Think back to a “Best Time of Your Life”. Where were you? What were you doing? What made it “THE BEST”?
If you were to return to that place of your “Best Time of Your Life” right this minute, do you think it would be exactly as you remember it?
1399 colleagues (?)
Magnificent Riverside Church
“We come from . . .”
A call to action from Lucy Calkins.
Ignite the passion
In our students.
“Don Murray: Writing is not easy nor should it be.”
We don’t just recount.
We make meaning in our writing.
To celebrate the day’s end
A double rainbow
Ready to begin anew!
June Writing Institute 2013
And yet, filling a hole in my teacher soul
June Writing Institute 2014
Back to fill in the holes in my knowledge
Back to “be with my tribe”
Still anxious about all I did NOT know
June Writing Institute 2015
Armed with a plan
Specific session criteria
And questions for staff developers.
June Writing Institute 2016
Finally knowing “something”
Writing before, during, and after
Adding new knowledge
Consolidating and validating previous learnings
and this year, waiting for
August Writing Institute 2017
Because there’s no place like home with your writerly friends
The Learning at
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project!
So this week I’m following along on Twitter
Checking in for “learning bread crumbs”
Planning for that return to “My Best Learning Place on Earth”!
#TCRWP Writing Institute and #TCRWP Reading Institute
I already know that even though I’m attending in August this year, #TCRWP Writing and Reading Institutes will be better than ever! Much writing and reading (and tweets) before then . . . See you soon!
Where do you go for inspiration?
That feeling of “belonging”?
And yet, where you are also “pushed” to be a better you, a stronger you, a more capable you?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
New York City
This rural Iowa dweller says thanks for all the opportunities:
for face to face meet ups with friends from Twitter, Twitter chats, and Voxer,
to be able to chat excitedly with fellow Slicers, bloggers and authors,
to dine in all sorts of fabulous places,
and in such great company.
Attending the musical “Fun Home”in the Round was magical.
Ahh, the bookstores
Jazz at Smoke
So much to see and do
While in NYC
For #TCRWP’s Writing Institute
Because the learning does NOT stop when the sessions end!
The conversations, the questions, the talk about “What are you reading?” and “What are you writing?” continues into the night!
A glorious week long adventure!
Thanks to you, my friends
And Lucy and ALL at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.
And what about the learning on Day 4?
I begin, again, at the end,
the eloquence of Pam Nunoz Ryan
who brought us to tears with her harmonica rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
Thanks to Fiona Liddell and Twitter for this picture.
What an eloquent author and so nice to hear the backstory, see the grids of characters and plot, as well as the research that went into Echo – a MUST READ book for your #TBR (To Be Read) list.
- Find your passion.
- Thank those who help you find your passion.
- Writing a novel is hard but rewarding work.
- Stories matter, stories matter, stories matter!
- Rereading stories is important!
Have you read Echo?
Please reserve it at your local public library NOW!
Choice Workshop – Colleen Cruz
Editing Does Matter: Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary in a Writing Workshop
To think about when teaching Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary:
Teach into developmental level so it will stick. What do they know? What are they trying to approximate? We looked at a student piece of work. What can this student do?
- Curriculum and standards What should we teach?
What do my standards say that the students need to learn by the end of the year?
Just as revision is not taught only once in the writing process; editing is taught more than once in writing process. First time – teach in editing (comma in clause) in order to lessen the cognitive load for the students. Then the second time teach comma in clause during revision. And for the third time, the student can focus on the comma when generating ideas in his/her notebook. The repetition will be helpful for students!
Each time we revisit the skill, our methods may vary – or not! The typical methods are:
b. Apprenticeship – Mentor author – Example
c. Inquiry- let’s see what we find in the world and then find patterns (bio, /er/ was/were)
The tools can either be Teacher created or Student created. For grammar it may be a series of books to cover the variations in journalism grammar, grammar for fiction writer, or grammar for academic writing. It may be fun grammar books, vocabulary picture books, mentor texts, or student examples. Or it may be editing pens, gel pens, or other irresistible editing tools. Quite literally, physical tools like Mini editing checklists with 2 or 3 things they are checking for! Whatever they are into! Students can make their own reminder sheets! Work with grammar, spelling and vocabulary should be in the spirit of FUN and Exploration. NO RULES for number of spaces after a period. Talk about conventional understandings. How do people expect it to go?
