Tag Archives: teachers

#SOL18: Literacy Superbowl


 

Which memory stands out?

The first attendance?

The first “Slicer” dinner?

The first presentation?

The first sighting of _______?

The first time meeting ______ IRL (In Real Life)?

The roller coaster ride by many #G2Great friends?

The first signed book by a #G2Great author?

Meeting up with #WRRD chat mates?

Catching up with #TCRWP friends?

Meeting “Slicers” IRL?

Seeing and hearing about upcoming publications?

The incredibly cold, cold, cold weekend?

Impressed by the articulate #BowTieBoys?

The amazing learning?

Sitting on the floor in an auditorium learning with and from literacy giants?

Not being allowed by venue staff to sit on the floor?

Packing devices to tweet and record notes at the speed of light?

Meeting and learning with authors of student books?

Too many memories to make a decision

Which story to tell?

Which one will be left out?

Embracing the past five years of attendance

Learning, Laughing, and following literacy giants

Receive awards and humbly elevate friends

And peers who made all things possible.

Reading, Writing, Talking, Thinking,

Sharing as we meet,

Celebrating each other’s accomplishments

Celebrating our uniqueness

Celebrating our differences

Celebrating our similarities

Celebrating our togetherness!

Houston, home of #NCTE18 in 10 days!

Will you be there?

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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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#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Learning?


 

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Today’s Topic: A Burning Question

 

 

 

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More posts with Margaret Simon here

 

Who is learning and how do we know?

Are the students learning?

How do we know?

What can they tell / show us about what they can do NOW that they could not do before instruction?

Is the learning important enough that the student will use “this” the rest of his/her life (beyond school)?

Am I learning?

How do you know?

You can search my blog for the following topics and see my learning:

TCRWP

NCTE

ILA

Shouldn’t our learning be public?  

Shouldn’t we have multiple pieces of evidence about our learning?

(Hint:  It does not have to be a number.)  

How are you sharing your learning?

What is your “Burning Question”?


Learning a new device has kept this post brief, but I conquered “Where do downloads go on a chromebook?”, inserted a picture, and posted it all with this new chromebook!


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, 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.

#DigiLitSunday: Gratitude for #NCTE16 Learning


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Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche encouraged us to blog about “Gratitude” this week.  Read more links here.

.gratitude

My gratitude is for all those who attended (in person or at a distance) #NCTE16 and shared their reflections.  Here are my favorite quotes from our conference days. (Note they are NOT numbered so that I can include those that are “sticking with me” without stressing over the ones that have to be left out!)

  • “Courage is more exhilarating than fear–and in the long run it is easier.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt via Tom Newkirk
  • “We do not teach for mastery.  We teach for revolution.”  – Cornelius Minor
  • “Classrooms have to be spaces of light. That’s our revolution. What you do on Monday at 8:30 is gonna change the world.” Ernest Morrell  
  • Successful readers revise their thinking, and there is a huge chasm between those kids and the kids who grab a thought and then just hold on to it.  – Ellin Keene
  • “You probably don’t know adults’ DRA, you don’t know what level book they are reading. You might not even know what their community values. We acknowledge their habits and behaviors.” – Matt Glover
  • “Exploration, risk, and failure are essential components in a writer’s growth. Exploration and risk will not occur if everything is graded.” – Kelly Gallagher
  • “When we give students multiple choice tests, you get multiple choice test thinkers for an essay world.” – Kelly Gallagher

 

from-julieanne

And from sessions that I did not attend personally but could still learn from due to generous Twitter and blog authors:

  • “End every day with JOY no matter how the rest of the day may have gone.”  – Franki Sibberson
  • “It’s not what I do that matters, it’s what I do in relation to what my students need that makes a difference.” – Chris Tovani
  • “DO NOT USE THE TERM THOSE KIDS. Every kid that walks into the classroom needs an opportunity. They all need you.” – Sharon Draper
  • “All of life is material for writing. I rewrite the past as I wish I’d done.” – Tim Federle
  • “When you don’t know the language, you don’t realize how important it is to have language.” -Shana Frazin
  • “If you don’t struggle in front of students, they think you have a writing gene they don’t.” – Kelly Boswell
  • “When I’m not writing I notice a huge difference in my teaching. I need to be writing.” – Beth Moore
  • “Help kids revalue themselves as readers by explicitly showing them the complex work they are already doing.” – Dorothy Barnhouse
  • “The Just Right Book is the book that meets the head and the heart.”- Penny Kittle
  • ““If I gave a child a topic, I would find out what they know about the topic, NOT what they know about INFORMATION writing.” – Mary Ehrenworth
  • “We must not judge a child’s story by the chapter of his/her life that we walk into.” – Kristin Ziemke
  • “We have an obligation to tell and share stories. And we must make all kids visible in our learning communities.” – Sara Ahmed

What were your favorite quotes? What continues to linger in your mind?

