I ripped open the envelope. So much hinged on the contents. Where I would live. Where I would work. My life.
Two pages: one page for my elementary ed placement and a second page for my special ed placement.
Both placements were in the location requested. Fourth grade in one building and then half day in the same building and half day in a second building for special ed.
16 weeks of student teaching would fill the spring semester of my senior year in college. 16 weeks around holidays and weekends would run from January through May. 16 weeks out of the dorm and in my own apartment. Apprehensive . . . perhaps a bit. Excited . . . YES! Returning to my junior college town in a different role. Trying on the role of a teacher. YIKES! Student Teaching!
Fast forward to my current work with teachers and graduate students . . . most but not all are teaching. And thinking about teacher growth, district professional development, and the opportunity to take courses, participate in webinars, and attend conferences. So many sources of learning!
I’m fascinated by this sketch noting by Joy Vega and thankful that she gave me permission to use it in my blog post. This is just the top third of the page from one of the #ILA19 sessions.
Title of Session
It’s eye catching! Innovative color choices . . . and the use of the dots!
Within five minutes of the opening, the audience was generating and discussing their own possible “Problems of Practice.”
The first step in Action Research. And then the actual research questions. The refinement. The revision. The data. The student responses. The curiosity. The quest for learning.
And the reflections from the teachers – scattered across the US – were amazing. These were the Heinemann Fellows presenting at #ILA19 who should be writing a book about their work! So easy to celebrate this group and their work! Empowering Teachers through Action Research: Dr. Kimberly Parker, Aeriale N. Johnson, Tricia Ebarvia, Anna Gotangco Osborn, and Tiana Silvas.
(If you are on Facebook, you can read Dr. Mary Howard’s notes about this session here.)
ACTION RESEARCH: Validating Instruction, Pursuing Improved Instructional Practices, and Reflecting on Professional Growth
What if Action Research were a part of continuing education, continuing endorsements, and recertification processes for teachers?
What if Action Research were a part of a “paid, 5th year experience” for novice teachers who had support for setting up a classroom at the beginning of the year and quality coaching ALL year long?
What if we “re-envisioned teacher prep” programs to include first draft Action Research so data collection was placed back in the hands of teachers with curiosity and questions of their own?
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.
What do we value? Product? Process? Reflection?
It began with a conversation on Voxer.
How do we know?
My #OLW, Curious, led me on an interesting quest.
So how does this work in real life?
The first group began. All brass. They blew a few sounds through their mouthpieces. They were newcomers. Section by section. Each small group played. Then the entire brass group played two songs.
Same process for the woodwinds. A few sounds. Section by section sound off. Then the entire woodwind group played two songs.
The Premiere of THE 5th Grade Beginning Band (copied from the program) then played two songs. Their first practice together – the brass and the woodwinds. Their first practice EVER. During a performance. In front of a gym packed with family and friends.
How would you assess this 5th grade group in their first public appearance?
The number of students that participated?
How the three groups sounded?
How they have grown in the six weeks since 5th grade band began?
What comparisons would you make between assessing this instrumental group and other “assessments of 5th grade learners?”
I watched instrumental musicians last night representing grades 5-12 in the Central DeWitt school district. This was my second consecutive year to attend the fall Parade of Bands. It’s a 90 minute extravaganza led by two directors that showcases the performance levels of students in October each year. This year that was a total of 325 band students in grades 5-12: 215 students in grades 5-8 (She is simply amazing!) and 115 students in high school.
What if . . .
What if all students had to take an identical screener in the fall, winter and spring?
What if the results of the screener was then used to determine which instrument students should play?
What if the students had to pass a “basic knowledge test” before they could choose an instrument?
Would there be 325 students in band if a general “proficiency test” was required of all students?
Again, how is success measured?
Is it measured by the “1 Superior” rating at state marching contest?
Is it measured by the new band uniforms provided by a community drive?
Is it measured by the audience that packed the gym?
Is it measured by the funds raised during the dinner before the Parade of Bands?
Is it measured by the applause of the audience?
Is it measured by the number of students who continue to participate in band year after year?
Is it measured by the distance that audience members travel to attend the concert? (195 miles one way for me)
Is it measured by the “JOY” of the students who continue to participate?
Product? Process? Reflection?
Is there any ONE measure that captures the essence of success?
The original conversation began with writing. Is this a conversation that needs to be a part of every content area in every school building?
What do we value?
What do we support?
How do we know?
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.
