Guest Post: My New “Talks With Teachers” Interview

I find Brian Sztabnik‘s mission with his new “Talks with Teachers” series to be so inspiring.

Brian set out to capture the voices of our profession through interviewing inspiring educators. Now in the form of a a weekly podcast (ranking continuously in the “Top 5” iTunes K-12 podcasts), Brian’s “Talks with Teachers” interviews a wide range of educators.  In an engaging format he digs into educators’ stories of becoming teachers, their professional struggles, and their practical advice for all of us.

I loved hearing how Carol Jago started out and Grant Wiggins’ early career bought of laryngitis–these are stories we have not hear before and love the feeling as if we’re sitting down for a cup of coffee with teachers from across the country.

You can follow the link here to my new interview or click the image below.

click to go to my interview (image from TalksWithTeachers.com)

This is a podcast series you’ll want to subscribe to (subscribe via iTunes at this link) and a website you’ll want to bookmark. I found myself falling down the internet rabbit hole and listening to every episode!

Hats off to Talks With Teachers for sharing the joy and inspiration of educators for educators. Our profession is full of powerful stories. I’m thankful for the amazing community we all form.

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My Nominations for Edublog Awards 2013 #eddies13

I am no good at these things because I basically want to write:

“I nominate everyone.”

I will take a stab though at nominating some people, posts, and sites that I have found helpful and inspirational this past year for the 2013 Edublog Awards. The worst part is that for every category there are about 200 other nominations I want to include as well.  My apologizes in advance as I fumble my way through this.

If you would like to make your own nominations

Just write a post like this one thru tomorrow, December 1st. Then go here for full directions on how to submit your post full of nominations for consideration.  There are so many categories (I’ve left them all below so you can see them) yet no one seems to include them all in their posts, so only nominate those you feel compelled to.

Social media hugs to all!

My Nominations

  • Best individual blog – To Make a Prairie (Vicki Vinton). Always timely and thoughtful, but what really gets me is how gorgeously written and heartfelt each entry is. Inspirational in form and substance.
  • Best group blog – The Nerdy Book Club. Of course. Thanks for raising the flag for children, adults, and why we choose to teach.
  • Best new blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Best teacher blog – Matt Gomez always impresses me. His ideas stretch well beyond Kindergarten, though I am so happy he is in the world with such a huge belief in the complex minds and lives of our little ones (I think if he and @MrazKristine were ever to meet 5 year olds would take over the world with brilliance. It’s a secret wish). 
  • Best library / librarian blog
  • Best administrator blog
  • Most influential blog post of the year – Note, I am totally biased on this one, Kate is my close friend, co-author, and all around rock. That said, “A Day in the Life of a Close Reader” on KateAndMaggie.com is one of my favs of the year, not only is it a message we all need but it’s heartfelt, well written, and is still stuck in my mind (Yuppy Puppy, Hutch, and that personal calendar). 
  • Best individual tweeter – I want to be @maureenjohnson when I grow up.
  • Best twitter hashtag – I love lots of things, I also love #engchat. (And zombies, but that’s not for here.)
  • Best free web tool – I’m loving Triberr.com (thanks to @KleinErin!)
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast
  • Best educational wiki
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
  • Best educational use of a social network
  • Best mobile app – Twitter, which I know, is like saying “air is good,” but it is the most thumb-pressed app on my phone.
  • Lifetime achievement – Larry Ferlazzo. I don’t know what constitutes lifetime, but Larry does it all and does it all very well.

Happy nominating!    I’m late to the game, so remember you have through tomorrow, December 1st to post yours. More info at Edublogs.

SmartBlog on Education Guest Post – Testing: Are Percentage of Students Crying Valuable Data?

by albertogp123 used under Creative Commons lic

In my second SmartBrief SmartBlog on Education guest post this week, I share the experience of one educator in New York State as s/he reflects on a day with the state’s new CCSS “aligned” testing program. The reflection is not a lone experience and is instead one of a large and disturbing pattern across schools in this state.

The response from the NYS Department of Education has largely been one of believing this new test is very much aligned to the new standards and is largely appropriate (see Peter Dewitt‘s EdWeek article on NYS Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch’s recent comments).

You can find the post here.

I hope you read the post and then add your voice to this critical conversation.

You can also find my related SmartBrief guest post from Wednesday, “Fairytales of Data,” on the tale we are told about US performance versus other countries (and how the data just doesn’t add up).

 

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Christopher Lehman blog sticker-01Follow Chris on Twitter and his Blog. Learn how to have him work with your school or organization.

SmartBlog on Education Guest Post: Fairytales of Data

by DavidGardinerGarcia used under Creative Commons lic

We all know education in the United States has been pummeled recently and a large portion of the attack has been attributed to how this country performs on the global stage.  It’s a tale we have been told to argue for a whole slew of mandates.

