Tag Archives: VickiVintonTMAP

#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.


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

Write down questions, changes, fleeting thoughts . . .

To be absorbed into the mental stream of consciousness


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. 

Wanted: “Complex, Text-Based Thinking by Students”

The title of this post comes from a direct quote from Vicki Vinton (coauthor of What Readers Really Do with Dorothy Barnhouse) in the comments section on her blog here.  This is a HUGE shift for many teachers and students.

If we want students to be “doing” the “Complex, Text-Based Thinking” then something else will have to go.  Vicki suggests (and I agree) that this complex student thinking would replace “text-dependent questions for complex text.”

Is this appropriate?  What about text-dependent questions for complex text?  What does the Iowa Core say (100% of Common Core is inside the Iowa Core)?

The picture below is of a “word search” for “text-dependent questions” in the ENTIRE K-12 ELA document including all content area supports for grades 6-12.  Are you surprised by the results?


The phrase “text-dependent questions” was not found when the entire document was searched.

A second search for “text-dependent” had this result.


Again, no search items were found that corresponded to “text-dependent.”

Please check your own state standards document.  Does it “REALLY” require “text-dependent questions” or is that “someone’s” interpretation of the standards?  Should close reading result in students who can answer those text-dependent teacher questions? Or do our students deserve something better?
In the entire scheme of life, do you need students who can answer “text-dependent questions?”  
Or do you need “Complex, Text-Based Thinking by Students?”  

I am looking forward to your responses! (freezing rain is in tonight’s weather forecast in Iowa and I am not attending #NCTE13 so I conversations are welcome!)

CCSS And Beyond: Know and Wonder Charts

How do we truly ensure high learning expectations for our readers?

After two weeks with friends on a twitter book chat #wrrdchat, discussing What Readers Really Do by Barnhouse and Vinton (@VickiVintonTMAP), I must confess that I do need to return to a classroom and work with students. The whole process of making meaning from written symbols is simple for some students, but oh, so confusing for others.

Confusion could come from the words – long or short – many words have multiple meanings and then only the surrounding words in the sentence or paragraph can truly help tease out the specific meaning.  Confusion could also arise from the lack of pictures as students move through the grades and the levels.  Or it could simply be that reading is HARD work!

My journey this summer has included #tcwrp Writing and Reading Institutes.  It has also included book studies for Notice and Note, Teach Like a Pirate and as previously noted, What Readers Really Do. I will admit, I have struggled this summer as I have heard and now BELIEVE that students must do the work of understanding. I cannot and dare not rush in and rescue them!  True understanding of text only comes from “grappling with it.”

So on with it!  Get to the point!

How do I use a “Know and Wonder Chart” to help students understand?

I will begin with the text Walk Two Moons brought to my attention by a Barbara O’Connor. If a reader is following a pattern and adding “knows” on to the pattern to confirm, he/she may not be adding any wonders at this time and that would be okay. Multiple patterns, simultaneously, may be a bit overwhelming! What do you think?  Then I will build  a Know – Wonder Chart based on the “setup” to look for patterns.  Here is what my chart looked like in its first draft.

ImageIn the “setup” I have learned a lot about Sal in the first two pages of this book.  I know she is a country girl and her name is Sal.  Her dad is in the story as is “a lady” named “Margaret” with “wild red hair.”  I was wondering about the main character’s name each time I generated questions.

As the first two pages end, I am still wondering about:

  • when does this story take place (no clues yet in clothes or transportation),
  • what is the story? (hunch= life in the city with Margaret?) and
  • my biggest “wonder” is “Where is Sal’s mom?.

I am going to have to keep reading to find out more about the “setup” (who, what, where, when, etc.) but also to find out if any of my hunches “come true.  I will also be looking for patterns where the author tells me or sets me up to discover the meaning that is hidden in the words.

How will I assess this “Know and Wonder” work with students?

My formative quick check at mid-workshop interruption will be:   “Thumbs up if you have jotted down an idea from your reading. Point to head if you added to “wonder.” Tap finger on your shoulder if you have added to or found a new pattern.” (Some use of visual/gestures would give me a quick look at status of class.) Students could also add other ideas to “self-assess” in their book clubs if you are using them.

I am leaning towards a “star” system to begin with because I have literally seen high school students beg for a star before! The star would go in the Reader’s Notebook.  I love how #tcrwp folks use writing continua so I am also thinking about what that might look like but I want to be careful to make it be about quality factors and not just “things I can count.”

In the beginning, I believe that any student who adds to their chart in terms of “know, wonder, or arrows/comments for patterns” will earn a star.  It is the beginning of the book. The assessment will evolve!

The assessment process – When students do this thinking in jotted notes in their Reader’s Notebook, they will be meeting the standards of CCSS and exceeding them.  No bubble tests required!

How would you assess “Know and Wonder” charts?  What has worked for you?

Circling back to the beginning:

I have learned during this study of What Readers Really Do is that my reading is really from the “inside out!” Thank you @Teamhanrahan62  for that idea.  I have also learned that this work is hard and the reader must be trusted to do the work (@VickiVintonTMAP)!  (And I apologize in advance because I will not remember everyone from the chat in this post!)  From my #wrrdchat mate  @brettelockyer I have learned new vocabulary as well as the value of a conversation around a text for deeper learning.  Thank you for the mention of this book in NYC @azajacks and special thanks to @rscalateach for developing and implementing a book study plan!   Reading a blog from a voracious summer reader, @jarhartz, who wrote about “Yet”  –  and commented on an old post of mine yesterday, the idea of this post was born.  Thank you all, #wrrdchat mates, this study has been a wonderful summer learning opportunity!

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