Monday, October 17, 2016

Daily Blog  10/15/16

Opening: Chris opened by projecting an abstract image and asking “What is this?  Or, What could this be?  What does it remind you of?”
The notion that recognizing is a thinking skill.  It opens the mind, frees our thinking allowing us to see new possibilities.

Writing Time 9:10- 10:10

Photo%20on%2010-15-16%20at%2011.19%20AM%20(1).jpg        Revitalizing Revision
             Bobby Livingston’s workshop

Bobby provided recommendations for how to motivate students to revise their writing including: Teach them to ask questions.  Encourage them to write expressively.  Seek ways to help students find authentic purposes so they become attached to their message.  Write small scale low-stakes writing exercises, write with students, etc.

He provided a good number of practical activities and strategies for teachers to use with students.

Creative Problem Solving Strategies
Chris Newcomb’s workshop

Chris presented on Creative Problem Solving Strategies and how we can use them to help ourselves and our students create new ideas and solutions.

In what ways might we…?

Chris encouraged us to think in terms of many possible ways to solve problems, find answers, and create ideas. He shared an acronym that provides strategies for creative thinking called CREATIVE WAYS. Chris shared a variety of activities that could be used to encourage divergent or creative thinking. We all read a Frog and Toad book, A List, and applied the strategies to creating an activity for students to complete using the story.

Leveled Annotation
Courtney McCann’s workshop

Courtney taught us about annotation, a structured way to markup text and dig deeper through multiple readings. Specifically, she taught us about leveled annotation, which allows students to focus on different kinds of thinking/responses to their reading.

We looked at some amazing examples of student annotation - and noted how the students were making their thinking visible. We discussed what they understood and what they were puzzled by.

We all spent some trying out leveled annotation ourselves. We read parts of “Song of Myself” from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. It was quite a challenge for some of us!

You can see Courtney’s presentation here:

Student Driven Blogs
Darren Choate’s workshop

Darren presented on using blogs in the classroom. He focused on having students generate their own content by focusing on a particular topic. The focus was on building engagement and pushing kids gently forward through coaching, peer feedback, and praise of skills. The class provided a lot of great ideas about how to guide students forward and how to get even more out of blogging in the future.

The closing moment was a poem called “I Care and I’m Willing to Serve” by Marian Wright Edelman.