Monday, February 24, 2014

Not Teaching In A Vacuum


        Thanks to the writers at Two Writing Teachers for hosting the slicing community!  Three more days before we begin the March Slice of Life Challenge. Are you ready?    I'm starting to take deep breaths every day, and collecting a few quotes to keep me going.  
             "Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. Mark Twain
           It was such a pleasure to attend my state literacy conference. Here are a few additional ideas from the wonderful people whose sessions I attended.  It's a challenge to just write a few words for each. I think you should all just go to a conference if you can, and you'll experience the sessions for yourself.  Perhaps it will be with different people, but it'll be good, every time!  

I saw Regie Routman in the first keynote - my notes say, most important: Focus on the student--then celebrate, collaborate, simplify and strategize! She spoke and emphasized the importance of conferring. In fact, if I had to choose one word emphasized by nearly everyone, it was to confer, don't leave it out. And isn't that something that connects back to what has already been written, KNOW the student, FOCUS on the student?


I saw Harvey “Smokey” Daniels, so energetic about his work! He insisted that we should not be calling it "close" reading, but "careful" reading. Quote: "What kids can do out loud with a partner today, can do alone and silently tomorrow." He used a ladder as a metaphor for scaffolding, one step at a time, right?

I saw David L. Harrison – He has recently completed a series of poems with Mary Jo Fresch that link to specific sounds for work in phonemic awareness. The title and link: Playing With Poetry to Develop Phonemic Awareness. And David shared other ideas for poetry, emphasized playing with words, starting with one word and connecting, connecting until one has a good idea.  


Reading from Joyce Sidman's lovely book, What The Heart Knows.
I saw Carol Wilcox, yes, Carol of Carol's Corner, slicer friend and a Denver neighbor. What a joy! I think I know a lot about poetry, but took away so many titles from her presentation, and many quick ideas to get students going. For example, she shared her “abecedarian” poem, one written that uses the whole alphabet.  She emphasized how important using poetry is for seeing the world with different eyes, learning new exciting words-increasing vocabulary, using poetry as short texts to work on reading comprehension and shared the link to CCSS for Poetry exemplars on Poets.org, and also at ThePoetryFoundation.org   

           All of these people help us thrive as teachers, inspire us with their words, and help us to know that there are ideas out there that will enhance our personal lives, as well as the teacher ones.

36 comments:

  1. What an inspiring group of presenters! Thanks for sharing the bounty, Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Donna, as I've said many times, it was such a great time!

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  2. What a great experience. Thanks for the valuable nuggets. I really appreciate what you offered here -- confer, ladders, careful reading, poetry ides ... great slice, great resources. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Julieanne-it was that-a great experience!

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  3. I agree with you, we should all go to a conference. The likelihood that I will attend a conference in USA is slimmer than slim (but not impossible), so I am thankful for everyone who shares inspirational snippets. Thank you for sharing more than once.

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    1. But it sounds like you have some great meetings at home, too, Terje. And online learning is so good lately!

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  4. Ah ha! I knew there was more to learn of you conference experience! How wonderful that you were able to meet Carol, too - and her presentation sounds wonderful, Linda.

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  5. Still learning and experiencing even as a master teacher! I am always learning something from you. Thanks.

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  6. I love Smokey Daniel's quote...What kids can do out loud with a partner today, can do alone and silently tomorrow. So true. I have learned so much from him over the years. It is also amazing that you got to hear Carol talk about he poem passion... I love to read both of the Denver girls every week ! Thanks for sharing, Linda. xo

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  7. Conferences always get the juice flowing and the mind turning. Sounds like this was another great meeting of great minds.

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  8. Sounds like a great conference! Regie Routman inspires me--perfect February speaker. Thanks for sharing highlights.

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  9. It's been such a crazy long day! Thanks for commenting everyone! I still have more to share, in March! I'm off to read what you're sharing now!

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  10. Thanks so much for your kind words. It was so much fun to see you there! I wish we would have gotten more time together. Coffee or lunch again soon?

