1980s Again (Or the Role of Choice in Reading)

Friday, December 30, 2016

     There I was, sitting in a very messy post-Christmas house.  Toys were everywhere, and I should have been cleaning.  However, I had just stopped in to a #LearnLAP Twitter chat, created by the talented Paul Solarz (@PaulSolarz) and guest moderated by Teresa Gross (@teresagross625), on Lit Circles and Book Clubs and had discovered something called #BookSnaps.  I have been a Snapchat holdout, until now.  In the name of literacy, I created an account.  I just needed a book to read to #BookSnap about.

     And then I remembered my book twin, and her quest to read books 1-40 of The Baby-Sitters Club in sequence by the end of the year.  We had agreed to both read #18 over the break.

     I was transported back to 1988 and found myself in New York City with the gang, exploring museums, walking through Central Park, and going to the theater.  Mix in a little middle school drama, 80's fashion, and old friends, and I was wishing I was actually there in New York.  Reading these books now, as a literacy coach, I am amazed at the craft work involved in the telling of her books.  Before CCSS Standard 6 was all the rage, point of view was on Ann M. Martin's radar.  Well done!  

     I finished the book, and really wanted to fly to New York.  Since that is not a realistic option, I remembered another book that I had upstairs in my waiting to be re-read pile.  Last summer, I had purchased From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  I received the book as a gift from my 4th grade teacher long, long ago but the box had been misplaced.  I bought a new copy, with the intention of reading it last summer, but never did.  My old copy has since been found (!!!), and I finally decided to re-read it.  

     Why now, might you ask?

     The story takes place in New York City.  They don't go to the American Museum of Natural History, like the BSC, but they do stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The main character of Mixed-Up Files is named Claudia, just like one of the main BSC members.  And, after Mary Anne talked the whole book about tourism in New York City, I wanted to read more.  

     From page 1, I knew I had made the right choice.  Enter my #BookSnaps.  :)

     What a great read!  To be truthful, I think I might have had the Art Institute of Chicago in my head for most of the setting, but reading about New York in the 1960s, and comparing it to the description in the late 1980s, was interesting to do.  Claudia's development as a character, and her reasoning for running away, was a hidden bonus to the re-read.  To be honest, my comprehension has greatly improved since I was a 4th grader.  I was a fluent reader, but not a deep reader, back then.  I'm glad that is now part of our instructional goals.  :)

     I was sad the book ended, so I read the afterword from the newest copy of my book, because it had hit a 35th year anniversary since my 6th grade read.  Hearing from E.L. Konigsburg about how the city of New York would be in some ways both the same and different for Claudia and Jamie in 2002 only deepened the comparison to The Baby-Sitters Club setting connection.  It turned out that the Met had actually written about it in their Museum Kids newsletter, too.  I quickly googled it, and there it was!!! Here is the PDF if you are a Mixed-Up Files fan.  There is a whole section on Michelangelo, since the mystery of the book is based around him.  Suddenly, I kind of want to re-read The Davinci Code.

     What does all of this have to do with anything?

     At the #LearnLAP Twitter chat about book clubs, one of the questions asked about tools that would help kids be successful.  Here was my response:

     We often hear the complaint that kids are "just reading" during Reading Workshop.  That somehow, the act of reading a novel isn't enough.  Now, that is true if the kids are not actually reading.  If they are holding a book quietly in hopes the teacher won't notice them, then we have a problem.  But, if they choose a book (like BSC #18), finish it, choose another one (like Mixed-Up Files), finish it, then go to the internet and find a nonfiction article to follow up, then isn't that what we want?  That wasn't my intention when I opened up BSB #18.  I just wanted to try #BookSnaps, and keep a promise to my book twin.  But, since the books mattered to me, I finished both of them in 2 days.  Yes, I'm an adult.  But, I am also a READER.  Maybe we need to tell stories like this to our students, to help them see that the books they CHOOSE to read can make all the difference.

     On that note, my own reluctant yet fluent 2nd grader reader just got books 1-4 of the Princess in Black series.  Let's hope that this character speaks to him as much as "the Claudias" did to me!  Maybe we will even make #BookSnaps about her.  :)

   Thanks, Paul and Teresa, for a great #LearnLAP chat!

Serravallo Struck


     I would say I am starstruck, as I often am.  I'm a #fangirl by nature.  But this time, I was beyond starstruck.  I was #SerravalloStruck.

