Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Building a Community of Learners: #cyberPD Part 3

"Intelligence, creativity, and caring are all properties of communities as much as of individuals, and teaching children with that in mind will result in individual achievement but also collaborative achievement and accompanying social and societal benefits."  Peter Johnston, Opening Minds (p. 123)
Today we will be discussing the final chapters of Peter Johnston's book, Opening Minds:  Using Language to Change Lives available from Stenhouse (at 20% off during Blogstitute event).

Today's #cyberPD conversation is hosted by Laura Komos at Our Camp Read-a-Lot.  If you are joining the conversation from your blog, you will want to leave your link there.

Important Event Links
  • Our Event Jog:  A collection of the posts from the entire event.  Just click on the table of contents on the left to move from page to page.  
  • #cyberPD wallwisher:  Stop by to leave important quotes, related links, or questions to ponder.  
  • Google.doc of Language:  Julie Balen began our Google.doc of language to consider for changing the lives of young learners.  Feel free to stop by to read, add, and share.  
Event Schedule
Building a Learning Community
For the last six years I have been back in a first grade classroom.  There are many things I enjoy about teaching a variety of age groups, but first graders are interesting in the amount of learning that happens in just one year.  In first grade, the amount of growth in learning is easily measured in student work.  You can see it in their writing.  You can hear it in their reading.  You understand it in their thinking and solving conversations.

Individual growth is easy to illustrate, but what about collaboration and social imagination?  One of the parts of my teaching I've been working on for the last few years is establishing stronger learning communities.  Our classroom structure allows for opportunities to own our learning.  It allows for collaboration, choice, goal setting, and time to learn among other things.  I've tried to spend more time talking about learning with peers, listening to one another, and thinking about what our friends say.

Reading "Opening Minds" has really helped me to think about ways to establish more of a community of learners where everyone has equal voice.  Johnston reminds us, "When each (my emphasis) person in the classroom community is viewed as able to contribute to the development of knowledge, there is not the typical hierarchy. (p. 102)"

How is this accomplished?  In our classroom we have learning conversations across our day.  When we are on the carpet together students have learning partners.  These partners share in thinking, learning, and collaborative talk.  Johnston reminds us that turning to talk isn't enough.  Students need to learn to value the thinking of their friends and build on the conversation to push the learning to a higher level.

Students often work together in pairs or small groups across our workshops.  At the end of each workshop, we gather to share our learning.  First graders love to share and tell what they've been doing, but helping them to value the thinking of their friends develops across the year.  Johnston says, "We develop a metalanguage for thinking about group processes and establishing their significance as something to attend to. (p. 107)"  In the typical busy academic day, it is sometimes hard to slow down for this important step.  I know I will need to take more time this year to have these conversations.

In what has become our world of testing, assessment, and data collection it is easy to forget the real goals of education.  I thank Johnston for reminding me of the bigger mission we must all accomplish - about the real significance of the work we do every day.  

Some Quotes
  • "Discipline that points out the consequence of prosocial behavior and attributes a motive of kindness and generosity is likely to be most effective.  (p. 88)"
  • "Conflicts are opportunities to examine our assumptions and values and they are exactly the places where students find morality most engaging.  Social problems offer concrete spaces for understanding different perspectives, understanding and managing emotions, learning strategies for negotiating social conflict, and asserting a commitment to fairness. (p. 91)"
  • "A group can have intelligence that can be more (or less) than the sum of its members' intelligence. Group intelligence is related to...the average social sensitivity of the group and how evenly the group distributes conversational turns. (p. 96)"
  • "Our ability to think alone is substantially dependent on our ability to think together. (p. 96)"
  • "Fostering more egalitarian relationships through collaborative talk emphasizes the class's work together and the value of each member of the classroom community in creating knowledge.  (p. 102)"
  • "Listening is the foundation of a conversation and it requires that we are open to the possibility of changing our thinking. (p. 102)"
  • "We expect to have more interesting and powerful conversations when people bring different perspectives and when they disagree.  (p. 103)"
  • "Each person's experience, what they notice, the logic they bring, and the assumptions they don't accept  enrich the conversation and, if we are trying to solve a problem, make a solution more likely. (p. 104)"
  • "We want our children to recognize when things are unfair and to act to make things right. (p. 116)"
  • "Children are more engaged when they have choice, a degree of autonomy, and when they see the activity as relevant.  (p. 118)"
Some Questions