- Perfection in writing is not the goal for 9 year old students. The New York Times allows four errors per page with page writers and paid copyeditors. No published piece of writing in the world has ever been 100% perfect.
- If you are writing with passion and focusing on content, writing will slip when you are“letting it rip”. Errors are a good sign because they indicate risk-taking.
- Post “not perfect” student work on the hallway bulletin board. Make a huge label and Celebrate – “Check out our capital letters and end punctuation. We’ve been working hard on them and ALMOST have them!”
- Kids fall into automatic, manual, wrong – if kids aren’t automatic, it does not mean they are lazy , not trying, or don’t care. It just means they haven’t mastered that skill YET.
- Conventions, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary work should be FUN and PLAYFUL!
How does your instruction in Spelling, Grammar and Vocabulary match up?
What’s one change that you would consider?
What did I learn on Sunday in New York City?
Who Knew? This is a map that lists the neighborhoods in Manhattan (sorry, Brooklyn friends). They are literally also divided into “uptown”, “midtown”, and “downtown”, as well as “east side” and “west side”.
Not this “farm girl” from Iowa!
What sparked this interest in the “make-up” of Manhattan?
“We tell the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants.”
Do check out the linked museum title above because the “Education” tab includes lesson plans and primary sources that history aficionados will love. The whole premise of learning about the “lives” of these families from the historical documents of the times as well as the personal stories is spellbinding! Goosebumps!
The “sweatshop” tour was our goal and Janeen was an amazing tour guide. She enabled us to time travel back to the 1890s to imagine what life what like in a 3 room 352 square foot apartment occupied by the Levine family – no running water, no electricity, privies in the back yard, . . .
When I hear the word “sweatshop” this is an example of the image that comes to my mind.
But the original sweatshops, before electricity and the “factory” model, existed in the tenement apartments where individuals would run their own business, hire workers, and work incredibly long hours in their own living quarters. Here is a photo of a postcard purchased at the museum (no pictures allowed on the tour) of an example of a dress made in this apartment rented by the Rogarshevky family.
Sewing the dress pictured above (sold for $15 retail) netted this business $0.25. How many dresses would they need to complete during their six-day work week to make $10.00? The virtual tour is linked here so you can see and hear this information yourself.
What do you know about the history of immigrants in your own family?
Where did they come from?
Where did they live and work once they arrived in the US?
How did they have to adapt in order to survive?
What is the role of “oral histories”?
We ended our day at Isabella’s with a different bit of learning. Fellow slicers, TWT bloggers, #tcrwp attendees gathered for fun and fellowship.
Vicki Vinton, Sandy Brumbaum, Julianne Harmatz, Allison Jackson, and Tara Smith and myself. What a great beginning to our “TCRWP” learning week!
TCRWP Writing Institute begins today!
Where and what will you be learning this week?
Even Google gets it . . .
Today’s visual . . .
Today’s goal: pack the materials needed for learning!
Double check each of the class lists!
How much time do you spend PLANNING for upcoming learning when you are the “Learner”?
How much time do you spend PLANNING for learning when you are the facilitator?
Perfect Saturday weather in New York City with a beautiful blue sky and temperature in the 70s. Add in gracious tour guide, @azajacks, (AKA Allison Jackson) and it was a wonderful day. If you haven’t played tourist in NYC lately, this post may be the cause of a craving for a day or two or a week in the Big Apple.