In my guest post today on SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Education I suggest that international and national testing data may not be telling the bad news some claim it does.

You can find the post here.

I wrote a related post last October “Education’s Own 47%.”

There is much to do in education, we all continue to work to impact the lives of every child–in the US and internationally–but I suggest the way we grow is by working in collaboration, not in competition.

It’s time to tell your story, our collective story, to change the fairytale into fact.

 

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Christopher Lehman blog sticker-01Follow Chris on Twitter and his Blog. Learn how to have him work with your school or organization.

Nerdy Book Club Guest Post: Reading is Dumb. There, I Said It.

Colby Sharp and Cindy Minnich  invited me to guest post on the Nerdy Book Club, one of the web’s go-to communities for all things book love: recommendations, author posts, reader posts, inspiration, even their own awards.

So in honor of the whole Nerdy Crew being in my virtual PLN (and I in theirs), their dedication to books and getting books into kids hands, and their rapidly growing book loving community I thought I’d write them a guest post entitled “Reading is Dumb.  There, I Said It.”

And you are welcome, people.

Photo by shutterhacks. I took some liberties...
Photo by shutterhacks. I took some liberties…

Love books too? Want to guest post with Nerdy?  Just go to their page and click the big-ol-button on their sidebar to share your interest.

Enjoy.

Classroom Q&A Guest Post: Best Ways to Prepare Our Students for CCSS in Language Arts

Larry Ferlazzo hosts the EdWeek blog “Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo” in which he takes questions from educators and then invites answers from other educators, experts, authors, and blog readers.

His multi-part series have recently included questions and answers about ed-tech in classrooms, teaching students with special needs, grading systems, tapping creativity in the classroom, and many more.  The archives are a compendium of all of our everyday questions and many thoughtful responses.  (While you are at it, subscribe to Larry’s other popular blog “Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day.”)

“Q” and My “A”

I was honored to be asked by Larry to provide my own answer to the question “How can we best prepare our students for the Common Core in Language Arts?”.  You will find my response and that of other educators in his two part series of responses.  Part one is found here in which I write about remembering our students are at the core of any initiative.

Hope you enjoy the responses and will post your own comments.

Two Writing Teachers Guest Post: Informational Writing Can Be Informational Learning

I am honored to be guest posting today at Two Writing Teachers, a fantastic education blog–or perhaps a better description is an education community–led by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz. Two writing teachers, “Teaching Kids. Catching Minds. 565 Miles Apart,” as they say.

Not so long ago they celebrated their 2 millionth hit. Yes, 2 with a millionth after it.

Their blog posts range from the writing lives of classrooms, teaching ideas, guest bloggers, great new mentor texts, reflections on conferences, and a really cool weekly “Slice of Life” invitation in which they are readers to link back to their slice of life writing from their own personal blogs! It invites all of us to keep writing and really brings together the Two Writing Teachers community. Just search their blog for this logo (click this one to go to one of their Tuesday invites):

Here is the link to my guest post. It is on helping students learn to teach through their informational writing–both through their development and structure.

Enjoy!

#eddies12 Edublog Awards: My Kardashians+Reading Guest Post was Nominated (Because Why Not)

Well that’s a nice surprise.  My guest post on reading guru Donalyn Miller‘s Edweek blog, “The Book Whisperer” was nominated for a 2012 Edublog Awards in the category “Influential Post.”

While I don’t know that Influential Post is true or not, or if the post is more or less influential than any of the others, it still is awfully nice to be nominated.

Being newer to the blog-o-great-learning-o-time-sucking-up-sphere I only just learned about what the Edublog Awards even are, and I am a fan of their mission.  Head on over to them to learn more about the history and mission of the awards.

Get To Know Some Great Posts

Having this and other categories means there are lots of curated posts, twitter handles, and more to explore.  Click here for the list of shortlisted “Influential Post” nominees and read their posts.

My guest post, “What the Kardashians Taught Me About Reading Instruction (No, For Real)” can be be found by clicking the link to Donalyn’s EdWeek blog either on the Edublog list or here.

And you can vote by clicking here or the Voting Open image right over there.

Yay education!

Listen!: My Education Talk Radio Interview

I just finished my appearance on Education Talk Radio with Larry Jacobs which aired live today at 11AM EST on Blog Talk Radio.

I will admit at about 10:48 I was reeeeally nervous. Way more nervous than I am used to. I present frequently and honestly love to talk (as those who know me know all too well). But 12 minutes before the show my stomach was in knots. The first great help was tweets and messages of love and support coming from so many of you. THANK YOU. The other great support was that Larry was a terrific host – funny and thoughtful.

