Writing too…

And, so, while my house has burned down and I’m dealing with the stuff of that–literal stuff, lack thereof, and theoretical/metaphorical/psychological stuff–work continues too.  It isn’t so much that I devalued writing, but not having a house has actually freed up a fair amount of time and I’m trying to use that time, as much as possible, to do some writing.

Three projects running up to submission deadlines are:

  1. An article for English in Texas.  This piece is based on the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts Annual Conference presentation that Katrina Jansky and I did titled “Getting off the Hamster Wheel: Teaching reading and writing in a time of change.”  The article is focusing on how teachers can dig into teaching literature in ways that value time, choice, relevance, talk, and rituals and routines, no matter the mandates, policies, standards, or tests that roll on through.
  2. An article for the English Journal that grows out of work with Anna Consalvo on material tools in the writing classroom.  This work has been going on for the better part of nine years, essentially growing up with my children.  The most recent work was a book chapter that questioned the power we (teachers, parents, writers) cede to educational technologies, especially when it comes to literacy.  The newest take on the work will focus on how sticky notes are a key tool for empowering student writers throughout the writing process.
  3. A keynote and workshops for the 38th Annual Old Dominion University Spring Conference.  I had a hand in crafting the title and after a lively email back-and-forth we came up with: High School, College, and Beyond: Teaching Writing Where We Are and for Where We Hope Our Students Will Go.  The focus goes back to some of the writing for college, career, and life work that I did a few years ago, but come back to often in the conversations I have with high school English teachers and preservice English teachers.  It’s good to chew on these ideas, refresh them, and interesting to try a new genre.

Given that 1 and 2 are subject to peer review, watch this space for publication updates.   And I’ll post the keynote here after I’ve given it, and include the workshop materials as well.

Interesting app for collecting data

Data rules education now, for better or worse.  So, I’m a big fan of collecting lots of data, across a range of situations/setting, across time.  But that’s actually quite difficult for teachers to do.  This app, Kaymbu, appears to do just that.  A possibility, to be sure.  And while this is marketed to preschool/kinder, I think it could actually be quite powerful for all grades because it would make it so easier to capture the types of data I was talking about above.

Now, I want to try it for less than $25/mo, so we’ll see about it.

Team Calendars

Trying a new website calendar called TeamUp.com. The goal is for my students in the field to let me know when they’re in their classrooms so I can visit more students at once.  Here’s hoping this new technology works.  It’s a free account, so nothing lost if it fails–just perhaps my sanity.

Event input

Event input

Google Calendar, fwiw, failed miserably.  I tried creating calendars for folks to share and they could input events that I couldn’t see, or I could see them, but then they disappeared.  To much hassle.

We got there first!

Many teacher colleagues/friends and research colleague/friends and I have worked on this idea that digital technologies, while cool, are not the end-all be-all that they are made out to be.

Imagine my surprise when I see this Edutopia article about how cool post-its are.  We totally got there first!

With eternal thanks to all the amazing classroom teachers who have let me sit in their classrooms watching, and pick their brains afterwards.  Post-its are amazing technologies.