For fun…

We teachers have full, wonderful lives outside of teaching. I think. Sure we do! YES! We most definitely do! And why let all the wonderful folks such as Barack Obama create a list!? Here’s my challenge, inspired by @jarredamato, the leader of #ProjectLit: What if all leaders — politics, education, business, you name it — shared their own lists each year? https://t.co/6N9bkDI2aY — Jarred Amato (@jarredamato) December 28, 2018 When a friend posted Obama’s list today, I immediately went to i-Tunes and grabbed some of the songs I liked. Dang, I used to be such an aficionado of new music!…

Summer Series of Saves: Tea with Bears (or the hard sell)

  Planning and shaping students’ reading lives–I have some concerns. Selfish, muddy concerns. Donalyn Miller’s tweet about ill-defined independent reading prompted my own wondering about the basics: what is are the differences and connections between instructional and independent reading? A while back I wrote this blog post challenging those notions, too:  How to Survive a Bear Attack My FB friend @donnawstark fixed it! pic.twitter.com/ybRdlXyDAm — Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks) July 21, 2018 https://bookwhisperer.com/2015/02/08/ive-got-research-yes-i-do-ive-got-research-how-about-you/amp/ And, the notion of leveling texts also seems outdated, or at least considered revised: @nellkduke #ILA18 why we should not use only level-based grouping: “leveled texts [and groups] lead…

Dismantle, disrupt, and…discontinue?

One of my personality flaws is the fear of being misunderstood. I say it’s a flaw because I spend too much mental energy trying to explain my meaning after the fact, and other folks are way past thinking about me or my dumb little thoughts.  But that is why I write this blog; it’s my space to make sense, process, and reflect. So: it’s early. If you want to go along on this cold coffee and stale toast mental journey with me, great. But if you need to get off at this stop, be my guest. Loudly and clearly: I…

Series: Elements of Structure Part 2: Shock and Awe

Part 2 of the Elements of Structure Series When I clicked on this link this morning, I did not know who the producers were. I had no idea about bias, message, or author’s purpose. I just sat and watched it, thinking it a sweet narrative. Normally I’m not so blinded by the surprise, the hidden but the overarching message. I didn’t think I was susceptible to misdirection: why? Because I know what it means–how can we be tricked when we invented the magic? But I was, and the effect was devastating. No spoilers here. I’ll allow you the same effect–would love…

Series: Elements of Structure Part I: Effect

As we weave in the CCSS into our instruction, create engaging work, etc. it’s my nature to dive deeply into the subject area–to me, that’s what great teachers do, even if they know a subject intimately. It’s the artist in me: there’s always more to observe and try. With that in mind, I am writing a series on structure, craft, and style. The first idea I want to share comes courtesy of my intelligent and wonderful colleague, Tami Gores. She and I are both working with coaches, and also have a common ground understanding of my friend and mentor, Holly…

750 and counting.

https://embed.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley Seven hundred and fifty minutes represents five classes of core/honors ELA classes, multiplied by ten days, fifteen minutes each period. For every student, in two weeks’ time, each one has read 750 minutes. And to my shock and awe, at no point did I give them some long lecture about how to read, what to do during reading time, what to think or how to behave. I didn’t co-construct an anchor chart or show them my PowerPoint called The Reading Zone based on Nancie Atwell’s work.  My student teacher and I kept it simple:  Put out hundreds of books —…

Tagged.

Yesterday I spent 15 minutes searching for a website/resource I want to use this year. I couldn’t find it in my bookmarks, or remember its name, just that I discovered them at NCCE, and could have sword that I wrote about them in a post-convention post. Nope. Nowhere. But I did find it in my bookmarks, (forgot which browser I had it on), and gathered the needles and built a new haystack for colleagues. (I really need to do a better job of tagging these posts.) In my head: You need this book. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrsk06-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1936891352&asins=1936891352&linkId=357565df0e5d73ef1bec4bfa62b72556&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=1b1f24&bg_color=dfe6f0 And links: Actively Learn NewsELA Artifact (DiscoverArtifact) CommonLit…