     I became a literacy coach 4 years ago after teaching second grade for 15 years.  I knew second graders well, and they come in a wide range of ability, but I felt like I needed to up my game in knowing what readers at ALL levels do.  I learned by reading with kids for all those years in 2nd grade, so that is just what I did.  I went into rooms, sat next to kids, and conferred with them.  A lot.  At every free moment of the day, I would go into rooms across the school and read with kids, creating a staircase in my mind of behaviors that readers do.  4 years later, I am still building that staircase.  One of the ways some of those steps were built was reading with kids, and some were built learning from literacy experts.

     I found Jennifer Serravallo's book about conferring because that was my original goal for developing myself as a coach.  I read her work and watched a few of her videos, and I really liked what I saw.  I moved on to her small group instruction book after a few colleagues gave a PD and mentioned it.  The next summer, when the Playbooks were released, I read them with a coworker and we completely revamped our format for our formative assessment PD sessions for the summer.  Then, when I saw the Independent Reading Assessment, I begged my principal to buy them so that I could read the ladders and learn from her to reflect and continue to build the literacy staircase in my head.  And then... The Reading Strategies Book.  What a resource for our staff to use immediately, no matter the experience level!  I bring it with me to planning meetings so often that I even had a student look at me and say, "You look just like the lady on your book!"  I had become such a #fangirl that I think even the kids were noticing.  #twins

     In short, I have followed Jennifer very closely over the years, and today I finally got to see her in person.  The truth, however, is that I felt like I had already met her.  I have watcher her videos, and was part of her Digital Campus course, so I feel like I have been in a classroom with her.  I've watched her live on Facebook and read her tweets in chats.  But today, as I found myself face to face with her, I was suddenly so starstruck.

     And then I realized it was gratitude.

     Because of her work, I have put tools in my literacy toolbox, and hearing her speak today I was able to reflect on the impact they have had.  I flashbacked to myself sitting with teachers individually and making micro-progressions using the assessment kit as our guide.  I've gone into classrooms and done engagement inventories for teachers wanting help with readers.  I've modeled compliment conferences and talked about fluency records in building meetings and in planning sessions.  I've held PD sessions that focused on looking at student work, and asked teachers to bring student samples to our planning sessions.  We have completely revamped classroom conversations and book clubs after using her conversation records and TCRWP videos.  I could go on and on...  So many little nuggets of gold are hidden in her books.  Those nuggets, combined with my own knowledge, have been such a powerful combination.

     The thing that fills me with gratitude, though, is that by learning from Jennifer Serravallo and others, they have helped me develop into a confident coach.  Jennifer shares her knowledge with us freely, and that is a model for me to share with others as well.  If we don't see our fellow teachers as our dearest resource, I think we miss a huge opportunity.  Listening to Jennifer Serravallo talk, it is CLEAR that she is a product of all those she has learned from and alongside throughout the years.  She sees the impact others have had on her and recognizes it, and that is inspiring to me.

     It was also clear to me that the strategies and work that Jennifer has shared with us has come from real experiences with children.  She told us about her struggle to understand Nadia as a reader, and ended up creating the Independent Reading Assessment to get to know her reading habits better.  It isn't about using the "right" strategies created by others.  Sometimes, it is up to us to look to our students and create our own strategies to help them better.  

     I have had many conversations about professional development recently, and I am so filled with gratitude because I allowed myself to *want* to be a better teacher and admitted that I had things to learn, and it opened the door to so much more than I could have expected.  Watching her today, I realize that I still have so much to learn, and I looked around and saw myself surrounded by a table full of colleagues who I also learn from every day.

     It is up to us to see the value in learning from others.  Today, I got to see the impact it has had not only on me, but also on my school and our students.

    Here are my sketch notes from the day with Jennifer Serravallo.


(I wrote this weeks ago, and never hit publish.  Oops.  I am still filled with gratitude though!)


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Follow her on Twitter! @MrsHorne1

    This post is part of the #LaunchBook series of #D100BloggerPD.  This post is written by Lori Horne, a 5th grade teacher at Hiawatha School.  She is a guest blogger today on Responsive Literacy as part of this series.  She has been using the book, Launch, with her students in a NGSS based unit on the Earth's spheres and the impact of humans within at least 2 spheres.  Click on the Thing Link above to catch up on previous posts.  

Chapter 6Understanding The Information

     "Every child deserves someone to be crazy about them!"  I first read this quote and thought "Yes! That's me!"  Then I realized at that moment I only read part of that quote and mistakenly processed "Every child deserves someone to be crazy..."  Eh, either quote applies.  Allow me to introduce myself.  Lori Horne- fifth grade teacher, 18 years teaching experience, and first time blogger.

