Translate Me

Friday, August 8, 2014

My absence, Jamberry, and more...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reading in the Wild: Chapter 3

 Reading in the Wild

Wild Readers Share Books and Reading with Other Readers
Authentic experiences with books!!!  We do NOT take quizzes after each book.  We do NOT read to get prizes.  We read because books open doors and allow us an escape; they allow us to travel to times and places we would have never been able to experience.  Here are the key terms from (summary of) this chapter:
Online Reading Communitiessuch as SIGN UP and BEGIN! 
Reading Graffiti a dedicated space to quotes from books
 Book Graffiti Wall
 You could also use black butcher paper, as suggested in the book, and provide students silver, gold, &/or white oil-based Sharpies to write with.
Book Commercialskind of like a book talk, but quick, impromptu discussion about a book where others can share their ideas about the book, as well
Reading Doorspost pictures of the books you have read and quotes from the books or about reading in general; both students and teachers can participate!
 Reading Doors
Epicenter Readersreaders whose enthusiasm for reading explodes and overflows to such an extent that they encourage others

Reading Influenceswho encourages you to read? Who are the readers in your life?

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Friday, July 11, 2014

New Product Posted

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reading in the Wild: Chapter 2

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Guided Math Conferences: Chapter 3

The Structure of a Guided Math Conference
Guided Math Conferences Book Study

A guided math conference (GMC) is math talk between two mathematicians.  The GMC consists of four phases. 
1.     ResearchThe research phase of the conference should last than 1/3 of the time and consists of the teacher observing the student work and then asking open-ended questions in order to clarify or have the student explain his/her thinking. 

2.    Decide what is neededThis phase lasts a maximum of one minute, but is the focus of the conference.  The teacher gives the student an authentic compliment and then proceeds to decide: What should I teach this student to provide long-term growth?  How will I teach it?

3.    Teach to the student needsIn this phase, it is the student’s responsibility to be an active learner.  The teacher can choose from three ways (how?) to teach: guided practice, demonstration, or explanation of examples.
a.    Guided practice is the gradual release of responsibility.  Teacher does it, student and teacher do it together, and student does it with teacher guidance.
b.    Demonstration is where the teacher shows the student how to do something and does a think-aloud.
c.    Explanation of examples is when the teacher uses pre-created work (either anchor charts or another student’s work) and discusses with the student the good aspects of the work.

4.    Link to the futureHere the teacher summarizes, the student reflects on their learning, and concludes with the teacher reminding the student to use this learning in future work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guided Math Conferences: Chapter 2

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Conferring with Young Mathematicians

 Guided Math Conferences
Chapter Overview
Laney Sammons notes that small class sizes are important.  Conferences have been done in reading for a long time and since they provide a glimpse into student thinking—it is (should be) “the heart and soul of teaching.”  We have thoughtful literacy; we should also have thoughtful numeracy.  This means that our math conferences have a purpose and a predictable structures, discover the lines of thinking use by the student, both teacher and student have conversational roles, and the student knows that the teacher cares about him/her as a mathematician. Guided math conferences are 1:1 conversations where teacher and student sit side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder.    
Chapter one describes three different components in guided math: guided math conferences, math interviews, and small-group instruction.  Figure 1.1 provides a comparison of the three, but the biggest take–away is that conferences provide very-specific and immediate feedback, while math interviews are basically an assessment to inform instruction for that individual student.  Chapter one also provides snapshots (examples) of each, so we can more clearly see the differences in the purpose of each.  Figure 1.2 provides an overview of the structure of the guided math conference: research, decide, teach, link.

1.       How often are you able to engage your students in one-on-one conversations about their mathematical thinking? Honestly, I rarely could engage my students in one-on-one conversations about their mathematical thinking because I always found myself fixing technology problems and meeting with my guided groups.  I had 5-6 guided math groups in each section of math I taught.  In order to meet with each group daily during my 75-minute math period, conferring (not yet a required piece of our newly adopted math workshop framework) was what I didn’t know much about, so it got left out.  This year I will be teaching only one section of math and with the support of at least one other teacher, so I know that students will be met with at least once a week.  When I taught in a S.A.G.E. classroom a few years ago, I met with each student every other day for conferring and daily (or as planned) for guided groups.  Small class sizes make a difference!

