Tag Archives: professional learning

#SOL19: Domestication


By definition:

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Cats and dogs are typical pets.  Maybe out in the country you will see chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, goats, or even horses as pets.  All of those animals could possibly be domesticated with some penned up space and time spent on training.

Today’s version of domestication comes via Bev Showers circa 2006 when she worked with Second Chance Reading Trainers in Iowa.

“Beware of domestication!”

Domestication is an outgrowth of professional learning.

The teacher returns from a session, a class, or learning opportunity.

With excitement and enthusiasm, the teacher begins to implement the new learning.

After about six weeks, the teacher says, “That new learning would be perfect with just one teeny, tiny tweak!” and s/he proceeds to make one little change.

Life continues on for about another six weeks when the teacher says, “Wow, I love what I learned, but with one more teeny, tiny tweak, it will really be better. ” So s/he changes that one little thing.

Reflection occurs at the end of the next six weeks and the teacher is starting to get excited about student learning but envisions even greater success with another minor change.

After another six weeks the teacher finally is ready to grasp success.  The learning is six months past, the new pieces have been tweaked to her/his satisfaction.  The teacher is teaching exactly what she always taught but s/he is naming it as the new learning.  Domestication of the new learning.  Reverting back to the old ways . . . but naming it by the new name.

Don’t let domestication overtake your new learning when your school year begins.  Think about how the excitement and enthusiasm from the initial learning. 

Revisit the “moves” or techniques that make it unique. 

Don’t tinker with the learning until you truly assess how the learning is working!

 Leave domestication for the critters!




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Repeated Reading: Part 4


Is my teaching working?

What about fidelity to the instructional model?

Those are tricky questions to answer because there are so many variables in any equation seeking to measure instruction. Process. Product. Growth. Learning. Knowledge. Evidence. The list continues and grows quickly when adding in all forms of literacy!

What might a path to studying implementation look like?

10 years ago, I might have believed that implementation study began with an initial study of the frequency of teaching moves and then moved on to consideration of the results as one part in an intermediate study of implementation.  We counted. We checked. We logged and logged and logged. That was the type of process we were using  in our state. In the case of repeated reading, it might have looked something like this.

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We would have collected the data from self-reporting, from classroom observations, leadership team observations, and from principal walk throughs to confirm this before we moved to another level of implementation.  We would have been monitoring student growth, but it wouldn’t have been a major focus YET!

Instead today, I would probably ask teachers to begin first with a self- rating, similar to this one, to determine the teacher’s perception of both their understanding and their role in instruction.

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This study of teacher’s perception of their instruction would be one way of considering some starting points and setting personal goals for teachers for future professional learning.  Some work needs to be done collaboratively across a grade level, some needs to be done vertically in order to strengthen the connections and expectations for students, while some needs to be done in smaller groups, with a partner or individually.  Just as we consider how time is spent for students, so must we be thoughtful about how we organize teacher learning time as well. These three structures could drive purposeful study!

The key to moving through the levels on this second data collection tool is that it is student-centered and allows for data collection around what students are doing as a result of instruction AND in response to instruction. It’s quite simply better aligned to instruction than a single summative assessment that results in a number.  Instead it includes the actions and habits that increase student learning.

The second tool is also “less rigid” about a lock step set of directions “1- 5 Do This” in spite of or without any regard for the students in front of the teacher. Or without any differentiation for the student who is “almost at the target” in comparison to the student who is just learning the skill.”

What professional learning would be your focus? 

What do you use as “targets” for professional learning? 

Who sets the goals? 

How do you know when the students are learning?




Big picture:  Research + Purposeful Instruction + Students’ Deep Learning + Professional Learning = Student Success

#SOL19: Day 7 SOLSC


Lucky Day 7

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On Day Seven . . . Using the Throwback Time Machine . . .

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?

This post began four years ago today, March 7, 2015. But the content remains pertinent.

What is the source of teacher improvement?  Is it “Professional Development”? Is it “Professional Learning”? Is it time for “Reflection”? Are there some features that should be present for all teachers?