  • How will I help shape a community that listens and values the thoughts of one another?
  • Is our classroom environment and community conducive to thinking and learning together?
  • Is there a hierarchy of learners in my classroom or does everyone have an equal voice?
  • Do our school teams value different perspectives, sensitivity to the thinking of others, and work toward distributing conversational turns equally?  Is everyone heard and valued?
  • What picture books might help to start conversations toward fairness and social justice?
  • Are students fully engaged in learning in our classroom? 
Language for the Classroom
  • "What's the problem?"
  • "How could you solve the problem?"
  • "You solved the problem.  You figured out what the problem was and you worked out a solution."
  • "Why do you think that?"
  • "Could you explain?"
  • "I agree, because..."
  • "I disagree, because..."
  • "Make sure each person has a chance to say something so that you're sure you don't miss different ways of thinking about it."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Using Skitch in Your Classroom

As you know, I've been slowly moving toward a paperless teaching world.  The recent purchase of an iPad, as well as the constant availability of an Elmo and projector, have rapidly changed the way we do business in our classroom.  I've been learning how to use a variety of applications for planning, teaching, collecting anecdotal notes, and capturing student learning.

One application I have found quite useful is now part of the Evernote family.  (For more on how I use Evernote see my Choice Literacy Article:  Capturing Student Learning with Evernote.)  If you haven't downloaded Skitch for your iPad, you should.  Skitch is available for most devices.  I have it on my Android phone, iPad and Mac.  Interestingly, it does not yet seem to be available for the iPhone.  Skitch allows you to take a photograph or screenshot and write directly on it to make your point quickly.  You can also use it more like a whiteboard as a drawing tool.

Learning to Use Skitch
Anytime I download an app - I do just what my students do - I start to play with it.  How could I use this application in my daily life?  Here's what I tried:

After taking a screenshot of one of our flowerbeds, I labeled the perennials planted for future reference.

After planing our garden I labeled the types of plants and their location.  This ended up being helpful since the rabbits decided to eat the eggplant and banana pepper plants.  It was easy to remember what to replant.

This is an idea I had for using Skitch with students in informational writing.  Students would choose a topic and tell one thing they had learned.  Then dig deeper into the information until they were layers beyond where they started.

In the Classroom
Then I started using it at school.  I have found it can be used for a variety of learning experiences.  It enhances discussions with students by helping to make learning more visible.  Here are a few ways I find Skitch to be useful:

Discuss student work:  Here is a picture taken during math workshop.  This student had discovered a way to count objects more efficiently by grouping them.  After taking a photograph and pulling it into Skitch, I was able to circle the sets as we counted together.  (Taking photos during math workshop has helped us to save time during the share at the end of our math workshop.  No longer do students need to drag tools to our circle to show friends their thinking.)

As a white board:  Here Skitch was used to rainbow write a word during a word study lesson.
To show places on a map:  Skitch has a world map that you can crop to show regions.  During Poetry Tag, a global poetry event started by Deb Frazier's class in April, a class from Guatemala left a poem.  We were able to locate Guatemala on the map during our discussion to see where it was located in relation to where we were.  Quick and easy.
To record student thinking:  In an accidental misplacement of myself during teaching, I found myself at my iPad when a discussion about what we had learned so far about clocks began.  I decided to use Skitch to record the conversation written in green.  Then in pink we discussed the challenges we still faced learning to tell time.  The change from a chart really captured student attention.  I could have easily printed this for reference.  In this case, I then walked around the room as students worked and recorded confusions I was noting.  Students did not see this part of the document.

To demonstrate use of a webpage:  Skitch allows you to capture a screenshot and write directly on it.  Here is an example of capturing a Kidblog page to demonstrate creating a post for our class blog.  The labels really help students to see the important parts of the print on the page.  I'm thinking this would be useful in teaching students to understand the set-up of web pages when looking for information and researching topics using the internet.

All of these examples are ways I'm using Skitch to have conversations about learning with students.  Students could do many of these things in their learning to demonstrate understanding if iPads or Macs are available for use.  I'm hoping you'll share your ideas for Skitch below.  

