Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 2: DIY Literacy - Chapters 3 & 4

I am very excited to share my thinking this week on Chapters 3 and 4 in DIY Literacy.  Thank you to Cathy, Laura and Michelle for organizing this incredible opportunity.  I have enjoyed reading many of the posts in the cyberPD Digital Learning Community this week!

After reading Michelle's post, I was inspired to try a similar format this week for my reflection!

Chapter 3

Confirming Ideas

  • In order for learning to stick, students need support, time and repetition. Teachers are often frustrated when students cannot recall certain lessons, but the issue may be that we have not provided students with enough support to remember how to use the strategies we've introduced.  I found myself thinking back to CAFE strategy lessons in reading workshop and the importance of our anchor charts.   
  • I appreciated the tips at the end of the chapter on knowing when students will be ready to give up the teaching tool.  I worry that too often we remove a scaffold, such as an anchor chart, before students have internalized the information.  A tip I learned from a colleague a few years ago is using foam boards for anchor charts instead of chart paper.  By using the foam board, the chart can be moved around the room from a lesson with a small group to the classroom meeting area.  Our foam boards were stored in a laundry basket in the meeting area, so students could access a board at any time.  Using foam boards preserved wall space for charts that I needed to be posted for a longer amount of time.
  • One of my favorite quotes was on page 41. "We believe in creating 'high-five' energy whenever possible, the feeling that we are proud of what our kids have offered." I plan to share this quote with teacher as a reminder that "high-five" energy needs to be palpable in our classrooms!


  • It's so important that anchor charts don't become wallpaper in classrooms!  Kate and Maggie's suggestions for keeping anchor charts alive are tips I plan to share with teachers next year (page 42)!
  • I've seen many beautiful charts in classrooms that are Pintrest worthy, but they were not constructed with students.  This chapter included many references to the importance of student input and engagement in the creation of the chart.  If students are involved in the crafting of the chart, I feel they are much more likely to use the tool.


  • I am hoping to model a lesson for creating bookmarks in classrooms this year.  There are so many possibilities for using this tool as a personalized way for students to remember information.  I loved the suggestion of creating them for test taking tips!
  • As an instructional coach, I create a digital newsletter (using the Smore website) every week.  I plan to share photographs of well-created charts in my newsletter next year so that teachers can see examples of charts (created with students) that anchor learning.
Chapter 4

Confirming Ideas
  • I love, love, love the description of rigor at the beginning of the chapter.  Kate and Maggie stretched and confirmed my thinking that rigor is "a performance - it is a stance, an action, a state of being that is taken to move through the world, tackle tasks or work toward a goal." 
  • Daniel Pink's quote on page 55 is one that all teachers need to remember. "One of the keys to increasing motivation is to create a sense of autonomy, a sense of I know what to do. Control leads to compliance.  Autonomy leads to engagement."
  • When I introduce the micro-progression tool next year, I plan to share the sidebar on page 55.  The three signals that rigor may be the issue are a great way to highlight the value and purpose of the micro-progression.
  • The teachers in both of our elementary schools are beginning to implement the Units of Study writing program in the fall.  As I read this chapter, I kept thinking about how we can use micro- progressions with students during writing workshop next year!  On page 59, Kate and Maggie remind us that students need to be able to transfer the micro-progression to all of their work in other subjects.  It's easy to fall into the trap of creating a model or progression that is specific to a particular task or piece of writing.  I agree that it's important for the details and models to be transferable other tasks and subjects.
  • I loved how the examples of the micro-progressions in this chapter were all created with students.  Once again, teachers should not create a mico-progression, review it in a lesson and post it on the wall for students to use as a tool.  For it to be a living document, it must be co-created with students!
  • My other favorite pages in this chapter to share with teachers are the example of using charts to highlight the steps or skills in high levels of work (pages 64-65)  and the signs of rigor (pages 68-69).
  • There are many ideas that I would like to use from this chapter during my lessons in classrooms next year.  My primary goal will be to create a model of a micro-progression during professional development sessions this fall as we begin our work with Units of Study.  I'm hoping that by creating a sample and sharing some of the information and tips from this chapter with teachers, they will see the potential impact this tool can have on our students' learning, growth and engagement!

As I continue to dig into the chapters for next week's post, I hope to find some time to check out Kate and Maggie's DIY videos!  When I share my learning with teachers in the fall, I know they will appreciate time to watch the videos and read some of the posts for DIY Literacy on their website!

No comments:

Post a Comment