Professional Learning: My Right and My Responsibility
#NCTE has fueled my learning for the last five years. I found folks that stirred my learning heart and soul. Hearing those words straight from the authors who wrote them was transformational. Their passion and excitement extends long past a panel, a roundtable, or a presentation.
And yes, it comes with a cost. The cost of attending a national conference. #NCTE asks attendees about the source of the expenses in their conference surveys. The likelihood of a school paying for every expense incurred may make the cost prohibitive but there are many of us who attend on a regular basis (five consecutive years) who are quite “picky” about our sessions because we are there for the learning and attend on our own dime..
After hearing Tom Newkirk at my first #NCTE conference loudly proclaim that a hamburger graphic organizer was an insult not only to a paragraph but a bigger insult to a hamburger, I have read his books, been in a twitter chat with him, and watched for authors that mention his name. He is Ellin Keene’s editor and Ellin has so many words of praise for him. This year at #NCTE it was truly a pleasure to listen to: 4 Battles Literacy Educators have to Fight
- Economy – Curriculum as Hoarding (add, add , add & nothing is deleted)
- Louise Rosenblatt – Model of Reading – Literacy as Transaction
- The battle for writing. Writing should not be colonized by reading. 795,000 fanfiction pieces about Harry Potter
- Battle for choice- Carnegie – “public library” Teachers will need to make it free!
Since returning home, I have reread his essay in this collection.
I have also read these two books since #NCTE18.
And I am returning to some sections of these two books for more work with Responsive Teaching because I know that teachers have to “say less so readers can do more”!
I now have some reading and writing plans to consider that involve my own thinking and application. Some will appear in my own professional development, some may show up in this blog, and much will continue in future conversations with friends as well as Twitter thinking.
For those who did attend #NCTE18, how will you extend your learning?
Here are some possibilities:
- Read a book by an author you heard.
- Listen to a podcast by an author you heard.
- Participate in a Twitter chat by an author you heard.
- Write a blog post or two about your learning.
An investment of time is required for any of the four items listed. You can borrow the book on interlibrary loan at no cost or check and see if a friend has it in their professional library. Check online. A free chapter may be available on the publisher’s website. Additional follow up ideas may come from the publisher’s website or a facebook page for the “group”.
So if attending a national conference is “on your list”, start planning now. How can you begin “saving” for that dream?
- Read the twitter stream from #NCTE18.
- Read some blogs from #NCTE18.
- Plan for a roommate NOW.
- Make a plan to re-allocate some personal discretionary funds so you can attend.
Where will you begin?
What is your plan?
A second look at a Saturday session because I’m still trying to define “Responsive Teaching” and I saw it masterfully executed in this session. And I am still in awe. And so thankful that these readers, writers, and educators are in my life.
|Responsive Teaching: The Courage to Follow the Children
Presenters: Kim Yaris, Jan Miller Burkins, Dani Burtsfield, Christina Nosek, and Kari Yates
Jan began with having us close our eyes to “Think about a teacher who loved you into being” and then having us share that story with a partner. It’s often easy to remember those who did NOT love you into being but responsiveness begins with the heart . . . Don’t rush to “check it off.” Skill and expertise has to come behind.
What’s the focus if you view student work through the lens of “Love”?
What’s the focus if you view student work through the lens of “Expertise”?
This was the student work we viewed.
Not just judging and reacting, but thinking in terms of what the student “can do”!
- Phonological awareness
- Most of the alphabet and how to write it
- Knows how words work
- Knows onset
- Knows rime
- Knows rhyme
- Understands what is socially appropriate communication!
Kim also read “Daisy” from Who’s Doing the Work and we considered what we knew about Daisy as a person and as a reader. It was extremely helpful to have a partner to add more ideas. (My immediate thought that went into my notes: And what if PLCs operated more with this type of data?)
|Being responsive is about seeing students, understanding and responding based on the love and expertise of the teacher.|
Students doing the work. Teachers stepping back and admiring student work first before responding.
To Know and Nurture a Reader
Conferring is a path to responsive teaching, raising and following the voice of one student at a time.
Using Four Quadrants – so visually appealing and helpful . . .
There are many questions that fit into each of those boxes and those are available in Christina’s and Kari’s book.
If a conference begins with:
What’s going on?
What is my response? It may vary . . .
