Monday, July 1, 2013

More From All-Write - Summer Reading?


Slice of Life, first week of July.  Hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers, many link their posts to share what’s going on in their lives, both personal and educational.  Time is moving too, too fast.

                I wrote about the camaraderie of everyone at All-Write last week, and covered some bits of the first day. I had such a great time getting to know my fellow bloggers in the short time we had together!  
               This wonder-filled time the first day ended at dinner with friends enjoying Kate Messner speaking.  Her talk was about mentoring this time, the importance of it both for teachers and for students.  I realize that others have already written about the evening.  One important take away that I will repeat is this advice:  “Writing for my students provided them with a mentor text.  Writing with my students made me a mentor.”   And this night, I had a copy of Kate’s book, Real Revision, autographed.  I’ve already used parts of this in the past, and this night led me to the first session on Friday, Kate’s session about revision.


               Friday morning, Kate Messner, good storyteller, spoke of numerous good tips to do with students, or for ourselves.  One I made note of is that she thinks of a first draft as a stem cell, the basic material from which one “grows” a story.  She strongly recommended considering different formats in writing, and sharing those ideas in the classroom so that students knew it was all right to do, too.  She said that one should think of the writing on two levels, “What’s it about?” and “What’s underneath?” One good source on her website is “65 off draft prompts to help with revision”.  Look for it here!  Finally, she reminded not to forget graphics, maps and webs to help add information from research and from one’s imagination.  It was a terrific session!

             Next I traveled to hear the research-minded Chris Lehman, author of Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, also co-author of Pathways to The Common Core with Lucy Calkins and Mary Ehrenworth.  He has a new book about Close Reading coming soon!  One idea that struck me is students must be helped to identify where their research actually begins.  Sometimes it takes multiple starts to find that place.  Learning the background before getting to the core question is essential.  His chart reminds me of some of the work Tony Stead has done.  It contains 3 columns, of know a lot, know some, and know little.  One emphasis that made me wonder how much my teachers do with their students is “after” taking notes, re-read what’s been written.  Ask, “Did I do enough?"  and “Where else can the information be strengthened?” In addition, he clearly emphasized showing multiple ways of note-taking since students are doing research with a variety of sources.  This session, too, was (to use Chris’ phrase) energizing!  I did not buy his book, but may have time later to do so, and to read it.  I imagine it’s very good!

          Next, both in the end Keynote and this session I saw Lester Laminack, whose recent book out (and ordered) is titled Bullying Hurts.  He has also written numerous picture books and with Katie Wood Ray co-authored The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (And They're All Hard Parts)  My head was already filled and Lester Laminack added so much more.  Here are two facts:  About 160,000 kids stay home from school each day because someone is bullying them. Bullying ‘NEVER’ happens in the presence of teachers. 

           Tips to prevent: Teach that “differences make us interesting.”  Look for and use Mem Fox’s book Whoever You Are.  There is actually a YouTube of someone reading this book! Teach also that all humans have commonalities, and all have differences, and each is still human.  He recommends looking for books that help students reach levels of self-actualization by Maslow.  If you don’t know about this, there is a good, concise article here!  I have used the hierarchy with students before, in conversations about our needs and wants, including the need to be “better”, “bigger”, and “stronger”.  And I am reminded of my post a few weeks ago from my workshop with Peter H. Johnston where he spoke of needs also, and both these men include the word “belongingness.”  Lester continues to emphasize that changing bullies takes a long time, includes many layers of understanding and includes attention to the “bystanders”. 

       As I ended last week, I realize when it’s time to stop.  There is so much to contemplate in this day, too.  I hope you found some parts that will interest you in exploring further!  I’ll finish the reviewing next time!  Happy summer!

32 comments:

  1. The info about bullying really gave me some food for thought. Thank you for taking time to share what you learned.

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    1. You're so welcome. It was a good presentation and I'm looking forward to his book, too!

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  2. Wow, awesome speakers and one after the other, too! Lester's words about working woith the bystander really resonated with me - nothing will change without that. And it takes time, patience and work! Thanks for sharing this glimpse into the wonders of All Write, Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Tara. I hope there are some good takeaways for you. I loved what he had to say & am impatiently waiting for that book!

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  3. Thank you so much for the Friday information. I have Lester's books and I'm so inspired by your thoughts. Amazing that bullying doesn't ever happen in front of use. In all my years I haven't experienced it directly. If we hear about it indirectly, I feel we need to go right to that bully and confront, which I have done. Thank you for that Mem Fox suggestion also. xo

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    1. Missed you on Friday, and hope you had some success yourself that day, Nancy. I've had some experience with indirect comments, etc. which I've considered bullying, but the kids do know "not" to do it within our earshot. Looking forward to his book, too. Thanks!

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  4. What an inspiring day! I too will have to read LLs book this summer as it a topic that we need to understand and address in our schools and in our lives.

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    1. Thanks Anita, I imagine it will be good to read!

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  5. I was also at the same sessions with Chris and Lester. Both of them so motivating and reflective. The passion that Lester brings to the topic of bullying is amazing. I love the idea of finding "the differences that make us interesting." That might be a theme in my classroom this year. And Chris is brilliant when talking about revising your research. I'm still blown away by all I learned at All Write. Thanks so much for sharing your reflections!!

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    1. They were good, weren't they, Karen? Trying to summarize so that others could find something of interest was a challenge. There was so much we heard! Thanks!

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  6. Wonderful to read about what you learned, Linda. I don't know that I would write this post so I'm glad I got to take the ride with you. I'm remembering my favorite moments, listening to educators on that action-packed two days. I think I needed that last dinner with you.
    Bonnie

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    1. It was a good rest of the day, Bonnie, and we certainly missed you! I especially enjoyed our time together, snatching conversation when we could! Looking forward to your post!

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  7. You have given me much to revisit. Thanks for the post.

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    1. You're welcome. Lots to learn from these great people!

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  8. Lester was there the year I went too! He was so fun to listen to, and I learned so much from him. Thanks for the tips on the new books. I'm headed to Amazon!

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    1. I was so impressed by him! Thanks Tammy!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your insights today Linda! I wrote about All Write again today too, but we attended different sessions. It was nice hear about what I missed!

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    1. Oh, can't wait to hear about your time! Thanks Robin!

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  10. Thanks you sharing bits of your sessions. I like the glimpse into what I missed, it was so hard to select. They were all great. Plus reading this reminds me of the good time we all had, that makes my heart happy.

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    1. Yes, fun to remember every bit, Elsie! Thanks!

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  11. What a great conference. For those of us in NY, school was ending as this conference began. It is definitely one I hope I can attend in the future! Thanks for the recap!

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    1. You're welcome, Deb. hopefully next time!

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  12. Wow! You met and listened to some wonderful presenters! I would love to meet Kate Messner. She is so generous. I am checking periodically at Teachers Write. I also love Real Revision. The way it is set up makes it easy to just pick up and get a good suggestion anytime. The author models are great.
    Thanks for sharing the conference.

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    1. I'm trying to get to Teachers Write-just too busy lately. Yes, Kate was lovely!

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  13. I like that the ripples of the conference reach me. Even the small bits (and you shared more than just a bit) give food for thought and suggestions for future.

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    1. I'm so glad you're finding something of value, Terje! Hurrah!

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  14. Ooh, I love Kate's quote about mentoring! I enjoyed seeing her at the Dublin Lit Conference this year, but she didn't do that bit. I think someone mentioned Lester Laminack at my Writing Project Summer Institute... I will have to go back to my Goodreads and see what I marked as "to-read"! (They threw SO many good book titles around in those 2.5 weeks!) I always love your sharing from these types of experiences, Linda! :-)

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    1. There are just too many good PD people and books out there, Jennifer! Glad you liked some of what I shared!

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  15. Sounds like such a great conference! I especially love the Kate Messner quote about mentor texts vs. being a mentor. So true, I think. And I can't wait to see Chris Lehman's book about close reading! You have definitely had a summer of rich learning!

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    1. My brain is full for sure, Carol! Yes, I'd like to read Lehman's book too, but may not get to it before school. I did love hearing Kate Messner's presentations. She tells good stories that are helpful! Hope all went well at the airport last night!

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing your insights from this conference. Reading everyone's tweets and blog posts is the next best thing to being there!
    Catherine

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    1. You're welcome Catherine. Perhaps you'll be able to go next year. It was wonderful!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!