howard

Kathy Collins

Kylene Beers,

Fountas and Pinnell”

Oh, my!

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?

slice of life 2016

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!

 

 

#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?

Focus: #TCRWP, Books, and Professional Reading


NYC

It’s real!

I’m in NYC!

So excited to be back, with friends, literally from around the country, to learn, live and celebrate writing this week! (Can you guess my favorite punctuation?)

The Saturday before #TCRWP Writing Institute found several “slicers” meeting up at Bank Street Bookstore.  Our goal, Julieanne Harmatz (@jarhartz) and I, was to meet Sally Donnelly (@SallyDonnelly1), a fellow slicer up from the Washington, DC area.  We had met Sally, oh so briefly at the March Saturday reunion, and were interested in longer conversations.  We all found ourselves purchasing Cynthia Lord’s A Handful of Stars that had been highly recommended by fellow traveler Allison Jackson (@azajacks). (sidenote:  What’s up with the @?  Those are twitter names to follow.  If you aren’t following these three, why not?  Oh, not on Twitter; well, why not?  You should be!)

a handful of stars

Amazing book.  A dog balancing a blueberry on his nose should “hook” you right into this book!  Bank Street Bookstore was also the site of an amazng toddler read aloud with parents, toddlers and accompanying strollers filling the aisles.  And that’s all I have to say about that topic because of another book that I purchased that I will be gifting soon. (Hint – book is by Jimmy Fallon; yes topic connected to the new addition to my family.)

We adjourned to the Silver Moon Bakery and cafe for some coffee and much, much, much conversation.  Sally is returning to a third grade classroom after years as a reading specialist.  We had advice about techonolgy, blogging, professional books (Good to Great: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters by Mary Howard) and fellow bloggers for additional advice.

Good to Great Teaching cover

My one little word is “Focus” so I am thinking about my own professional reading for this summer.  This book and my all time favorite What Readers Really Do are my re-reads for this summer along with Colleen Cruz’s, The Unstoppable Writing Teacher,  and Jennifer Serravello’s, The Reading Strategies Book,  as my two new books.  Only four – but rich, savory texts that will feed my soul and brain for the year to come.

what readers

the unstoppable writing teacher

the reading strategies  book

What professional reading will you FOCUS on this summer?

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 8 – Increasing Learning


word-focus-300x300

Today’s story is the final installment in this week’s recounting of a focused professional development opportunity that our literacy team developed and delivered that included Quality Instructional Practices, ELA Iowa Core Standards and Assessment for Learning.  To recap, the first post began with much Anticipation on Day 5.

anticipation

And then based on learning with Dave Burgess, Teach Like a Pirate, I shared the Instructional Strategies Bracket on Day 6 that Dyan Sundermeyer created and used to refocus attention on common strategies in a building.

bracket

On Day 7 I shared the work that we did around Quality Instructional Practices based on scenarios in Chapter 1 of Dr. Mary Howard’s Book.

Good to Great Teaching cover

So for those of you that live and breathe in the world of professional development or coaching, here are a few more details to whet your appetite.

Modeled Grade 5 Scenario 

The scenario you read about yesterday was used on our second day with leadership teams.  The thinking behind the grade 5 scenario was modeled after everyone had a chance to read and reflect (gradual release of responsibility) Then participants had a choice – scenarios from first grade, third grade or even title 1.  Their task was to read the initial scenario and record the “Great, Good and Bad”, reflect on some questions, read the follow-up teaching scenario and consider the deliberate changes made by the teacher to move more actions to “Great”. At that point the teachers and administrators found a partner in the room and talked about the scenario and their understanding of the teaching sequence, student learning, and teacher changes.  (Each scenario was color coded so it was easy to find a partner with the same color pages.)

Deepened Understanding of the Iowa Core ELA Standards

Our PD work continued with looking at two specific ELA standards through the K-5 range and considering these questions. How do they build on the previous grade level learning? What do they require of teachers?  What do they require of students?

