SOL17 DoodleaDay 30 Tools and Spaces

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Doodling is writing in images. The flow for each is similar: idea-draft-share-elaborate-revise-share-enhance-edit-publish. And publishing can be private, shared with a few, public on websites, social media, blogs, journals, etc.

For me, and again like writing, I prefer the digital. The ability to cut/paste/re-order/undo/redo just makes the process of thinking through the challenge to create the best message is just such a gift. This is especially important with art– because I’m not an artist. I’d be crunching up paper and eventually be buried in snowballs of wrecked work. I’d be frustrated and quit. But with the digital, I try over and over and feel like I can improve and understand better what each stroke, brush, line does to bring out the image. It’s fun.

I think that’s important to understand for students in writing class: why drearily write by hand when the words are so easily created, ordered, deleted, enhanced with the tools available in digital format? Handwriting? That’s now art! Make it fun, on paper or digital.

The #Sketch50 theme this week is Communication, and today’s topic is page/book/device. Notice what changed from the #doodleaday of “Tools and Spaces:

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First of all, you can see that I just needed to copy the #doodleaday to my Sketch50 journal in Paper53. To make the icons I just searched Google [icon Blogger, for example]. Then I could zoom in and create an image pretty close to the icon of  the app that I use for communication of ideas.

Sharing Google Docs, in blogs, on Twitter, in Evernote, through presentations [Keynote or Slides]– those are ways for me to curate ideas and collaborate.

And the information is from my experiences, my books [Kindle], news apps, research in Google Search.

I do have a journal, which I hardly use, and Staedtler fine point pens, for the occasional sketching I do for a quick idea– rare. I also do a little ZenTangle art, but mostly in my Paper53 and Autodesk Sketchbook apps. My pens last a long time.

But whatever writing I do — text or image – I just think, get an idea, and then dive in, digitally.

I visited school yesterday. Actually, I was the substitute Principal. It was a wonderful experience– I could see the flow of the day, and found smiles on student faces, which means the school is doing well for kids. I wrote on paper [!] a log of what I did. I wrote “Tootles”– oodles of them in each classroom I visited. Tootles are acknowledgements of students who are models of goodness: Good thinking, good questions, good answers, good effort, good attitude– each is written specifically for and given to one child. I was able to hear good questions, acknowledge a change in attitude, a willingness to listen again and correct mistakes, etc. It was awesome.

I was also reminded of the challenge in writing — the biggest challenge– the start. That first word or image. That blank paper or screen. In my experience, the best way to overcome that obstacle is three-fold:

  1. Model examples [if needed, non-examples as well]
  2. Model and try with students; Share and find the positive.
  3. Conversation: discuss the trials and encourage discussion of what the examples suggest– what else could have been tried or done or reworded?

I found that modeling, guiding a reworking or new ideas, and then having conversations with students, and students with each other, gets them thinking about their own ideas and experiences. Soon, one by one, each student is able to start.

If you are new to teaching writing, I’ve always recommended these:

Ralph Fletcher Books

Lessons for the Writers Notebook and Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi by Heinemann

In the Middle by Nancie Atwell

Vicki Spandel Six Traits

Six Trait Writing by Northwest Labs

Teaching that Makes Sense by Steve Peha

If you are a writer, what is your flow? Are you digital or paper?

If you are a teacher, what strategies do you suggest for helping students start?

If you are a teacher, what resources do you recommend?

We all need tools and spaces, and once we help each other consider the possibilities– starting  is not an issue.

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A Poem for Three Writing Voices: On Starting

Stuck.

Blank.

[Sigh]

“What?”

“Nothing – You?”

“Look – whale’s tales”

“Whales tales?”

“I couldn’t draw

the whole whale.”

“Me too.

I drew my dog

in the  wheat field.

Just the head.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah!”

“That works!”

“Yeah, that works.”

“Oh.”

“I know.”

“What?”

“What?”

“It’s a square.”

“It’s my cat in a box.”

“Now I can write.”

“Yeah–we looked

for that cat

for an hour!”

“I know.”

“How to Find a Cat”

“That works!”

“That does work.”

“Shhhh.”

“I’m writing.”

 

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Doodling Song

I was going to listen to “We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands,” but then I stumbled on the same song, remixed for Earth Day: Official Music Video for one of DARIA’s Earth Day CD songs: We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands.

It’s got some great images — I imagine a class set of doodles / sketches could be used to create a similar version.

 

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Tools and Spaces

Part of Sketch50: page/book/device

 

SOL17 DoodleaDay Map Story


Writing.

If you’re a writer, you know it isn’t easy. If you’re not a writer, you know it’s hard.

Donald Murray assured us that “Writing is hard fun.”

In our classrooms, as students learn and read, and wherever students are, they listen, watch, play, work and learn. They gather ideas and facts; they imagine “what ifs.” And teachers have a responsibility to extend all that learning by providing time for students to think and write, and think and write together. And writing for their personal expression in fact and fiction to share their ideas.

Writing clarifies our ideas; it frees our thoughts, contains our thoughts, and connects our thoughts in new ways. We get better at writing by reading a lot and writing a lot. We get better at writing by sharing our pieces — what we like, what we wonder, what we are confused about– for feedback from others. 

Writers know this. Our students need to experience this, not in assignments, but in writing about what’s important to them, in fact or fiction. Journaling, blogging, writers workshop, genius hour: all are ways to incorporate choice in student writing.

We’ve got to let them develop their style, away from templates and outlines. Students need to experience using what they know– facts, experiences, imaginings– to form ideas into a story [fiction or not]. As students review their writing, they share with a friend and get feedback as they make a choice to abandon or to elaborate and revise. If they like their piece, they can edit and publish.  Without these experiences, the feeling of satisfaction and joy — that hard fun — is not attained. We want students to live as writers, as authors on their own.

And with that experience, their messages become clear, in both their own and in their assignments.

Yes, I want my students think like authors– to make the choices in words and organization, in flow and structure, to build their factual or imaginary story and feel the message understood by others when they share during writing and later in publication. 

I want them to learn through their process and publication that “Writing is hard fun.”

And just perhaps, they’ll compose such a story as…

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

Today’s doodling tune in honor of writers and writing, in all its forms.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Hiding in our minds

Ideas flow and connect;

Stories Awaken.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Maps

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Update: As I perused my Facebook feed, I discovered that Ralph Fletcher just made a similar plea, but, of course, he says it much better than I:

Greenbelt Writing: How Low-Stakes, Student-Centered Writing Supports Bold Learning

It’s a great read on Heinemann’s Medium blog.

Everyone is Writing a Book

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Ross Cooper wrote a post entitled, “Everyone is Writing a Book, or Everyone Has a Voice,” and I tried to write this comment [but was blocked as a bot]:

And I choose carefully the books that I read based on how it applies to me. I’m glad to have so many resources to help me think through and apply standards based grading — or no grading; quality formative assessment– and student self-assessment. This is important because no one magic bullet exists, so adding to my playlists and setting them to the melody of my classroom helps me write my own song.

So I’ve been thinking about the same thing– everyone I admire is writing a book, and what I say to myself is: I can do it too, and so can you!

Everybody is writing a book, because everybody has experiences and ideas that can help someone else. One little nugget in a book can set me on a new path of exploration for my teaching and learning, and I love that.

So your experience on a project, your example of professional development, or your strategies for student engagement— all of these and more could be a short book that just might help the movement towards more connected learners and more authentic learning closer to reality.

Besides, with all the information out there, as Steve Hargadon once said , “in order to cope, we must give a little bit of our own” [ITEC Keynote 10.18.11].

After years of innovating, modeling for others, and blogging, these authors are able to publish their experiences so we can all learn. The bloggers and authors are giving a “little bit of their own,” voicing their ideas, wonders, reflections, and successes, and I appreciate it.

Isn’t it wonderful that these opportunities are available to us- to hear the voice of others and add to our own– to read and to publish?

So, go forth, get reading and do your own writing.

PS: I am not a bot.


Image by mrsdkrebs

From Extend the Conversation

by Denise Krebs and Sheri Edwards

Connected Educator Month, 2012

A response to Digital Writing

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Digital Writing

My friend Kevin Hodgson [@dogtrax] considers the definition of digital writing on his blog, Kevin’s Meandering Mind. He thoughtfully considers “writing,” “composing,” and “digital writing.” I agree with all his assertions, except one.

I consider blogging to be digital writing. The blog post could be the central focus of a presentation, linking to images, resources, and videos that extend and enhance the author’s message. It requires much more thought and creation than simply writing an essay; the images and links chosen must be thoughtfully considered as part of the design to explain, argue, and present ideas. And as Kevin’s post does, it asks readers to interact with those thoughts by adding their own considerations. The record is displayed in post and comment, available always for further analysis. A blog also shows our thinking — and how our ideas change as we consider the ideas presented by the information we gather in our quest for understanding the world’s ideas.

I’ve been thinking, too, about “What is digital writing?” I’m still deciding, but a few thoughts I shared with Kevin [I added a little here] so far are:

  • When I record assignment directions, I have often stopped myself when the directions are to “write” when I really mean “type” or better yet “compose.” Even here, instead of “write,” in this bullet, I chose “record.” Because the digital assignment directions are recorded in a document for reference. I think of digital writing as something that is both composed and curated or recorded.
  • I’ve also used the word “compose” with students. Looking at the dictionary definitions of compose and write, a crossover exists in their use, but compose includes the words create, invent, produce, orchestrate. I find that more inclusive to my definition of digital writing. I want my students not to regurgitate information, but to produce artifacts that explain or argue their analysis of their learning, using words, images, videos, surveys, interactive media, etc.
  • Margaret Simon [@MargaretGSimon ]mentioned “audience” in her comment on Kevin’s blog. She said, “I must be aware of audience in the digital world. Perhaps it’s that immediate audience that makes it digital.”  The focus on the audience is critical. The writing will be shared for an audience one has considered carefully so that the writing clearly promotes the message; digital writing provides authenticity and meaning to topic, audience, and purpose, the meaning behind the writing.
  • Design is a word I use most often with my students: I want students to consider the reader, the information, the student’s purpose and message, and the presentation — how will they best explain and argue their ideas using text, image, video, interactive media, etc.? It is the digital that allows all of us to design the presentation of our discoveries so others understand how we make sense of the world of information around us, and how we invite others into our journey of understanding.

Digital writing allows students — all of us — the opportunity to present our understanding of the world. Writing is all about clarifying our thoughts, making the learning visible. Digital writing includes tools to make this easier: immediate definitions and searches, curation of resources, surveys to gather information, documents on which we can collaborate with others, grammar corrections, hyperlinks to our resources, sharing options [slides, blogs, videos, annotations], communication with experts through texts and webcams, archiving all our digital gathering of resources.

So, considering those tools as part of our quest for knowledge, is digital writing then a system, a  process, and a product available in many personalized forms as needed by and designed by the author?

The focus for my Language Arts classes are these essential questions:

  • How do researchers investigate successfully?
  • What strategies and processes do collaborators need for success?
  • How do readers and writers determine and develop relevant, accurate, and complete topics?
  • How do publishers design and organize content for their audience and purpose?
  • Why and how do editors and speakers use and edit with the rules for standard English grammar and language ?

It is the availability of digital tools that allow us to consider our ever-growing understanding of these questions.

Digital writing is a personal, systematic organization of tools and strategies that allow for an enhanced  and enriched process of study, curation,  and analysis, often in collaboration with others, to design a multi-faceted publication of the author’s ( or authors’) ideas for a chosen topic and audience, be that audience oneself, a group, or the public.

I’m still thinking about this… and thank you, Kevin,  for always presenting the questions that focus and clarify our work as learners.