2.       What do you think is the most important benefit of math conferences?  What are the greatest hurdles to implementing math conferences in your classroom?  How could you overcome these hurdles? The most important benefit of math conferences is getting a glimpse of student thinking and allowing a student to explain his/herself.  I have noticed that students know more than they can explain or often they are misguided in one piece of their thinking and that “ruins” their outcome.  I have been trying to create rubrics that include the process and not only the final answer, in order to take into account their mathematical thinking and give credit for what they DO know.  The greatest hurdles are mentioned above. 
       Any suggestions on how to get through 30 individual conferences, six guided groups (per day?) between the mini-lesson and share timeso about 45-50 minute daily time period?  All suggestions are welcome!!!

3.       Think of a student in your class who is struggling with a mathematical concept or skill.  What would you like to know about his or her mathematical thinking?  What questions would you ask if you decide to confer with this student? I had a student who had a hard time multiplying this year.  She understood arrays and equal groups; when it came time for the equation or a word problem that required multiplication, it just didn’t work out for her.  I would like to know what strategies she is using and how she goes about solving the problem.  Does she look for key words?  Does she even read the whole problem?  If she draws a picture, what is it and why did she draw it?  I would ask her to show me evidence, i.e.: what in the problem made you think you should add x+y to find the answer?  I would love to see where her confusion was, especially since she was fairly fluent with her basic addition and subtraction facts.

Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read

Chapter One: Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read

Book Study Link Up
Click on the picture to link up
The chapter starts out presenting interesting statistics about the amount of time spent reading in class and it’s correlation to percentile rankings  on standardized teststhe most interesting one to me was that those scoring in the 98% read approximately 65 minutes per day.  Then, Donalyn Miller goes on to discuss three important ideas within this dedicated reading time: community conversations, conferring points, and keeping track of you reading life.
Donalyn explain reading on the edge as finding edge time, or spare time, where you can grab a few minutes at a time to read.  She tries to eliminate the excuse of not having time by helping students find edge time where they can sneak in a few minutes of reading here and there throughout their daily schedule.  For example, students can read on the way to dance or football practice or while riding the bus home.  She goes on to emphasize how everyone should always have a book on hand in case of a reading emergency, like being stuck in traffic or at the doctor.  There are always moments to read if you look for them.  Then, there is binge reading in which you just sit down to read and can’t but the book down.  The last time I did that for pleasure was after finding out about the Twilight series from a student who “didn’t line reading” was reading this huge book and he was so into it.  Students’ interests matter and that is where the reading itinerary fits in.  Students keep track of where they read, and what they read, in order to figure out there preferences and the most effective place for them to read.  However, when asked, students needed quiet for the most successful reading time.
Next, Donalyn went on to describe conferring points for students who are fake read or avoid reading all together.  Six signs of reading avoidance behavior are: (s)he reads too few or too many books in a given time period, frequently abandons books, plans personal errands during their independent reading time, fidgets or talks a lot, rarely has a book to read, and/or possibly ACTS like/mimics wild reader behavior.  The author talks about how she notes these behaviors from a distance and confers individually with this student about this behavior and tries to remedy the avoidance behavior after she does a formal independent reading observation.  This reading observation occurs over a period of several days at different times during the independent reading time. 
Purchase on AmazonChapter One concludes with keeping track of your reading using response letters (which is a continuance from the first book The Book Whisperer) and a status of the class update which I liked because it is an accountability piece that fits perfectly into the workshop model. 

Not that I haven’t done it this way, but I loved her approach to avoidance behaviors. 
1. Observe and take notes
2. Individual conference with the student (with evidence in hand) to figure out why the student is avoiding the task
3. Remedy the situation.
4. Monitor progress.

I have yet to figure this out.  A lot of this sounded wonderful for the third grade class I had this past school year, but next year I will be in kindergarten.  I will do a kind of Status of the Class and I will be on the lookout for avoidance behaviors.

I want to think more about the introduction of edge time and reading emergencies.  If these are meant to be lifelong habits, shouldn’t we start building a love of learning young?  But, is kindergarten too young for topics like edge time and reading emergencies?

P.S. - If you haven’t read the introduction, READ IT!  I found it extremely helpfulso helpful I went out and got The Book Whisperer for more great ideas.