Monday, June 23, 2014

All-Write - Around and Around

Time for Tuesday's Slice of Life Sharing at Two Writing Teachers
       Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna and Beth and to the bloggers who share. It's a pleasure to read your writing. 

        I really celebrated last Saturday about my trip to All-Write last week, but only shared the verbs, not the incredible experience every.single.minute. Even the hotel room provided a respite before going out again with friends to talk about education. What an inspiration to be there at the start of summer when we read and talk and tweet and plan--for next year! Remember that these are my words, my takeaways. Others may bring differing ideas, the speakers may have intended different messages. This is Day One!

Pictures and Why They're Here:
Ruth Ayres gave an amazing keynote address, starting, as is her mantra, with a story. She spoke of her children and the challenges they, with the family, face. Yet, Ruth, through much thought and advice, finally figured out that there was hope in Celebration With GRIT!  My Takeaway: Instead of working in our lives for ourselves, for our students, seeing what is NOT right, look for the nugget that is right, and CELEBRATE! It may be dusted with grit, but it is worthy. She referenced the beautiful "Man In The Arena" quote from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt, which you can find here. And shared "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them" by Maya Angelou. I believe I do this in my own life, but perhaps forget when I'm teaching some students that I also can look through that grit & find the celebration!



Stephanie Harvey, so, so easy to listen to her words. Here are some I recorded: "the more complex the text, the more thinking must be complex." "We teach kids to think so they can acquire & use knowledge." Stephanie expressed much displeasure about the structured use of lexile levels, and spent quite a bit of time emphasizing the importance of teaching the skills of inference well. "What's NOT there makes the text so complex." She also emphasized teaching the difference between complex and simple problems, and the need for lots of practice. One example was to purchase toy kaleidoscopes and using the terminology "exploring the kaleidoscopic nature of complex problems", including knowledge of the stake holders, using system thinking. It was a good double session! One final recommendation: The Art of Slow Reading by Tom Newkirk!

The session about favorite picture books is not to be missed. I saw Mary Helen Gensch and Tammy Shultz give their talk last year, and it was just as good this time. They shared so many picture books and the list too. I don't have a link, but will try to see if there is one.

I managed to capture this Nerdy Book Club group "after" Colby Sharp's session. What an enthusiastic presenter Colby is! It was a lovely end to the conference day. He spoke of the importance of connections, with students, online blogging and tweeting, the world! For future info: a new app is coming this fall, helping students write and share. Here's the name:
write about.com

After the sessions, Elsie & I had a little adventure driving around town and found these delightful art pieces downtown. They are indeed 3-D versions of famous scenes. We didn't see them all, only about seven, but heard later that there were fourteen of them, and it's a traveling exhibit. One final stop was for a cold, cold drink at a local ice cream shop-yum!


The evening ended with dinner with Barry Lane. He's created a cd of songs about school, and shared many of his "other" songs about teaching and teachers. I was amazed at his energy and bravado. I managed to win a copy of a sample cd (More Than A Number-Songs for Sane Schools) with song titles like "Save Our Schools Hallelujah" and "Superficialunrealistirigorisattrocious". Also (big chuckle) "Your Data Doesn't Matta". 
           Talking in between sessions and late into the evening with those I loved seeing again and those I met for the first time was just wonderful. If you can go to a conference like this, or NCTE, IRA, NerdCamp, etc., it is worth the energizing for your teaching. Thanks to all who shared with me. It was a pleasure!

37 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Linda! The Maya Angelou quote that Ruth shared was exactly what I needed this morning, and I agree with you about Stephanie Harvey. I heard her present at the spring TCRWP Reunion and turn to her ideas daily. Love the picture of you with "American Gothic!"

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    1. Thanks Catherine, so happy you found some words just for you!

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  2. Now that sounds like one amazing conference experience. Wish I could have been there with you...

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    1. It would have been even better, Bonnie! Missed you in the group!

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  3. Thank you so much for your post! I couldn't attend All Write, but after reading your thoughts, I feel like I got a chance to pop in. It sounds amazing and I'm so glad you got the chance to go. You mentioned conferences at the end of your post. Are you planning on attending NCTE?!?! Hope to see you there!