Here are a few links you might find helpful:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Changing My Frame: Opening Minds #cyberPD (Part 2)

"Establish a classroom discourse in which people notice and can talk about change with an eye toward possibility."  Peter Johnston, Opening Minds (p. 50)

This is the second week of our professional learning conversation about Opening Minds by Peter Johnston.  Today's #cyberPD event is hosted by Jill Fisch at My Primary Passion.  If you are joining the conversation,  you'll want to leave your link there.  Jill will then add it to her post, and I will begin to move them into our Event Jog.  You'll want to stop by to read the comments and to follow the links to other reflections.  Last week we had over 25 blogs participating, in addition to reflections on the #cyberPD wallwisher and in the comments section of the host blog.  Laura Komos will be hosting our final reflection post on the remaining chapters, Wednesday, July 25th, at Our Camp Read-A-Lot.  Our Twitter chat will be Thursday, July 26th, at 7:00 p.m. EST.  Also, keep an eye on Stenhouse's Blogstitute event where Peter Johnston will soon be joining the conversation.

When I finished reading chapters 1-3 for last week's #cyberPD conversation, I could hardly stop myself.  I glanced at chapter 4 titled "'Good Job!' Feedback, Praise, and Other Responses," and wanted to continue to read.  Our school has been working on improving the feedback we provide for students for a few years now and I was curious to hear what Johnston had to say about it.

I'm finding this book to be very helpful in reflecting upon the language I use in the classroom as I work beside young learners each day.  It really may be one of the most thought-provoking professional books I've read in awhile, and I've read some amazing professional books that I would gladly reread.  Johnston carefully supports his thinking with examples, helps the reader to see how this language would work in the classroom, and then shares the impact on future learning.  I'm finding it helps me to envision truly giving more ownership in learning to my students.  I'm beginning to develop a plan for helping them to move toward a dynamic-learning frame by improving the feedback they provide to themselves and to their peers.

Goodbye "I like the way..."
I'm sure I am not supposed to be judging my language as I read this book, but it is hard to resist.  I think I'm supposed to be thinking, if I [have been saying this], and I [tried saying this instead], then [it would have this effect].  I appreciated Johnston's honesty in his section about praise.  He caught my attention right away with his chosen chapter quote,
"The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism."  Norman Vincent Peale
I'm a little guilty of saying, "I like the way...".  Thankfully, as I reflect I seem to use it most to modify behavior, but I've been to known to say "I like the way..." before naming a strategy I see a student trying out.  I appreciated Johnston's distinction between praising students and being positive.  Johnston reminds us, "Reducing praise does not mean giving up being positive.  Positive particularly for establishing the foundation from which to build. (p. 47)"  If I have been saying "I like the way..." and I start saying "look at how you" then students will begin to move toward process thinking which will greatly impact future learning.  Goodbye, "I like the way..."

Leveling the Learning Field
Of course, saying "look at how you" may be a way of scaffolding learning, but it doesn't seem nearly as powerful as asking, "How did you..." and having students articulate the process to set up a narrative for future learning.  Johnston discussed ways we, as teachers, can move ourselves out of a controlling role in the classroom:

  • ask open ended questions
  • give enough wait time
  • genuinely listen, don't judge children's ideas (watch that language)
  • allow students to specify who will respond
  • use tentative markers (I wonder...could...)

Ultimately I want to move myself out of the position of being the person who provides feedback, and move students into the position of providing feedback for themselves and their peers.  To do this, students will need to learn how to talk to one another.  I know this will mean that the language I use will be important as it will be the model for the way discourse happens in the classroom.  I hope to create an environment where students know how to teach each other.  Learners will need to be comfortable taking risks in learning.  Johnston reminds us, "We need to be certain that we are okay whether or not we are successful, are confused, or make mistakes."

Let's Talk
I've always been a little nervous having visitors in my room.  It's not a quiet classroom where everybody does their work.  It's a classroom where students talk together during reader's, writer's, math workshop and content studies.  It's not easy to teach students how talk can sound in a classroom.  What are the conversations we should be having?  How do we respect students who prefer a quieter place to learn?  How should our voices sound?  What do we do when a conversation gets off track?  How do we remember what we learned from each other?  How do we disagree?  How do we grow thinking?