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Doug Fisher, Visible Learning

 

Collective Teacher Efficacy – John Hattie – effect size of d=1.57 (approx. 4 years growth)

Feedback – effect size of d=0.72 ( half of Collective Teacher Efficacy)

The message seems to be clear: together teachers can achieve more, especially if they collectively believe that they can do so!

How Leaders Inspire Teachers . . .

But what if . . .

These discussions / conversations were a part of “regular business” in all our schools . . .

How do I know I am using my instructional time wisely? 

How do I know my students are learning?

One professional filter might be Good to Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters . . .

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Good to Great Teaching by Dr. Mary C.Howard

Where is the learning?

Are pendulum swings the result of information overload or the lack of solid grounding in the research/understanding WHY?

A search for FUN?

A search for the EASY button?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum in March from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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#SOL18: Reflections


I was amazed, disheartened, and ready to stop writing several years ago when I discovered and announced fairly publicly that my narrative writing skills were weak.  Maybe lower than weak.  Definitely NOT where I wanted them to be.

So what did I do?

I committed to writing more narratives.  I tracked when I wrote narratives.  I pulled out some rubrics. I studied some mentor texts. I wrote more.  I did not avoid writing narratives even though I can candidly report that I still “don’t love writing narratives.” My writing slowly and painfully improved.

And then having made some gains, I set narrative writing aside.

Does that process sound familiar?

Make a goal. Set a criteria as a measuring point.  Work towards the goal. Goal met!

DONE!

Perhaps it’s the “hurry up and git’r done” nature of many goals.  Perhaps it’s the idea of “taking your medicine quickly” to get it over with.  At any rate, I fear that I have lost some of those skills in the lack of volume in my writing and, in particular in my narrative writing.

I’m going to continue to study my writing as I also consider my “OLW” for 2019.  A couple words have fallen from the sky in front of me lately.  They are on the list.  But are they the “one“?  I don’t yet know.




PROFESSIONAL Learning Matters!

Have you checked out this work from Regie Routman?

How do you become a more effective teacher?

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Link

Out of the 10 which are you focusing on?

I’m working on these:

  • Prioritize
  • Work Toward a Culture of Collaborative Expertise
  • Focus on whole-part-whole teaching and learning



But what do I know? This data is shocking . . .

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Shared by Penny Kittle, 12.14.18  Source Link

This was looking at Middle School Writing Assignments in 2015.

How are they doing?

WE will have a state writing assessment this year.  Will our students be prepared if this is their background?  If 78% of middle school students’ work requires only short responses or a sentence or two?  Another 14% required a paragraph . . . hmmm ……. 14 out of 100 had assignments that required the student to write a paragraph.

What doesn’t this data say?

The data does not tell us whether 100% of the students attempted the task.

The data does not tell us if 100% of the students completed the task.

The data does not tell us anything about the quality of the paragraphs submitted.

The data does not tell us anything about how the paragraph was scored.

I am not advocating that all students be required to write multiple paragraphs every day.  But can we INSPIRE THEM to write more and CAN we ASPIRE to provide quality instruction that will encourage students to envision and craft stronger examples of personal writing?

But what about the 9% required to write more than one paragraph?

All four of the statements above apply if your change “paragraph” to “more than a single paragraph.”

Volume of writing does matter just as the volume of reading matters.  Based on the data above, students are still probably NOT writing enough per class period, across the day or across each semester of the year.

Where should we begin? 

What steps can we commit to for the long haul? 

What goals will we agree on?

Where is our sense of urgency?




On Friday, I sat next to sketchnote extraordinaire, Paula Bourque.  I did not know that she would be attending, but I had planned in advance to sketchnote and brought my Flairs knowing that I needed my markers in order to make progress.

Here’s my first page of notes from the day!

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My goals:

Take notes.

Add some graphics.

Use some color.

Show improvement.

More ideas than white spaces.

Find one part I really like:

  1. Distraction Addiction and Use Notebooks to slow down thinking
  2. Writing Matters – Emotional Response
  3.  Choices – We have to balance reading and writing

What are you learning that is new? 

