Here’s what I love about online professional development- I can access it anywhere at any time and I have chosen it, so I am motivated. I have been busy in the last week meeting online friends in person and catching up with family and friends in Boston before go back to Malaysia in a week and a half. I almost always feel that I get way more than I give in terms of learning. I love the opportunity to think with all of you. Thanks to all who shared their blog posts and/or comments in week 1!
Chapter 3: What Really Matters? Authenticity
I have to admit a certain irony- I am writing this post based on my handwritten notes in a spiral notebook after reading the book from my Kindle. I read in many different places, but still do not take notes digitally always- weird. A good reminder to me to continue to teach different options and let the learners have choice, which ties in perfectly with this week’s reading. I need the reminders that the reflective questions provide- intentionality, authenticity (with built-in choice) and connectedness continue to be the drum beat here. I liked the reminder that authenticity means that not everyone will be working in the same way in terms of reading and responding. Authenticity being about choice and ownership ensures this. Another reminder to give students access to our inner dialogue- I always worry that this slows the process down too much or over assume that they know the how and why- I need to go slower to really teach this. I loved the resource lists in this chapter- some were new to me and others were reminders I need at this time of year when I gather resources.
I wonder how to include all of these digital forms of reading on the adapted 40 Book Challenge that I have done the last few years (based on Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer) and would love ideas.
Chapter 4: What Really Matters? Becoming Intentional Decision Makers
Starting with a review of what intentional means gave me a wider lens. The reminder that students have to know what is possible as readers, writers, and learners is useful. I always start the year by brainstorming with students the reasons we read, the forms it can take, the reasons we write, the forms it can take, the reasons we share our learning, the forms that it can take. These charts stay up through the year and we add on to them as we grow. The reflective questions again seemed to really speak to me and the steps I need to take. Again the resource lists were useful, with a few that were new to me. My biggest take away in this chapter was to keep asking the students about their purposes to help them build their intentionality. As a nerd, I sometimes worry about age restrictions on various apps, so I have to look at this as well.
Chapter 5: What Really Matters? Connectedness
I liked the definition work at the beginning and the emphasis on being connected within the classroom as well as beyond the classroom. Periodically we create expert lists in the class when it is clear that some need more help (or need a place to shine) and this reinforces to me that I need to do this earlier and often. My push for me is that I need to collect more digital text sets. I started to do that (I use SQWORLs a lot for my students and for myself) but need to do it on an even day to day level. This chapter was one where I felt like I have made good efforts in recent years, but it always needs refining.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the text. Thanks to Cathy, Laura, and Michelle for hosting.