Blogstitute: Week 2 — C’mon, Catch up!

I’m still hoping that you’re following along with the Stenhouse blogstitute this summer.  This week we get to read a bit from Ruth Ayers.

If you’re not following along already, you can click through this link to read this week’s Blogstitute article. Go ahead — then lets chat a bit.

Celebrating writing — beyond the traditional publishing party and author’s tea.  I’m in! I know that parents have come to expect the ritual of the author’s tea, but somehow it doesn’t feel much like a “celebration” to me anymore.  I love Ruth Ayers idea that celebration is what we do all along, when we honor and rejoice over the work of the craft along the way.

So — what are my action points??

I’m thinking about it.  I want to find some ways that I can clearly communicate my respect for the work that writers are doing in my writing workshops.  I’m not there yet.  It will take some percolating to find the “hit”.

But I’m also thinking about Ruth Ayres comment about her own process in a group.  Should we maybe cycle back to working as colleagues in writing workshops?? Would the process of writing together help us to improve our practices again?  Maybe this is an old idea that needs a refreshing and a do-over.  Would my teaching colleagues find this useful and meaningful?  I’m thinking that perhaps a process group around class newsletters or class blogs or even report card comments.  That would be real-life, meaningful writing for us as teachers…. Would it be meaningful collaboration too?  Would it help us grow both as writers and as teachers of writing?  I don’t know.

This one has me thinking for a while.

Stenhouse Blogstitute: Are you reading?

I’m hoping that you’re following along with the Stenhouse Blogstitute this month.  Its been terrific — and for those of us who are reading Day By Day as our summer reading, the contributors have been Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz, our authors!!

The first week focused on Student led conferences.  If you missed it, you can click through this link and catch up.

I’m wondering what your action step will be from this?  I have a couple of thoughts:

1.  I’m thinking about some action research on my own teaching.  Stacey offers five major categories of conferences that she conducts.  I’m thinking of coding my conferring calendar to track which kinds of conferences I’m conducting.  I’m curious to see if I fall into a pattern or if my conferring with some students falls into a pattern.  Awareness is always the first step to change, and data drives awareness.  Here’s a chance to collect some meaningful data as to why some conferring feels so productive and powerful and other conferring feels so lackluster.  Maybe??

2.  I’m also thinking of updating my conferring calendar to assimilate some of Stacey’s Conferring Manifest.  Theyre pretty similar, but I’m always looking to refine and improve.

3.  I think that with some of our older students, I want to try some of the student led conferring (which, I know, was Stacey’s actual topic).  Maybe I’m biased, but I think that starting with my older students makes sense for me.  It will let me work out the kinks with students who are better able to articulate what is or isn’t working and with old friends with whom I have a long-standing relationship.  (This is one of the perks of being the literacy specialist–I don’t always start over with a new crop of relationships to build each year.

So what are your action points after reading the article??