SOL17 DoodleaDay 30 Tools and Spaces

doodleaday_30_tools_spaces.sre

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:

sketch50_page.book.device.sre

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.

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

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.”

 

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

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.

 

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

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

 

#leadershipday13 Answer: How Do Busy Administrators find time?

Each year Scott McLeod challenges us to challenge our administrators to move forward with technology for the learning processes of our schools. Thursday, August 15, 2013 is #leadershipday13.

How do busy administrators find time to do all the tasks expected with their school board of directors, their staff, their students, and their communities?

Administrators have many stakeholders to consider throughout their day — it’s difficult to juggle these expectations. How might technology help?

Our administrator focuses on communication and collaboration with our community and staff. He writes “Thoughts to Share” for school board and staff and sends home a calendars of events.

Paper handouts often wind up tacked to a fridge or cabinet door, piled with other handouts, or stuffed in a briefcase or book bag, or filed in a folder. What if all those communications could be organized and accessible as needed? How could a busy administrator find time to share, communicate, and collaborate? Perhaps technology can help.

1. Public Google Calendar on the school website

What’s next? What have we done? When is that meeting? that track meet? Embed the school calendar to a page in your blog and to the website for quick access.

Why? By adding the important school events to a shared, public calendar, all members of the school community have access to school events (sports, meetings, field trips, trainings, conferences, etc.).

2. Start a community blog (public) 

Our community loves to hear what is going on. What would you share? How about blogging once each week, just a paragraph, on four different topics (listed in categories)?  What categories would you choose?

While making rounds in the classroom, writing thoughts to share, or considering upcoming events, make a note of those things and perhaps snap a picture on your iPad.

Once a week, schedule a time to write a brief post in one category:

 Possible Categories

Vision — How are we’re doing?

Classes — What learning and engagement do you see in classrooms to show the vision and progress?

Parents — What are students doing? Who can you thank? What happened at events?

Next month— What’s coming up? What’s the focus? What should we expect? How can families and community help?

By creating categories, readers can view the category needed and review the year in those posts.  Add polls for parents to complete and accept or contact by email for ongoing open communication.

Of course the public calendar would be embedded a blog page.

Why? Open communication, photos and blurbs, and ongoing information contribute to showing and sharing the daily efforts of students and staff towards learning and growing as a community; it brings the outside in and the inside out.

3. Start a Staff Blog (private) or Website

With so many items that must be attended to as we strive for school excellence, what can an administrator do to share and organize information? Administrators, especially principals, have weekly thoughts and ideas to share, meetings to plan and attend, questions to ask, and strategies and documents to share. How can all of these be shared in a timely manner– and be available as a reference when needed?

How about a blog accessible to staff? Ask questions, share documents, link to collaborative, shared Google Docs for input, provide upcoming events, etc. It would be the “goto” place for the most current information and expectations, organized and accessible to staff in one place whenever it is needed.

Perhaps a page could be added for all document links. Provide the information needed ahead of time for staff meetings so everyone is ready and prepared for discussion and action. Embed the calendar on another page.

Again, use categories, tags, or Table of Contents to organize the information: announcements, documents, meetings, items due, queries, readings (for example). What would you use? Would a site or blog work best for you?

Why? A paper trail gets lost in a folder or pile. A “go to” place allows access and organization whenever needed. The trail is clear and available. In the busy times of teaching all day, the ability to find and refer to important organizational needs and focus is paramount to building a professional community where everyone is part and everyone has access so the vision of that community is embraced and lived. Pop open your laptop or or tablet device, and you can review any of the items or add to the conversation on shared documents.

4- What about Collaborative Documents?

Link to documents in the blog or embed them in the website for staff (or community). Provide information or ask for input:

Staff meeting questions or readings before meetings?

School Improvement documents

Google forms to ask for input

Instead of waiting for meetings or emailing staff, use the blog to post questions and link to the shared document with your domain. Staff can subscribe to the blog to receive each update.

Why? Collaborative documents and Google Forms provide a means for communicating and sharing ideas without calling a special meeting or waiting for a staff meeting. It allows everyone to participate and share their voice; it inspires ideas that might otherwise be lost: it helps build the professional community that drives improvement and teamwork.

Which step would you take?

These are four ways busy administrators can connect, communicate, and collaborate with various stakeholders in the school community. The blogs/websites are hubs of outreach and input for an ongoing conversation and report of school events and progress for the community, and are hubs of communication and collaboration with staff for continual progress and sharing of programs and events that can eliminate meetings and provide the place for building a community of practice that includes all staff.

The extent and depth of participation and collaboration will be up to each administrator, but these ideas provide keys to keeping communication current — and curated for review.

Why? Your time is valuable; a place to post relevant information for different stakeholders saves time for you in distribution and organization; it builds community and trust through your input. It builds a history of possibility and progress.

What do you think? Could these four ideas help stamp out the “im” and make possible better, more organized, and curated communication for your school’s professional learning community? Which one could you start?

Image

Cross-posted at WhatElse