     I agreed to the journey of design thinking before knowing what it was.  Why?  Well, because I am crazy and crazy about my kids.  I love to see them authentically and organically learn.  Also, Jenny Lehotsky is a good sell.  She made the book Launch by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani sound like an epic journey.  I can't say I disagree.  I just know that I have some big shoes to fill.   So epic or not, I am sharing my thoughts during this #D100bloggerPD on Chapter 6.

    I'm a mom and a teacher.  So I see learning through multiple lenses.  My daughter, for example, LOVES basketball.  I mean the girl would sleep with her Jordan's on if I let her.  I questioned at first if this was her passion or did I somehow guide her to this.  Did I inadvertently use my Super Teacher powers of scaffolding to tell her that of all activities basketball was THE one?  Basketball was my sport growing up so naturally a sense of excitement was mixed with that concern.  But I decided that I would not make this a walk down memory lane for mom.  Instead, I found a basketball program for girls, signed Bella up and let someone else be the "expert."  This coach is intense.  My daughter is 8 and was taught and expected to execute drills I did in high school and even college ball.  I often wondered if I did the right thing.  There were tears.  But not for reasons I thought.  It was frustration. It was determination.  It was MANY hours on the driveway perfecting her shot and nights in the basement perfecting her ball handling.   It was watching YouTube videos and NBA games and many many questions.  All driven by her!  I had to let go AND be ok with it.  I now work for the basketball program.  Yep, on top of teaching, I told you I was crazy!  But I watch as my daughter grows and learns about a game she loves because she worked for it.  I offer suggestions and guidance ONLY when she asks for it.  Let me tell you, that is hard!  Why?  Well, because we have to admit that kids don't learn from only one source.  Even bigger than that, they can do this without us telling them everything.

     So what does that ultimately mean?  Make research fun!  Research doesn't have to be just about reading.  It's about discovery.  Furthermore, having the right attitude is key.  I had to step back and be ok knowing someone can teach my daughter basketball better than me.  I had to let her explore knowing she could fail.  But it's ok.  It really is.

     I brought this real life experience to my classroom while teaching the launch process to my students.  I will tell you, Phase 3: Understanding the Information, has been a challenge for my fifth graders.  Questioning is hard.  They are so used to us asking the questions and them just finding the answers.  So creating their own questions may take time and some reminders.  The kids should make sure that their questions are:

  • Connected to the main topic
  • Specific
  • Object and fact based
  • Going to help them find solutions and create products

     Once they make sure they have all that in place, they are ready to research.  This won't look like your "average" research.  This is student centered research.  They have to be allowed to explore.  So moving into this, you as a teacher should consider the following:

Make the Research Process Flexible

So far my students have used Notability, google forms, sketch noting and a plethora of organizational structures.

Pay Attention to Bias

This was a tough one to teach.  I found I constantly have conversations about the information about the information they find and how certain facts are conveniently omitted.

Start Early

I don't mean first thing in the morning.  I mean, early in the year.  We started this project early in November.  Without a doubt, I guarantee that when we do the Civil War nonfiction later in the year, these kids will be ready, to ask and answer questions.

Expand your Definition of Sources

Articles, web sites, books, and magazines.  Those are all wonderful.  But let them know there is more.  Reach out and find an expert to answer those hard hitting questions.  My students LOVED the fact that they could FaceTime my husband to ask about machines and mechanics.  Use social media to reach out to those who are experts in their field.

Provide Scaffolding... But Not Too Much

Ahhhhhh...  Sorry that was me letting go.  We are so used to feeling like we need to have everything planned out for our students.  So instead of telling them what they should or shouldn't do, provide them with options.  Begin scaffolding the lesson knowing that at some point you have to let go.  Let them decide what help they need and be there if they need you.

     Last but not least, allow for a bigger definition of a research.  While there will always be a need for a library, that should not be the only stop in their inquiry journey.  Therefore, think about these five key methods of research.
1.    Research through reading
2.    Multimedia research
3.    Exploring Data
4.    Interviews
5.    Hands on research

     Once they have all the information, they are ready to start navigating ideas.  To continue on this epic journey, join Hip Hooray in K as she navigates you through Chapter 7 on December 12th.  If you want to stay up to date with the entire book study, follow this link or click on the Thing Link above.

