Tag Archives: Regie Routman

#SOL19: What Counts?


What do I read?

Mail, Blogs, Tweets, Chapters . . . and Books

I have always envied those who kept a list and reported out like Regie Routman here, here and here. Currently many are reporting out #BookADay now on Twitter or Facebook. For more information about #BookADay created by Jillian Heise in 2014 go here.

So during the winter break I decided one goal of mine was going to be to “celebrate” my reading in 2019.  And of course that would mean that I had to keep track of it somehow. So being ever mindful of this quote, I’m tracking my reading. (Note the key word: I)

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William Bruce Cameron

 

We aren’t quite to the midpoint of the year, but here is what my reading life looks like through most of May  . . .

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Search for a “balance” with NF labels a la Melissa Stewart

I’ve written about reading goals before here, but I found that round chart didn’t have enough spaces for my book count.  Holding on to one single list has not been helpful. I create stacks of the “done” books and record them every two, or three or four weeks. Based on my records thus far for 2019, I believe that I can confirm that I am a voracious reader.  But are there other ways to display the data as I think of students who want to make sense of their own reading lives.

So again this week, I saw a tweet that caught my eye about reading circle graphs and I replied. And then the learning began when Steve Peterson (@Steve1Peterson) replied with the fact that Excel and Google Sheets could make radar graphs.

And the same data above looks like this.  Fiction = 72, Nonfiction  = 52, Professional  = 50.

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This graph is quite interesting.  Having all professional books in one category quickly made it into an outlier in this format.  Five of the 10 remaining categories were in the 20-ish category with four in the single digits and only one category reporting a zero. (Radar chart)

No external pressure other than the public announcement.

No public accountability required.

No summative assessment.

Just recording a snippet from my life . . .

I am Wondering . . .

Is my reading varied enough?  

Varied enough? The good news is that I still have time to have a mid-course correction.  I will purposefully pick up some titles for those four single digit categories.  (And I am already plotting to combine some so that I will have fewer gaps – Yes, manipulating the categories.)

What does not show in this data?

What does concern me is that the data does not show my growth.  This year I have made a conscious effort to read more graphic novels, cartoons, and even narrative prose. Those books are represented in the totals for F and narrative NF but not as separate categories because they are not separate genres.   

What else?

The data also doesn’t share my frustration that tracking my books read over a year is cumbersome.  It’s easy to make a “pile” when reading at home.  But when I’m not there where and when do I record the data?  Do I really only have one list?  NOPE!  I have some post-its with some scribbles, some lists in my Kindle app, and who knows what else!

The lesson here was to give myself grace. My list does NOT have to be perfect.  The data is for me. It’s not a “controlled study” so error is fine.

So my final advice to myself . . .

Take a breath.

Take another breath.

LET IT GO!

NEXT!

Where, why, and when might giving yourself “grace” free up positive energy? 

When could you TRY something without trying it “forever”( so you have room to modify to match the needs)? 

When will you commit to JUST being the best that you can




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

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#SOL19: Quality Matters


I reread this quote.

“Students who are placed with highly effective teachers for three years in a row significantly outperform average students. A student who has an outstanding teacher for just one year will remain ahead of their peers for the next few years.” (Source) Alex Freedman

And then I took a deep breath.

Calm.  It’s an article about math!”  But I’ve heard this from Nell Duke and Linda Darling-Hammond.  It’s not a new statistic.

It’s scary when it seems to be the opposite of what happens in many school building across the country every day!

Why does it matter?

In my family, it’s the grandkids and the great nieces and great nephews that I’m “fretting” about.  What will their educational future bring? Three good teachers in a row?  Three mediocre teachers?  Three poor teachers? Or some combination?

Where is the sense of urgency?

Valinda Kimmel’s post yesterday was so spot on.  Here’s the link.  Go read it. We will wait for you!  “WHEN RTI SEEMS LACKING AND WHAT WE CAN DO”  There is no time to waste.  Every single year matters. Every single day matters.  Every single hour matters.  Every single minute matters.  Every single second in every school building matters!

What do literacy teachers need?

Kimberly Moran’s post yesterday, was no April Fool’s joke.  There is no one way to teach a child to read. “The Science of Literacy Is Not a Thing, So Can We Please Stop Saying That It Is?” Every child brings their own little section of the world with them to school.  No one methodology works for all students, and it’s so strange that some people believe that they now have the “perfect” answer for ALL students. And I have some swamp land for sale . . . I can assemble a group of four educators with a total of over 150 years of teaching students to read that have the knowledge, experience and expertise to explain why teaching reading depends on the student.

