Tag Archives: writing about reading

#SOLSC20: Day 3

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My notebook is my refuge.

It knows my darkest secrets.

It holds my deepest thoughts.

My notebook is my refuge.

It contains cross outs and scribbles

Sometimes barely discernible.

My notebook is my refuge.

It contains my fears, my trials, my tribulations.

It contains my greatest joys.

My notebook is my refuge.

Sometimes it is public.

Sometimes it is private.

My notebook is my refuge.

Snippets of stories.

Memories and remembrances.

My notebook is my refuge.

A safe place to work.

A safe place to think.

Where do you do your thinking? 

Where do you try out ideas and develop your work?

How do you use a notebook?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL19: Celebrate Life

Live, Laugh, Love, Linger . . . and Learn

Celebrate . . .

Between conferences, sessions at ILA, NCTE, CCIRA, and . . . family, it seems like I have many days and nights on the road.



What comes with the room?

What did I forget?

What does that schedule really look like?

Life is often complicated.

There’s the community from #G2Great.

Voxer Cousins

The Slicers

TWT Educators as Writers



and last week #HUSLI19.

Social media groups  . . . (another post here “Social Media as a Purposeful Professional Learning Tool”)

Rockstars:  Colby Sharp, Cornelius Minor, Jennifer Serravallo and Lester Laminack. Hours of Life. Laughter. Book Loving and Lingering over stories shared and learning, learning, learning!

A bit of rain. Yes a business center. Not a restaurant. Some minor inconveniences.

While in a neighboring state, my mind is with Mia, her family, and her “communities” at the Calivista Motel.  I didn’t stay long enough to be a “weekly” but how do I move adeptly in and out of groupsWhat can I learn from Mia?

When I sketch it out, how does it look in Front Desk?  

In one view I have the Calivista Motel, the “front desk”, the school Mia attends, and then China.  The second page has Mia and her parents, including their hopes and fears.

Is Mia really on a “point of a triangle” or is she in the middle of every community? And how many individuals does it take to “form” a community?

I was wishing for a 3-D representation (or at least a page of chart paper as 8.5 x 11 was severely limiting. Barely drafted and I am looking to revise. I am not a fan of covering every inch of the page YET. Still admiring white space.  Perhaps that will continue to evolve.

And how am I doing with my goals for #BookLove in its last week? 

Where is my Writing About Reading headed? 

Is it improving?

Slowly moving forward is today’s celebration of life and learning! 

What is yours?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL15: Writing about Reading

Conversation about this book over dinner, purchased at a book store (Bank Street Books in NYC), and then talked about in person at TCRWP Institutes – all eventually led to an online book chat that culminates tonight in a Twitter chat at 6:30 EDT (#WabtR). The questions for the discussion are located here; please join us!


What have I learned?

This post covered my learning as a reader and as a writer.  I am green with envy about a friend’s report that she sat down and read the book all in one sitting.  We agreed to read and respond to four chapters a day.

Of course, life in summer was complicated.  I was waiting on the mail because I had the books shipped home (so much cheaper than the extra cost for a checked bag)! And when the book arrived, I was a day behind and felt the pressure of “keeping up with the book club”. I didn’t read ahead until I had completed my writing.

A rule follower. Playing school.  Unfortunately, my biggest feeling was relief when I completed the book.  Adding some creativity to the summary re-engaged me as a learner and made me happy to “come to school again.”  During my drive time thinking yesterday I began this.

No Spoiler!

Star    Star    Star    Star    Star

A Handful of Stars


Hope, wishes, and faith

Hope for the present,

Hope for the future,

Hope for self, and

Hope for others.


Wishes for the present,

Wishes for the future,

Wishes for self, and

Wishes for others.


Faith in present,

Faith in future,

Faith in self, and

Faith in others.


Hope, wishes, and faith

Three girls

A dog named Lucky

Blueberry barrens, and

Issues from real life experiences!

What do you want to remember most from this book?