Hacking Homework: Hack #2

Saturday, November 26, 2016

     "The sole purpose of homework in 2nd grade is to teach responsibility."
      -L. O'Donnell, 1999

     That is a direct quote from me, during my first year teaching 2nd grade.  I used to say that to parents a lot, because I wanted my students to do their homework, and turn it in by themselves.  Part of me still believes in the value for 2nd graders to learn how to do work independently, and turn it in the next day. I always tried to keep the homework to 5-10 minutes, and it was always something they could do in independent review (or at least I told myself that...).  I never graded homework, and it never affected a child's grade on their report card (except for the box that asked if they did homework).  So, I felt like it was ok to use homework as an exercise in responsibility.  I don't think I harmed anyone in the process, but I wasn't sitting at their kitchen table every night either...

When we know better, we do better.

     The last few years I taught in a classroom, my perspective started to shift a bit.  There were a few students who almost never did their homework, and when they did they would never turn it in independently.  It's like they were begging me to re-evaluate my purpose for homework, and they did.  For those children, I began to realize on a daily basis that they did not have the supports in place at home that would make it possible for them to be successful.  They also didn't have the behavioral supports in class to be organized.  I started to realize that the kids who were "independently" doing their homework had parents who built time and routines in at home, and who sometimes even contributed to their homework.  Yes, I can tell the difference between an adult's writing, and a kid's writing.  I had seen it happen for years, but I guess I never really thought about how that impacted my statement that "the sole purpose of homework in 2nd grade is to teach responsibility."  Who's responsibility was I testing?

     Things have come full circle now.  I am the parent of a 1st and a 2nd grader.  One of my children comes home and gets started right away, because she is "responsible," but if I don't sit with her her homework is sometimes too challenging.  My other doesn't do it until we tell him too, and he can do it independently for the most part, but would never actually put the finished work in his folder without the reminders.  He is not "organized" or "responsible" by most definitions.  I don't think his homework alone is going to teach him to be both of those things, either, but the homework certainly has gotten easier the more he embraces those traits.

    In Hacking Homework, Starr Sackstein and Connie Hamilton talk about how simply giving homework does not magically make students responsible and organized.  They are skills that need to be taught and reinforced over time.  Homework could be a positive factor in that, or a negative factor in that.  But, the bottom line is, assigning homework does not directly result in organization and responsibility.  Those habits need to be taught, modeled, and reinforced constantly.

     Flash forward to today.  We are putting up our Christmas tree, and we need to clean up some toys before that can happen.  I found myself cleaning.  Yep, not my kids, but me.  Then I read Hack #2.   Every night I model responsibility with homework because we sit down and do it, but cleaning up our toys does not happen every night due to time.  Homework.  Dinner.  Bath.  Bed. Repeat.  But what is more important?  The life lesson of putting a worksheet in a folder, or cleaning up our messes?  In the day to day world, we don't always have time for both.  That is a parent fail, and I own that.

    Today, we sorted LEGOs.   I might not be #HackingHomework, but I certainly can reinforce learning traits and transfer them to things we do at home.  Let's hope this helps my kids keep their desks cleaner at school, too.  My hope is that some day, it becomes the norm at home too.  But, there is no magical wand (homework) that we can wave to teach responsibility.  I wish someone had told me that in 1999 when I got the keys to my first classroom...

     If you are interested in learning more about #HackingHomework, please join our Voxer group!  Colleen Noffsinger and I would love you to join us.  Here is a schedule for our upcoming conversations.

Illinois Reading Council 2016

     One of my favorite times of year has come and gone again... The annual Illinois Reading Council conference was once again an inspiring event where I learned a ton, and took a lot of literacy guru selfies.  :)  Check the Twitter feed #IRC2016 for more tweets.

     I started writing this post, but then realized I never published it.  So, I am going to just share my #sketchnotes from the sessions I attended and call it a day.  One word synthesis: Inspiring!  My general, overall thoughts?  Writing matters.  Model it, use books as a model for it, and be a writer yourself.  Non-fiction has so much potential for reading and writing, and we really need to think about how we teach it to our kids.  Images and visuals in books and our writing matter.  Literacy matters.



@KyleneBeers @BobProbst
(I always misspell her first name, because our PE teacher is a Kyleen.  Ignore the handle on the #sketchnote.  Her real handle is @KyleneBeers)




@maestracarrera @leahod
(I had the honor of presenting this session with the lovely and talented Lucy Carrera.
Thanks, Lucy, for your inspiration!)



