Tag Archives: Vicki Vinton

#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!

20171119_111511.jpg


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:

20171121_182006.jpg

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? 

What did you learn on Sunday at #NCTE17?

Advertisements

#CyberPD Week 4


cyber pd

A month of focus by #cyberPD ends tomorrow with a chat with author Vicki Vinton.

dynamic teaching book cover

With every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, chart and chapter, Vicki has led us through her vision of a Problem-Based Approach in Reading.  I’ve posted about it here, here, here, and here and provided additional links at the bottom to lead you to other resources.




Week 4:  Chapters 9 and 10

Chapter 9 is “Creating Opportunities for Readers to Consider Ideas and Opinions in Nonfiction” and the chapter opens with this quote.

“If you’re purely after facts, please buy yourself the phone directory of Manhattan.  It has four millions times correct facts.  But it doesn’t illuminate. – Werner Herzog (p. 160)

That was the beginning of the chapter and below are three of the teaching moves to support student thinking and meaning making that ended the chapter under “Steering the Ship”.

“Invite students to sort, group, and categorize ideas that seem to have something in common.”    . . .

“Notice and name how writers show us larger ideas through the details they’ve chosen.”   . . .

“Let students react versus respond to facts and ideas in writing and in talk (knowing that facts without feelings don’t illuminate and ideas can be both beautiful and scary).”  (Excerpted from Fig. 9.6, p. 188)

 

There were 11 teaching moves in total.  But these three together gave me a road map to continue to use in our Uprooted book group.   

After bookending the chapter for you,  I now must go back to discuss a quote from this chapter (and new learning for me) that facts in a nonfiction book are not really ideas.

Is this totally new?

Have I ever thought about this before?

Hmmmm . . .

Facts.

Factoids.

Not ideas.

This was a disconcerting quote that I actually missed in my first read because I thought I knew what Vicki was saying.  But when I actually went back to collect the details/ideas, it was literally like hitting the speed bump again.

Rut. Row!

Stop.

Slow down.

Back up!

What did that say?

“… students are fuzzy about the difference between topics, facts, and ideas…That’s because readers don’t really find ideas in texts; they construct them from the details they notice…Readers of this kind of nonfiction (which includes magazine articles, investigative journalism, and many kinds of essays) have to actively draft and revise their thinking as they move through a text, adding on to their own ideas as they do…These cumulative understandings are, by their very nature, more deep and penetrating -and more nuanced and complex-than those focused on readily apparent features.”  (p. 169, 170, 171)

No wonder main ideas for students (consisting of more than a TOPIC) are so darned hard.  They do require thinking and careful study of the relationship between the words and phrases.

So as a reader

I take details

that I have noticed in the “text”

and construct meaning

by actively drafting and revising my thinking  . . .

That’s the root of an idea.

And then, as I read on and continue drafting and revising, these cumulative understandings are the deeper understanding that I am looking for.

So what does this mean?

I listed “details” above in this “parsing” of the quote.

The idea in my head is that

“the thinking I do as I pull details together (maybe in my head, on paper, or out loud) is the deeper meaning that I am searching for.”

AND that

“I will continue to add to, subtly revise, or subtract from these ideas as more details are revealed by the author.  It’s my job as the reader to pay attention to the author’s ideas and opinions and to weigh and decide their value.”

I’ve deliberately over-simplified and even left out the ideas of chunking, reading, thinking, synthesizing, etc. that Vicki so eloquently included in this chapter.  This is my first draft attempt to explain why this is really important! (So if you’ve read the book, please ignore the “holes”.)

It’s so very tempting,

surface level questions

or those already listed by DOK levels,

sound like an easier “go to”!

But what will be the results?  Students who can use the language patterns to locate and answer a question without reading the text. Is that enough?  Isn’t that the existing problem for many of our MS and HS students?


My application and pulling together of “ideas” in Uprooted  (and I am not finished reading) is leading me to think that:

Racism was behind the decision to create the Japanese internment camps during World War II specifically by FDR because of his hatred of Japanese but also because of centuries of  actions, beliefs, policies, and laws that have existed since the founding of the U.S.  (Remember, it’s a draft, and I am still reading.)


Chapter 10 had some great ideas about “coaching” so please read Tara Smith’s post here for additional brilliance from/applying the ideas in Vicki Vinton’s book.

What is your current thinking about the Dynamic Teaching of Deeper Thinking?  Join the chat, Thursday, July 27, 2017 (7:30 EST) to learn more about this brilliant book!

