Literacy Links – Volume 64

book list, literacy links, online learning, poetry, reading

Screen Shot 2020-04-16 at 10.20.35 AMThe book fair coordinators at my school arranged for an online book fair! Usually, I clear my schedule the week of the Book Fair so that I can attend as many classrooms’ visits to help kids find just right books. Since we’re all in quarantine though, I decided to book talk my way through the digital flyer that they sent home to families. After filming my book talks, I gathered book trailers for many of the books I recommended. Check out my recs here!

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 63

language study, literacy links, writing

My colleagues recorded a video message for our school community over the past two weeks. Normally, I love these types of assignments because I can be my creative self, but honestly, I wasn’t in the right head space to make anything fun. So my first submission was a photo of my hands holding the earrings I’ve been making. One of the organizing teachers contacted me about the lack of my face showing, and I let her know how I’d been feeling. When the deadline got extended, I was able to find some of my favorite Harry Potter characters to help me film a message for the students at my school. Turn on the light, indeed.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 62

Harry Potter, literacy links, online learning, poetry, reading

szoter_annotated_image

Online teaching is no joke. This annotated snapshot of my materials sprawl for my recent PD alludes to my discomfort with teaching online. It makes me wonder: what does *students’* discomfort with *learning* online look like? We’re all doing our best in a situation that none of us signed up for, and I remain in awe of teachers around the world. They are my heroes. ❤

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

PD – “History in the Making” Journals

professional resources, writing

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As a coach, I’ve struggled with finding my role in remote learning. Normally, I support teachers, but with the unfamiliar expectations and pressures teachers are facing right now, would my support be overwhelming? This article from Gravity Goldberg helped me reflect on the ways I could best contribute to my school community. One of the ways I could help most was by continuing my professional development.

After doing several Zooms with TCRWP staff, I decided that one of my major contributions would be to continue offering PD to my staff. Lucy Calkins talked about having students AND teachers do big, important work during this time, not busy work. Provide some purpose. This PD isn’t compulsory, but it is flexible. Teachers can decide if and when to do the PD. On-demand PD allows for choice and availability during this unpredictable time.

The question became: What will I teach? I’ve been posting on my social media accounts about kids keeping journals during this historic crisis, and I recently realized that ADULTS could benefit from keeping a journal right now, too: for our mental health and for ideas to use with students. So I created a PD opportunity for any interested staff: “‘History in the Making’ Journals”. It’s a flipped PD, which means teachers will explore the resources I’ve gathered and tinker with their journals on their own. Then we’ll share our experiences (NOT our journals) in a Zoom on Wednesday, April 1 at 3:15. Piktochart came to my rescue again by providing an easy-to-use infographic template for my workshop:

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Here’s the breakdown of the PD:

Background

To build teachers’ background knowledge, I shared an article from the LA Times, “Journaling the coronavirus pandemic”. I copied the article to a Google Doc so that my colleagues could track their thinking with comments. I love doing this for a couple reasons. First, making others’ thinking visible is fascinating and helpful. I usually learn as much from my peers’ comments than I do from the text! Second, it models a task that teachers could replicate with their students.

Minilesson

I gathered resources for the minilesson in a Padlet: more background info, examples of journals, prompts/sentence starters, and minilessons. Basically anything that could inspire journal work. I especially love the journal examples, most of which I took from the LA Times article. A graphic journal? I’d never considered it. Writing a note in my phone? Pretty handy. These resources could also be used with students. Seeing all of the options gave me all sorts of ideas.

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Tinker Time

Tinker time is what I call the middle section of the workshop when writers and readers get the bulk of time to practice the skill or strategy taught in the minilesson independently. For teachers’ tinker time in this workshop, they’re going to work on their journals. They might tinker with a different structure each day until they find a “just right” fit for them, or they might do something different every day based on what they want to express. As teachers work through this process, I hope that they have some moments of genius about how they could adapt this work with students or supports students might need.

Share

I scheduled a Zoom for Wednesday, April 1st at 3:15 for anyone to attend, whether they did journal work or not. Since journals are intimate and private, we won’t be sharing journal pages. Instead, we’ll share our experiences with the process and reflect on ways to do this work with students. I’m really looking forward to the conversation.

I’ve started brainstorming other on-demand PD ideas to lead during quarantine. Do you have any requests? Let me know!

Literacy Links – Volume 61

grammar/conventions, literacy links, online learning, poetry, professional resources, writing

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 3.46.36 PM

What does a literacy coach do in quarantine? Reformat PD for teachers so they can access them on-demand and remotely! The first remote learning PD I developed was Writing Clinic #5: Demo Pieces. I decided to gather all of the Writing Clinics on a Padlet in case teachers had time to explore previous Writing Clinics. My latest quarantine PD is “History in the Making” Journals. It’s a flipped PD, which means teachers will explore the resources I’ve gathered and tinker with their journals on their own. Then we’ll share our experiences (NOT journals) in a Zoom on Wednesday, April 1 at 3:15. I’m really excited about continuing to offer PD online. 🙂

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 60

Harry Potter, literacy links, online learning, professional resources, writing

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.07.02 AM

Hope everyone reading this and your families are doing ok.