How is it going? 

What is your goal?

Curious minds want to know! #OLW18




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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#SOL18: Why?


My #OLW stood me in great steed this weekend at #ILA18.Screenshot 2018-07-23 at 11.14.01 PM

So much to see . . .

So much to do . . .

So much to learn . . .



But What’s the Point?



Back in the Dark Ages,

In the late 2oth Century!

I remember the value placed on

Whole-Part-Whole in education.

The goal was always LEARNING!

The intent was for ALL to be LEARNING!

Students

Teachers

ALL!



After #ILA18 I feel that many empowered teachers have been set free in the universe to “change the world” and continue learning.  We haven’t learned it all.  There is a real need to continue to grow and build our knowledge base.

And that brings me to one of my Sunday sessions.   We were learning about the Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts (4th edition) under the leadership of Diane Lapp and Douglas Fisher. It has 18 chapters.  Chapters that could be used in schools for professional development.

18 Must Reads.

18 Invitational Conversations.

Exploring the tight connections between research and best supported practice that promotes literacy for every learner.

This was not a book available to purchase in the Exhibit Hall.

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But could it?  Dare it be a lens to consider best practices?  A lens to consider What?  How?  or even WHY we do what we do in instruction?

In its entirety this is one side of a handout from a round table at that session . . .

Chapter 16

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8 Essential Components of Comprehensive Language Arts Instruction.

Any surprises for you?



As I reviewed the list, I found it quite interesting that this list of components included nine, or exactly half of the chapters.  Curiosity, of course, won out.  What on earth could the other nine chapters be about if this is “the list of components for instruction” and if THIS is the book for teachers to study.

So I was off researching.

In a classroom, I would have been in major trouble because I was on my computer and might have appeared to NOT be on task.  But I was in search of more information.  What is the other half of this book about?  This book we should study?  This book we should use? This 499 page book!



This post is titled “Why?” not to just allow me to pose my own questions but also to perhaps begin to develop some of my own theories.  Why these eight components?  Why do two of the eight (25%) not have chapter resources supporting them?

WHY? 

What are the “Whys?” that are circling in your brain?



What format will the chapter take?

Will there be recommendations of “amounts of time” per component?

Will there be “recommendations of additional resources”?

Were any teachers involved in updating this handbook?

Is there any support for how to put these 8 components into action?

Or how to “know” when the components are all aligned?



Will this text continue to treat each component as a separate silo?  What about the reciprocity of reading and writing? How will we grow readers and writers?

Why this text now? 

What’s so compelling about this text, right now, that this book should be a part of a district’s professional development?

It was a pleasure to hear much rich conversation around real reading and writing at #ILA18.  Real, rich, robust reading that is NOT about single standard instruction or assessment.  It’s actually quite refreshing to go back to the “Whole” of language arts instruction in reading, writing, speaking and listening that moves stedents to take action in the real world.

Doing school must end.  It’s time to capitalize on any instruction that promotes high learning and engagement that challenges students without mind-numbing page after page of annotation, Cornell notes,  and skills-based minute particles that can easily be googled.  Why do adults think these decisions can be made without broader input from our communities?

If the whole is our entire language arts program

and the part is the eight components,

what “WHY?s” will you need answered before you can implement these 8 components?




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

 

#SOL17: Wondering


Do you believe this?  What’s the evidence of your belief?

every.PNG

Doug Fisher, SDSU, August

Just Wondering . . .

How much “LEARNING” do you engage in during a year?

I learn daily as I read and write.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly in Twitter chats.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly as I blog.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn weekly in my Voxer groups.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I learn monthly, semi-annually and even annually from some major events.

Last week led me to learning in Davenport, IA on Monday with Dr. Mary Howard and

in Des Moines, IA on Thursday with Lucy Calkins.

Passionate speakers sharing research-based ideas.

Tirelessly

Leading

Encouraging

Thoughtful

Implementation of Best Practices in Literacy Instruction and

Assessment.