Thanks to all who tweeted and / or blogged about #NCTE16!  Amazing Learning!

thank you languages

#SOL15: Family Christmas


Christmas past:

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Grandma Ruth and her ten children posing on the steps of the school basement.

Any guesses on which four were teachers?

Christmas this past Sunday:

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Seven of the ten (including the “outlaws”) celebrating the holidays with their families.

Cousins – 55 possible . . .

Ruth girl cousins

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Family

Food

Sharing memories

Sharing stories

Creating new memories

Connecting family members

Building bridges across the generations

Christmas with the “Baby Ruth” Family to begin the holidays!

Here’s one view of the “crowd”!

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Do you have specific traditions?

How do they continue through the years?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL15 – Teacher Appreciation Day


May 4 – 11:  Teacher Appreciation Week

teachers

An acrostic for National Teacher Appreciation Day – May 5, 2015

Tirelessly teaching souls

Enriching each and every student life

Advising, nurturing and adding elegance to develop student super powers,

Charting courses for

Horizons not YET

Explored.

Researching, restoring and redefining HOPE and opportunities

Sharing skills and knowwledge so all can experience the joys of learning.

Thank You!

Additional Resources:

#ThankATeacher

Presidential Proclamation

Sarah Brown Wessling “What it means to be a teacher!”

#SOL15:  Passion – Finding Your Voice

Teacher Appreciation Quotes

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 (including TEACHERS) who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL14: Everyday risks?


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.

Warning:  This is a serious slice!

 Who is the most important person or group of people at school?

That answer might depend upon your point of view.  When referring to the standards, this would relate to

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6 –  Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Two other anchor standards addressed by this post are:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 –  Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
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.

 Pre-assessment:  When you hear “school shooting”, what are your first thoughts?

Jot down your ideas.  Hold onto your thoughts.   Last week I reread  Snowflakes Fall.  I was introduced to this book in Patricia Maclachlan’s Closing Keynote for the 2013 #TCRWP July Writing Institute in New York City.  Revisiting the back story was both riveting and tearful! snowflakes fall

Here’s what Random House says about this book:

“In Snowflakes Fall, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Steven Kellogg portray life’s natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can grow.

MacLachlan and Kellogg, who are longtime friends, were moved to collaborate on a message of hope for children and their families following the tragic events in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Kellogg lived in Sandy Hook for thirty-five years—he raised his family there and was an active member of the community. With Snowflakes Fall, they have created a truly inspiring picture book that is both a celebration of life and a tribute to the qualities that make each individual unique.

In honor of the community of Sandy Hook and Newtown, Random House, the publisher of Snowflakes Fall, has made a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Random House is also donating 25,000 new books to the national literacy organization First Book in the community’s honor and in support of children everywhere.”

The audience / purpose for this book was to “provide hope for children and their families.”  While reading, the reader has the option to use the words and illustrations to determine if that goal of “providing hope” has been met.  A conversation about the book would reveal exactly which techniques worked best for any one reader with different readers choosing different sentences, phrases, or pictures.

What was the impact in homes not just in CT but across the nation?

To say that was a “tough Christmas” is a gross understatement.  Thousands of children sent snowflakes, many parents hugged their children tighter, other parents thanked their teachers, and schools were told to put school safety personnel inside their school buildings to make sure that children would be safe.  Yet what of those children who wondered if their own parent-teachers were safe in their neighborhood schools?

Is safe even possible?

Last Friday, the national news was again electrifying.  A student shooting in a school cafeteria in Washington State.  Two students died.  The shooter is dead. Headlines immediately begin to “determine the motive” and “analyze the background” of the shooter.  “Well-liked” was one descriptive phrase repeated about the shooter in headlines during the first 48 hours following the tragedy.  Sound familiar? Immediately the press began to report that the police response was different “because of Columbine.”  That struck a chord with me as I had just spent the past two weeks reading Dave Cullen’s Columbine.  At Columbine the police were criticized for failing to take action sooner – and in particular, needing to enter the building sooner! That text, Columbine,  was the reason I was “rereading” Snowflakes Fall  because I was looking for hope and faith in a parallel situation.  When I hear school shooting, I think of two:  Sandy Hook and Columbine.  Yet as I read Cullen’s text, I questioned my memory of Columbine.