 



Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone

Or check out the “Facebook page:  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading” here

Twitter Chat     twitter chat.PNG

Vicki Vinton’s Blog:  “To Make a Prairie”

My padlet with my notes and some details and wonderings – definitely NOT ideas – LINK

#DigiLitSunday: #Cyberpd 3


What professional books do you reread?  

What authors do you follow?

When this long awaited book was chosen for #CyberPD, I was so excited.  Time to read and reread over half of it.  Time to share with others.  But what would I share?  It has been so tempting to “summarize” and share juicy quotes and tidbits that have captured my interest.

But here’s my simple message:

“You.Must.READ.This.Book!”

“You.Must.LIVE.This.Book!”

Why this book?

dynamic teaching book cover

Because it truly is about deepening your own understanding of reading as well as considering your own practices as a reader.  Are you, yourself, or were you ever a plot junkie, a surface reader, who is disappointed in students who don’t dig deeper into their own reading?  Who have their models been?  How would they know there is something BEYOND .  . . ?

In this book, Vicki Vinton asks you to shift your thinking to a problem solving mode.  The resources are never ending.  One that I’m focusing on within another book group (reading Uprooted) is this chart about Expository Readers.

Read the title.

Read the title again out loud.

“How Expository Nonfiction Readers Figure Out the Implications of Facts”

And then the column headings.  Consider turning them into questions.  Don’t just jump to the content!  Every word in this book matters.  Trust this author!

NF.PNG

Figure 8-1 (page 143)

What does a reader have to do?

On a second or third reread, I focused on the problem-solving task that Vicki had named under “What a reader therefore has to do”.  I also thought about how deliberate and purposeful she is as an author.  She did not set me up to read between the lines in this chart; instead she set me up to be a problem solver.  Check out the beginnings in that column:

“Look for . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Be aware . . .”

What’s the pattern that Vicki specifically names?  What actions is she expecting?  Problem solving is not scripted.  It’s all about what the “Thinking Teacher” does.   I would be remiss if I didn’t further point out that a question is posed after the “Think:” which is how the reader needs to interact with the text.

Reading is a transactional process.  The depth of my understanding or interaction with a text is all up to me as a reader.  There may be a slow, draggy spot.  There may be some confusion.  The joy in reading comes from one of the key anchors in this text:

“Experience the thrill of figuring things out.” (Book Cover) (More about key anchors in this post.)

And as I was reminded by Vicki, “Think”.




So what this means to me as I am reading this book in a book group that has spanned continents!

uprooted

As I am reading, I am searching for the answers to these two questions from Figure 8 – (above)

“How facts could be connected or related?”

“What do the fact imply?”

And patterns, patterns, patterns.  Where do the patterns continue?  Where do the patterns break down?  So to focus, I look specifically at Marrin’s words.  And these two quotes set the purpose:

“The historian’s job is to explain the behavior of human beings in the past.  Yet to explain is is not to explain away, much less excuse.” (Marrin, p.7)

“The term racism as used in this book, refers to an ideology, a set of beliefs, fervently held, about others and how the world works.  At its core, it insists that God, gods, or Mother Nature has divided humanity into distinct groups – races – with shared qualities. Racists, or those who believe in racism, hold that these groups are arranged pyramid-like, with the “best” or “superior” at the top, and the “worst” or “inferior” at the bottom.” (Marrin. p. 5)

How much do these two statements impact my thinking?

Marrin casually drops one-line statements into a section or a chapter about people who were racist and continues on with his narrative.  This has been beyond jarring or disconcerting to me as these one liners, when first delivered, are often not reinforced with supporting details.  Marrin reports them, moves on with the main focus, and sometimes comes back to a later detail (in another chapter) that shows the connections.  Otherwise, the reader must hold these facts in mind and consider whether they are, “Yes, a part of the pattern”, “No, just a wild statement” or “Maybe, I’ll wait for more information”.

This has been hard.

Why hard?

Back in the dark ages, “nonfiction” was anything that was TRUE, and fiction was “anything that was made up”.  Sounds simple like black and white.  But those lines blur.  Facts that are left out cause a disconnect.  Did the author leave them out because they did not support his/her basic premise?  Did the author leave them out because they could not be “sourced”?  Ignoring the facts is not the goal.  But making a statement 100 times does not make it a fact either.  Where’s the balance?  And that is the key to the “Think: . . .” actions that Vicki Vinton espouses in Figure 8-1 above.