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What is our role as a teacher?

Regie Routman says it BEST! (But I’m borrowing Dr. Mary C Howard’s words about Regie’s book . . . )

“In Literacy Essentials, Regie asks us to move from teacher-as-technician dutifully following scripts, programs, and rigid data to teacher as thinker responsibly keeping children at the center of all we do. (p 3-4) (Source) Literacy Lenses

Teacher as THINKER!

What thinking will you be doing today? 

How will you keep children at the center of all you do?




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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All resources above are available through Twitter.  Remember you choose who to follow and who your trusted resources are.

#CCIRA19: Friday Keynote


What a treat!

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I knew for over a year who the keynote speaker would be . . . and it was so frustrating to get weather alerts from United this week that seemed to jeopardize my travel!

No.

NO. 

NO! 

NOT going to happen!

NO weather delays!  Not sleet, nor snow, nor flight delays!


Check your bookshelves.

Are these familiar? 

 

Or these?

 

Or this more recent one?

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If you said,

“Yes, YES, and YES!  You can probably understand my excitement!

Regie Routman, teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher . . . and such a brilliant writer about all things literacy!

Keynote title:

Literacy and Life Essentials:  What Matters Most for Achievement, Fulfillment, and the Pursuit of Happiness

At times, I forgot to collect notes. I was enthralled, wrapped up in the cocoon of stories, embraced by the warmth and serenity that is quintessential Regie Routman.

Regie began by thanking everyone, including the tech guys who she named. Individually.  Each one. With her thanks.  That graciousness was just one small sliver of the atmosphere in Evergreen Ballrooms A-D.  I felt like I was a treasured guest being treated with the utmost care and attention. You.needed.to.be.in.the.room!

Wisdom from Regie Routman:

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Culture is not just being collegial. Staff have to like each other.

Previous tweets from Regie:

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Current research from Lindsey Moses about grade 1 and reading that makes a difference for young learners! Lindey Moses and Laura Beth Kelly, Reading and Writing Quarterly, published online Jan. 2019

To get a copy of  “supported independent reading” go to or  email Lindsey at lindseymoses1@gmail.com (Tweet from Regie)

A treat to learn from a literacy giant who has served in many roles, who continues to grow and learn, who stretches herself and who is candidly herself.

BRAVO!

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Most recent blogs by Regie Routman:

EQUITY MATTERS: https://ccira.blog/2018/12/11/equity-matters/

What You Need To Know About Professional Learning:

10 Essentials for Becoming a More Effective Teacher:

Rethinking Guided Reading to Advantage ALL Our Learners (10.2.18)

https://www.middleweb.com/38836/rethinking-guided-reading/

Due Diligence


“If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck . . . ”

probably a duck!

Unfortunately, there’s “Trouble in River City” as there are a ton of snake – oil salesmen who preach “Research says . . .”,  “Research says . . .”, and “Research says . . .” who are “building on their own self-interests to increase fear and doubt in public schools and teachers.  Every one who has attended a public school or not (Betsy DeVos to name one) has an opinion about education.

An opinion!

Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the fear mongering.  Be BRAVE. Think. Exercise Due Diligence.

  1. Read the resources.
  2. Check the author’s credentials.
  3. Fact check the statements. (By the way when national normed tests are used, 100% of the population is not going to be successful.  They would renorm the test and change the percentages. Assessment 101)
  4. Take a step back and ask yourself, “Is this even logical?”
  5. What do the researchers really say?

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Research:  What does every educator need to know?  Please download Nell Duke’s  document below and have it ready to email to teachers in your own community. Those you can listen to and respond to. Your community.  Where you can also be proactive. Showcase what you are already doing and your own results.

A.  Nell Duke – “10 Things to Know about Research”  Today’s focus is on #9.

9. Where and How Research Is Published or Presented Requires Particular Attention
Consider a particular news item and the range of different ways it is covered, for
example, by the New York Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist,
Fox News, or the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. These sources will cover the same
story in substantially different ways. Similarly, literacy research in different
outlets, and by different writers, may be reported very differently . . .”

New York Times. NPR.

Think.

What is the goal of an author for those sources?

What is the type of information presented?