I’m not big on book reviews unless they are professional books.  My taste in picture books often matches others but when it comes to YA literature, I hit multiple bends in the road.  I will read almost anything one time, but the books that I return to and read year after year are often historical fiction or classics.  However, I continue to read and read and read.  I usually finish a book, albeit quite slowly, when I discover that it is not my “cup of tea”.  BUT if you like Cynthia Lord’s books, then you should read, A Handful of Stars!

What are you reading this summer?

How are you experiencing the tasks that you ask your students to do?  How are you “walking the talk”?

When an experience doesn’t meet your expectations, how do you turn it around in order to celebrate the “positives”?


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

Writing About Reading: #WabtR


DigiLit Sunday

Tuesday night at 7:30 pm (EDT), you may want to check out the twitter chat Writing About Reading (#WabtR).

For the past week about 20 of “us” have been writing about reading.  The text:  A Handful of Stars but you can substitute any title and NO, you don’t have to have read the book to join the chat!


What:  On-line Book Club

Organizer: Necessary!  Ours wa Julieanne Harmatz!

Process:  Google form to solicit members

Agreement:  Read 4 chapters each day, respond to the chapters on google docs for each set of chapters, return to the documents to reread and respond to fellow readers, and participate in a chat at the end.

As a reader, I learned:

  • That I hated to stop reading to jot notes or record ideas.
  • That stopping to “record” meant that I had to reread to re-ground myself in the text.
  • That stopping at pre-set chapter ends was not comfortable when it was in the middle of story action/conflict (the pageant).
  • That I had many questions about how students responded to these same tasks/requests.
  • That it was absolutely imperative that I have CHOICE in my purpose for reading.
  • That when I “got behind” in reading and writing, I panicked and felt like I had let the entire group down.
  • That I could not read the other comments until I had posted my own ideas.
  • We all had many, many different tools that we used to process our thinking while reading.
  • That I REALLY hated to stop reading to jot notes or record ideas and even resorted to recording voice messages so that I could continue to read.
  • That I wondered about WHERE and WHEN I would do this work (Writing about Reading) out in the real world (Is it a transferable skill?)
  • That rereading for a purpose was fun and something that I often do in real life.

As a writer, I learned:

  • That I had to reread in order to write about the story, the characters, golden quotes or my thinking about reading,
  • That I had to redraft my thoughts and that also required thinking time.
  • That it was easy to comment on other’s thoughts, but I felt extremely vulnerable when sharing my own thoughts.
  • That it was VERY, VERY, VERY easy to QUIT writing!
  • That even adults respond differently to reading:  Margaret – a poem below; Julieanne – a game “Capture the Quote”; many-writing long about a jot, written notes, and drawings; and me – a digital write around based on an image.


What are the Implications for Teaching:

Choice matters!

Time matters!

Honoring many different paths is important!  

Collaboration / conversation among learners is critical!  

Teachers MUST use the same methodology they ask students to use to truly understand how the process feels (even as an adult reader)!

Being a part of a community of Readers and Writers is necessary for the success of all!

Additional Thoughts / Questions?

Writing About Reading

What do your students “write” after reading?  Do they only complete assigned tasks or do they write because of an inner compulsion to record a very specific thought?  Do you need some new thinking?

Check out this entire week’s worth of posts from “Two Writing Teachers” and then plan to attend next Monday’s twitter chat!

Monday, January 27    Writing About Reading Blog Series: 3 Ways to Write about Reading

Tuesday, January 28   Writing About Reading Blog Series:  A Quick Guide to Quick Essays

Wednesday, January 29  Writing about Reading in the Writer’s Notebook

Thursday, January 30  Writing about Reading Blog Series: Offering Students Choice in Reading Responses

Friday, January 31  Writing about Reading Blog Series:  Opinion Writing in a K-1 Collaboration

After reading these, get ready to jump start your February “Writing about Reading!”

Storify from 02.03.14 Twitter Chat  sfy.co/hb9N

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