“I wonder, I jot a note or
I wonder, I affirm, I jot a note or
I wonder, I affirm, I remind, I jot a note or
I wonder, affirm, extend, remind, take note”
And then those basic responses in a visual format. . .
What if they are coded by thought bubbles for “wonderings” or talk bubbles for “affirmations” and boxes for the notes/glueing reminders?
This format could be my conferencing format.
I might have 4 of these boxes on a page.
Depending on our conference content, a box might hold different colored ink entrees or dates as I record the content from the conference in this format.
Thinking about the application of THIS work. How does it make sense?
And what a treat. Dani had examples of work in all four quadrants for a kindergarten student. Here’s an example of one kindergarten student’s “Healthy Habits” . . .
As I listened to Dani’s examples from a kindergarten level, I thought of Christina’s fifth graders. I wondered if they could complete a reflection about themselves as a reader. Christina said, “Just wait” and then she shared a fifth grade student page from which I am only sharing the book choice portion.
Have teachers done this work?
Where do teachers stand in these four quadrants?
How aware are they?
How would this move teacher confidence and competence in coaching readers forward?
My Take Aways:
- Responsive teaching – you will know it when you see it. It’s hard to describe but pure magic when you see it in action. Today: Being responsive is about seeing students, understanding and responding based on the love and expertise of the teacher. Conferring is a path to responsive teaching, raising and following the voice of one student at a time.
- “Step back so your students can step forward.” Jan and Kim
- “Don’t wait for perfection. Start now.” Christina and Kari
Jan Burkins: @janmillburk Kim Yaris: @kimyaris
Twitter @ChristinaNosek @kari_yates
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.
“I have a dog whose name is Spot.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?
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!
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?
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 . . .
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.
Thank you for the amazing warm welcome, a supportive place to celebrate with friends, the learning, and the many great dining adventures.
Spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips . . . Austin, Texas news . . . here
Celebrations . . .
Celebrating meeting so many in our #G2Great family as well as friends near and far.
A book birthday.
A real live face to face birthday!
With friends from afar. . . FB Live (Julieanne & Justin) Facetime (Kitty & Justin)
With friends we have known for years are are just now meeting IRL (in real life)
Our Montana connections!
The learning . . .
From the President of ILA, Doug Fisher . . .
and not because of zip code!
From Cornelius Minor
“Being nice in the face of oppression is not enough. Nice does not create change. Kindness does. Kindness means I care enough about you to call you out.”
For more from the keynote – see Mary Howard’s facebook post here.
We don’t know what we don’t know.
Trust the wisdom of our children.
Check the language you use.
Who does not fit in?
How can I be more inclusive?
Listen, Research, Self examine.
Also – look at the books you have out when parents and students arrive. Do they see themselves in your classroom?
Learn more than you can do. Keep learning.
Keep your head and heart ahead of your actions.
From Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins
“What’s more important than text level when considering text selection by teachers?1) Student Identity,
3) Reading Process,
4) Depth of Thought
From Reading Wellness
A weight lifting metaphor
3# = light effort- People magazine
5# = A Kitchen House – Kathleen Grissom
8# = Where good ideas come from – Steven Johnson
10# = Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading – Alverman
Why is this not the same for our students?
Recommendations from the locals . . . Thank you, Terry and Clare. We loved Uncle Julio’s.
And then pure decadence.
Banana Foster Bread Pudding.
Melt in your mouth.
How was your Saturday?
2018 is the year of books!
These are just some of the books that I have read (and blogged about) during the last school year. I’ve left out Ellin Keene’s Engaging Children, Tom Marshall’s Reclaiming the Principalship, and Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz’s Kids 1st From Day One. So much to continue to learn. So much to continue to read and write about. So much to continue to be curious about.
And then another new book emerges . . .
This week’s #G2Great chat will be about this new book from Stenhouse by Kari Yates and Christina Nosek. And I’ve been waiting
Conferring is still an area where I need to improve. Where I need to listen more and talk less. Where I need to grow. And conferring about reading!
The title is captivating: “to know and nurture a reader: Conferring with Confidence and Joy”. I love the conventions, and their use in the title. I love “confidence and joy”.
Have you checked out the resources?
I have two chapters left to read and then I will be ready for the chat Thursday night. I can’t wait to spend more time practicing and improving my conferring skills with students and teachers. The videos, the tips, and all the problem solving has thus far been on target.
What are you reading?
What are your working on?
How will we know?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.