Tag Archives: quotes

#FallInstitute2015: What Lester Said


What did participants hear Lester Laminack say @IowaASCD at their #FallInstitute2015?

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#SOL15: Beginning with Quotes


Writing quotes I’m holding onto and thinking about as I construct this post:

“I read like a teacher of writing even when I’m reading the morning paper, and I see rich text possibilities all around me.”

-Katie Wood Ray @katiewoodray

katie wood ray

AND

Steps to Using Mentor Texts

Select a text to emulate and reread – one that inspires an idea, models a structure, or demonstrates an author’s craft worth trying.

·         Read it (Read like a reader)

·         Analyze it (Read like a writer)

·         Emulate it (Write like the writer)

– adapted from Kelly Gallagher @KellyGtoGo

kelly gallagher

When I read like a writer, it feels different.  There’s a bit of anticipation and excitement because I know that I am going to be writing soon.  There’s also a bit of trepidation and anxiety.

“What if it’s not good enough?”  

“What if no one wants to read it?”

make things happen

The point of writing and especially writing like the writer is that one writes a LOT.  It’s not about the audience YET.  It’s about the words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and yes, even the poems appearing on the paper in DRAFT form!  The print version is a pre-cursor to being ready for a “reader”.

Writing . . . Writing from the heart of a writing teacher! You will be a better teacher because you can model and share exactly “how” you begin . . . or get unstuck . . . or try a new craft example.

What writers are you emulating?

What quotes are you holding?

slice

Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 17


clock1

Tick, Tock!

Life

60 seconds in a minute

60 minutes in an hour

24 hours in a day

3600 minutes in a day

How do you choose to spend them?

Tick, Tock!

school

clipartpanda.com

School

60 seconds in a minute

60 minutes in an hour

7 hours in a school day

420 minutes in a school day

How do you choose to spend them?

Tick, Tock!

How do you make decisions about how you spend your time?

Is it the “to do” list?  Is it checking things off?

Is it the “living” list?  Something for yourself and something of service to others?

Quotes about Time 

Which one fits you?

“Charles Richards
Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.
H. Jackson Brown
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

Benjamin Franklin
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

Thomas Edison
Everything comes to him that hustles while he waits.

Robert Browning
Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made; Our times are in his hand who saith, “A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: See all, nor be afraid!

Louis E. Boone
I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.

Jeffery J. Mayer
If you haven’t got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?

Lee Iacocca
If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”

Does it matter?

Last night, I chose to work on my “to do” list.  A sure sign that my four day weekend was over.  I also chose to set the timer and read and respond to slicers . . . and I met some totally new folks that slice in a different time frame. For me, that was the perfect balance of “wants” and “needs”.

Did I get everything on my list done?  Of course not!  But my list is for today and I have a great start on it . . . which is usually impossible on a full day of professional development.  Choosing to work in advance was my choice, no complaints, just an opportunity to alleviate today’s pressures!

What choices do you make?

slice of life

Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL14: The Value of Words


What is a word worth?

Individual words are added together to create sentences and then accumulated into documents, speeches, and presentations of all types.  Is one format valued or privileged over another?

A word in “Words with Friends” has a point value and is part of a competition.  Will my total point value exceed yours?  If yes, that game will be added into my total as a “win”.  But what about the words that I have evaluated and added to my own vocabulary as a result of “playing Words with Friends” and stretching my own vocabulary use?

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  

A_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_words (1)

‘ Source: Wikipedia

 

 

 

A single visual image has a value of many words.  Is that value in the visual or in the words that are used to describe what we see in that image? Do I use the same words as you? What is the real value of a “thousand words”?  (Or by now are you saying, “Does it really matter?”)

 

“Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.”

– Sigmund Freud

How is the value of words shared?  Do both the author and the reader have equal responsibility?  How and and when is that “power” or “value” passed from one to the other?

What is the lens that we use to consider our words? I remember Kelly Boland Hohne at #TCRWP using the “lens of language” to see more as readers.

lens of language

 

 

 

 

These questions help a reader focus on how an author has used language.  Is their value in talking about the power of words to help, to heal, to share, to live and even perhaps to love our friends, family, and neighbors? What about that positive or negative tone? Did the message transmit as intended?  Did it perhaps go a wee bit astray?  Which words are you regularly using?  What message does your “word use” send to others?

How do you value words?

How do you share that value with others?

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.

SOL 14: Back to School


ImageTuesday 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 Betsey for creating that place for us to work collaboratively.

 

It’s back to school time for many teachers this week in Iowa.

What does that mean?

Well, lots of meetings and professional development for one thing.  But also the culmination of lots of planning for teachers.  Many teachers have been reviewing and polishing their lessons from last year.  Others have attended professional development locally or even in such far away places as New York City for the #TCRWP Writing Institute.

What blogs would be good to review now?

The Blog-a-Thon at Two Writing Teachers for the last week focused on building classroom routines for both reading and writing workshops.  That link was for Tara’s first post about Writing Notebooks.  And here is the recap for the week if you want to pick and choose your topics. What routines do you establish with your students to move them to the “independent” stage?  What new routines do you plan to add this year?

 

What quotes are you going to hold on to as the year begins?

Lucy Calkins:  June and August Reading Institute 2014

“To lift the level of reading you are teaching, you must work on your own reading. Outgrow yourself as a reader. Start today.”

“ We are no longer teaching information, but teaching students to sort, understand and make something out of the information that is at their fingertips.”

From Brooke Geller and the July TCRWP Reading Institute:

Richard Allington:  “Many of our readers are over taught and under practiced.”

From Mr. Minor at the August TCRWP Reading Institute:

“Don’t slow down for struggling readers. Projects disrespect. Keep pace high with repetitions.”

(All of these tweets were also found n Twitter.  Just one more reason for you to check out #TCRWP this week during the August Reading Institute!) 🙂

 

What do those quotations have in common?
What is different about them?
Which two would you choose to compare and contrast?

 

What are you planning for/ holding onto as you begin this new school year?

 

Back to School

New room

New students

New teacher

Excited to learn!

 

Pencils

Pens

Paper

Stapler.

 

Books on shelves

Books in tubs

Books on spinners

Books everywhere.

 

The bell rings.

Students race in.

Excited voices

Eager to tell their stories.

Newspapers: Are they biased / unbiased?


You may have an answer for that question in the title.  But do you know for sure?  Definitely?  Unequivocally?  How did you research this issue?

The possibilities for bias in text are endless because text is all around us.  Literally and loosely, text is the scenery around us whether it is print or not.  The texts that comprise our daily lives may include a variety of print or non-print sources including electronic emails, blogs, newspapers, magazines and books.  I want to focus on one of those – the writing found in news sources, typically in newspapers and how we can help students examine that question as they continue to build their reading skills for life.

Standards Addressed:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6  –  Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9  –  Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.5  –  Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
One event. Three articles. Three different stories.  

How do you know whether the news is being reported or if the news is being shaped by the authors and publishers?  Let’s investigate further!

To begin, we will just look at the pictures from the three stories:

la-afp-getty-obama-meets-with-leaders-of-honduras-20140725

U.S. President Obama disembarks from Air Force One as he arrives at Los Angeles International Airportfox pic

What do you know?  What do you wonder?  

(Questions from What Readers Really Do:  Teaching the Process of Meaning Making by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton)

Hold onto those thoughts as you look at the titles.  (And the titles are NOT listed in the same order as the pictures!)

Titles

“Obama tells Central American leaders most children will go home”

“GOP lawmakers fight plan to bring more illegal immigrant children to military bases”

“White House pursuing plan to expand immigrant rights”

What do you know?  What do you wonder?

What theories are you now ready to begin building?

The sources in alphabetical order are:  Fox News, LA Times, and Reuters

Which sources go with which pictures and article titles?  Are you already considering revising your theory?  That process of continually questioning and researching based on what you know and wonder allows a reader to demonstrate flexible thinking.  Thinking really is one essential by-product of the “act of reading and understanding printed messages.”

What words/phrases do you notice in the opening paragraphs of the article covering the same event – news about immigrant children on this date?  Read and jot notes about those words.

Opening paragraphs in the LA Times:

 “Even as President Obama grapples with the crisis of immigrant children arriving at the Southwest border, White House officials are laying the groundwork for a large-scale expansion of immigrant rights that would come by executive action within weeks.

Officials signaled strongly Friday that Obama’s move would shield from deportation large numbers of immigrants living in the country illegally, as advocacy groups have demanded.” (LA Times, 7/26/14)

 

The same story from Reuters begins this way:

“President Barack Obama urged the leaders of three Central American countries on Friday to work with him to stem the flow of child migrants who have surged across the U.S. border and warned that most of them would not be allowed to stay.

In a White House meeting with the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Obama had a tough-love message: his administration had compassion for the children, but not many would qualify for humanitarian relief or refugee status. Many of the migrants have fled poverty and crime at home.” (Reuters, 7/26/14)

 

And the third story from Fox News begins with:

“Republican lawmakers are challenging the Obama administration over a newly announced plan to expand the use of U.S. military bases to house illegal immigrant children, warning that it will put a strain on troops and threaten military readiness.

The Pentagon confirmed this week that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services to house an additional 5,000 minors at DOD facilities.”

 

Do you notice any patterns?  What are you wondering about at this time?

There are many ways to continue reading these articles.  The length is conducive to having each student read all three, but a student may only be an “expert” on the actual writing techniques used in one or two of the articles.  Do remember that it is sometimes easier to analyze two articles through simultaneous comparing and contrasting rather than just one article by itself.

 

I was wondering about the “experts” and the sources of quotes within the articles.  Who does each author use?

LA Times:

“Obama said last month that because Congress had failed to act on comprehensive immigration reform, he would take executive action to ‘fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own.'”

“When the decision is announced, it will ‘increase the angry reactions from Republicans,’ Peiffer said.” (White House senior advisor – two other quotes as well)

 

Reuters:

“‘There may be some narrow circumstances in which there is a humanitarian or refugee status that a family might be eligible for,’ Obama said after talks with the leaders. ‘But I think it’s important to recognize that that would not necessarily accommodate a large number.'” (plus two more quotes by President Obama

President Juan Orland Hernandez of Honduras,  “’They have rights, and we want them to be respected,’ he said.”

“‘The idea here is that in order to deter them from making that dangerous journey, we’d set up a system in coordination with these host countries to allow those claims to be filed in that country without them having to make that dangerous journey,’ said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.”

 

Fox News:

paraphrased information (no quotes in article)”The Pentagon confirmed that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel . . . request from Dept. of Health and Human Services. . . ”

Direct quote – “Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told FoxNews.com.”

“Alabama lawmakers . . . ‘ongoing talks’ . . .  . . . “Alabama GOP Reps. Martha Roby and Mike Rogers ” . . . . ‘The housing, feeding and caring of immigration detainees would severely compromise the critical mission at Maxwell-Gunter,’ they wrote.” (also a second quote)

“Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., said the request poses a very real threat to U.S. military readiness,’ noting the base is the ‘primary artillery training center for troops before deployment.'” (second quote also)

 

What might instruction/inquiry look like at this point?  

I might begin to model comparing specific words and phrases that were used in the articles and also begin to discuss the sources. Which words/phrases seem to be the most simple form of reporting (without opinions/emotions) in comparison to words or phrases that seem to have been chosen for their emotional nuances?  What could those comparisons look like?

Paint chips, a visual way to show the progression of vocabulary words, could be used.  Students in 1:1 districts could simply create these using a chart and add color gradations to the boxes.  Or students could consider how to use “shapes” to show the different layers of word meanings / nuances or  phrases and words that explicitly provide evidence of the biases and or point of view of the reporters/publishers. Words could then be added as text boxes inside each color.

Screenshot 2014-08-03 07.20.46

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For additional discussion or to see an explanation of this vocabulary activity, see Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 Teacher of the Year, at the Teaching Channel here.

 

If you have not yet googled the articles, here is the link to each one where all advertisements have been stripped courtesy of the readability app (with more information here):

Fox News

LA Times 

Reuters

 

So what are some other choices?

If you are a devotee of “Falling in Love with Close Reading” by Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts, you may have been thinking of all the connections between the lenses of text evidence, vocabulary and point of view!  That would be another way to conduct a close reading of these articles in order to see how they were “reported differently”.

Or, if you are interested in adding in some writing, you might have partner groups of students “summarize” their article in two or three sentences while asking them to include evidence that will help them “defend” their summary as “The Best Summary”.

OR you might consider this question – Can you predict how additional topics will be “covered/handled” by Fox News, LA Times and Reuters?  After making your prediction (and writing it down), pick a topic, pull up the three different articles and see if your predictions are accurate!

Or consider where your own local newspaper fits within this “range” or reporting!

 

Does every text that you read contain some bias?  What do you think?  What would you need to do to unequivocally answer that?

 

ImageTuesday 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 Betsey for creating that place for us to work collaboratively.

SOL: On the Importance of Reading


slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

This is the third in a series about “The Importance of  . . . Check out the previous posts here

I was out of town for training and really wanted to write about assessments, processes, in the life that I was living, but that will be a secret for at least six more weeks as the wheels of bureaucracy turn.  At one point this morning I actually had six different beginnings to this post.  So it was not procrastination, but the receiving end of professional development that has moved this post to the end of the day.

 

*   *   *   *   *   *

Beth Moore’s call for “Slicers” today in the link above included this quote:

“I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you’re trying to be a writer because it’s the only apprenticeship we have, it’s the only way of learning how to write a story.” ~From the Brotherhood 2.0 project. – John Green

 

 

How important is reading in your life?

There are days that I feel like I cannot breathe because I haven’t read or written  anything.  As necessary as breathing – that’s my literacy life.

 

Do any of these quotes reflect the importance of reading in your life?

“We read to know we are not alone.”    C.S. Lewis

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”   Edmund Burke

“The more you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”   Frederick Douglass

“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. ”  Abraham Lincoln

 

Please share your favorite quote!
How do you show that importance in your own life?

On the Importance of Listening


 

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

As a literacy specialist, I so love the fact that the English/Language Arts Standards include, Reading, Writing, Language, and Speaking and Listening.  However, I am always amazed by the amount of “speaking” and the lack of “listening” found in daily discourse.

Calm, quiet, rational – it’s not about the loudest voice.  It’s also not about “Who talks the most?” and have they just worn down the listener who really is only listening with one ear? Or is listening and multi-tasking?  Is that really listening?  What should one really be listening for?

Are speaking and listening two sides of the same coin?

Is a monologue really communication?  How important is speaking if there is no listener?  And the flip side:  Can there be communication if there is only a listener who never speaks?  Does a “dialogue” always mean that the speaker and the listener are both equally invested in the communication?

Which of these quotes fits your schema about communication?

 

Source:  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_communication.html#aWJ5O5Zkmvq5EKqt.99

Why is communication hard?

So why does “communication” break down?  Why is it hard to convey a precise meaning in words, coupled with our actions and emotions?  Is it complex or as simple as this quote?

Image

What message do you communicate?
Do your actions speak louder than your words?

When do you REALLY listen?

 

o5.13.14  Check out Julieanne’s post about a student conference.  This was totally about listening to understand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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