  •          “How did I have the facts so wrong?  
  • What was the point of view of the news reporting as the event and subsequent weeks played out?  
  • What images played over and over on the news?  
  • Which pictures were replayed for the one, five and ten year anniversaries?”

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There were times that I wanted to stop reading the book. It was horrifying and mesmerizing at the same time.  I needed to know what came next. I could not stop, yet I also had to take breaks and could not just read straight through the book.  I wanted to ask,”What were you thinking?”  “How could you not know?”  for starters. Here’s what Dave (@DaveCullen) says about his book:

“I spent ten years on Columbine. I was driven by two questions: why did they kill, and what became of the survivors? My big surprise was that most of what we “know” about Columbine was wrong.

It wasn’t about the jocks, goths or the Trenchcoat Mafia. The killers didn’t even see themselves as school shooters: their primary focus was the bombs. To understand this tragedy, the key is letting go of our concept of “the killers.”

Spend a few chapters with Eric and Dylan, and you’ll discover two starkly different boys. Their personalities were poles apart, like the motives that drove them. Eric Harris was monstrous; Dylan Klebold was a revelation. The survivors proved equally illuminating. Their stories are surprisingly uplifting—a refreshing contrast to Eric and Dylan. Thousands faced the unthinkable, most overcame it, often in extraordinary ways. I was amazed by their resilience.” (Source:  http://www.davecullen.com/ )

Why was I reading Columbine?

My friend and co-worker, Dyan, told me about the book.  She thought I would like it so she handed me the book to read.  Dyan has participated and followed “Rachel’s Challenge” for years.  While reading the book, we had many texts and phone conversations that included:

 “Bombs?  What bombs?

“How could I not know about 100 bombs?

“How could anyone else not have known about the plan?

“How did two teenage boys keep their planning a secret for over a year?   REALLY, A secret?”

“Whoa!  All that “stuff about psycopaths . . .”

“Feel so sorry for Linda who lost her husband.  Does anyone worry about the teacher’s family?”

OR the rant about “How could they have covered up Dylan and Eric’s past records?   What were the police thinking?”

 The purpose of this book was to tell Eric and Dylan’s story about why these events transpired and follow up the survivors in the years since Columbine.  It was to report the facts as accurately as possible, correcting the record and not to sensationalize or villify anyone.  The point of view of this text was totally different from Snowflakes Fall which was written to be shared with young students.  Facts were verified with hundreds of sources credited.

How often have there been deadly school shootings?

school shootings

An interactive look at that timeline with 18 dates marked with deadly shootings is available here.  That timeline includes details on each of the eighteen deadly shootings in the 15 years since Columbine.  That data is shocking to me.  Even more shocking was the number of times that adults were also killed. Maybe the emphasis has been on the students who have not yet reached adulthood, that full “potential”, but what about the devastation for those families of teachers who also lost their lives?

Is this a new issue?

When I quickly submitted a google search for “School Shootings in the US”, the first response was Wikipedia.  Yes, not necessarily the most accurate but incredibly sobering!  The first “firearm discharged in a school” in the US happened in 1764.  The next occurred in 1850 and then the time frames between shootings decreased and the locations were all over the country.  (540 references are included for the article labeled “List of School Shootings in the United States”.  Mathematically, the risks of being shot at school seem low if the total years and the number of students, staff, and schools are all considered.  Yet that would not be a consolation if any situation involved you or your loved ones. Multiple Standards.  Multiple resources:  a digital timeline, online references, Snowflakes Fall and Columbine (Multi-media and two books).  Different approaches. Different styles. Circling back around to the initial question.

Who is most important at school?

Everyone!

Please pay attention when someone needs help!  Don’t wait for them to ask!

Is there a bigger picture to school shootings?

How does the pain and agony of the student or adult reach that breaking point without family or friends noticing?  That’s an issue for mental health professionals, law enforcement officials and forensic investigators to continue to explore.  What can we do? We can continue to make sure that each and every person is a school building is valued day after day after day! Thoughtfullness. . . Compassion . . . Caring . . . #YouMatter

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