#DigiLitSunday Motivation

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Motivation.

It’s pretty simple: we like to do want we want to do when we want to do it because we have a reason and we know we can do it.

If you have read any of Daniel Pink’s work, you will recognize his research shining through that statement:

“The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

“the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose”

Mastery means that you know you can do the task; you might struggle, but you know how to get there.

In writing class, help students see they can master the aspects of writing that is required of them. Do this by providing feedback first for what they are doing well. Find the strong verb and let them know. Point out the transition word that helps the reader. Indicate the specific nouns that paint the precise image in the reader’s mind. Whenever a student writes, there is something they are doing well. Acknowledge that first.

The second part of mastery is knowing you can get to the expectation. Feedback includes that acknowledgement of what was done well, and then a nudge of one or two things that would improve the writing. Ask a question about “How…” to get at the hidden action that needs to be clear.  Ask a question about what the character was thinking or feeling so the writer can build his character.  Their answers let them know what to add; and they know they can then.

Autonomy means choice– choice of which to improve, choice of tool, choice of genre, choice of topic.

Much of school requires nonfiction and essay writing, yet good nonfiction writing often includes narratives. Since everybody likes to share their stories, use narrative as the first genre to acknowledge good writing and strategies to improve it.

Students are constantly telling stories. As students enter a classroom, they are buzzing with stories from the moment in the hall or from the game last night.Time to write those stories is not an extra–it’s the starting point that they know how to do so they know they can master whatever goals they need.

Give them choices. Entry tasks, blogging options,  free writing, power writing, choice time.

Create project choices: Tuesday +Slice of Life, DigiWriMo [all year], Writing Menus.

Provide language prompts: Language is a Virus Prompts  New York Times Learning Network

It’s the play to begin. Let them choose paper or typing. Play with words and phrases. Play collaboratively as students each write the story from their perspective, then collaborate to improve. But most importantly, it’s what they know and can do. Peer and teacher feedback then indicate what was done well and one or two areas of question to improve. Shared Google Docs or Slides allow peers and teacher to add those feedback comments.

If students draft on paper first, do a “Gallery Walk.” Leave writing on the desk with a lined paper beside it. Students walk around silently, commenting on the blank paper to identify what they liked as good writing with the example and a question about an area of the writing piece.

Depending on the needs of the students, the tool used to write could be a choice; the genre [script, story, lyrics, poetry] could be a choice.

Finally, purpose. Finalize stories by taking out the personal information, tweaking the content for public viewing, and make those narratives part of the school culture of learning and sharing with the world.

Have a category on student blogs as “Slices of Our Lives” which can be searched and linked to for sharing in a kiosk during any event, added to parent newsletters, sent out in Remind or other parent notification platform. Encourage parent comments.

Connect with quad-bloggers or connect with your own PLN classes to share, comment, and perhaps collaborate on stories. Or join in with Youth Voices Live for sharing and prompt ideas.

Let students know that their work betters the world; that sharing their stories helps others learn and grow.

Setting up a the writing classroom with time for narrative writing with the purpose of sharing short stories, anecdotes, lyrics, poetry to better the world provides students and teachers with the confidence to learn writing skills transferable to required essays and the choice to write about what matters. It develops a community of writers and that’s motivation with authenticity, purpose, and mastery. Celebrate that each week with live “Storytelling” from their own stories.

How have you found narrative writing as motivation?

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

This post is part of #DigiLitSunday

A challenge by Margaret Simon

 

 

 

#notatiste with Tony and Jen

 

Yes, I am not at iste while enjoying ISTE.

Still working – cleaning out my classroom– and trying to enjoy #notatiste with Tony Vincent’s Periscoping. Glad to learn about his periscope mic set up with iRig HD, battery, connect. That inspired my husband to try out Periscope for the Navy Band Northwest at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor’s Center.

During Tony’s walk through the exhibits, I learned about the nonprofit SAS and their FREE resources.  Just sign up.  Here’s the teacher guide to a writing planner for research [might not work if not signed in]. Here’s a blog on Political Cartoons. Curriculum works on iPads and Chromebooks too. Why use it?  Read here.

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Then the two schools in Hawaii gave amazing presentations — gotta check this out:

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Go to Tony Vincent’s Periscoping. Watch and comment.  Earn your ribbon, which you can download at his site by scrolling down.

Tonyscope+Ribbon

Be sure to join the #notatiste Google Plus Community created by Jennifer Wagner for many connections and challenges.  This post is one of them!

If you connect with me by commenting, you can earn my #notatiste ribbon:

ribbon sre ISTE 16

Isn’t it fun to be #notatiste?

 

 

 

I #AskBenW And he suggested

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The awesome Ben Wilkoff has done it again! Just tweet #AskBenW a question, and he’ll provide resources and suggestions.

This summer I’m taking a course on “Blended Learning.” Many of the participants are very new with digital classroom tools, so I thought I’d just ask an expert.  Ben is the Director of Personalized Professional Learning at Denver Public Schools, specializing in Blended Learning.

My Question: How do you get started with Blended Learning as a traditional classroom teacher?

Ben’s Excellent Response:

Gist: To become a blended classroom teacher, first become a blended learner.

Do:
1. Listen to podcasts, read blogs.
2. Start posting publicly online: resources, lesson plans

Why:
These will tweak your mindset and turn your brain to think like a blended learner so you can teach as one. By publicly sharing your resources and lesson plans, parents, family, and others can learn from you.

Thanks!

Thank you Ben for a wonderful response. As I reflect on my own journey to blended learning, I started in just such a way. I started listening to CDs and podcasts on education. I began participating in online webinars which evolved into Live Class 2.0 — Every Saturday at 9:00 am Pacific– learn a new tool or strategy. I started publishing my lesson plans online in Blogger. I read blogs and started blogging at Edublogs. I published lessons on a wiki [What Else]. I started connecting with other teachers to collaborate with student projects. And I joined Twitter. I have been a connected educator since 2009, and through these small steps have brought my students blended learning so they use the tools of today in preparation for possibilities of tomorrow.

How about you?  What’s your journey to become a Connected Educator and Blended Learner?

Not sure what to do?  Follow Ben’s advice — here are resources:


Ben’s Suggested Resources

Podcasts
EdSurge & iTunes
Horizontal Transfer & iTunes
Classroom Questions & iTunes
Techlandia & iTunes

Blogs
Pernille Ripp
John Spencer

Assessments

Fluberoo from Eric Curts

My Favorites:
Interactive Webinars
Live Class 2.0 Every Saturday at 9:00 am Pacific, learn a new tool
Archives of Live Class 2.0

Reviewed Tools
Teachers First   Reviewed Tools at the Edge   OK2AK Professional Development Online
Richard Byrne

Lots of Stuff: CybraryMan

Learn Google Apps
learn.google.com
Alice Keeler

Apps User Group from Eric Curts
Kasey Bell

Blogs
TeachThought
Edutopia
Larry Ferlazzo

Kasey Bell: Shake Up Learning

Online Spaces For You
Instead of handouts, provide a link to the handout website. Place your lesson plans online.

Free Ways to Publish Online
Google Documents or Slides can be published.Google Apps Personal  Google Apps for Education
Wiki: WikiSpaces
Weebly
Blendspace
Tackk

Blog Platforms
Blogger [free with Google Account]
WordPress [free]

Edublogs [ freemium]
Kidblogs [$29/year] Google Drive Integration / Signup

My recommendation to move from traditional to blended learning?

1 Start with Ben’s advice.

2 Start a blog — a newsletter for your classroom with links to resources, lessons, and classroom photos. Just blog twice a month to start.

3 And join Twitter — start building a PLN

What small step will you take to become a blended learner?  A connected educator?

And thanks again, Ben, for taking the time to carefully map a plan for small steps to become a blended learner.


Quote and Image

Sheri Edwards