Reading these two books (and responding in writing) side-by-side has given me the opportunity to dig in and try out the problem solving model that Vicki has laid out in her book.  One book is joyous and about all the possibilities while the other challenges centuries of historical knowledge – tainted by the historical storytellers of the past. What I do know is that Marrin’s view of U.S. History is not the history I have ever found in textbooks.  Nor is it the critical thinking that our students need in order to be productive and participating citizens of the 21st century.

Tip:  Read the charts in Dynamic Teaching as if they are GOLD!!!  

Which charts are you going to return to again and again?  

What have you applied from either chapters 7 or 8?

digilit-button

Additional #DigiLit posts here

 




cyber pd

Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone

Or check out the “Facebook page:  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading” here

#SOL17: #OLW Check In!


It’s mid-July.

How am I REALLY progressing with my 2017 One Little Word?

brave-word-art

I love that Melanie also has BRAVE as her #OLW because I so admire her writing, her work and her balance of work and home. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kimberly’s Ted Talk – (@onstageKimberly) – BRAVE!  And of course this quote:

brave-olw

A quick perusal of archives finds these two posts:  my January 3rd announcement here and a March check in here that was incredibly sad.  2017 has been a year of changes.

Highs

Lows

And a lot of muddling around in between

Changes

My summer “brave” exploration has been “deep spying” on my response to reading this summer.  Some of my post public work has been with #cyberpd.

Publicly responding to this text . . .

As I read, reread, jot notes, sometimes draw pictures, reread, write, and yes, add post-its.  What does the text say?  What do I still wonder about?  What will this REALLY look like for teachers and students?

dynamic teaching book cover

My focus has been on these two areas:

  • “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
  • “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”

When it is time for “response to reading”, who makes the decision about format?  audience?  purpose?  

Who should make those decisions?

The standard that is usually “invoked” for writing in response to reading is this:

“CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.”

Two parts – drawing evidence and then doing something with that evidence – that is the goal!  What could this look like?

Possibilities:

Chapter 5 word cloud from quotes

A. Word Art:  Most Frequent Words

Cha. 5 two

B. Specific Quotes

Ch 5 three

C. Evidence and Reflection

(larger versions here on padlet from this post)

Which version would you prefer for your evidence?  Why?  

A. Words or Phrases

B. Quotes

C. Evidence and Reflection

 

How many ways do you know/use to present evidence?




How can I “show” the thrill of figuring it out?  

How can I “show” the messiness of taking a risk and learning?  

How can I also make sure that student VOICE and CHOICE are honored?

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to share evidence.

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to share thinking.

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Have you done this work?  What does your “messy” work look like?

Which domain are you working in?

brave-fullan-and-dimensions-of-teacher-leadership




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

#DigiLitSunday: #cyberpd


Remember to check out additional #DigiLitSunday posts at Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche”.




dynamic teaching book cover

The #cyberpd discussion of Vicki Vinton’s new book is allowing readers to respond in a variety of ways.  Check out the #cyberpd hashtag on twitter or the Cyberpd google hangout for additional posts. ( Check previous post here and my padlet here.)

Section 2 begins with this quote:

“Practices are our beliefs in action.” – Regie Routman, Read, Write, Lead

and then Chapter 5 “Creating Opportunities for Readers to Figure Out the Basics” has a quote from General Gorge S. Patton and Chapter 6 ” Creating Opportunities for Readers to Experience Deeper Meaning” has a Mary Oliver quote.  The journey is now about HOW some specific core practices position readers to “grapple with those problems found in texts in order to deeply understand what the writer might be conveying about people, the world, and life.”(p. 55)

Knowing that everything has a purpose in a text, I’ve been asking myself what anchors this text for me.  The “Steering the Ship” sections (Figure 5-7, p. 82, and Figure 6-5, p. 108) are huge for me this week.  The  sections are titled “Teaching Moves to Support Thinking and Meaning Making”.

Did these “Steering the Ship” pages make you stop and pause? These are the “To Do’s” in order to teach reading  in a problem solving way.  They can be prompts for a teacher cheat sheet.  Practice, practice, practice will be required in order to have them to “naturally” be a part of my repertoire that pushes student thinking and provides responsive feedback with students developing the lines of inquiry. But that practice with less modeling and scaffolding by me will enable students to do more of the work themselves.

What are the BIG anchors of this text?

anchor

  • “Create opportunities for learning”
  • “Shift from answers to thinking”
  • “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
  • “Embrace complexity”
  • “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”

Why these?  They are a part of the graphic on the front cover.  