Johnston states, "Much of the feedback children receive comes from their peers (p. 36)."  Thank you, Peter, for helping me to get a more concrete understanding of what language to use, listen for, and share with students.  Johnston's discussion about feedback, dialogic classrooms, and language will be helpful in thinking about the conversations we have when we talk together, when we turn and talk in pairs, when we work with friends in Reader's Workshop, when we help another writer with a story, when small groups of mathematicians and scientists gather, and when we share at the closing of our workshops.   

Some Quotes
(When this list started there were over 20 quotes.  I made myself cut the list to the 10 most important.)
  • "Clearly, process- and effort-oriented feedback are the best options....I am inclined to go with process gets children into the habit of explaining successes and failures in terms of strategy use....The more process talk becomes part of classroom conversations, the more strategy instruction will be occurring incidentally." (p. 40) 
  • "Even private praise has its complexities.  When children are fully engaged in an activity, if we praise them we can simply distract them from what they are doing and turn their attention to pleasing us." (p. 42)
  • "They (Troyer and Youngreen) found that when ideas could be criticized, the group generated more ideas and they were more creative than when either the person could be criticized or even when their was no evaluation at all." (p. 48)
  • "Formative assessment isn't only the teacher's responsibility.  In the end, the community members need to be able to recognize how to take stock of their own and each other's learning and respond  to it in ways that provide a productive path forward." (p. 50)
  • "A dialogic classroom is one in which there are lots of open questions and extended exchanges among students....classrooms in which there are multiple interpretations and perspectives." (p. 52)
  • "They (students) understand that knowledge is constructed, that it is influenced by one's perspective and by different contexts, and that we should expect and value different perspectives because they help to expand our understanding." (p. 57)
  • "It is the perception of uncertainty that enables dialogue." (p. 59)
  • "We have to help them learn to imagine what goes on inside their heads, and not just the cognitive strategies being used to solve problems, but the complex social-emotional logic that lies behind their behavior." (p. 69)
  • "Critical literacy requires imagining others' intentions, adopting multiple perspectives, and imagining social relationships that don't exist yet.  Writers or speakers attempting to persuade an audience are more likely to be effective if they can imagine the feelings, reactions, and motives of their audience." (p. 73)
  • "The more developed a person's social imagination, the higher their level of social cooperation, the larger their social network, and the more positively they are viewed by their peers." (p. 73)
Some Questions

  • How will I change our goal setting conversation to help us move toward a dynamic-learning frame?
  • How will I arrange for class members to manage turn talking with one another?  
  • How will conversations during conferring change so my role stays that of another reader/writer/mathematician and not the teacher with the ultimate answers?
  • How will these chapters impact my role as a team member on grade level, building, and district teams?  
  • How do we maintain scholarly conversation about learning in data team meetings (where sometimes the goal is one learning objective for an entire grade level...conformity)?  
  • Considering social imagination, what different types of questions should we be asking about children brought to our intervention team for support with issues of behavior and social interactions?  

Language for the Classroom
  • How did you do that?
  • Is there another way to do it?
  • Could you think of other ways that would also work?
  • Look at how you.... (which doesn't seem quite as powerful as "How did you...")
  • [You did this] and if you [tried this], then [it would have this effect].
  • It sounds like you have a different idea.
  • So why do you think...
  • I'm wondering...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Opening Minds: #cyberPD Begins Today

"The language we use in our teaching changes the worlds children inhabit now and in the future."  Peter Johnston, Opening Minds (p. 7)

The Conversation Begins
Today we begin our conversation about Opening Minds by Peter Johnston, our second annual #cyberPD event.  (Here is the Jog to last year's conversation about Patrick Allen's book, Conferring.)  I'm happy to be hosting this event with Jill Fisch (July 18, Chapters 4-6) and Laura Komos (July 25, Chapters 7-9).

Today the conversation about the first three chapters begins here at Reflect and Refine.  If you are participating in this event by posting on your blog, please add your link to the comments below.  As the host blog, I will then move your comments into this post.  If you do not have a blog, you are welcome to comment on Twitter using #cyberPD, leave a comment at one of our blogs, stop by our Opening Minds Wallwisher or any other way you can think of to join the conversation.  We're flexible.

