Another Step Forward #20

Another Step Forward #20

March 11, 2020

I’ve been away from a school for a few days.  I haven’t seen him since last Wednesday.  A whole week.  Would he be able to do it?  Would he remember what we had worked on? 

The literacy center is full of people this morning.  I don’t usually see him in the morning.  His teacher and I decided that since I’m having success with our afternoon work, perhaps I should take over the morning work as well.  Ok, I said,  I’ll give it a try.

So this morning I go to find him as soon as I can.  It’s nearly nine and I drop by.  I’m going to give it a go, I say to his teacher.  Go for it, she says.  I call to him.  He seems surprises to see me.  I lean down.  Sorry,  I say,  I’ve been away.  Do you want to come work?

We make our way to the literacy center.  He takes my hand as we go and my heart squeezes.  When I enter the literacy center, you can tell he’s surprised that we aren’t alone.  These teacher work with me, I say.  He looks up at me skeptically.  It’s still just me and you, bud,  I say.

I can feel all of them look at us, but reluctantly stay back in their business.  He’s a cutie pie and they all want to talk to him.  I can feel it.  For now, they just watch casually.

We make our way through the book shelves to the table, white board, markers and erasers we usually use.  He loves the magnets and eraser.  I feel him exhale as he sees our set up seems the same as usual, including his name that he wrote with magnets last week.

Do you think you can write your name without spelling it with magnets first?  I ask.  He nods.  I’m not sure if he’s said any words aloud yet.  Ok,  go for it.  I nod.  He leans over the rail of the white board easel and peers into the ledge.   Are you going to write with orange or green today?  Oh, orange,  I narrate.

So slowly he goes.  I know he’s not going to quite have enough room without changing the size of his letters, but I decide to let it go.  He writes the first letter making it capital.  What sound does that make?  I haven’t asked him that before and he turns to look at me before answering.  He makes the sound of his initial letter and continues spelling slowly and deliberately.  He gets to the “e”.   That letter has been giving him trouble.  A lefty, it’s hard for him to see that loop, but today he makes it better than ever before.  A perfectly formed lower case e.  Yeah, you,  I say.  That’s great.  You’ve been practicing.  He hesitates and then writes another letter.  He has missed one letter and I remind him by saying,  Let’s go back and check to see if you have the letters you need.  He doesn’t remember so I prompt the letter by giving him the sound.  He forms the letter remembering to make it look distinctively different from the similarly formed r.  He’s nearly there.  Just two more letters in this long name.  As he finishes we say the sounds out loud of each letter, including the sound in his name and the common sound of each.

He writes it two more times naming the sounds as I prompt. and I ask, what would you like to spell now? He looks at the other teacher left in the room.  She’s eating a banana.  She says. I didn’t eat breakfast.  Do you like bananas too?   He nods.  Do you want to spell it?  She starts with the sounds.  I wonder if he will be able to form the letter as she says the sounds even though there are so few.  He forms the first a backwards and then in a new place the N seems like a new letter to him at first.  Finally we spell b-a-n-a-n-a.

Great!  Let’s go back to class now.  I’ll see you tomorrow.  We walk together back to the room.  I’m cheering inside.  I hope he is too.  The world just opened up.

(Un)Solicited Reviews #sol20

(Un)Solicited Reviews #sol20

March 9, 2019

What happens when a second grade class of book reviewers find out that I don’t have the latest book in Jory John and Pete Oswald’s series, The Cool Bean?  They set out to convince a literacy specialist in the best way they can… they write a stack of book reviews.  So here straight from the second grade is the reason that I (you) should run out and buy this book.

This was pretty convincing until I read this line.

Why are you still reading this go and buy this book!!!!

It’s difficult to say what I love most about this situation and why after nearly a month, these reviews are still traveling back and forth in my teacher bag.

Another thing that I like (in) this book is that after they were nice to Little Bean he starts to be kind to other(s). Another reason I think this book is good is that there (they’re) get(t)ing along again… it teaches you that everyone is cool and sometime people are nice and kind.

Straight from my teacher bag into my heart and into my mentor text files.  These second graders don’t know it yet, but they have the makings of some literary essayist.  Quick retell, character traits, lessons learned, they are putting it together.  So is their teacher.

These showed up on my desk silently one day without notice.  Just a sweet little stack of writing gems.  I know you wish you could read them all again and again as well.

Here’s one final picture to tide you over.

For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol20) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.  This is day 9.

A Crystal Clear Surprise #sol20

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no photo available, just an crystal clear memory

A Crystal Clear Surprise #20

March 6, 2020

There is was, a typical Thursday morning, chock-full of meetings, concerns, to-do lists, when I turn the corner into a very crowded office.  Pulled out of my own thoughts, I noticed a family in my path.  Two parents, but there in the heart of it, a small friend somewhere in the preschool range.

He looked up at me expectantly, two small figures pinched between his small fingers.

Hey, dude!  What do you have there? 

I said as I leaned down to give him a face-to-face and the items a closer look.

Can I take a look? 

Small hands reached out and deposited those tightly held friends into my outstretched hand.

.        Wow,  this is a gorilla, right?  

I stretched my fingers out to him with the gorilla loosely displayed between them.

Yes! 

He said, his smile widening, anticipating what would come next…

But what’s this?  It looks like a cheshire cat with a…  I hold up the mini-fig with clearly a purple smiling cheshire cat upper half. However its lower half is a wild genie-snake-ish tale.

      Nijango

He said, assuming shared knowledge between us.

            Amazing.  What a good idea!

We shared a smile.

He began to turn toward his mother and then I noticed the clear pint-size backpack on his back.  He was fully-loaded.  Figuring prominently in the front of the bag was a realistic looking hard plastic well-loved cow.  Behind the cow was a dazzling collection of mini-lego figures, cars, crayons, paper, a small coloring book, and a lot of other supplies.

.            You came prepared, dude!

A small nod returned from that open place.  He knew he was all set.  Three small fingers stretched out.

Wish you were coming soon.  Can’t wait to see you again. 

I thought as I walked away.  Mood lifted by that  crystal clear surprise.

For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol20) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.  This is day 6.

What You Do Matters #sol20

What You Do Matters #sol20

After a couple of weeks of meetings and professional development days, I had spent many, many days in a conference room.  I was out of sorts.   It occurred to me that I need balance.  Late last week I sought to fill my tank up with time with students.

On Wednesday morning, I joined a fourth grade for their weekly Creativity Project time.  Writing away in the presence of their energy and the sound of their pencils flying across the page, I thought this is the way to start the day.  

The rest of that half-day morning,  I read Hungry Jim aloud to a second grade studying folktales.  Great for prediction, this story got this class talking, gasping, and laughing.  Can’t wait to go back and read Where the Wild Things Are, so we can compare. I rounded out that day with Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, and character analysis in two third grade rooms.  How do we know someone is confident? 

Then this morning,  excited by Hair Love‘s amazing OSCAR win,  I shared out the video to the classroom teachers.  In third grade, we had planned to start our Baby Literary Essay boot camp.  However we put off  Those Shoes for one day to celebrate a picture book’s life in the world.  After watching the video with our ‘love lens’, we watched to consider what we could write about this wonderful story.  Used to discussing books with this teacher and myself, most students chatted during the second showing and were ready with thoughts as soon as we finished.  Some however were hesitant.  I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know what I noticed, quiet voices around the room asserted.

Letting those voices echo, their teacher jumped in.  Mrs. Kennedy, will you write down our thinking. 

Their original thinking is in blue ink.  So many traces of evidence backing up their theory that Zuri’s dad is the kind of person who doesn’t give up.

Even those soft I-don’t know voices filled the room with thinking as we continued.

We went back to do some gentle editing together, adding names to replace pronouns, thinking about how we might shift sentences, and then crafting a simple conclusion together. It was the end of this exercise that stopped me in my tracks.  The teacher turned to the students and said, look what you did,  we wrote a literary essay together just that quick.  The room buzzed with student talk. That went so fast.  Our whole writing time is finished? That’s a lot!  

But then, their teacher said something.  She said she put me on the spot by asking me to do the writing.  She said,  that Mrs. Kennedy,  she’s the kind of person who say, Wait, what?  and then says,  Sure, ok!  

Wait… I am?  I guess so.  Just like that, every tank in the room filled in one hour… including mine.

 

Congratulations to Matthew Cherry for his Oscar will for the animated short film based on his book, Hair Love.  I showed the class the video available on YouTube from the television show, Sunday Morning.  Thanks to my writing group, #100daysofnotebooking for filling my tank with writing for the last forty-some days.  As always, I am indebted to the amazing leaders of Two Writing teachers and all my encouragers in that group who have given me the air beneath my wings so many times.  

No Need for Perfect #sol20

UnknownNo Need for Perfect

January 20, 2020

No need for perfect, just a little bit better.  Oprah January 2020

Thursday in my notebook (#100DaysofNotebooking) I outlined the benefits of child study.  It isn’t coincidence that I decided that child study was a real benefit to our school community that day in particular.  That morning, the pieces of child study came together again. There it was, the sweet spot.

I’m a firm believer in the child study process. A group of educators get together and discuss a difficulty and work together to suggest solutions.  We use a strict(ish) protocol.  The classroom based teacher presents the difficulty,  the team asked clarifying questions,  the classroom based teacher listens as we generate possible solutions, the classroom based teacher shares what ideas he/she might try, we set goals and a check-in date for six weeks later.  The entire process takes about forty minutes.

We have these meetings two mornings a week.  The team consists of the school counselor, the assistant principal/EL coordinator, the literacy specialist, the principal, and others rotate in.  Sometimes we have another classroom teacher, sometimes the psychologist, a special education coordinator or teacher, and others.  The protocol works well, the participants balance each other out, and its helpful to the teacher…until it isn’t.

While the process is still right and generally we’ve been helpful, over the last few months, it’s been… uneven.  Why?  Connections.  The principal and the school counselor are in their first year.  They come to the table with their experiences, their knowledge, their hopes.  What they didn’t have was a shared history. What we didn’t have was a shared history.

To be honest, a shared history can be a burden.  Fresh ideas are good and often very, very helpful.  In that room, in that situation, with those time constraints, attention is key, discussion has to be tight, almost each word matters.  It is painfully easy to get off track.  When we get off track, we cannot, we do not generate a round of positive, easily implemented, fresh ideas to try.  Everyone leaves frustrated.

We’ve sat here for the past four months, never having a post-mortem on the meeting.  Never discussing our protocol together. Just hammering it out.  Most of the time, it worked ok.  Rarely was it amazing.  I remember amazing… I missed that.

On Thursday, a teacher came to the room.  She presented her student to us.  We understood her concerns.  We asked questions that gave us all clarity.  She carefully articulated what she thought might be a next step.

I felt the shared exhale in the room as we thought for what seemed like minutes, but was only seconds.  The talk started between us.  No tripping over each others words. No confusion shown on faces.  Gentle easy purposeful productive talk. Like the tumblers on a lock, I felt the team fall into place.  Just then in the moment, we were a team.  We felt the connection. We hit the sweet spot.

We are going to be a team moving forward.  We will smile.  We will wait.  We will laugh. We will reach out.  We made the connection.  We felt the pieces fall into place and we will be working for that every time we enter the room. Once you feel it, it comes more naturally.  That’s what they say about everything that takes practice. It wasn’t quite 10,000 hours, but it was 50… give or take.

Connection #sol20

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There are actually two types of fungi here: lichen, fungi and algae, and hen-in-the-woods.

Connection #sol20

January 14, 2020

When I chose connect as my one little word, I was thinking about the connections between individuals and grade levels, types of writing and units of study,  I wasn’t thinking about how a book or books can connect so many of those things.  I also wasn’t thinking about books and how they can connect across lessons and ideas either.  Since I started with this lovely photo of a hen-in-the-woods fungus, perhaps I should start closer to the beginning.

As part of another blog team I write with, I chose a year’s worth of books to review.  (My last review, Fungus is Among Us by Joy Keller)  Another writer had recommended this book as it was published in early fall and I preordered it.  I had chosen to review it in January as many grades as starting or leaving nonfiction reading and writing and also fitting in poetry during these winter months.  This book has a lot!  It’s a picture book and also contains loads of facts.  It has an easy story line and also a biography insert.  It has a bibliography and it RHYMES!  Just the perfect mentor text to showcase many ways of writing nonfiction.

This story isn’t actually a book review.  It’s what happened next.  As is my habit, a few weeks before my review date,  I send out an email asking who would like to hear a new book.  I don’t offer much additional information.  Usually I have a few takers and in this round two classrooms of third graders invited me to read.  As I was planning my lesson,  I was thinking about poetry writing and the aspects of good nonfiction writing.  I read through the book several times, enjoy more each time.  Then it occurred to me that I have photos of fungus in my phone…  How many photos of fungus do I have?  I wondered.  Quickly before I visited my first class,  I created a quick album of fungi in my phone, a half-a-dozen pictures or so.  I read the book to a third grade, telling them that I was reviewing it.  Asking them to think like nonfiction readers and writers. What did they learn from this nonfiction teacher?  What might they try in their own writing?  

The class was immediately taken with the fungi.  They had lots of ideas in their pre-reading moments thinking about where they had seen fungi and what they knew.  Surprisingly, many of them had some ideas.  Definitely plenty to think about as we read.  We read this brilliant book noting the author’s craft in the beginning, her incorporating of text features, the parallel structure, the author’s notes. At the end,  I gave the students an opportunity to respond to my initial questions.  Their responses were very enthusiastic.

Planning on reading the book to another third grade later in the week and bolstered by their response,  I went back through my phone and discovered I had nearly twenty five photos of different types of fungi. A little odd, I know.  Putting them into an album I noticed that you can make a slideshow in your phone, so I did.   I returned to my first read aloud class and during their snack showed them the slideshow.   They were thrilled.

In another class,  I was gifted the opportunity to teach a few lessons in the beginning of the third grade nonfiction writing unit.  In the first lesson, the teaching point is that we are all as nonfiction writers essentially teachers.  Instead of the unit’s example of cockroaches,  I used my old interest and new-found knowledge of fungi to organize my oral teaching example.

This fungi things got legs… . The next lesson I taught was about using your flash draft to organize several table of contents ideas to plan for your nonfiction chapter book.  Again,  I wrote quickly about fungi and used that writing to demonstrate several possible ‘table of contents’.

So this little book,  Fungus is Among Us, has been quite helpful.  One book, so many uses.  It’s interesting.

 

 

One Little Word #sol19

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The Search for that One Little (but very BIG) Word 2020

January 7, 2020

I hesitated to let go of my one little word for 2019.  It doesn’t seem used up.  It has served me so well.  I think I could still learn more from it… However the chosen way is to let our last little word go with the former year and embrace a new word for a new year.  I have embraced a word every year for the last 10 years.  My last word, reflect, was my most successful word to date.  I spent the last year reflecting on my practice, a habit I don’t think I’ll ever let go.  In 2018, my little word was notice.  Again,  it carried me through that year drawing attention to so many bright spots in education that I saw.  My little word for 2017 was linger, to slow down and proverbially smell the roses.  It taught me to be in the moment with students and their teachers.

This year seemed trickier.  A word was not waiting in the wings.  It seemed in the year 2020,  I should have a word related to vision.  Twenty twenty:  visually accurate acuity, easily done discernment or assessment like hindsight is 2020.  Always good to work on keeping the vision crystal clear. However, as a word,  Vision didn’t fill the void.  Noticing? I had just used that word two years ago.  My PLN encouraged me to keep searching, keep listening, keep trying words on for size. It will come.  

What did I want this year’s word to represent?  All the accumulation of what I had learned in the last few years and a step forward into the future.  I wanted to notice bright spots and keep them in my thinking instead of the challenges that often crowd in.  I wanted to remind my colleagues of what we have already accomplished and how our next steps will be seismic in impact but smaller in exertion that recent years. I made a list of others’ words that I’ve read this past week.  Pause, meander, humor, balance, here.  My word wasn’t among those. 

I made a list of some possible new thoughts for me.  Victories, simply, motivate, listen, connect, collaborate, curious.  Hmm… Curious?  I have a stickie on the front of my collaboration journal that says openly curious, vulnerable, full of questions.  I love that saying at the beginning of the Heinemann podcast,  we value teachers as decision makers and students as curious learners.  While curious is something I am, it doesn’t seem to be a direction forward for me right now.

All those c-words were drawing me in: connect, collaborate, curious.  Which one will be the set intention for 2020?   Connect.  Definition: to join or fasten together, usually by some intervening; to place or establish a relationship.

