Tuesday, July 1, 2014

100 Minutes Celebration Giveaway

We did it!!!

Woooo hoooo.

I am so happy that I chose this book for this summer's book study. I have learned so much from reading it and all the posts by the co-hosts and participants.

Thank you all so much. 

Lisa has generously answered quite a number of the questions that we sent to her, and here's what she has to say!

Question: How does Lisa suggest managing the editing and revising piece of the writing block?

Lisa: As students work on the various stages of their writing, they can use the independent writing time to draft, revise, edit and publish their work.  I use the Writing Conference time, to regularly check in with students to see where they are with their writing, and how I might be able to help. I try to differentiate for the student's various learning and writing styles.  When I know that students are working on a piece that they will take right though the writing process, then I suggest that they choose whether to begin by writing it by hand, or working on a computer. If they choose to use a computer, then it's easier for them to make revisions without having to spend time re-copying their work.  My students spend more time 'learning' about a given form or element of writing by writing many different pieces, rather than working on one piece through all five stages of the writing process.  Not everything I have written has been published... and the same goes for them.  They need time to play with text forms and elements of writing before they are ready to share their writing with a larger audience. 

Question: How do you balance assigned writing with free or choice writing?
Lisa: I help students learn how to prioritize their writing.  There are some "must-do" and there are some free-choice.  Even within the parameters of a "must-do", I try to include as much choice as possible.  For example, I might give students a number of writing prompts and ask them to select one that inspires them to write.  While we may be working on a particular form of writing, I try to allow as much choice as possible within the task.  Also, I try to give students as much choice as possible as to the way they would like to write (pencil and paper, computer, blog, etc).  There are times, within AWARD Time, when students are able to work on whatever writing they choose.  Often, during the Writing Instruction time students start pieces, or generate ideas that they would like to pursue.  By giving them a 'write whatever you want' time, students are able to revisit work that they have started, or would like to build on.

Question: During your students independent reading time do you have them track their reading using a reading log? Genre challenge? 
Lisa: To be honest, I don't. There are some teachers who do, but for me, I feel that independent reading should truly be about the student's free choice to explore different texts and foster their love for reading.  There have been times when I would suggest different books to students, or encourage them to select a book in a different form (e.g., something other than a graphic novel), but for the most part, if they are reading, and thinking about their reading, then I am happy.  I use our Guided Reading time as a way to focus their attention on different types of texts, text features, and ways to critically think, analyze and apply their learning. 

Question: Does the writing lesson always have to go last or could you mix and match?
Lisa: 100 MINUTES is a flexible framework.  It was written as an idea of what a Literacy Block might look like.  Even I do not stick to the "rules" of 100 MINUTES.  Teachers should feel free to adapt and alter the various elements in ways that would work best for their learners.  Moving the Writing Lesson to the beginning of the literacy block, makes complete sense. 

Question: Do your writing lessons focus on a genre or the traits of writing?
My writing lessons focus on everything!  From the form of writing to the elements of writing.  We focus on conventions, grammar, voice, and parts of speech.  This is the time when I can weave in the various aspects of writing, play with voice and explore the 'rules' of writing.  

Question: This is about have the writing lesson at the end of the block-  do the students remember what was taught in the lesson, do they carry it over to the next day?
Lisa: Because AWARD Time is an ongoing cycle, the kids are really good at remembering where they are and where they are going next (even when I forget). As far as the application of the writing skills, I always take a few minutes to review what each group will be doing during AWARD Time and remind them to check their individual goals.

Question: When doing guided reading, how many lessons do you spend on one text? Should students (in higher levels especially) have the chance to read the text before coming to the lesson?
Lisa: I know that there are many different opinions on this.  I personally only use a guided reading text once with students.  For me, engagement is the key and I prefer to keep the texts that students are reading with me new every time.  

Question: Is all the reading during a guided reading lesson reading aloud?
Lisa: I think this would depend on the age of your learners.  With younger students, I would want to make sure that they are actually able to read the words and make sense of it.  With older students, my concern is more about being able to understand and apply the things that they are reading.  Usually, I would start a text by introducing a 'big idea' or something to think about (like a HOT question). They I would ask students to read the first part on their own (in their head).  As a group, I would ask if anyone would be willing to read what they have just read aloud to the group, so we could discuss it.  After I know that students are into the text, and comfortable with it, I might ask them to read the next section and find something that would support their thinking in response to the big idea or HOT question.  This way, the students are reading for a purpose.  I know that they are able to understand the text, because of the conversations we have about it and the evidence they select to justify their thinking.  I don't really need to listen to them read every word aloud to know whether or not they are understanding the text.  When we are having a conversation, and kids are pointing to the page and saying things like "Yeah, but it says that....", and "I disagree because over here I read that...", or "I still don't understand how ....", I know that they are reading and thinking.

Question: What advice would you give to someone who would like to write a professional book?
Do it!  Do lots of research in your class and the classrooms of others.  Do lots of professional reading and co-learning.  Once you know that your practice is grounded in solid pedagogy and you think your experiences can benefit others, then actively seek out a publisher.  

Different publishers have different requirements when submitting a proposal.  For the most part, you will need to create a proposal that describes the purpose and audience of the book, a draft of the Table of Contents, and probably the first few chapters.

Be persistent and don't give up.  If you feel that you have something worth sharing, then share it!  Maybe formal publishing might not be for you, but there are so many other vehicles through which you can share your ideas.  Start a blog, share on Twitter, create a Website, network through conferences and professional learning opportunities, but keep sharing and learning.

Finally, don't quit your job to pursue your dream of writing professionally.  While it is a fun hobby on the side, it won't pay the bills.  :)

Teaching is much more about learning than knowing.  
Thanks for being a part of my learning network 
by doing this book study.  
I have learned so much from you all by following along.  
Best wishes in your classrooms, please feel free to let me know how 100 MINUTES is working for you and your students next year.

To celebrate all our learning and growing, the co-hosts and I are holding a giveaway.

Checkout these amazing prizes.

Kelly Anne from Appleslices has donated her


Look at all this amazingness. 

Kelly from An Apple for the Teacher is also in on the fun...

An Apple for the Teacher

She is donating an item from her TPT store- 

My amazing new BFF, Erin from A Piece of the Apple has generously donated at $20 gift card to Starbucks.


Hmmmm, coffee!!

Jen from Teaching, Life and Everything In Between has kindly offered a copy of her Differentiated Literacy Activities- The Little Match Girl

Emily from Emmy Mac's Class as offered winner's choice of product from her TPT store, Emmy Mac Shop
(Up to $15)


As for me, I am giving away a copy of my Reading Genre Cards

Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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