Foundational Conversations
During my training for Reading Recovery we focused on the language we use to support readers.  We talked about the prompts we could provide for generative learning.  As I moved into work as a literacy coach, conversations continued to focus on the language we use with young learners.  We looked at ways to use language to help students become strategic thinkers and move them toward independence.  Peter's first book, Choice Words, changed the words I used as I sat beside my students each day.  When I saw he had a new book released I was excited to read it.  Language is such an important piece of learning in our communities.

In the first chapters Peter shared his beginning points about the language used in conversations in our classrooms.  Peter reminds us, "In classrooms, events happen, but their meaning only becomes apparent through the filter of language in which we immerse them."  In these beginning chapters he shares the way the conversations we have as a community shape the way learning will look in our classroom as well as the way students will perceive their ability to change, learn, and grow across the school year.

I thought the first chapters were the perfect chapters for thinking about the significance of the first weeks of school as we lay the foundations and set the tone for all that is to come.  I want young learners to think, as Peter says, "When you make a mistake, it means nothing more than that.  Fix it.  Learn from it. (p. 3)"  In our classroom students need to see themselves as "people who can act and have an impact (p. 3)" in our community.  They need to know their voices, their thinking, their learning matter to everyone in the community.  These first weeks are important in creating this learning environment.

Reader's Workshop
Across these chapters I thought often about Reader's Workshop.  The conversations we have as a class often lead into the independent reading students do within our day.  Johnston demonstrates the significance of these conversations in Manny and Sergio's conversation as they read A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting (p. 5).  Those are the kinds of conversations I hope students are having as they read during our workshop.  Many students like to read and talk about books with friends.  Having conversations that allow them to think more deeply about books, to negotiate meaning with friends, to agree and disagree, but most of all to understand that these conversations help them to grow as readers.

Goal Setting Conversations
Our school has been focusing on goal setting.  In our workshops across the day students set their goals for learning.  I have found this to be a way to shift the narrative by giving ownership of learning to the students.  Johnston's focus on changing the narratives of our classroom is powerful.  His discussion of the work of Carol Dweck and her theories of fixed and dynamic mindsets is important.  I read her book last summer and found it to help me reflect on the way students may perceive their learning.

As I think about the students in my classroom last year it is easy to think of students who had a fixed mindset.  These students worked under the premise that they were smart or they were not smart.  Those with more of a dynamic mindset looked at learning differently.  Students with a dynamic mindset were willing to work hard to improve.  They didn't seem to mind if things were hard for them.  Instead they noticed, and took pride in, the shifts in their learning.

Goal setting, especially when goals are about the process and strategic thinking, can be a way for students to see their growth.  It is a way to shift thinking from right/wrong, smart/not smart, and toward an understanding of how they change over time.  Students own this learning.  Instead of talking about how many levels students have improved in reading, they are talking about the ways they've grown as a reader.  Instead of talking about how many math problems they got right, they are talking about the strategies they can use to begin to solve a problem.  Instead of being a good writer or not a good writer, they are talking about new crafting techniques they've tried in their latests pieces.

Some Quotes
  • "My intention with this book is to offer a basis for choosing more productive talk - how to make the most of those opportunities children offer us. (p. 4)"
  • "In a dynamic view, the process - how they did things - is most important (p. 16)." 
  • "Process information removes the 'genius' from performance and replaces it with both a dynamic-learning frame and the strategic knowledge of how the success was accomplished (p. 21)." 
  • "interdependent reading" (p. 32 -- loved that term)
Some Questions
  • What does all of this (especially the student conversation on page 5) mean for conversations during Reader's Workshop?
  • Is it possible for someone to have a fixed mindset in one area and a dynamic view in another?  
  • How do we help students with a fixed mindset develop a more dynamic view of learning? 
  • What does this conversation mean within the process of RTI? 
Language for the Classroom
  • Let's see which of these problems is most interesting?  p. 18
  • Repeat what he said for us so we can think about it. p. 27
  • How did you do that?  p. 31
  • How did you know that? p. 31
  • How could we figure that out? p. 32
It's Not Too Late To Join
As I finished chapters 1-3 it was all I could do to not start Chapter 4:  "'Good Job!'  Feedback, Praise and Other Responses."  That usually only happens in fiction.  I can't wait to continue this discussion.  If you'd like to join us, but are just hearing about this for the first time, you can jump in at anytime.  The book is available at Stenhouse for 20% off during their Blogstitute Event.  Peter Johnston will be posting during the event as well so keep watching.