Which one is repeated on the back cover?

What thinking am I doing as a result of this professional reading?

I am making notes.  I’m trying sketch noting.  I’m reading other blogs and responses.  I’m writing to consolidate my own thinking.  Writing . . . in response to reading.  Writing . . . in order to better understand my reading.  Writing and revising . . . in order to make my writing clearer.

How do you share your thinking?  

What is working for you?




cyber pd.png

Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone




It’s messy, it’s fun, it’s scary, it’s evolving!  THINKING required!

#DigiLitSunday: Automaticity


As many of you  know, this has been a driving summer . . .

Iowa,

Missouri,

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Tennessee

Georgia

Florida, Florida, Florida, Florida (it’s a long way from the top to the bottom)

and back plus

Minnesota.

Not commuter miles but trips that included LONG days.

So think about this driving analogy.

driving

Free from Pixabay; Retrieved 7.9.17

My trip to Sioux City today.

Questioning

What route?

When to stop / break / gas?

Can I beat the GPS arrival time?

Reflection

By Des Moines, I had gained three minutes according to the GPS.

And then semi-trucks passing semi-trucks going uphill . . .  slowed both lanes down.

And then there was road construction with one lane of traffic and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph.

Results (but I REALLY wanted this to be Synthesis)

Exploring alternate routes.

Considering overall rates of travel and the amount of travel in both lanes.

Learning new vocabulary

  • Rest Stop – Parking Only
  • Rest Stop – Modern
  • Rest Stop with Internet Access (including symbols for phone, Vending Machines and Camper Dump Stations

So the short part of this is that I arrived one minute before my GPS said and my route, although with some adjustments, was successfully completed.

What if ? ? ?

A. What if I had to record notes

Before the trip?

During the trip?

After the trip?

B.  I had to record the skills I had mastered

Skills?

Strategies?

Processes? (Hat tip to Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson for that idea after a Voxer #G2Great conversation)

Have you made the inference about where this is headed? . . .  

Hint – Reread Choices A and B

And Oh, My Goodness! 

I forgot the Planning that happened prior to the trip including checking for my registration, insurance card, and having the car serviced (oil change & tire rotation) prior to the trip as well as googling the distance from point A and B so I could begin to draft the specifics.

All of these little details matter when driving a motor vehicle.  There are big details that have life or death consequences like safely managing a vehicle, keeping it in the right lane, accelerating and decelerating with traffic flow, smooth lane changes WITH a turn signal, safe distances between vehicles, and paying attention to merging lanes, road signs, and . . .

I’m lucky because I’ve been driving for over four decades and I had a refresher when my son would point out driving errors while he was in a driver’s education course.  Your driving experience may include more total miles or more city miles than me.  That’s a “number” or data-based comparison.  But what about “quality”?

In my opinion it all boils down to “my confidence in my driving abilities” because I have experienced a wide variety of situations that have contributed to the automaticity of my driving habits and patterns that also allow me to be responsive and THINK when I must make “in the second/minute” adjustments.

I very deliberately chose this comparison because this “automaticity” is what we want for our students in reading.

Skilled

Competent

Strategic

Confident

Experienced

Readers

How much time does this take?  

How will we measure this success?  

WHEN will a reader be successful?




And what does this mean for TEACHERS, the adults in the classroom?  

They must be equally prepared, confident, and ready for challenges.

That is why I am in several book clubs this summer.  Probably too many.  But I am pushing my own Planning, Questioning, Reflecting and Synthesizing especially as I work through professional books.

I wrote about the beginning of #CyberPD and Vicki Vinton’s Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading here.  This thinking fits with a Facebook and Twitter study of Disrupting Thinking by authors Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  Margaret Simon wrote about both of those today here.  As discussed at the last #G2Great chat with Linda Rief, Reading is about the meaning that the reader understands as a result of his/her transaction with the text. Reading is NOT extracting factoids.

Without spending a great deal more words, I believe that when students can and do

Plan

Reflect

Question

Synthesize

on their own (P,Q,R,S) in real authentic work (not just school work), they WILL BE Skilled, Competent, Strategic, Confident, and Experienced Readers!

What do you do daily to help students “transact” with text in the form of stories, books, poetry, nonfiction, art works, video, and audio?  

How will you know when students have reached automaticity?   

How will you know your students are skilled, competent, strategic, confident and experienced readers?




#DigiLitSunday:  More posts from Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.

digilit-button

 

 

 

#SOL17: #CyberPD


I read.

I reread.

I jot.

I think.

I read.

I write.

I tweet.

Dipping into the facebook group here

@HeinemannPub resources here

and original blog posts at “To Make a Prairie” here.

It’s a delicate dance similar to a waltz.

Read

Think:  “How does this fit into my current beliefs?”

Write down questions, changes, fleeting thoughts . . .

To be absorbed into the mental stream of consciousness

Synthesis

A new belief

Test it out

Problem solving

And with reading, writing, thinking, and more practice . . . It’s time to begin sharing!




What’s up?

This week marks the beginning of #cyberPD for the summer of 2017.  Check out the hashtag and the blogs and hold onto your brains as the pace is quick, the thinking is challenging, and you will question your own beliefs about reading!  Be prepared for the provocative nature of this book, the discussion, and the debate!

Here’s the challenge from Ellin Oliver Keene in the Foreword:

ellin oliver keene.PNG

The book:

dynamic teaching book cover.PNG

The schedule:

cyber pd




Why were Chapters 1-4 challenging?  

Because I didn’t begin with them.  I began with Chapter 5.

Check the text.

Vicki gave readers to start with either part 1: background, values and changes or part 2:  problems and practices.  Of course, I began with Part 2.  It’s my favorite.  But in order to sustain changes, I know that I have to understand the “why” in order to stay the course and continue to “steer the ship”. (page xix)

Values and Beliefs:

Reading is meaning.

Meaning is constructed by the reader.

Use inquiry or a problem-based approach.  What I do 1:1 with striving readers.

Inquiry or problem-based approach with all – that’s new!

Students doing the work.

Students thinking.

Ditch assigned patterns of close reading. (AMEN!)

Critical thinking.

Creative thinking. Hit the brakes!  Do I really get the difference?

Real meaning of read closely and deeply.  (YES!)

Teaching vs. learning (including over scaffolding and too much priming the pump)




I’m still learning about problem-solving.  I understand the basic principles.  As I read this summer, I’m keeping track of what I do when I get stuck, tangled up in the words or tangled up in the ideas.  How do I work through the “stuck” and the “tangles”.  I need to continue to practice on my own reading.

Same for creative thinking and critical thinking.  Such a delicious thought that they are not the same.  I’ve had years  decades of imitating, patterning, and coasting in the shadows.  Am I really creative?  Too early to tell.

What do you value in reading?  

What will you read that will be provocative this summer?  

Do you dare break out of your complacency?




Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community  https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone




slice of life

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. 

#SOL17:  Structure


I had to go back. my fifth time to reread the opening chapter.  This is the first paragraph:

” She stood at the window of the Manhattan apartment, peeking through a slit In the drapes. Her hands trembled.”

I knew the “she” was Gabriela. That was obvious from the first reading. But what did I know about Gabriela. Or more importantly, what had I MISSED about Gabriela?

MY task . . . Self-imposed . . . To make sense of Jeffery Deaver’s The October List. 

I had already read the preview on my kindle. I was going to check the library for a print version, but there it was at eye level at the Dollar Store with a $3 yellow sticker.

The inside flap:

“Gabriela waited desperately for news of

Her abducted daughter.

At last, the door opens.

But it’s not the negotiators.

It’s not the FBI.

It’s the kidnapper

And he has a gun.”

How did Deaver create suspense?

He chose Structure.

He began with the ending and went backwards one scene at a time.

As a reader, I had to figure out which details were important in the past and where were the red herrings that led me off the path? Rocket science? No! BUt I was reading this book as I began Vicki Vinton’s,  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Learning, and I did not want to merely read it as a “plot junkie” as mentioned in chapter five.  I wanted to consider HOW I deliberately made sense of this text in order to better inform my reader lay self (and perhaps borrow the idea for a longer writing task).

I started a list. Basic jots of key details.

I wished for a talking partner to share ideas.

I made some oral notes on my phone.

I began to look for patterns.

How much time and how many chapters elapsed between key details?

Tally marks were replaced with questions

And then with possible solutions.

But how could they be solutions when I already knew the ending?

Events revealed.

Important?

Too soon to know.

But the compelling story line . . .

Two days,

A mother, a kidnapped six year old daughter,

A half million dollar ransom

And “The October List” to be delivered within 30 hours

OR . . .

Narrative Structure?