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    1. You're so welcome-I had many more notes! Yes, we should make a date soon. I'm busy this weekend, perhaps the next one? Thanks Carol!

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  11. I love the Harvey Daniels quote you shared - "What kids can do out loud with a partner today, can do alone and silently tomorrow." It speaks to the power of peers! Looking forward to reading more wonderful things from you during March!

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    1. Thanks Maureen, it's going to be a fun month, isn't it?

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  12. I know that conferring is a weak area in my teaching and classroom. Still learning every day. Isn't that what it's all about?

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    1. Yes, indeed, & I don't get to practice much anymore, but sometimes I do. Always looking for good ways to be with students.

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  13. What an ALL STAR cast of stimulating presenters! I love the quote by Daniels and was intrigued to read of the phonemic awareness work by Harrison. Thank you for sharing your own PD with us.

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    1. Yes, David's work sounds very interesting, doesn't it? He has posted on his blog about it, too, & the challenge of writing for specific sounds. Happy you liked it all, Anita.

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  14. Can't wait for March to begin. I am planning to join in. You met Carol? Oh how lucky. And you heard David Harrison, fantastic.

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    1. I had already met Carol & we've had lunch together. Hopefully will get together soon again! I worked with David last fall in a poetry workshop with Highlights, Jone. It was marvelous. So fun to see them both at the conference!

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  15. Love this entry, Linda...especially the line about close reading/careful reading by Daniels. Thanks, also for your supporting me last year as I ventured into blogging. Can't believe we are almost a year later. Thanks for everything!

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    1. You're welcome, Deborah. I think it's great you've joined the blogging world. You have much to share with everyone!

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  16. Don't conferences do incredible things for our inspiration levels! Love the reminder to confer, as so often it gets left out. And always, teach the writer and not the writing! Thank you for all of the words of wisdom, Linda.

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    1. And I get many of those words from others too, Melanie. Yes, trying to confer often enough with everyone is the challenge, isn't it? Thank you.

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  17. Linda, It's always good to take time and be inspired. We need this encouragement for the hard daily work we do. I always find comfort in Regie - conferring and focus do go together.

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    1. Yes, you're so right. Many of the sessions could have connected into a huge discussion of best practice, Mandy. It was terrific!

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  18. Thanks for sharing your insights, Linda! I agree that conferences are so invigorating and inspiring. I'm still trying to sort my notes and organize my thoughts from last week's TCRWP Institute. Can't wait to get David L. Harrison's ebook I love teaching phonics with poetry.

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    1. I think also you can see some of the samples from his work on his blog, too. He share a few times last year about it. As for notes, many of mine are ok, but some I wonder about-thinking I would remember. That's the one downside of conferences, TMI-too much information! Thanks Catherine!

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  19. Linda,
    So many little tidbits right here. Thanks! I didn't realize we were only three days away. I guess I knew, but was pretending I didn't. I'm hoping I can manage to write each day. I'm trying to keep my eyes, heart, and mind open a bit to all that is around me. We shall see.

    How fun that you got see Carol!! It sounds like a terrific conference. I always love to go to conferences as I find the energy refreshing. Of course, you are right above, sometimes there's so much information. I guess they are a bit like Twitter, I probably only get about 3% of everything I should get.

    Looking forward to following your SOL journey,
    Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy for all you share with me. I'm excited to read what you write this month too. It's quite a ride through the month, but so fun when you can tell yourself that you made it through the week. Here we go!

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  20. Sounds like a fabulous day, Linda!

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    1. Yes, it was pretty wonderful, Laura. Thanks!

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  21. What an exciting conference - I love tagging behind and being inspired by your notes. David Harrison and Carol - what an opportunity to immerse yourself in poetry. It make me remember Amy's session at All Write - an absolute delight! I'll be back to check out the links.

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    1. Thanks Ramona. Amy's session was wonderful, too, wasn't it? Are you going to All Write again?

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Having a conversation is a good thing!