Monthly Archives: October 2014

Teacher Becomes Student for Two Days

Wow! and WOW again.  Take the time to read this article.  Grant Wiggins’ (the ACSD author) had his adult daughter shadow a secondary learning experience for two days.  Her reflections are telling!

Here is the original story:


Blogging in the Classroom Check-in

Hello Everyone,

We hope everything is going well.

Craig and I wanted to check in with you all regarding your Individual Exploration Activity. Since Wednesday, Oct. 22 is not a typical LCN day, we will not be meeting in our book study groups. For this reason, we have extended the due date for this activity until the next LCN date, which is Jan. 8.

As a reminder, the instructions for your Individual Exploration Assignment are listed below:

  • Read chapters 1-3 (p. 9-31) of Making Connections with Blogging
  • Choose one of the chapters to reflect on in your blog
    • Write a blog post that addresses the following questions:
    • What were your assumptions before reading this chapter?
    • Describe the new things you learned from this chapter that either confirmed or challenged your previous knowledge about the topic?
    • How will reading this chapter change your instructional and/or reflective practice?
  • Post a link to your blog post here

We look forward to seeing you all at LCN on Wednesday!

What You Learn When You See Yourself Teach

Hello Fellow Reflective Practitioners!   Using video cameras in a manner that respects the professionalism of educators, can have a positive effect on teaching and learning.   Attached is a link to the May 2014 issue of Ed Leadership in which Jim Knight shares insights on effective ways teachers are using video recordings to reflect on instruction and learning.

How are you coming with  ‘sticking your toe in the water’ with recording a lesson or coaching conversation?    At our study session we discussed the importance of knowing: What is your intention for use of the recording?  What camera device might be the most appropriate ? and and What technical steps might you need to know regarding using the camera effectively?  Several members indicated interest with knowing more about technology options as well as techniques.   I am working to identify a tech support person to work with us in January .  As well I’ll research a few online sites for extended learning.

Early Literacy Practices that Work K-3

Thanks for participating in our first session it was great to meet all of you and get our year started off on a great foot with some in-depth literacy instruction conversation.

In this first session we had a chance to really dive into the big ideas in the first three chapters of our book and see how reading with meaning can happen in those primary grades.

We also visited a resource to consider in the MAISA Units and found out about a West Michigan Group gathering the the best practices in literacy in Soutwest Michigan the Reading Now Network.

Homework for next Session: Please come prepared to share what you have accomplished with early literacy instruction in your building/classroom and please consider reading the following:
Chapters 4 and 5 in our Debbie Miller book.

How Children Succeed Book Study

We were off to a great start on the book by reviewing the first chapter, “How to fail (and how not to)”. Since the chapter is rather lengthy, we viewed some YouTube selections to give us an quick overview. Our goal is to read the chapter thoroughly by January, along with chapter two.

Here are the videos we viewed and discussed:

As an aside, I ran into a retired teaching friend who is working with some students in an alternative ed environment in the area. Her job is to get them to pass an English class. As she began to share all the unbelievable drama she was encountering as she worked with this young adults, I was imediately taken to the first chapter of our book! Needless to say, I reached in my bag and gave her the book to read. I felt it may give her some background knowledge to benefit her work.

Happy Reading!!

RtI in Literacy – Responsive & Comprehensive Book Study

It was exciting to see how the interest in the chapters flushed out after we had some viewing time. Our plan is to have some focused conversations around 3 chapters each time we meet. The chapters that came up with the highest votes are:
Chapter 2: High-Quality Classroom Literacy Instuction (Tier 1)
Chapter 3: Reading Growth in High-Poverty Classrooms: The Influence of Teacher Practices That Encourage Cognitive Engagement in Literacy Learning
Chapter 17: A Comprehensive Intervention Model for Preventing reading Failure…..

I also was asked if we may please consider looking deeply at one of the chapters from Section III on Literacy Assessment. We have a group member who really wants to have a deep discussion around Chapter 7 at some point. She works in a very small school and would appreciate hearing and bouncing ideas from that chapter with the larger group. I will revisit this request with the larger group in January. Please look over to see if you would be willing to talk about Chapter 7.

When we gather in January, we will form 2-3 sharing circles and follow a protocol for starting the discussion and then let it fly from there. My plan is to repeat the discussions for each selected chapter.

Happy Reading!!