Full Disclosure: I’ve followed this band director for decades – to concerts and competitions, to the Alamo Bowl, and to the Orange Bowl so I’m
a wee bit biased. Band opened the doors for me to travel in the US and abroad. I attended this concert with his grandmother, mother, wife and daughter. I’ve known him and his work ethic for 40 years, and YET I also know that FUN and a passion for music is also a part of his agenda. He’s my nephew!
What motivates you?
Does it depend on the topic/event?
Internal motivation? External motivation?
Private goals? Public goals?
Or a simple desire to “Be Better”? To “Do Better”?
What drives you?
(The record setting heat over Memorial Day began this thinking. Do I “set records” in my life? Is that a part of my goal-setting? Should it be?)
Questions, Questions, Questions!
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
What a year!
There are so many ways to vies the data in WordPress that my head can spin . . . or I can just look like a bobblehead. After all, what’s in a number?
My Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of all time are:
Data analysis is interesting. At first glance it appears that my OLD writing is more popular than my newer writing. Or does the popularity mean that these posts are STILL topics/issues that present day literacy teachers are struggling with?
My data is skewed and incomplete. Every other year I have reported the top 10 posts. Narrowing the parameters of my list causes the comparison to fluctuate from previous years. And even more disconcerting is changing the years . . . what is the difference between “all time” lists and just the “top ten” from this year? What is the difference between “from” and “for”?
My Top 5 Posts from 2017 are:
Subtle differences require a discerning reader.
Today “I cherish the oddities”. (Call for slices by Melanie here.)
What kind of reader will you be in the future?
What data do you use for valid comparisons?
What data do you wonder about?
Is all data equal?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
In the field of fitness, “Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities with relative ease.”(www.humankinetics.com) By analogy flexibility when writing could then be the ability to write with ease and even the ability to shift form or format with ease.
So what does “Flexibility” look like?
What does “flexibility” mean for ME?
I can reflect flexibly by using . . .
a blog post
a twitter chat
a voxer post
my writer’s notebook
my iPad mini
What matters is that I
take make the time to reflect! Self-improvement begins with reflection. In order to improve both our present and our future, it is imperative that we begin with an understanding of the past.
Which of these pictures represents your current view of flexibility?
(Following the example of Sally Donnelly, a colleague and friend that I met face to face Saturday . . . you can read her “Before That” here.)
I arrived home last night just before dark, without having encountered any deer, in my blue Hyundai rental without cruise control, eternally grateful that I was able to monitor my speed while excited about my weekend of learning.
Before that, I was thankful that I did not need the picture that I snapped of the fire extinguishers on the wall of the parking ramp near my car in order to remember where I left it after my mad dash to the airport on Friday following all day PD!
Before that, my US Airways jet landed in Des Moines in the midst of a balmy yet windy 75 degree afternooon. (I didn’t believe the pilot, I had to text a friend for verification. 75? Really?)
Before that, my US Airways jet finally departed the Washington DC airport after two hours of delay due to undisclosed maintenance.
Before that, we deplaned after 30 minutes of sitting on the tarmac.
Before that, we began boarding at the time listed on tickets for our departure.
Before that, we were shuttled to our departure terminal after the bus idled in our rectangular-painted location until the corresponding bus left Terminal 23 – our destination.
Before that, our shuttle flight landed in DC . . . exactly one hour late.
Before that, I was using the internet at LGA to stay caught up with email, slices, and organizing pictures captured over the weekend.
Before that, I was clearing check in and security literally in seconds due to TSA pre-check status and at my departure terminal in minutes.
Before that, I was on my way to the airport in a yellow cab, relishing the fact that 50% of the folks at Central Park were wearing shorts and the other 50% were bundled up from head to toe in winter coats.
Before that, I finished packing and added a few last minute thoughts to a document as I contemplated topics for my last March Challenge slice as well as beginning curious thoughts about what “traditional Tuesday” slicers would find for imaginative topics. My current list of all the modes of transportation from the weekend in NYC (in reverse order): taxi, walk, subway (loud guy), walk (“reading glasses”), subway, subway, walk, subway, walk, subway, bus, walk, walk, walk, walk, taxi, plane, walk, plane, walk, and rental car.
Before that, I had a hearty American breakfast at the Nice Matin, adjacent to the Lucerne Hotel, on the upper-west side of Manhattan because with a full day of travel, a solid breakfast to begin the day beats any and all airport food.
Before that, I read and responded to daily “slices” as well as posting my own and linking it at Two Writing Teachers.
Before that, I woke at 6:00 on my last morning in New York City (this trip to Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) in the fabulous Lucerne Hotel.
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THANKS for reading my daily posts during March!
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This is the last day of the March Daily Challenge. 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 for us to share our work. So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!