  • Anchor Standard RL.3:  Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
  • Anchor Standard RL.7:  Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Close Reading of the Scenarios

Participants ended the “Standards Learning” portion with an application piece.  Here was their task:

standards in MTSS

The teachers and administrators reread the scenario through the lens of “which standards” and then checked for grade level standards on those color coded documents.  Possible answers for grade 5 include: RL.5.10, W.5.10 and SL.5.1.

Assessment for Learning – Learning Targets

Time was going to be an issue so our plan was to just begin with Learning Targets and provide an opportunity for our participants to work on those before we meet again.  I’m going to stay with the “plan” as time did necessitate some shifting. We had some learning around the big definition of “Assessment for Learning” including Learning Targets and the fact that “clear goals” is .75 Effect Size (Hattie). Clear learning goals are absolutely essential for learning and assessment but we did not go into the difference between “goals” and “targets” at this time.  Here is how the scenarios were used for the third time (close reading).

learning tasks

And the finale learning activity for the session involved watching a video of classroom instruction and in a triad looking for 1) “Great, Good and Bad; 2)Iowa Core ELA Standards and 3) Learning Targets. Can you identify the iterative nature of our work?

How do you have teachers grapple with the HOW – Quality Instruction and the  WHAT – ELA Core Standards simultaneously?

How important is our design of GREAT work?

How do you model GREAT work in your PD?

Professional Development – Always a work in progress . . . Our state model

Iowa PD Model

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 7 Quality Instructional Practices


five

The story of Thursday’s professional development session continues here. Yesterday you saw a fun activity with Instructional Strategies Brackets. Today’s post provides a window into “quality” of instruction!

Quality Instructional Practices

  • How do teachers improve?
  • How do they know what to improve?
  • How can teachers be given an opportunity to rethink, reflect, and revise with support?

I have a solution for you . . .but as the author of this wonderful work warns . . .”This is not for the faint of heart!”

QUALITY?

What is it?  How do we recognize it?

One way:  Look for great, good and bad instruction as defined by Mary Howard in her book Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters. Chapter 1 is available free when you click on the sample tab HERE!

Good to Great Teaching cover

We used the window into classrooms where teachers guide us through a process of evaluating, adjusting, and elevating their teaching.  This grade 5 example of an initial teaching sequence (from the free chapter one) began our conversation.

one

two

Teacher leadership teams time read the scenario, recorded some examples in columns for “Great, Good, and Bad” and then discussed their thinking with colleagues. Conversations were rich with text examples often cited (close reading!).

We then looked at “What did this teacher define as “Great, Good and Bad” in her initial teaching sequence?”  (You will note that we have flipped the form as we want everyone to reread the GREAT column many times.)  The teacher columns looked like this and we made sure to note that the learning includes the conversations about the instruction and not an evaluation.

three

Teacher Reflection

Because the teacher in this scenario was going to use the lesson with another group of students, she wanted to improve it and she had the good fortune to be discussing her lesson with Mary Howard.  After reflection the teacher decided to change several things to make her instruction more effective that included:

  1. “Teach vocabulary at a different time.

  2. Check in at mid-point with small groups

  3. Make an interactive anchor chart.

  4. Add sentence starters to thinking and anchor charts

  5. Teach a whole group Mini-Lesson to teach the “form” to everyone and free up more group time

  6. Use a National Geographic magazine for students at lower level to access same work

  7. Record 3-5 details at end of day for reminders the next day”

Follow-Up Teaching Sequence

There is an “after” narrative in the chapter that we asked our folks to read and then discuss what changed for the students and the learning.  Here is the teacher’s view of the follow-up instruction.

four

Please note that this activity was not about “putting the right descriptor in the right column” as the learning focused on “how do you define and describe great” and what changes were implemented in order to improve instruction? As well as, “How do you planfully work to increase the quality of instruction every day in your classroom?”

Focus questions:  How are you using the time instructional time that you have?  How are you increasing the GREAT Quality Instructional Practices in your classroom?

And remember Chapter 1 of Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters is available free when you click on the sample tab HERE!

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