Were you aware
that for the last very many years,
people who love writing poetry have been getting together
Saturday night at NCTE to read poetry, workshop poetry, and talk about writing?
Going to Fountain of the Muse was the best decision I made today.
In that spirit, I offer today’s reflections in (not the best) poetry (I’ve ever written)
F.28 From Book Love to Book Action with Tricia Ebarvia, Kate Flowers, and Anna Osborn
Joy Kirr tells us to “Just keep tweaking,” and Newkirk’s 5% rule
invites us to change 5% of what we’re doing per year.
That means incremental change.
Not changing everything at once.
I went to this session
because I’m not totally happy with how independent reading is going in my classroom.
A new acronym–TRtP (toughest reader to please)
Would you rather have a kid fake reading all year long
or reading graphic novel after graphic novel?
Classroom libraries seem key to building readers but
I don’t have my own classroom.
Nor can I be assured of being in the same classrooms from year to year.
It’s impractical to build a classroom library.
Partner with your (likely awesome) school librarian
to get books in students’ hands: pop up library, mobile library carts.
First rule of assessing readers: do no harm.
Ask, “who does the assessment serve?”
Check you biases
that might get in the way of students finding the best books for them.
Make reading an event that students want to be a part of:
classroom read-a-thons for deep immersion with reading,
book club meetings with food.
Be a champion for authentic reading in your classroom.
And spread the good news about independent reading,
in spaces you share with your colleagues.
Or if you have a loud colleague like I do (Jay)
have him do it.
Make authentic reading contagious.
H.40 Authentic, Personalized, and Transformative: Using Writer’s Workshop in the ‘Real World’ with Dawn Finley, Diana Hammond, Dominic Pioter, Gwyndolyn Savens
They had a growing dissatisfaction with rubrics.
They wanted a more meaningful relationship with writing and revision.
They sought to make their work more about individual writers
and less about decisions you have to make in the world of grades.
The moment they said “we write”
and spoke as if it would not be weird
if we had a writer’s notebook with us,
I knew I was among my people.
How does feedback impact our relationships with students
and their perceptions of themselves as writers?
How can we create a classroom where students can see themselves
as real writers and where there is enough trust to take risks?
Work with students to determine a list of criteria about what makes good writing,
a unique list for each class.
DO NOT TURN IT INTO A RUBRIC.
How can we embed opportunities to develop independence and writers’ voices?
I.22: Stop Grading, Start Reflecting: Empower Your Students to Evaluate Their Own Learning
We loved talking with you and thinking about your questions,
which we worked to answer here. (Our slides are here.)
You challenged me to think about what that semester final grade should reflect–
My students want it to be about growth.
Every time I’ve asked, they are in consensus.
So I tend to side with my students.
Besides, a semester grade that is about mastery
means I’m essentially ranking and sorting students
for whoever looks at the transcript, right?
I’m not so interested in that business.
Shouldn’t it be about the humans sitting in front of me
and not the ones who might look at a grade at some point in the future?
(But I need to think about this more.)
J.28: Reclaiming Grading, Reclaiming Our Craft: Amy Matthusen, Christina Ponzio
Grading was subverting
what they wanted to be doing in the classroom–
creating readers and writers.
They didn’t want students to walk
out of the room feeling less than
because of a number they’ve given them.
And don’t be afraid to hijack the gradebook
to make it work for you.
(and then there was too much pizza)
Fountain of the muse.
Strangers clustered around a pair of conference tables
in a cavernous room.
Then reading their words.
Then responding with care (thank you).
About our shared journeys to write
and be who we are.