Here is the link to the archived interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edutalk/2012/11/12/common-core-and-re-energized-research-instruction

We talk about my book Energize Research Reading and Writing, why I love Library/Media Specialists, the Chris Lehmann/Chris Lehman confusion (with a shout out to Kate Roberts), seeing the CCSS as habits not check-boxes, with a backdrop of laughter throughout the show.

If you don’t follow Education Talk Radio’s blog, you really should. No really. Larry has AWESOME guests. Wait, that wasn’t big enough…

AWESOME GUESTS

Here are just a few podcasted shows with people you love:

Thanks for listening! Happy researching!

Burkins and Yaris Guest Post: Common Core Instruction, Like All Good Instruction, Is Not About Fish Tossing

Educators and writers Jan Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris are the double duo of “Burkins and Yaris” – a popular blog and twitter handle. They have largely made it their mission to dig into deeply reading the Common Core State Standards (and many of its tangential documents) and then share their thoughtful, sometimes quirky, often spot-on analyses.

I was delighted to be invited to guest post with them. So, I wrote about throwing fish. The Common Core and throwing fish. Oh, and teaching and learning.

Part One is here, and Part Two is here.

Thanks to Jan and Kim!

A Must Read from Scott Rocco

Scott Rocco is co-moderator of what is fast becoming one of my favorite chats (even despite the fact that it is at the bitter early morning hour of 7:30AM Saturday… though does repeat on West Coast time at 7:30 PST.  So, technically there are no excuses for an East Coaster like me).

What I find so appealing about #satchat is not just that it is a group of [mostly] educational administrators using their weekend morning hours to talk more education, but that it has become a place for extremely positive and uplifting problem solving.  This past Saturday, for example the topic was:

A morning spent considering ways of recognizing teachers and students?  Lead by administrators?  It’s better than coffee… a point I think I make every #satchat I am able to join. It truly is a jolt of energy at the end of the week, just read the #satchat archives for examples.  (If you are new to Twitter Chats my how-to tips are here.)

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-look-inside-satchat-by-co-founder.html

Scott also has a very active blog “Evolving Educators” in which he shares his efforts to support the learning of his staff, peers, as well as his personal ever-evolving instructional practices.  I find his blog just as positive and supportive as the chat he co-leads, woven with a belief in every child and every adult.

  • This post on his district’s efforts to embrace tools for being more connected (including tools I only just learned of through this post.)
  • This one, his advice to other ed leaders: don’t forget what it was like to be in the classroom.
  • Or this, that as I think of all the districts taking on technology initiative feels like perfect timing for thoughtful values to keep in mind.

I’d encourage anyone to join #satchat… yes, even at 7:30AM (I promise you’ll forget what time it is a few minutes in)… and subscribe to Scott Rocco’s Evolving Educators.

Happy evolving!

A Must Read from Matt Renwick

Donalyn Miller just tweeted a post from Principal Matt Renwick, from his blog “Reading By Example

The particular post is a thoughtful analogy about teaching reading and writing drawn from forgetting his swimsuit and watching his family splash around from the sidelines. A metaphor after my own heart.

Which led me to surf around the rest of his blog and now I’m a subscriber.

I mean…. how awesome is this? (Answer: very awesome).

And this? (Answer: extremely awesome).

A principal that he spends time nearly every day READING to students in classrooms!  And writing all the time!

Inspiring leadership inspires.

The Book Whisperer Guest Post: What The Kardashians Taught Me About Reading Instruction (No, For Real)

Reading guru Donalyn Miller invited me to post anything I’d like to on her fantastic Edweek blog, “The Book Whisperer.” So I wrote about the Kardashians. Well, reading. Reading and the Kardashians.

Read it here.

And if you haven’t already, get a copy of her book by the same name: The Book Whisperer, which I think is one of the best written odes to teaching reading I may have ever read.

…and I’m not just saying that because I put Kardashians on her highly respected blog. I’d mean that sans Kardashians.

A Must Read from Vicki Vinton

I’ve heard so much about Vicki Vinton’s education blog. I’ve loved her other work and today just started following in earnest – and already I’m inspired. In her most recent post she reminds me – though I think all of us in our political world – that the internet is full of educators blogging, tweeting, thinking together. She shows this beautifully by pairing thoughtful prior blog comments with images.

I’m hooked, a subscriber now, consider doing the same.

Here is her post “On Teachers & Learners & the First Day of School”:

http://tomakeaprairie.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/on-teachers-learners-the-first-day-of-school/#comment-523

Chartchums Guest Post: Charting a Course to Deeper Learning

Visit my friends over at Chartchums, and while you’re at it check out my guest post from July 2012: http://chartchums.wordpress.com/2012/07/