B. Instructional Practices Matter 

Round robin reading is not OK. Neither is popcorn reading or “bump reading”. NOT.OK. NEVER! And “BUT my kids like it” is only an excuse and not an acceptable excuse.  What should teachers be doing instead?  Check out Evan Robb’s post here.

Do you have these three types of reading in upper elementary and secondary classrooms?

  • Instructional Interactive Read Aloud
  • Instructional Reading
  • Independent Reading

In addition to Read Alouds?

C. Equity Matters 

Regie Routman covers this beautifully in Literacy Essentials as it it one third of the content. Expectations matter for all learners.  Check out this blog post – “9 Key Actions We Can and Must Take to Ensure Equity for All” link

3. Become professionally knowledgeable. No shortcut here! Until we become highly knowledgeable as teachers of literacy—regardless of what subject we teach–we will always be seeking the “right” program, text, or expert to tell us exactly what to do. Equity for all requires that we teachers and leaders know relevant, research-based and principled literacy practices and how and when to apply those practices in all content areas.”

What do you believe and value?

How does that align with your professional knowledge?

D. Dear Media, Stop Misrepresenting Reading Instruction, Please   link

Who does it profit?

“Here is a final note worth emphasizing: Phonics-intense and phonics-only reading instruction is a gold mine for textbook publishers, reading program shills, and the testing industry.

Consider carefully the who and why of public commentaries screeching about reading instruction, especially when the arguments are full of easily identifiable holes in their credibility and logic.”

Why are those who are NOT certified to teach so blindly convinced that they hold “THE ANSWER” to teaching reading?

There are many other great resources . . . blogs, facebook, and twitter.

BE CAREFUL!

BE DILIGENT!

THINK of that student in front of you!

 

2018: In the Rear View Mirror


What a year!

What does the data say?

Looking back is something of a habit as the New Year dawns.  Here were my reflective posts from 2017,  2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.  It was fun to see where the emphasis has changed over time.

My Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of all time are:

5. How do we know students are making progress in writing? (2014)

4.  Generative Writing as a Formative Assessment (2015)

3.  Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity (2013)

                 2. Close Reading in Kindergarten? Is it possible? (2013)

1. #TCRWP and a Teacher’s Toolkit for Writing (2014)

Data analysis is interesting.  Four of the five posts were in my top 5 all time last year.  #2 this year is a new addition to the top 5. It leapfrogged to #2 by passing up three previous “all time” posts.

I continue to wonder if my OLD writing is more popular than my newer writing with two posts from 2013 in the top 5. “Or does the popularity mean that these posts are STILL topics/issues that present day literacy teachers are struggling with?”  Maybe these are topics that I need to review during the course of the year. They are definitely already on my March Slicer “To Write About” list.

My Top 8 Posts (by the number of readers) out of the 109 posts that were written in 2018 were:

8. #SOL18: Lit Essentials – Regie Routman’s Literacy Essentials with an entire section dealing with Equity!

7. #TCRWP: 3 Tips – Patterns of Power (Jeff Anderson), Mentor Texts with Simone Frazier and Heart Maps with Georgia Heard

6. #SOL18:  Reading Research  – Is all reading research equal?

5. Bloom’s and Thinking – Reconceptualizing Bloom’s Taxonomy

4. #SOL18: March 25 – Updated Reprise of #3 above “Lexile Level is NOT Text     Complexity (2013)

3. #NCTE18:  Digging Deeper #1 – Kass Minor, Colleen Cruz & Cornelius Minor

2. #SOL18:  March 15 – Barriers to Learning, Allington’s Six T’s, Student           Progress

1.#SOL18:  March 11 – Increasing Writing Volume

And this – Reading Research from the end of October and both a November post about NCTE and a December post can make it into the “Most Read in 2018” list within 4 – 8 weeks of the end of the year.  So Interesting!

What patterns do you see? 

Which topics did you find most compelling? 

What work do you review annually or over even longer time frames?




PROCESS:

Reflection

Analysis

Planning

Re-Reflecting

Wrapping up Curious with a Focus on being Joyful for this first chance to CELEBRATE!

 

#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: Access & Equity


Labor Day weekend has come and gone.  All schools are in session.  Some have been for a week or so. Others have over a month in.  It’s that time of transitions.  No more “wearing white”. Getting out the college football colors and fall clothes.  Trying to prep fo hot weather in un-airconditioned buildings.