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    1. Happy to give at least a little of the joy, Michelle. And thus far, no, not planning for NCTE this year. I go to my state conference in February again, but that may be it for a while. Sorry to miss you!

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  4. Looking for the nugget that is right sounds very wise indeed! I enjoyed the "Man in the Arena" speech.

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    1. So glad you did, Tabatha. It is special to remember. Thanks!

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  5. I found myself smiling as I read your post. I was sorry not to be able to go, but I feel like I was there. Thank you for sharing all the highlights. It sounds amazing.

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    1. Thanks Julie, I hope we'll be able to get together someday. It was a good conference.

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  6. This sounds like such a fabulous conference. Someday I am definitely going to get there. I love the Maya Angelou quote! Also Stephanie's comments about text difficulty-- she is sooo smart. I think ART OF SLOW READING is by Tom Newkirk. Wanna have coffee sometime this summer?
    Carol

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    1. Thanks for the correction, Carol-oops! I'll change it right away. Yes, would love to get together, after the 4th! I'll be home for a while then. I hope you'll get to All-Write someday. It is a great time!

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  7. Thanks for the peek! Every time, I think, this is the year! Maybe next year!

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  8. Thanks for sharing about this conference! Wise words. Perhaps next year I will be able to go. This year I am going to nerdcampmi as it is very close!

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    1. That is so exciting to get to go to Nerdcampmi Jaana. It sounds great, too.

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  9. I have not had time to process and write about All Write. Now, all I have to do is come back here! You captured that first day perfectly! I was so in awe that I hope I can make sense of my notes when I do go back and read them.

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    1. I think I didn't take enough notes, Leigh Anne. It was a swirl some of the time. It was great to be with you!

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  10. What a delightful revisit of this day! I'm glad I was able to share many of these moment with my blog world friends.

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    1. Wasn't it wonderful Elsie. I loved our time together! Have a great week!

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  11. I already put this one on my calendar for next June! I loved seeing everyone's tweets and the wrap ups people have been posting on their blogs. Thanks for sharing the learning, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Michele. I so hope you'll be going next time!

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  12. I always enjoy the chance to see you and grab a hug. I love all your takeaways and feel the same way about these amazing people. What an inspiration they all were.

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    1. It was a delight, wasn't it? I'm sorry we didn't get to spend more time together, but it was terrific seeing you & Robin.

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  13. Reading your post is like being back there again. It was such fun!!

    Jennifer
    Sweet Writing Life
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

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    1. Yeh, you found me, & I see that you've joined us, too. How great is that! It was wonderful meeting & getting to know you. Be sure to keep writing!

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  14. This is so interesting, and true: "What's NOT there makes the text so complex." Also loved the idea of "exploring the kaleidoscopic nature of complex problems" - just two of many "nuggets" I got out of you post! Sounds like such an inspiring conference. Thanks so much for sharing it here.

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    1. Happy you found something for yourself, Julieanne. I too will be thinking hard about the inferring this summer because of that phrase. Thanks!

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  15. Thanks for the recap. Almost like being there. Well, not really, but thanks anyway. One day I will meet all these people in person. I am going out to buy some kaleidoscopes at the Dollar Store.

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    1. Isn't it just the best idea, Margaret? To examine ALL the facets of what one reads is important, & sharing that with students may make a big difference in their own look at their reading. So glad you liked that part!

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  16. Still kind of a "pinch me" to see if it is true experience for me to believe that I got to experience some of this, too. Now we share some "real world" times Linda and it was a delightful experience. An inspiring way to start summer. :)

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    1. Tough to get back to real life, right? Have a great summer, Kim.

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  17. It would be a dream to get to hear Ruth speak!

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    1. Yes, she is terrific, Loralee. Her speech started us all off so well!

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  18. Love your pics and takeaways. I'm moving The Art of Slow Reading from my bookshelf to the WTR pile. Thanks for the link to the Roosevelt quote. Glad that you and Elsie (my queens of commenting) spent some time together. I'm off for another day of purging and remembering - thanks for the words of encouragement.

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    1. Thinking of you as you do your packing and purging, Ramona! Will be in touch for our book group after I return from Missouri!

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  19. Well - I feel,now, that I truly saw the magic of All Write, Linda. A special time of learning - and such a special collection of people, too!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!