     For those of you who know me, I am a self proclaimed literacy nerd.  In fact, I like to take selfies at reading conferences.  I mean, who doesn't?  The truth is, I like to go up to people who inspire me, and tell them that they inspire me, while posing for a picture with them.  I figure it really helps me synthesize the influence others have on myself and my students, and shows a little gratitude for their dedication to our professional field.  So, here are my 2016 #litguruselfies!

Many of the D100 ELA Squad with @FletcherRalph


Hacking the Common Core: Embrace the Novel

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

     The #d100bloggerPD crew is doing a blog study on Michael Fisher's Hacking the Common Core, in the #HackLearning series.

     The last 2 posts in the #d100bloggerpd series were written by fellow Hiawatha Husky +Kayla Kaczmarek last week (check it out  here) and by Freedom Patriot +Lauren Slanker (linked here).

     This hack started off with a quote (which I love) by Maya Angelou.  There are so many things that we do because we have always done them, not because they are in the best interest of the kids in front of us.  But, sometimes we change things just for the sake of change, and there really wasn't a need for something different in the first place.   The novel study seems to be in the middle.  When I first read the title of the hack, I was thinking this chapter would be more about the power of a novel as a read aloud, in addition to guided reading and strategy groups.  What it turned out to be was more of a chapter reminding us of the importance of literature in general.  In the elementary schools, I don't think we have forgotten fiction.  We have just added more informational texts, perhaps not even enough when it comes to read to self choices.  Kids in the upper grades still choose to read fiction, if given a choice (and maybe that is ok).

Hack 5: Embrace the Novel

     No, this is not a post where I tell you that it is ok to read a novel that does not fit the needs of your kids, has the teacher do all the actual reading work, and is picked because of a Teachers Pay Teachers packet.  I just want to be clear about that.  The one size fits all novel where that is the ONLY reading is not my intended message in "embrace the novel."  That brings me back to my own school experience, where the teacher spent MONTHS on a book that she loved, and did all the work.  The only reading that I did was the Cliff Notes version of the novel before the test.  There.  I said it.  This lit coach used to cheat on novels.  I was a busy teenager, with teenage things to do.  The Cliff Notes told me everything that I needed to know, anyway.

     As Maya Angelou said above, "now that I know better, I do better."  ELA instruction is not about getting the kids to says the things that YOU think are important in novels anymore.  It is about having the students realize they they as readers have their own ideas about text, and that they can share those ideas with others and GROW them into even bigger ideas through conversations and written response. Gone are the days where we want the students to say that the rose is a symbol of love, and here are the days where students name the symbols they themselves see as readers and explain their reasoning, with text and their life experiences in mind.  I don't think the Cliff Notes would have helped me with that...

     I have been a proponent of using a good novel to tie instruction together across the day for years.  As a literacy coach, I have seen how a great read aloud has tied together all the pieces of Balanced Literacy and created an environment where learning just multiplies in the room.  Here is a post I wrote a few years ago explaining how our 5th grade used The Apprentice to tie their day together.

     Michael Fisher discusses how in the Common Core they shifted the balance of literature and informational reading in the classrooms.  In primary grades, it's now 50/50, with the end of high schools shifting to 70/30.  By the time they get to high school, reading across the day should have an informational focus, but that doesn't mean that ELA teachers are the only ones who have kids read.  The 70% was intended for 12th grade students.  There is no reason to remove literature from the curriculum as we go up in grades.  In the middle and high school grades, Fisher suggests that we "spread responsibility for balanced reading among all teachers in the school."

  • All teachers should support literacy, in reading, writing, speaking, or listening.
  • Informational reading across the grade should be integrated across content areas.
  • Do not eliminate literature from the curriculum.
  • Enhance the understanding of literary texts (like novels) with supporting informational texts.
     Michael Fisher also knows that professional development is critical when making these changes across our instructional day.  He says:
Schools often benefit from having a literacy coach on site.  This is a person who can provide ongoing feedback about balanced literacy, content literacy, the connections between reading and writing, and curriculum help to integrate literacy seamlessly into any content area.
      I like this guy!

      In all seriousness, my work as a literacy coach has diversified quite a bit since I started in my role.  While it started just unpacking reading standards, it quickly turned into unit planning with backwards design and content integration, horizontal alignment of reading and writing, and vertical alignment across the grades.  This is NOT the type of work that can be done quickly, and I have come to really enjoy the collaboration with teachers every week as we build relevant units for out kids.  I love my job.

