EdCamp Atlanta 2013 “again”

Remember how my last post said I was tired and just couldn’t crank out a long post? Well, guess what? πŸ™‚

It’s not that I’m tired-it’s that I have PROCRASTINATED once again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just finished cooking supper, hubby doesn’t leave for work for another hour, and I HAVE NOT DONE MY LESSON PLANS OR GRADED PAPERS YET! Just shoot me. Well, maybe not. πŸ™‚

So this is the deal. I’m just gonna share my evernote notebook with you that has all of my messy notes that I took at Edcamp yesterday. If I can figure out how to do that within this blog post. If you see the link, then you’ll know it worked. If you don’t see the link, then you’ll know it didn’t. πŸ™‚

Oh, and you have to have evernote on your device to be able to view the notebook. I think. πŸ™‚


Hopefully you can view this mess! πŸ™‚ And I think (if I understand correctly) that you don’t have to be logged into evernote to view??!!!??? It would be lovely if someone would send me a comment about that. πŸ™‚

Have a great week!

EdCamp Atlanta was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!



Writing Workshop, 5 miles, and Car Trouble

Let’s start with the car trouble. Scheduled to go to a writing workshop with Rick Shelton presenting as part of #NWP early this morning. Engine light on. Check oil. Seems good. But just to be safe put a little in. Oooops. Power steering fluid. Go back to trunk. Get oil. Oooops. Antifreeze. WHAT?????????????????? Did I not just commit an ultra stupid mistake??? And not one time but two?????????? Tears. A few choice words. Sweat. Called hubby. He laughed. Not funny. Waited on him to get home. Stupid car. Stupid Monday. He changed the oil and air filter. Engine light still on. Wiggled some wires. Engine light cut off. WHAT?????????????/ I missed my writing workshop for THIS? Oh yeah. Last session at 1:00. Vroooomm-vroooommm………….. Made it. Thanks, Joe, my DH. Kiss kiss. πŸ™‚

The writing workshop was fabulous. Rick Shelton made me laugh the entire time!!!!!!!!!!! It’s the 2nd time I’ve seen him.

Here are some takeaways:

Write with and for your kids. Can’t teach welding without being a welder. Can’t teach writing without being a writer.

Have you ever known a child prodigy writer? Nope. There aren’t any. It takes time…..

It takes 3-5 years to speak a foreign language and 8-15 to write one. Writing (English) is a foreign language.

Everything is revisable!

Use picture books all the way through high school.

When writing about a text, you don’t have to quote 5 lines. Just quote the right one.

When kids ask why they have to know something-tell them so you can have options in life.

When asking kids to paraphrase-SHOW them. LOTS.

It was a FANTASTIC workshop!!! πŸ™‚

Finally, the 5 miles. I ran 5 miles yesterday in about 63 minutes. With 8 walk breaks. YES-8 walk breaks. There were not sitting stations along my dirt road-otherwise there would have been several sitting breaks!!

And I have a half marathon on August 10? GULP. πŸ™‚

20130715-224051.jpgThese are 5 of my favorite furry friends that ran with me. They kept me going along with a very cool playlist. πŸ™‚

Strategic Teaching (More)

Do you want to get the juices flowing in your students’ brains? Welcome to strategic teaching! πŸ™‚ (On a sidenote-even though our brain is SO VERY important, it is SO VERY ugly, too!-I had to use a picture of a colored brain because I did NOT want to look at the picture of the real thing longer than I needed!)