Stop By Participating Blogs
Wow, there are a lot of blogs participating in this year's event.  I know I'm going to have to spend some time in the next week revisiting everyone's thoughts.  The conversation adds so much to a book that already provides much to think about.  We also have people participating at our Wallwisher, writing reflections in the comments on our host blog, and sharing thoughts at #cyberPD.  Make sure to check it out.  (Also, it is never to late to add your post.  Just be sure to leave a comment below.  I'll see it.)

Laura Komos shares her reflections at Our Camp Read-A-Lot.  In Opening Minds Part I, Laura shares some of her favorite quotes and expands upon each.

Sit down with Michelle Nero at Literacy Learning Zone.  In #cyberPD:  Opening Minds - Part 1, Michelle talks honestly about the importance of the conversations we have with children.  She reminds us that every word matters as we sit beside by learners each day.

Maria Caplin shares her thinking at Teaching in the 21st Century.  Maria talks about the implications Johnston's work has on her thinking for her learning community next year in Opening Minds Ch. 1-3.  She shares some of the points of influence she considers in shifting students toward a dynamic frame for learning.

At Inspired to Read, Amy Meyer shares her reflections in Opening Minds Chapters 1-3.  Here she talks about the significance of the language we use to help build children.  She discusses her role as a third grade teacher in helping students to change beliefs they may already hold about themselves as learners. In her post she shares many questions that will keep you thinking.

Jill Fisch, another #cyberPD host, shares her thinking at My Primary Passion.  In her post, Opening Minds - Chapter 1-3, Jill focuses on the role of language in our classrooms.  Her synthesis of the chapters, plans for practice, and snippets of language make this a post you need to read.

Stop by Tony Keefer's Tumblr page, atychiphobia 2.0, as he shares his thinking in #cyberPD Opening Minds:  It's About Time.  Tony is joining this discussion on his own freewill this year.  How could he resist?  In his post he shares his reflections on Johnston's books including thinking about his planning of mini-lessons, considerations for developing a dynamic learning frame, and getting to know our students.

We are happy to have Dawn Little, The Literacy Toolbox, joining our conversation this year.  In her post, #cyberPD - Opening Minds:  Using Language to Change Lives, Dawn shares her reflections of the first chapters.  She discusses the significance language, links to the Common Core, and the mindset of young learners.

Barbara Phillips has also joined the discussion again this year at Wondering Through 2012.  In her post, Opening Minds #cyberPD Part 1, Barbara shares her reflections about the beginning of Johnston's book.  Barbara shares important quotes, mindsets, and questions to guide learners.

You have to stop by to view Mary Lee Hahn's graphic response to the first three chapters at A Year of Reading in CyberPD.

Barb Keister joins us this year at Reading Teachers / Teaching Readers.  In her Opening Minds post Barb shares the key points of each chapter as she reflects on the implications in her classroom.

Make sure you stop by Thinking Stems where Tracy shares her reflections on Opening Minds.  I think you will like the way Tracy pushes Johnston's thinking even deeper.  Her emphasis on what is next, change, and the forward momentum of learning is refreshing.

Karen Terlecky joins us at Literate Lives.  In her Opening Minds reflection she weaves together Johnston's points with small narratives from her classroom.  I very enjoyable read.

Valerie Ruckes joins us at The Sensibly Savy Teacher where she discusses Johnston's key points.  Her "quote" and "important words to think about" sections give more to ponder.

We are happy to have Noreene Chen join us for #cyberPD at My Beautiful Planet Earth.  Noreene talks about the connection between dynamic learning frameworks, process, creativity and innovation.  Lots to ponder here.

Stop by Lit Prof Suz's blog, In the Heart of a Teacher is a Student, to gain a clear understanding of Johnston's message in his bookin #cyberPD Opening Minds Chapters 1-3.  Important points in moving toward a dynamic learning are discussed as well.

Dun da da.  (That was red carpet announcement music.)  Let's welcome Amber & Lisa into the blogging world at FOCUS:  Clarity through Collaborative Reflection.  I'm always so excited when a new blog starts during #cyberPD.  Stop by as Amber shares her reflection in Stop:  Engage the Growth Mindset where she discusses that point when we stand between a fixed mindset and a dynamic perspective.