     Fisher talks about assessing the the texts that you use, and how you use them.  Text complexity is NOT just a lexile, or an F&P letter.  Background knowledge is so important to many texts above a P/Q, and that has to be considered.  How teachers use a text, and the supports they provide while reading it, also drastically change the way a book is understood.  Using a novel as a read aloud, with front loading of setting if it is a different time or place, and use of accountable talk or sketchnoting, can make a text more rigorous and released to the students.  That just happens to be my 2 cents.  :)

     Fisher also talks about letting "Dorothy return to Oz" and bringing literature back to the ELA class, but not necessarily just teaching the same novels you have always taught out of comfort.  When I was in 7th grade, we did a unit on The Outsiders.  The middle schoolers in my district still read The Outsiders today.  I have a feeling, however, that the way they teach it is very different from my days in 7th back in the early 1990's.  Good books transcend time.  Good teachers modify the instructional delivery, and use resources that support them and their students.

     As soon as I close this post, my computer will be turned to writing a novel unit on Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier, in collaboration with +Tyler Haar.  He noticed that his students LOVE graphic novels, but weren't quite reading them as rigorously as traditional novels.  He also discovered that Ghosts celebrates Hispanic culture, which is something we want to promote more at our school.  So, we are adding a new novel into the read aloud mix.  It will hit Common Core Standards, and it will add content and culture, and it will MATTER to his students.  Literature has the great possibility of showing students where they fit into the world, and that others struggle and overcome in the world as well.  Embrace the novel.  Create people who see other people, too.

     Just  remember, as we integrate the Common Core and content areas into literacy, do it carefully.  If we are intentional and purposeful, we will see the benefits of the novel in our students.  I see novels as windows to the world.  Let's open the windows up in our ELA classes!

The next post in the #d100bloggerpd series is up tomorrow!
Diona Iacobazzi will share her ideas about 
Hack #6: Prioritize on http://thebazzblog1.blogspot.com!


The Ed Collab Did it Again!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

     It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and my kids were at their dance class.  This week, they got to invite their 3 year old cousin to join them!  It was adorable, and funny, and awkward, watching my 3 year old niece dance in the big kid class.   It was enough to distract me, at least for a little while, because a little voice in my head kept saying, "You are missing the intro to the Ed Collab Gathering."  Sadly, their studio does not have wifi.  Thank goodness those #tinydancers put on a great show.

     The truth is, I have really come to enjoy the twice annual gathering put on by the generous educators in The Educator Collaborative.  Free PD in my pajamas (usually), given by top rate educators!  A PLN dream come true.  :)  Here are my previous reflection posts:

Spring 2016

For links to watch this year's sessions, please go to the gathering page on The Ed Collab's website.

     I was able to attend 4 sessions live that day.  Here are my sketch notes, and the Twitter handles of the presenters.  Please follow them!


     I did not end making sketchnotes for the last session.  I use sketchnotes to synthesize the important ideas as I learn, and the last session was really more about inspiration.  We heard from educators from around the world who are are under 30 years old and have already made dramatic enhancements to the education field.  It was inspiring to hear about their work, and made me think about the impact that I can have on students going forward.

     I was honored when Clare and Tammy asked later if they could make my sketchnotes of their session as their Twitter cover photo.  The ironic part of that is that I had been inspired to sketchnote a year earlier by Tanny McGregor, whose session with Shawna Coppola earlier in the day had been about sketchnoting too!  I had seen her post on her blog post (here) in December of 2015, and I had just started digital sketchnoting at conferences a few months earlier.  It was her post that inspired me to buy a journal and do it as I read novels, too, that has inspired me to see the true benefits of sketchnoting with pens and with a stylus.  Thanks, Tanny.

     Clare and Tammy, you are an assessment light.  We need you in this data driven world.  I will be using your book and the ideas you shared with SO MANY teachers that I work with in my district.  That Messy Planning Sheet is INSPIRED.  

     Pernille and Amira, we have 5 classes at my school reading The BFG for the Global Read Aloud.  Thank you for connecting our students with the world through literacy!  We are excited to begin this week!

     Thanks again, +Christopher Lehman, for putting together such a great day of learning.  I would say, "See you again in the spring!" but I don't need to wait that long.  I am signed up to learn with The Educator Collaborative all year long.  Go to their website and check out the professional development options they have!  They are a wonderful addition to your PLN.