Guest Hosting #Engchat Tonight! Let’s talk Family Involvement

I am looking forward to guest-hosting tonight’s #engchat! It is at 7pm EST.  Simply follow the hashtag “#engchat” and include it within your tweets in order to participate.

I am excited to facilitate the conversation not only because I love this community that my friend and fellow The Educator Collaborative member, Meenoo Rami, founded, but because we will be chatting about a topic that is critical to the growth of our students and our schools.

Tonight’s chat is titled:

Family Involvement: Go Beyond Lip Service & Build a Strong School Community

I have become so interested in this topic for two reasons:

One, my own children are in school.

When my daughter began Pre-K over three years ago, I suddenly saw schooling in a whole new light.  It has led me to reflect a lot on what I did (and did not do) for parents and families while I was in the classroom.

The other reason I am so drawn to this topic is that I have been serving as Special Advisor to the National Center for Families Learning.

They believe that one of the most powerful ways to support a child’s education and development is by supporting the education and development of the entire family.  Yes!

And they have been doing so, and serving as a hub for other organizations large and small, in amazing ways.  I have to say, I fell in love with their work instantly and give a lot of time and energy to their work freely.

So, tonight I invite you to join us as we think about ways that we as English or literacy teachers support family involvement.  Though, you do not only need to teach English or reading and writing to join, everyone is welcome!

Here are draft questions for tonight’s chat: click this link.  Please do take a look and feel free to comment, revise, or add additional suggestions.

 

New to Tweet Chats?  No problem!

If you are new to twitter chats, or have only been a “lurker” (twitter-ease for people who watch chats but don’t tweet responses), you are welcome to this and every #engchat.

There are many guides online for how to engage in a twitter chat, here is one I wrote: “So you think you want to Tweet Chat: From Lurker to Chatter 101”.  And know that everyone in this community is happy to have you and will help you out!

So You Think You Want to Tweet Chat

 

I hope to see you in the twitterverse tonight!

 

Thank for all you do!

Chris

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Co-hosting #NCTEchat w Meenoo Rami on 3/16 8pmET

March 2014 chat

I’m looking forward to joining Meenoo Rami on March 16 when we co-host NCTE’s #nctechat!  We will be facilitating a discussion on professional collaboration (one of my favorite topics!). These group twitter discussions are always loads of fun and incredibly inspirational.

New to tweet chats? Here is my how-to post.

So You Think You Want to Tweet Chat

Also, if you missed Kate Roberts and I co-hosting #nyedchat this past week, the archive can be found here. We led a conversation on teaching reading in NYS, where we are now and where we could be. Tons of educators (not only from New York) joined in to talk about the opportunities and challenges of state level initiatives around reading. Kate and I spoke right after about how energizing the conversation felt, how inspired we felt by the ideas being shared.

Hope to see you online Sunday night!

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.

11/11 #FILWCloseReading Twitter Chat

SEE UPDATED ARCHIVE FROM CHAT AT END OF THIS POST.

A few twitter friends organized a chat about our new book, Falling in Love With Close Reading, taking place tonight from 6-7pmET.  The chat is about the book, but if you have not read it (or have just started) you are still welcome to join in.

Fran McVeigh, Allison Jackson, and Laura Komos made this google drive document with questions and links for tonight’s chat.

by Tkgd2007 used under Creative Commons lic

If you are new to twitter chats you can check out my how-to post: So You Think You Want to TweetChat: From Lurker to Chatter 101 for tips.

Be sure to include the hashtag #FILWCloseReading in all of your tweets to join in.

See you tonight!

 

UPDATE: Archive from tonight’s chat!

http://storify.com/LauraKomos/filwclosereading-chat

Falling in Love With Close Reading cover

11/6 #LeadAndLearn chat “What’s Next for #CCSS & Our Schools?”

(time correction): November 6 at 11:15 CST join me as guest host of the #LeadAndLearn chat live from The Leadership and Learning Center’s “Common Core State Standards Summit 2.0: Getting Ready for the Next Generation Assessments” in New Orleans.