Here is the lesson plan structure for strategic teaching:

Lesson Framework

One outcome
Two instructional practices
Three parts to a lesson
Four steps to explicit instruction
Five components of active literacy

A lesson plan template possibility could look like this:

Daily outcome
Before, during, after strategies
Formative assessment

This would be a lesson for a class period when using Β a piece of text or the textbook in a content area. Notice I said-CLASS PERIOD. Not a week. πŸ™‚

Here are some more before, during, and after strategies:

BEFORE- Interview response (I loved this one!), List-Group-Label! Think,Pair,Share
DURING- Reciprocal teaching-I actually have a book about this (Time to read!), Cloze procedure
AFTER- Magnet summary, Collecting a job card from reciprocal teaching, Exit slip, One pager

Another possibility to get the kids moving AND applying different strategies is to set up a few stations around the room. For example, one station might be jot notes, another might be reciprocal teaching, and so on. They would rotate through the stations with 1 piece of text. A different chunk would be used at each station. So let’s say the text that you want them to read is 2 pages. You might want to have 4 stations so that only 1/2 of a page is used at each station. Make sense? I just had an idea. ONE of the stations could be the TEACHER station so that each group of students would have time with the teacher!!!! Voila-small group instruction!

For those that have a short class period here is a breakdown of a lesson time wise-

4 pages of text broken into 4 chunks. 5 minutes to read. 4 minutes to discuss with partner or group. 36 total minutes. 8 minutes afterwards to discuss and/or do formative assessment. 44 total minutes. Plus a before strategy so you’re looking at probably 50 minutes. That works doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

Last tidbit of information. Outcomes could be written as “I can” statements so students have ownership and can think about whether or not they “can”.

I’m telling you this is what I’ve been looking for all my life. Well, besides my husband, and I already found him. πŸ™‚

A strategic lesson plan routine/format that covers it all!!!

Are you ready to plan? Because I’m ready to plan! πŸ™‚

Permission to teach

I attended a regional workshop in Anniston, Alabama yesterday sponsored my our professional organization, The Alabama Education Association.Β Met up with some teachers I teach with from my school and also some from my school district and had a great time. AND-the food was good! πŸ™‚ That always helps!

There were several different mini-sessions presented. One was on the use of social media-the legality of it. We weren’t told that we COULDN’T friend our students on facebook, etc, but it was HIGHLY SUGGESTED. So guess what my weekend project is going to be? Yep, deleting all students from my facebook page. Sigh.

Another session was on being professional all the time-this went along the same lines as above. I looked over my American History course of study for next year during this session. πŸ™‚

A 3rd one I went to was about Money Island-a free online computer game program sponsored by a credit union in Alabama. It has the kids reaching different levels as they learn about checking accounts, investments, savings, etc. It seemed VERY COOL! It’s a 5 week program, but can be used however a teacher wants to use it in the classroom. Did I mention it is F.R.E.E.? πŸ™‚

I am going to look into using it all year-maybe go to the computer lab once a week. The kids NEED to learn these things, and I can tie it into our technology, character ed, and literacy course of studies. πŸ™‚ I can pretty much make ANYTHING meet a standard. Teehee. πŸ™‚ But, it actually does go back to teaching students about citizenship.

The opening session was our state school superintendent-Dr. Tommy Bice. And I was amazed by what he said. These are the 2 things that I took away from his session:

1. It’s a new day in Alabama

2. You can teach your kids HOWEVER you see fit

Oh, boy!! That sounds like a green light to me. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

So everybody give me a high five!

As long as I teach the standards I can teach ANYWAY I WANT TO to get it across to my students.

Creativity-HERE I COME!!!! πŸ™‚

If you teach, how flexible can you be in your teaching?

If you don’t teach, aren’t you still happy for me???? πŸ™‚


Wanting to Read

I have been so busy lately that yesterday I did not even read ANY of my current book!!! OMG! I did read blogs, magazine, and nutritional labels on food! πŸ™‚

I’m still on Trouble Don’t Last by Shelley Pearsall and love it so far. But for the next 2 days this is what I will be reading:

BECAUSE-I am going to a workshop this Saturday that Patrick Allen and Cris Tovani are presenting in Auburn, Alabama!!!!!!!

I’m so excited!!!! I teach 6th grade, have lots of struggling readers, have lots of “I don’t like to read” readers, and have really struggled with trying to implement small group/individual instruction into my reading time. I hope to learn a lot that I can use, and I also hope to GET MOTIVATED!!!!!!

I will post my reflections after the workshop so be on the lookout! πŸ™‚