I remember kindergarten in a country school.  It was less than four miles from our house.  Easy access. A true neighborhood school.  The old “be careful what you wish for” as it was a small building and classes were combined.  I loved that I was allowed to read.  I hated that we wasted our time on silly worksheets and coloring pages and so much Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot and Puff. Their lives didn’t match our rural farm lives.

And then first grade was in town.  In an addition to the school.  First grade with other first grade classes.  First grade where I could only read books off the first grade shelf in the library.  First grade where I read all the books by the end of the first quarter.  First grade where my teacher tore up my page with a red sun, a purple sky and green flowers.  That wasn’t her picture.  First grade where it didn’t matter what I needed or wanted to learn.  First grade where I was going to conform.  First grade where I was sick. A lot. first grade where I can still remember the number of tiles on the bathroom walls, the floor, and even the ceiling.

First grade when I hated school.

Hated the Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot and Puff stories that I already read the year before. They were awful the first time.  They were an even bigger waste of time the second time around.  I didn’t excel at coloring inside the lines.  I wanted the task to be done.  I wanted to be able to read, write and draw.  Creativity was not prized. My pictures never made the wall. I know exactly how Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik felt when her teacher gave her an F for her free verse poem and this poem by Robert Gianni was praised.

He likes to eat and drink a lot.
When I put water in his dish,
He laps it up just like a fish.”  *(Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry)

Which school better met my needs?

The rural, neighborhood school. In the name of equity it was closed.  In terms of access, my access to a quality education was lessened.

What matters?

Access and Equity matter.  All students need access to quality education.  Equity is huge.  The books that I was mining this holiday weekend are here.  There are many others I could have consulted, but these were at the top of my stack!Screenshot 2018-09-02 at 10.00.33 AM

What’s our goal?

If it truly is to “grow readers and writers” – students who want to read, who do read, and who love to read – kids need access to books.  That’s an equity issue whether the school doesn’t even have books – due to their zip code!  Or because the students have a new teacher and of course there is NO classroom library set up magically waiting for new teachers!

And then time to read glorious books. Self-selected books.  Books that match their interests!  Books that make sense to them!

Literacy for ALL . . . What does that mean?

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Listening

THINKING!!!

Communicating as a priority.  Classrooms not existing as rooms of silence!

Books that reflect the composition of the classroom and the communities around the world.  No more “Boy Books” or “Girl Books”!  Has you thinking been challenged?

A focus on learning NOT assessing.

The real tangible goal.  Are ALL students progressing?  Are all students learning self-assessment?  Are students developing their own goals and agency?  Are students transferring their literacy work to other content areas?  What are your students telling you?  Do they love learning?  Are they curious?

Here are a few of the quotes I’m still holding onto . . .

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How did you grow your knowledge and skills this summer? 

What are you still wondering about? 

What questions do your need answered?   

What quotes would you add?




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.                                                              slice of life 2016

 

#SOL18: North Star


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That big star?  Always in the North?

Shining brightly

Easier to see out in the country

Away from “city” lights

Easily 100 carats bright

A stationary beacon.

It was a lab extra credit.  We took turns looking through a telescope.  But we really liked the view from the quilt on the ground.  The sky sprinkled with twinkling lights was mesmerizing.  And the “city slickers” slowed down to observe just a bit of nature.  I didn’t want to be there.  The ground was hard.  It was late.  A book was surely calling my name.

Read me. Read me.

But the uncertainty of whether I needed the extra credit made me linger.  I knew my lab partner probably needed my points as well.  That night – a peaceful view, a bit of learning and the company of friends and classmates.

I knew this.  I didn’t have to be there.  But it was Easy. No challenge  No stress.  Just time, a different location, and an opportunity for an out of the ordinary instructional experience.

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There’s something magical about the North Star. I’m not sure if it’s the “constancy”, the fact that it doesn’t move, or just the symbol that guides us that sparks my curiosity (#OLW18).

What is your guiding star?

One of mine is my insatiable need to continue learning… and reading …and writing … I’m currently stuck on E’s

Engagement

Effectiveness

Equity

Embarrassment

and these quotes from our #G2Great chats:

My current North Stars – my source of direction comes from:

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What is your North Star?

Where does it come from?

What sustains it?




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

#SOL18: #LitEssentials


What is essential in literacy instruction? 

How do you know? 

Is this something you were taught? 

Or is this something you have learned?

As you can see, “curious”, my #OLW is already in play for 2018.  It sits on my shoulder daily encouraging me to wonder about new and old issues.  So let’s take up “essential”.

What does essential mean?

“1.  absolutely necessary; indispensable:

Discipline is essential in an army.
2.  pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.
3. noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.

4. being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous:

essential happiness.”  Dictionary.com
Without a doubt, Regie Routman is using all these definitions in her use of “essentials” in her newest book . . .
And the words that I want to emphasize, from the definitions, are:
“indispensable,
essence,
natural,
spontaneous,
happiness”
This book is not about following a script or a recipe for success.  This book is about empowering teachers and leaders as thinkers.

Why this book? 

Because Regie is first of all a teacher.  Working with students is her passion and she wants to help you regain, regrow and re-empower your expert teaching voice.  . . .”you – one caring and knowledgeable teacher – can make an enduring difference in a child’s life.” (Routman, Stenhouse, p. 3)

What additional information is available?

@Stenhousepub tweet:

“”…without that culture of joy and celebration of strengths…we are never going to get our students where they need to be and where they want to be.” @regieroutman talks about her new book, Literacy Essentials:”

Video LInk”

Stenhouse

What makes this book so appealing?

  1. The format of the book.

The three big “units” are Engagement, Excellence, and Equity.

You CAN begin with any of those sections.  They are very well cross-referenced so that you can dip into the pieces that you need!

       2.  The format in the chapters.

There’s a conversation with Regie with facts, questions, and anecdotes that illustrate the point.  Then there is a detailed “Take Action” section. This is repeated multiple times in each chapter which has endnotes for a closing.  A single teacher could choose actions to make changes in their classroom.  A group of teachers could choose actions to make changes in their building or district.  The possibilities for thinking teachers are endless.

         3. The teacher in the book.

Calm, practical, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations.  Not a bunch of “mumbo jumbo” from publishers, test-writers, or those who have not been in classrooms recently or perhaps . . . EVER!  Real solutions that will NOT add hours to your day.  Real solutions that you can advocate for.  Real solutions that will bring joy back into your life!

Not yet convinced?

Join the #G2Great chat Thursday, January 11th.  Be a part of the conversation or listen in – whichever role is most comfortable for you.   Listen in to hear the essence of the text, the indispensable actions, the natural, spontaneous actions that can bring JOY back into your teaching life. Then consider your next steps!

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Why does this matter to me?

I remember meeting Regie at a Regis Literacy Institute in the late 1980’s or early 90″s.  She was the first real live, up close and personal “edu-hero” that I ever met.  She was so kind, so thoughtful and so willing to talk to me even though her coffee was growing cold in the cafe and I was totally interrupting. She’s a teacher.  She’s a leader.  She’s a reader. She’s a writer.  Regie’s amazing!

What professional reading do you have planned for 2018? 

What books are you “curious” about? 

Where will you begin?




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

#NCTE17: Sunday


By Sunday the air is bittersweet.  Farewells begin. Last conversations are passionate pleas to capture frantic final minutes.  Choices are final.  Options are few.  Time races. No second chances to catch folks as flight departures begin before the sun is above the horizon.

And yet, gems . . .

“What is Authenticity? 

Is it the same when viewed with a student lens? 

How do we know?”

L. 30 Prioritizing Student Voice:  Honoring Independence, Identity, and Advocacy as the Cornerstones of Learning

And from the #G2Great family:

  • Samuel Fremin   @The Sammer88
  • Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson  @kkht6912
  • Susie Rolander   @suzrolander
  • Justin Dolcimascolo  @jdolci
  • Kara Pranikoff   @pranikoff

Sam Fremin began with asking us to not constrain student’s creativity!  He told us the story of having a two page limit to an assignment that meant he had to cut almost everything out of his original seven page response.  

What is the purpose of a two page maximum assignment?

What is your response to a “page limit”?

Is that indicative of the teacher’s attention span?

Sam contrasted that with this year’s  AP Lang course where they were to “Write about something important to us” as they compared and analyzed two essays.  As a 15 year old, Sam, who likes The Onion wanted to write a satire about “Discrimination not really being that bad” and through multiple conversations with his teacher, worked out the details and “used a display of writing that I will never get to write again.  I displayed my need to try that voice.”  And the teacher, even though she wanted a tight rein on the expectations, did participate in a two-sided discussion that allowed Sam to write his satire!

And then Sam’s role (as a high school junior) was to continue to introduce each of the panel members.  Such poise and great presence for a high school junior and one of the #BowTieBoys! (Sam blogs here.)

We also learned that advocacy for Native Americans is important because Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson shared a US map with reservations marked although only 22% of Native Americans live on reservations.  Kathryn teaches at an Ojibwe school so she is very cognizant of appropriate language and respect for cultures.  Awareness may be a great first step but Kathryn also encouraged us to be aware that work barely scratches the surface of working with folks who have different beliefs and values. How do Ojibwe students want to be named? When do we ask?

Susie Rolander shared that we need to let student input drive our work. This means we need to revise and renew our professional practice.  (A plug for Coppola’s book – Renew!) It’s a Journey! But for students who are struggling there does need to be a Sense of Urgency!  And that this meant as an interventionist, Susie wanted her students to be independent.  “I don’t know what I would do without you!” from a student was not what she wanted so one big action in her productivity plan was to move to student goal-setting so the students themselves would know if they were meeting their goals.  Their goals. Not teacher goals.

Justin had us begin by completing this statement:  “I am _____”

I am a:

Mother

Grandmother

Sister

Aunt

Great aunt

Daughter

Cousin

Friend

Reader

Writer

Blogger

Advocate

Learner

Thinker

Observer

Questioner

Dreamer

Reader

Am I real?  Do my students know my many roles?  Do other staff know our roles?  Justin shared a “I am” board created in his school.

Justin’s parting challenge was to consider equity and how we build our identity every day of our school lives so that we are not just working on career education in high school.  Instead of “What do you want to be?” in terms of a career, Justin said we need to shift to “What great problem do you want to solve?” 

Kara Pranikoff, author of Teaching Talk:  A Practical Guide to Fostering Student Thinking and Conversation,  closed out the presentation with thoughts on how to use talk in the classroom to increase student engagement and agency.  And also, “Deep thinking takes time, we’ll wait. Take your time.”  Students set the pace.  As an instructor at Bank Street College, Kara and Susie routinely invite their students to Twitter chats!

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M. 24  Rekindling Our Teacher Hearts and Minds to Reclaim Our Sense of Agency and Purpose 

(Ellin Oliver Keene, Vicki Vinton, Donna Santman)

What is the purpose of education?  Which of the four statements matches your thinking?

vinton purpose of education.jpg

What do you value?

vinton-values.jpg

Take aways:

” We overestimate children academically and underestimate them intellectually.” ~Lillian King

Shout out to Regie Routman:

Resources will often dictate practices. (from Read, Write, Lead)

“However, we NEED to begin with Beliefs first, then our Practices, and then choose Resources that align LAST!”

Beliefs and Practices – Donna Santman @dsantman

What made your current school a match for you?

When Trouble Starts:

What do you do?

Outright resistance

Passive aggression

Assimilation

Flexibility

What flexibility will be required of me here?

And how will I respond when trouble happens?

Ellin Keene

Our core beliefs about children;

Our core beliefs about ourselves.

We are humbled in the face of children;

We are humbled by our children.

There has been a huge language slide in our country.

How do we convert deficit language to asset language?

ellin assets.PNG

Check out the asset mapping resources on Ellin Keene’s  website Mosaicliteracy.com


N.O8  Redefining Authenticity:  Empowering Student Ownership

(Do you know their Twitter names?  @acorgill    @katiedicesare  @ruth_ayres      @coloreader)

I was expecting to be blown away by Ruth Ayres because I can’t stop talking about her new book just out, Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers.   It’s an amazing personal heart-wrenching narrative about her children who struggled with life and then also a “how to” deal with teaching writing.  And yet all three of the other panel members complemented that presentation.

Quotes:

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Skills and dispositions for writing are the same for real work. We have to get the heart right. Students need to write.  Yes, kids are afraid! Writing is where I can help kids see the different ways a story can go.

If we have authentic writing projects, teachers cannot make all these decisions.  Students need some choice and voice.  This is NOT a free-for-all!  You don’t have to leave ALL open!  But you must leave SOME open!

Project Idea

Audience Purpose Topic

Genre

Teacher Teacher Teacher
Teacher Teacher

How do you ensure that students have an authentic voice?   

How do you know that students REALLY believe that they have a voice and some choice? 

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