In three weeks I will be at #NCTE17.

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

I’m “retired” from a full-time job and yet since retirement, I have engaged in

15 days

of professional learning of my choice!

No one says “I have to”.

No one pays me for my time.

That does not include book clubs (6 this year).

That does not include Twitter chats (often 2 per week).

That does not include reading . . .

That does not include writing . . .

WHY?

Learning is growing.

Learning is addictive.

Learning is necessary . . . breathe in, breathe out, read, write!

Living a learning life!

What does your learning life look like?




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 




What is the Bill of Rights for Writers according to Lucy Calkins?

Link

#DigiLitSunday: #WhyIWrite


#why i write.jpg

Why do I write?

I started a list

The verbs wrote themselves . . .

To define

To think

To create

To share

To craft

To dream

To plan a course of action

To question

To examine

To reflect

Current reality . . . 

I am writing now

Because my fingers are tethered to my keyboard

And I can’t leave this post until I’ve recorded something

Worthy of pushing that “publish” button.

What do I write?

Serious or trivial?

Rich in details?

Or written totally between the lines?

Do the words tumble end over end

in their urgency to be revealed?

Or do they have to be coaxed out of hiding

while I patiently sip coffee as they emerge word by word on the scrren?

The pacing corresponds to the ideas,

some race across the blank screen begging for release,

some yet to simmer,

some seem half-baked,

some to be totally erased TODAY,

perhaps to emerge in a different format on another day.

YET

Today

The words are in gratitude for time with family

This weekend it was being entertained by the 17 month old grandson,

A charming, sweet boy

Attending his first collegiate football game

Complete with high fives, fist bumps, applause, and signaling touchdowns

And yet I wonder what he is thinking . . .

Today I write to share my thanks for the precious gift of time with family!

Why do you write?

What do you write?


Additional Reading

Other thoughts on #WhyIWrite here in a previous post complete with responses from MANY slicers!

Shaelynn Farnsworth’s post “Educators Sharing #WhyIWrite to Celebrate National Writing Day”

Kathleen Sokolowski’s post “Are You Ready for the National Day of Writing 2016?”

#SOL16: Anticipation


“My bags are packed,

I’m ready to go.

I’m standing here outside my door”;

SCREEEECH! (needle on record player scratches the vinyl record)

BECAUSE my phone says, “3 days until my trip to New York City”.

What a bummer!

Does this look like a summer rerun?

On Friday, I’m off to my fourth #TCRWP June Writing Institute and the #June Reading Institute and I am ready to go.

I’ve checked my list at least three times . . .

1 trip to the bank

2 packed carry on bags

3 pairs of black shoes

4 notebooks to separate the week long sessions

5 colors of Pilot erasable highlighters

6 colors of Flair markers

7 th series of flights to #TCRWP ( 4 Institutes and 3 Saturday Reunions)

8 the midpoint day of this round of travel

9 th trip to NYC in my lifetime

10 google docs already created and labeled for each day of note-taking

11 electrical devices and power cords

12 hours to grade graduate work

13 chapters to read and I can finish three professional books before I go

14 days of learner – ready apparel to plan for

15 days of fun, learning, and hanging out with some Twitter, Voxer, blogging, reading and writing friends!!!

Priceless ~

Necessary learning in order to grow as a professional . . .

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I will

survive

In fact, I will flourish because this is my FIRST agenda for learning!

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reading sections.JPG

Rock Star Facilitators Celena, Colleen, Amanda, and Kathleen!

And also . . .

“Fun Home” on Broadway,

Dinner with friends,

Twitter Book Club Chats,

Google Book Club Chats,

Conversations on Voxer

because Iowans in NYC are always on the go . . .

and Iowans at #TCRWP soak up every minute of learning!

Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Thinking . . .

and oh, so JOYFUL (#OLW) to have this opportunity to grow, learn, live and laugh!

How will you grow this summer?

How will you increase your knowledge and skills in order to be a “better you” next year?

 

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thank you for this weekly forum!

 

 

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