Typical structures include:

Plot Line

Story Arc

Story Map

Sequential

Flashback

Episodic

Scene by scene

Beginning, Middle, End

How does an author decide?

And even more importantly, how does a reader make sense of the structure?

What works for you?

And thanks to fellow slicer”Arjeha”, I already knew the key to the Structure, but not the key to the kidnapping!  Check out additional slices at TwoWritingTeachers.wordpress.com

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL16: Capital E = Essay


There’s a glow, a rainbow, a light spirit still leaking from my pores and so much fun and learning from #NCTE16 yet to be shared! My top two sessions from the three days are a toss-up.

Poetry?     Essay?      Which will change the world?

At #NCTE16 it was readily apparent that BOTH writing forms are capable of reporting on AND changing the world.  You can read more about poetry in last week’s  “NCTE16:  Incredible Learning” here.

A focus on writing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING will of course have the power to potentially change the world because the pen is mightier than the sword.  The constant focus on assessments and screeners that produce fast yet aliterate readers has created a new tension in schools. What’s the solution for this new breed of readers who do not choose to read and who do not fall in love with the written word? Are they an unconscionable byproduct of too much focus on reading “outcomes/products” (ie, something that can be counted as in words read per minute) and too little focus on the thinking, the joy, and the love of words that result from daily writing in schools – daily writing of their own choice?  How can we regain JOY and LEARNING?  Poetry and Essay tied for first place at #NCTE in bringing JOY to my world and in igniting a quest for more learning.

The Transformative Power of Essay

This panel on Sunday was amazing (and had many noteworthy literacy celebs attending as well).  And NO moans or groans because of the word “essay”.

Essay bomer.jpg

From R to Left:  Katherine Bomer, Allyson Smith,  Corinne Arens and Matthew Harper

Story after story.

Straight from the students.

Student writing examples . . .

pages and pages and pages of writing from individual students!

Students conferencing with teachers in videos.

Students sharing what essay means to them.

Students sharing how their lives have changed.

Teachers sharing how their lives have changed.

An administrator sharing how the district has changed.

Summer week long writing institutes in the district.

Building trust.

Building communities.

Teachers doing the “writing work” expected of students.

The audience laughed.

The audience cried.

The audience applauded vociferously.

Transforming our thoughts, perhaps our future actions . . .

Essay with a capital “E”.

(NO five paragraph essays anywhere!)

Thank you, new friends from Blue Springs, MO!

What evidence of transformation?

Tweet 1:

beth-bomer

Tweet 2:

julieanne-michelle-bomer

Did you catch the date?  9-15-16

Not waiting for “routines” but beginning the year boldly with essay writing to allow student voice to “spill yourself onto the page”.

And a final piece of evidence . . . Margaret Simon’s post today found here.

The Transformative Power of Essay

Have you read The Journey is Everything?

bomer the journey is everything    Read it. Try writing an essay and then let’s talk!

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Looking for more information?

Previous posts:

#DigiLitSunday:  The Journey is Everything!#DigiLitSunday:  The Journey is Everything!

Literacy Superheroes (I counted FIVE of these essayists + Katherine in the room!)

Photo Essay (another public  essay!)

A Favor – My essay (with a comment from Katherine Bomer – another fangirl moment)

And the common denominator for both poetry and Essay was Katherine Bomer!

No wonder they tied!

#TCRWP FUN


So what’s been on the “FUN agenda” while in New York City?

Dining out!  So many choices and so much visiting . . .

with Erika from Malaysia, Sandy from California, Allison from Arizona  . . .

Celebrating birthdays,

Riding the metro,

a Broadway show,

and spending time with friends from near and far!

Vicki, Allison, Catherine, and Colette

Screenshot 2016-06-25 17.45.13

fun home

Enjoying my #OneLittleWord – JOYFUL in New York City!!!

What is on your list  for “JOY” this summer?

*  *  *  *

And if you have not YET read enough about #TCRWP writing,

check out

Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom

Teachers and Students: Lifelong Learners

Past blogs about Writing Institutes:

2016 #TCWRP Writing Takeaways here, here, here, here, and here.

2015 #TCRWP Writing here, here, here, here, and here.

2014 #TCRWP Writing here, here, here, here, and here.

2013 Kate Roberts and Close Reading at Writing Institute  I did not blog daily.  I had Lucy Calkins for large group and Colleen Cruz for my small group with coaches and administrators and I felt totally lost . . . a non-writer adrift in a sea of writers!

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

A blog by Kari Yates

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading