Tag Archives: TWTblog

#TCRWP: Sunday Learning in NYC


What did I learn on Sunday in New York City?

Retrieved from wikipedia

Retrieved from wikipedia

Who Knew?  This is a map that lists the neighborhoods in Manhattan (sorry, Brooklyn friends).  They are literally also divided into “uptown”, “midtown”, and “downtown”, as well as “east side” and “west side”.

Not this “farm girl” from Iowa!

What sparked this interest in the “make-up” of Manhattan?

The Tenement Museum

“We tell the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants.”

Do check out the linked museum title above because the “Education” tab includes lesson plans and primary sources that history aficionados will love.  The whole premise of learning about the “lives” of these families from the historical documents of the times as well as the personal stories is spellbinding!  Goosebumps!

The “sweatshop” tour was our goal and Janeen was an amazing tour guide.  She enabled us to time travel back to the 1890s to imagine what life what like in a 3 room 352 square foot apartment occupied by the Levine family – no running water, no electricity, privies in the back yard, . . .

When I hear the word “sweatshop” this is an example of the image that comes to my mind.

Sweatshop-1890

Sweatshop – 1890 from wikipedia

But the original sweatshops, before electricity and the “factory” model, existed in the tenement apartments where individuals would run their own business, hire workers, and work incredibly long hours in their own living quarters.  Here is a photo of a postcard purchased at the museum (no pictures allowed on the tour) of an example of a dress made in this apartment rented by the Rogarshevky family.

dress

Sewing the dress pictured above (sold for $15 retail) netted this business $0.25.  How many dresses would they need to complete during their six-day work week to make $10.00?  The virtual tour is linked here so you can see and hear this information yourself.

What do you know about the history of immigrants in your own family?  

Where did they come from?

Where did they live and work once they arrived in the US?

How did they have to adapt in order to survive?

What is the role of “oral histories”?

We ended our day at Isabella’s with a different bit of learning.  Fellow slicers, TWT bloggers, #tcrwp attendees gathered for fun and fellowship.

isabella

Vicki Vinton, Sandy Brumbaum, Julianne Harmatz, Allison Jackson, and Tara Smith and myself.  What a great beginning to our “TCRWP” learning week!

TCRWP Writing Institute begins today!

Where and what will you be learning this week?

Slice of Life: TCRWP Bound


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

*      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *      *     *     *

 

The last three months have seemed like a year.  Why?  I was waiting to hear about the status of my application for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s June Writing Institute and July Reading Institute.

It seemed like “forever” since I saw the first tweet that said “…accepted!”  Multiple friends received news of their status.  My reading application status was “wait list” so I tried to be patient and believe that “no news is good news!”  Finally I received notice that I was accepted for the Writing Institute. And last week my reading application was accepted!  Two weeks at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project!  Woohoo!

Image

 

After my application was accepted I realized the truth of this statement.  Institute paid.  Housing paid.  Flight booked.  Checking time frames. . . Planning to maximize time and learning opportunities.

 

Why is this blog worthy?

Simply,

Image

My two weeks at Teachers College last summer for the Reading and Writing Institutes was one of the most fabulous learning experiences of my life!  With the new writing Units of Study, my large group sessions every day were led by Lucy Calkins.  She can build confidence and inspire all teachers to “do more” to increase the reading and writing of students.  Anything and everything is possible with Lucy’s guidance!

 

And the many rock stars at #TCRWP. .  .  My daily choices included Mary Ehrenworth, Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts.  It was so fun to “know” many of the staff and presenters because of their “Twitter presence” and so easy to thank them for their accessibility!  Unbelievable learning.  And yet, I have to confess, I was ready to go home last year when the first night’s assignment was to write a narrative. I spent hours (some whining and complaining) writing, drafting, rewriting, drafting.  It was not pretty and basically fit the third grade rubric according to the #UoS rubric.  Frustrating, yes; empathy for students, YES!

I am so ready to learn more. Do more.  And I have been working on developing my own writing muscles this year – blogging, tweeting, and developing models.  June Writing Institute!  July Reading Institute!  Love Learning!

My NYC agenda contains:

June Writing

Advanced AM Section:  Reports, Nonfiction Books, Journals, Feature Articles: Information Writing and ELA Across the Day (3-8) Mary Ehrenworth

Advanced PM Section:  Seeing Patterns in Student Work, Then Teaching Small Groups (and More) to Build New Habits and Skills (3-8) Emily Smith

 

July Reading

Advanced AM Section:  Accelerating Students’ Progress Along Levels of Text Difficulty: Guided Reading, Assessment Based Teaching, and Scaffolds for Complex Texts (3-8) Brooke Geller

Advanced PM Section:  Social Studies Centers Can Lift the Level of Content Knowledge and Reading Instruction (3-8) Kathleen Tolan

 

 How will you continue to learn about reading and writing this summer?

Here are two writing opportunities for you to consider:

 Summer Writing for You, The Teacher (Two Writing Teachers blog post by Betsy Hubbard)

#TeachersWrite (Kate Messner)

 

Slice of Life 25: Are you in the pool?


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

I had my Bartlett’s out yesterday looking for quotes about writing.  I was hoping to find the source of “Teachers of writing need to write!”  Is there a single author that has been attributed to?

Instead I lingered over some of these quotes and actually added and tagged them in Evernote.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

 

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
—Peter Handke

 

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, WD

 

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

 

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

 

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
—Robert A. Heinlein

 

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll

I began this blog because I felt very strongly that as a teacher of writing, I needed to be writing. I needed to feel both the joy and the pressure of writing published for the world with that nagging voice, “Is this good enough?”  Will anyone read this?”

Blogs that spoke to me on this same message yesterday included:

  • Our real power – Authentic Writing  – Dana Murphy from Two Writing Teachers (You have to read this one as no summary will do it justice!)
  • To Be a Writer, You Only Need to Do Two Things by Joe Bunting       (and those two are – 1. Write your story.   2. Share your story with the world.)
  • And these quotes from Shana Frazin’s presentation Tips for Conferring with Writers at #TCRWP’s Saturday Spring Reunion –   “Tip No. 1 You gotta get in the pool if you wanna swim.”  “in other words, in order to teach writing, you need to do some writing. (The quote that began my search!)

 

Have you written your story?

Have you shared with your teachers and your students?  The World?

 

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