Ann shares her reflections of Opening Minds Chapters 1-3 at Work Hard, Be Courageous, Celebrate Growth.  Stop by to see what she has to say about these important words:  already, mistakes, mindset, influence, yet.  Ann also shares her next steps here.

At Raising Readers and Writers, Julie shares her reflections in her post, Opening Minds #cyberPD.  You'll want to stop by to read Julie's messages for her community of learners in the coming school as she begins creating an environment that empowers her students and moves them toward a dynamic learning framework.

Aimee joins us from Australia.  Stop by Teaching Journey where Aimee shares her reflections of Opening Minds by Peter Johnston.  In her post, Aimee begins to address the question of how to make the world bigger for the children we work with each day.

Stop by Nicole's Book Nook where Nicole shares her reflections in the first part of our discussion.  In Opening Minds Part 1, Nicole talks about our role in helping students' develop a dynamic learning framework.

Jacquelyn Sticca joins #cyberPD at Miss Sticker.  In her post, Opening Minds #cyberPD, she shares interesting points to consider about the language we use with parents.

Stop by Creative Literacy where Katie DiCesare shares the parts of Johnston's book she loved the explanations for his thinking.  In Opening Minds #cyberPD, Katie also shares some of the language she anticipates she will be using in her classroom this year.

Katie Keier joins the conversation at Catching Readers.  In her post, Opening Minds:  Sumer Cyber PD, Katie shares her "cheat sheet" of language she will be adding to the conversations she has with young learners next school year.

Melanie Swider joins us at Two Reflective Teachers.  In Opening Minds #cyberPD Post, Melanie discusses the type of self-talk we should model for young learners.

Stop by Snapshots of Mrs. V.  In Opening Minds Chapters 1-3, Mrs. V discusses the significance of this book on the work we do each day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Picture Book Addicts Unite! Join Us August 10th

Gotta have picture books?  Do you find you can't resist the picture book section of your local bookstore?  Do children at the library stare at you in shock and disbelief as you check out a stack of picture books as long as as one of their arms?  Are your shelves full of a variety of titles?  Did your spouse or friends remove the Amazon wish button on your computer?  If so, you may have a picture book addiction.  There might be a twelve step program for helping with your issues, but that wouldn't be fun.  Instead, embrace it and, join us for our Third Annual Picture Book 10 for 10 event (#pb10for10) on Friday, August 10th.  

The Event
The event began in 2010 (more 10s) after Mandy Robek at Enjoy and Embrace Learning and I had been bantering about picture books we couldn't live without in our classroom.  We decided we wanted to see what others would want to have in their classrooms if they had to choose ten books they just couldn't live without.  We had so much fun in 2010 more people joined us in 2011.  Here we are in 2012.   I happen to know a few people who have been putting together their lists for quite some time.  After all, narrowing to ten isn't an easy task for an addict.

Past Lists
The lists have become the perfect resource for building a classroom library, filling your library book bag, or buying books for gifts.  Lists from librarians, parents, teachers, and picture book fanatics are a part of our collections.

Join Us
We are hoping you will join us.  
  1. Contact Us:  Contact us on our blogs, on Twitter (@mandyrobek or @cathymere), or by e-mail to let us know you are joining this event.  This way we can try to be sure we don't miss anyone on the day of the event.  
  2. Grab a Badge:  Add the Picture Book 10 for 10 Badge to your blog.  
  3. Choose your favorites:  All you need to do is choose ten picture books you cannot live without for whatever reason.  Believe me, that's not as easy as it sounds.  Here are some tips that might help (Choosing Picture Books and More About Choosing Picture Books). 
  4. Write Your August 10th Post:  Write a post telling us about the 10 books you cannot live without.  Share your post on August 10th and link it here or at Enjoy and Embrace Learning.
  5. No Blog?  No Problem:  If you don't have a blog this might be the perfect time to start one --- or you can find alternate ways to participate here.  Mandy and I are not huge rule followers so feel free to adjust as needed.  
  6. We do the rest:  Then Mandy and I will link your post to the other posts in a Jog for 2012.  (Exercise without leaving our couches.)  

Pass the news along to your friends and join us August 10th for a virtual picture book party!  Start saving your money now.   On the day of the event - August 10th - we will be linking all the "must have" posts.  Can't wait!!