Teaching and learning look very different right now. Although I am personally hoping that the only literacy work that students are doing is reading and keeping a journal, I think we can support that work by doing book talks and offering writing ideas and reminders, like tips for making books at home or capitalizing first word in a sentence (only accessible through LPS Google accounts). Students have a lot of unique experiences and feelings right now, so encourage them to document them as much as possible.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Writing Clinic #5 – Demo Pieces

professional resources, writing

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 2.50.56 PM

Writing Clinic #5 – Demo Pieces has been planned for a while, but the quarantine demanded a different format. Since I always use a workshop structure (book talk, minilesson, tinker time, and share), I knew that part would be the same. I just needed to find the right delivery platform. SO MANY new (to me!) platforms have been shared over the past several weeks that I have to admit: They’ve all BLURRED together. Even if they hadn’t, though, I don’t think I currently have the head space for another new thing. So I decided to keep it simple by using a Google Doc file.

First, I divided it into the workshop sections, plus a message from me and more info sections. Then I recorded my minilesson in Quicktime and didn’t even think about editing or reshooting it because ain’t nobody homeschooling AND working from home got time for that. The only new thing I learned how to do was how to add a hyperlink to an image, which was so simple I didn’t even have to Google it. Finally I added in all of the text and hyperlinks that teachers would need to navigate this on-demand PD. I’m eager to hear how it goes!

 

 

Harry Potter Zine

creating, Harry Potter, writing

Hey, Potterheads! At our very last Harry Potter Club session, everyone created a zine page. The only guidelines were: use 8.5×11 printer paper in portrait layout, include a border of some kind, and share what Harry Potter means to you. The materials were inspiring: colored origami paper, washi tape, stamps, stickers, Harry Potter wrapping paper, and graph paper. Here are all of the zine pages that were turned in at the end of the last session (I recommend listening to some Harry Potter film soundtrack music while you watch the slideshow):

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The Important Book – Harry Potter style

Harry Potter, writing

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One of my favorite lessons during the Harry Potter Club was writing a Harry Potter-themed version of The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. This book’s structure is PERFECT for having students write about the main idea of a topic. I love introducing this structure at the beginning of the year, and then returning to it again and again, especially in the content areas, as a way to have students share their knowledge of a topic.

For the lesson, we listened to a read aloud of the book for inspiration. After the read aloud, I asked, “What did you notice?” They named all sorts of things: it was repetitive, it used everyday objects, every section started with “The important thing about X is Y.”, every section ended with “But the important thing about X is Y.”, and more.

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I then told them we were going to do a Harry Potter-themed version. To prime them, we did a shared writing of one section to introduce our book:

The important thing about the wizarding world is that it is magical. It is full of witches and wizards casting spells, both good and bad. There are fantastic beasts like hippogriffs and mandrakes. But the important thing about the wizarding world is that it is magical.

Finally, we listed lots of everyday magical people, places, and things that they could pick for their sections. They also had their Harry Potter-themed alphaboxes for more magical words.

Here are some of their published pieces:

The important thing about wands is that they are magical. You can lift stuff without touching them. You can grant death spells. Wands can be black or brown. But the important thing about a wand is that it is magical.

-Hengist

The important thing about Fluffy is that he’s a three-headed dog. He guards a special place. Fluffy is fluffy like a cotton ball. Fluffy is also fierce. But the most important thing about Fluffy is that he’s a three-headed dog.

-Wilbert

The important thing about James Potter is he was Harry Potter’s father. He was killed by Voldemort. His wife was Lily Potter, and he was a good Quidditch player. But the important thing about James Potter is he was Harry Potter’s father.

-James the Elder

The important thing about a witch or wizard is that they can cast spells. They learn all about the wizarding world. They go to Hogwarts for school. But the important thing about a witch or wizard is that they can cast spells.

-Hermione

What would your important thing about Harry Potter be? Follow the pattern, share your version in the comments, and I’ll add yours to our library! Happy writing, wizards!

Literacy Links – Volume 59

literacy links, online learning, writing

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 12.12.19 PMGoogle Hangout, or G-Hang as I’m calling it, with the Center School Grade 5 rockstars!

What a year the past week has been! At this time last week, I was prepping for a full day of PD that I was slated to co-lead with the other literacy coaches. By the end of the day though, I’d completely abandoned those plans and started collecting all of the resources for online learning I’d been retweeting. They are now all being collected (because it’s an ongoing project!) on this Padlet:

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Although this journey has been a whirlwind and my mind is flooded, one idea that keeps floating to the surface is connection, connection, connection. So I started a Flipgrid that I’m calling “Center School Connection Zone“.

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Flipgrid is an awesome platform that allows people to post video responses, so it’ll give us a chance to see and asynchronously (<–anyone else learn this word this week?!) interact with each other. This Flipgrid is password protected, so check your email to gain access! I miss you, cardinals! Be well…<3

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment: