Monday, July 4, 2016

DIY Literacy Ch 1, 2, and Bonus Chapter Reflections

DIY Literacy by Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts
Chapter 1, 2 and Bonus Summary of My Reading and My Personal Reflections
Chapter 1
I love the idea of creating DIY Warriors of their own learning. What teacher has not wanted to lead an army of warriors set on learning and growing? I have been thinking about gamification in my gifted literacy classroom  to engage my students and this analogy of all of us marching toward our learning goals as warriors might just be a start. Tools to help my warriors work harder,  smarter and on their own sound like some pretty powerful tools! I want to help lead my students to be reading and writing warriors this year.
I love the question presented in Chapter 1 and will remember to ask myself as I plan: Are the teaching tools I am sharing with my students really helping them to grow? I showing them how to use this tool on their own?
I create interactive notebooks with my students, but as I have reflected this summer, the notebooks are teacher driven. I want to create notebooks for my students that are student driven based on what they understand before, during and after my mini lessons. I have decided to create "thinkbooks" this year rather than interactive notebooks.  I want to share tools and show my students how to make the tools their own,  so that they will use the tool on their own! 
Memory, Rigor and differentiation can be obstacles to student learning. These things can get in the way of our warriors marching forward. Students need instruction that fits their needs, to have the motivation to work hard, and they need to remember and recycle what they have learned.
I love the idea from our reading that when we center our work on depth and impact and share and show our students how to use reading and writing tools independently, we can lead our students to  personal success. Our hopes can become our students' hopes when we teach with depth and help our students create the tools they need to remember and recycle what they learn for years to come.
I love the idea that as a teacher I can  demystify what it means to be a reader and writer.  If I  offer clear steps and describe my processes, my students can follow. By sharing tools like charts and student created bookmarks, my students will have a way to organize their own understanding. Student-created "thinkbooks" I will introduce to my students this fall might help in this way. I plan to have students keep record of their understanding and growth in their own way in this notebook. My hope is that by taking ownership of the organization of the notes, the style of the notes, and their understanding before, during and after applying a group of skills or unit, students will see where they are in their learning, take ownership of their learning, and celebrate their new understanding. With this Thinkbook students will have a flight plan when they veer off course. The great thing will be how the student will create the book in their way rather than in my way, so they will be more likely to refer back to this resource and be more likely to remember and recycle their learning. From our reading, I thought it was amazing that someone must do something simple 21 times to create a habit. Something more difficult can take 254 times to become a habit...that is a lot! Our students can use tools to stay on course when the skills have not had time to stick yet. The best part- the more they practice the closer they become to creating the habits they need to succeed as readers and writers.
Charts, Demonstration Notebooks, Micro-progressions, and Bookmarks are all tools to create reading and writing warriors.  Warriors can not succeed without a plan and necessary tools and neither can a student.
I love the quote that begins Ch. 2: You are never strong enough that you don't need help-Cesar Chavez
Traveling requires directions. It could be written directions, a GPS, a map...but we can all reach the same destination-different tools, same result...I love the idea of sharing tools and helping students discover how they might create and use the tools in their own reading and writing to grow.
Charts-The What and The How and The Why
My new understanding of charts-Charts give students instructional choices and independence.
Repertoire Chart: strategies to help students move toward a big skill.
Process Chart: takes a big skill and gives steps to break it down in a systematic way.
I have always felt like I created charts for my students, but now see I can create them to share and show my students what I know they are capable of. I can encourage my students to make their own charts in their thinknotes book in a way that will serve them as they work independently.
Demonstration Notebooks-The What and The How and The Why
I love the idea of creating a demonstration notebook of important ideas/strategies that I can use with groups of students throughout the year to share and show how a strategy may be used.  I will ask myself: What does the reader need to do? How might they go about doing it?
Watch me as I....notebook of strategies students need to have success
I love how the notebook is portable and can be used with groups of students, etc.
I can create this as we go through skills this year adding examples to my notebook. I love the idea of simply using this coming year to create a thinkbook of my own, but leaving a few spare pages for examples and for demonstrating and referring back to as the year progresses. I would be tempted to take my thinkbook digital, but feel like writing and drawing will add value to this tool, not just for me, but for my students. It will look like my students thinkbook looks and that will make it accessible to my students.  I know there is a time for digital work, but also a time for writing, drawing, and connecting ideas to enhance memory in my students.
Micro-progressions of Skills-The What and The How and The Why
I often show exemplar text examples from students, and show non-examples, but I love the idea of this micro-progression where students can see where and how their own work compares to examples at varied levels. This allows students to independently see how they can move to higher levels of work. It is like taking a rubric and adding actual examples for each area. What makes it more meaningful for a student is the fact that it is an actual example they can compare their own work to and use as a tool when needed. 
This will be a more tedious task, but can be created with student examples throughout our year this year.
Personalized Action Plans-The What and The How and The Why
I will have my students create "thinkmarks" as their bookmarks. It will be a way to review the important processes and ideas they may want/need as they work independently on a reading/writing task. I will also have my students record their own thinking as they read on the opposite side of the thinkmark. I have used thinkmarks in my class for several years, but we simply all write a word or phrase about our focus and use it to record important notes, etc. What I intend to change is that the thinkmark will have tools they need on one side and their examples, notes, etc. on the other side.
I have gained great ideas from this reading and look forward to adding to my thinking in the chapters that follow! On my way to creating reading and writing warriors this fall......

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