There it is.  My intention for 2020.  Connect.  Connection.  Connections.  Through intervening, join together people and ideas, and people and ideas.  Taking the time to make personal connections but also helping people to envision connections. (see what I did there?!?) . My seeing was there all along.  When we linger, we notice.  When we notice, we reflect.  When we reflect, we see the connections between the units of study, reading and writing, literacy and content area studies, one grade and another, one student and their teacher, one student and another student, one culture and another culture.

So here’s to connections:  the ones we notice and the ones we create.
Welcome twenty-twenty.  You’re coming into focus now.

Time to Reflect #sol19

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 4.31.14 PM.pngTime to ReGroup (& Reflect) #sol19

December 10, 2019

We’ve come to the time of the year when it’s time to take stock.  Prepare for our New Year’s resolutions so to speak.  Take some time to consider how far we’ve come from the aspirations of early fall to the reality of early winter.  A new season of school is upon us.

We can no longer attribute difficulties to ‘summer loss’ or ‘adjusting to the school year’, now it’s all on us (collectively).  What are the reflective questions to ask ourselves?

For me, so much about this tenth year in this same school is similar and yet it feels so different.  With a dramatic shift in the personnel around me and the allocation of my time, I find myself carefully considering many things about both my yearly trajectory and my day-to-day practice.  I believe this happens to those of us who work in education quite frequently.  Mostly, it’s a good thing.

It’s a good thing because the less stagnant we become, the fresher we are for those around us.  I have a lot of experience in literacy and elementary school, but I work best when I approach each new challenge with fresh ideas and a full toolkit.  Success is more often the outcome when I listen, I observe, I carefully consider, I remain true to my overall philosophies of learning, and then, only then, I offer suggestions.

We have a child study team at our school, similar to many other RtI practicing schools.  I am well known for taking copious notes and always offering up some out-of-the box ideas along with the standard fare.  Thinking about something we haven’t tried keeps us focusing on the uniqueness of each student, each classroom, and each situation that comes our way.

One challenge that remains stubbornly consistent over the last years is spelling.  Spelling?!?  Not word-solving in reading to any extent, but spelling.  If I am being honest, I used to think, spelling?  That’s what spell-check is for.  It will work itself out with technology and practice.  Through happenstance, I decided last week to take spelling head-on.  What can we consistently do to improve the spelling of individual students and our students overall?  Is this perception or reality?  How is this global issue related to others that seem to be perennials in the landscape of our school lives?

What do we do when we try to solve a problem?  We get right in there.  But for some reason (I think I know why),  I decided this time, this time it wasn’t going to be about me swooping in and solving a problem by offering a solution to a teacher and most especially, a student.  This time was going to be about me listening, reflecting, creating agency in the student herself.  So instead of asking, what’s up with this?  I asked,  what are you already doing well?  Hey, kiddo,  spelling (insert difficulty here) is a big elephant of a thing.  What do you think you are doing ok?  How do you know?  Then, and only then, did I ask, what do you think you might work on right now? 

Here’s what it looked like on paper.

IMG_5455It isn’t magical.  It isn’t an amazing piece of insight.  Honestly, it might not work.  The look on the student’s face as she created this alongside me was everything.  I hope it will be a game-changer, but I’m at peace if it isn’t.  There will be something else to try, to tweak, to discuss.  What all of this is about is moving forward, giving something a go, building agency and mindset and all those things that will stay with a learner long after she’s left me behind.

Here they are, her ideas in my handwriting.  As we move forward, I hope she will see it as her success as well.

 

img_0602 I write in the company of the writing community created by Two Writing Teachers.  I thank them and all my fellow writers for building agency in me and helping me feel my own success.

Alchemy #sol19

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Alchemy #sol19

November 12, 2019

Last Friday afternoon I had one of those moments that usually is just out of reach, a moment when the enthusiasm and genius of a fellow educator only needs my smile as tender for it to take off into a roaring fire.  I do often see the flames of great ideas, the sparks of hopefulness, and even the glimmer of the newly hatched thinking.  But a full blown brush fire of an idea is such a beautiful thing to behold, particularly on a Friday afternoon.

It may be important to note that my contribution to this brush fire spark is so tertiary that it can’t be discerned.  I am a long time encourager of this educator, a big fan, an instigator, and a fellow edge stretcher, so it makes perfect sense that not only did she want to share her idea with me, she was too anxious to start it to wait to share first.  To her credit, it was pure genius, way beyond what I might have coached her to do.  Her excitement and eagerness to jump in was beaming from her.  I know that her enthusiasm will carry it to a very successful fruition.

When I read about alchemy in a cooking reference over the weekend, how one food, consumed with another food or drink, is completely transformed in taste and experience by the process, I thought that’s what I’m looking for every day, a sprinkle of something that transforms so much.

That transformation was once for me all about students. A moment or a collection of moments with struggling students that transformed how they saw themselves as learners. Hopefully forever changed by those realizations.  As coaching evolved, so did the moments.  Most moments I spend now are with a whole class or just with their teachers.  Sprinkling those somethings in, the transformation is nearly invisible to me.  I can be sad about that. What does that sadness make the alchemy?  Less about the magic and more about the person, a sharp contrast to the magic that we all want to hold.

So here’s to a new kind of transformation, one where I (and others) encourage learners of all ages to transform themselves, to transform others, to cause transformations.  The work should be able to go on, without me, without any one person.  As my friend often quotes,  you have always had the magic inside of you.  So I’ll be creating transformations when possible.  I’ll be encouraging transformations when I am able.  Most definitely,  I’ll be celebrating them wherever they happen.

 

img_0602I write alongside my amazing transformative writing colleagues on Tuesday encouraged by  the amazing alchemists at twowritingteachers.com.

Dropping In #sol19

IMG_9241Dropping In #sol19

November 5, 2019

The beauty of my position as a literacy coach is that every day changes.  Most days, I’m having big and little meanings discussing student progress, lesson planning, and literacy resources.  My desk can be covered with half read books, dozens of post-its, and 3-4 different journals along with student work.  My phone is filled with photos of text, student work, anchor charts, and a long, long reading list.  As we add more intervention staff, my job is shifting away from every day commitments to specific children.

On Monday, my flexible schedule gave me the opportunity to cover for our breakfast monitor.  Eight weeks into the semester, the students had it all worked out.  Each knew what they wanted from the amazing array of choices from many varieties of muffins, cereal bars, cereal, bagels, cheese, and milk. They gathered at tables happily chatting or sleepily adjusting to the day.  It was so fun to see the students in this casual atmosphere and interact, encouraging food choices or just asking about ones made.  Wishing them good morning and asking about their weekend.  Watching some from afar, noticing so much about their adjustment to the day.  That time is ripe with possibility and perfect just as it is.  I imagined bringing some books down for kids to explore or listen to.  In the end,  I was just so glad that this breakfast was available for students and wondered how many more would like the choice of Lucky Charms or a blueberry muffin to start their day.  The students were pleased with their choice and I was so happy that we offered them abundant choice.  One that didn’t emphasis that many may be receiving this meal free.  Perhaps it’s the most choice they have.  Today, that information wasn’t mine.  I was happy to celebrate their choice and discuss their thinking. My heart was filled.

After breakfast,  I had the opportunity to start the day with a third grade.  They start the day with learning tubs, games, coloring, finishing work, recording small videos of their ‘work in progress’.  It was delightful.  Filled with a buzz of happy productivity, the students chatted amiably, eager to share their news, work, and ideas with me in this short fifteen minute transition.  I remember the days that were filled with ‘morning work’.  This morning work seems fresher, more student driven.  The students asked after their missing teacher, but were content with my presence.  When it was time to clean up to go to physical education, they were quick to get ready, cleaning up and moving down the hallway like champs.

After physical education,  I administered the pre-assessment for their reading unit.  We worked together well despite the change in their schedule and their teacher’s absence.  They listen attentively and answered thoughtful, though this work was mostly newer to them as readers responding to writing.  As they prepared for snack, their teacher returned to set the schedule right and continue their day.

We’ve come a long way… in such a good way.  Choice and voice was present and available to students.  Each was comfortable in the moments, in the change, in their own transitions.  So much of this has nothing to do with literacy.  If you think about it, students who feel comfortable making choices, self-directing, transitioning in a speed and way that seems natural, will make choices and self-direct in their writing as well.  It’s just natural.