Remember that the first word in the title was “Iowa” and to make sure that you are not confused with Ohio or Idaho, I have given you the map with Iowa as the “red state”. Last Wednesday I had the privilege of hearing @tguskey (AKA Tom Guskey) in a superb day sponsored by Drake University’s Education Leadership faculty. (Take advantage of ANY opportunity to see Dr. Guskey! He is a great storyteller who makes you think!) Anyway (to keep this as a micro story), my Wednesday started and ended with deer in my driveway. When I left at 6:00 am there were three does in the driveway – all just standing there looking at me as IF they owned the rock! And when I returned home at 7:00 pm there were two fawns in the driveway for a grand total of five different deer on our property, highly visible to begin and end my day. Deer on our property, whether on the roof, in the yard or driveway is “normal” as there is state forest timber on three sides of us. We live in a VERY rural area!
Fast forward to Saturday, my first full day in NYC with a trip planned to the 9/11 Museum (including a guided tour) scheduled for 10:30 am. Travel included the subway ride that began at 8:10 this morning and ended with the walk home from the subway about 8 pm. Not a normal day in Iowa!
Where were we?
- 9/11 Memorial
- 9/11 Memorial Museum
- 9/11 Memorial Museum Guided Tour
- Wandering and Revisiting Exhibits in the 9/11 Memorial Museum
- St. Paul’s Chapel
- Time Square
- Visiting the Lions at the New York City Public Library (and the gift shop)
- Rockefeller Square
- Bank Street Books
Google photos has many pictures available from the 9/11 Memorial or you can actually go to their site at 911memorial.org
There is no admission fee on the outside grounds of the memorial. You can visit the “Survivor Tree” or the “South and North Reflecting Pool Memorials” without tickets. If you desire to view a specific name on the wall, you will want to visit the electronic search kiosk to locate the panel letter and number for that individual. I looked for my sister’s friend and only a few seconds of search were required when searching with a first and last name.
You will have to see the museum to believe it. There is an admission charge with an additional charge for a guided tour. Our tour leader was Eduardo, who was very good at putting us at ease so that we felt comfortable asking questions. He is a master storyteller. At the end we did ask for advice as we were thinking our time might be limited. Eduardo shared that the guides had written their own scripts after studying the artifacts that were assembled on “Ground Zero” – studying and writing for months for a polished script! Wow! His depth of knowledge was unbelievable.
You need to see:
1) The “Slurry Wall” inside Foundation Hall and hear its original purpose and what has been done to reinforce it after 9/11
2) This quote from Virgil on Memorial Hall. Each “blue” page represents a person murdered at the Trade Center or because of the Al Qaeda plots. Each blue page is also a different color – ALL 2,977 of them are uniquely different.
3) An artifact added after a stunning victory in the war against the Terrorists. (Hint – related to May 2, 2011 but not shown in a picture)
4) Many heart wrenching and tear jerker stories complete with personal artifacts to view.
5) Memorial Hall complete with photos for each person murdered by the terrorists.
And that is just a Very, Very small sampling of the artifacts.
After the guided tour, we went back to carefully reread the posted notes and view the tons of steel and concrete that remain a part of the Twin Towers and the existing “reflecting pools”. It was a day of wonderment as well as a day of tears. So many lives cut short. Many unborn children who perished as well. The museum truly honors and cherishes the victims. The design was well executed! The layout maximizes space. The subdued lighting adds to the somber and reverent tone!
What an amazing day! Thanks, Allison!
Have you been to visit the 9/11 Museum Memorial? What touristy plans do you have while participating in #tcrwp Writing Institute?
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Songs to speed me on my way in just three days . . .
“Leavin’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. . . ” (John Denver)
memories of family sing alongs (especially the chorus when everyone wants to sing bass) in airports, movie theaters, and on planes
“Fly Away, Fly Away” (John Denver)
“New York, New York”
What will be the best thing about the 2014 Teachers College June Advanced Writing Institute?
Lucy Calkins’ opening keynote?
The large group sessions?
The small group sessions?
Daily choice keynotes?
The talented TCRWP staff?
Meeting fellow bloggers and tweeters face to face?
Playing tourist in New York City?
Learning with friends: old and new?
How many books do I need on my iPad to cover a day of flying, 13 days in NYC, and a day flying home?
How many pieces of technology do I need for my 15 total days?
Estimated number of Tweets during the 15 days?
Estimated number of blog posts during the 15 days?