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 7.49.15 AM

The summit is on the Math and ELA CCSS and assessments, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards.  I’m excited to give the keynote on the first day and attend several sessions.

Topic: What’s Next for #CCSS and Our Schools?”

Draft questions are posted here and open to revisions, comments, and additions.

Use your twitter account and apps or websites like twitter app, tweetchat.com, or twubs.com to follow the hashtag #LeadAndLearn from 11:15 to 12:15 CST to participate.  Be sure to include that hashtag in every tweet you send so the entire group can see it.

by Tkgd2007 used under Creative Commons lic

On the Road

My blog has been a bit quieter than I like these past few weeks because I’ve been on the road.  I enjoyed working with a school district in Michigan, keynoting the Annual Reading Conference at Cleveland State University in Ohio.  I just got back from a weekend keynoting and presenting in Dubai at the MENA Common Core conference, and in a few hours I head to the airport again for The Leadership and Learning Center summit.

Join me in person or online at UW-Madison

I’d especially love to extend an invitation to you to join me in person or virtually for my evening talk on the Common Core State Standards at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s School of Education (go badgers!) on Wednesday, November 20 from 6-7:30PM CST.  The event is free in person or online, but both do require advanced registration which you can find here.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 12.29.07 AM

I’m talking Common Core sanity. Hoping to balance out the extreme views on both sides and offer research based, practical advice to educators, parents, and leaders for moving forward.  There are also a few surprises in store that I’m very excited about.

Archive from tonight’s #DonGraves chat

What a moving conversation tonight for the #DonGraves chat. Thanks to Penny Kittle and Tom Newkirk for this project.  It was fun hosting with Donalyn Miller and Penny and seeing so many of you come out to talk about Don’s legacy, his vision, and to share inspiration.

The archive is below, I plan to look back between that, the book and DVD for new insights.

Listening matters, conversation matters, and it’s great to have both with all of you and this vibrant education community we are within!

Chat Archives

Storify version of the archive

Google Docs version of archive (thanks Sarah Mulhern Gross for your help with this!)

 

#DonGraves trending on twitter…

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.31.50 PM

Summer Book Club Twitter Chat!

Mark your calendars and set your automatic reminders to July 10, 2013 at 8:00pm ET.

Join @donalynbooks, me (@iChrislehman), and we’re excited to be joined by friend and collections’ co-editor @pennykittle! Use and follow the hashtag #DonGraves.

At IRA’s convention in San Antonio I attended Penny Kittle and Tom Newkirk‘s session on writing instruction pioneer Don Graves. In the session they shared excerpts from their newly edited collection of his writings and archival videos, Children Want to Write: Donald Graves and the Revolution in Children’s Writing.

Sitting in the audience with friends Jen Serravallo and Kate Roberts, we couldn’t help but be moved by the clip of Don sitting at a large rectangular table with a group of children as he facilitated their conversation about their own ideas, their own writing.

It was hard to believe that there was ever a time when this was atypical. That there was a time when few believed children could do much more than brief prompted writing and sentence diagraming. That there was a time when the larger world of education believed that children weren’t mature enough to have their own ideas worth writing about.

Jen, Kate, and I got to talking about the pacing, the wait time, the careful listening. The session felt like a reminder of what matters most in education: valuing student voices.

Summer Book Twitter Chat

It felt natural, then, that during a #titletalk chat on summer reading plans, Donalyn Miller and I struck up the idea of organizing a chat about this new book. It felt like an opportunity to not just look back on the legacy of a pioneer, but a point of inspiration as we look ahead to the future of our field.

At a time when forces outside of our classrooms seems to be saying that students should write less and less from their hearts and more and more to assigned prompts, we can chat together about the vision we want for our writing instruction.

We will chat about the entire book and DVD, our classrooms, and our instruction.

Hope you can join us!

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!

I Broke Twitter. And it was Worth It.

Thanks everyone who was able to join me and @meenoorami for #engchat tonight when I guest moderated “Teach Students to Research, Not Regurgitate.”

…To be completely accurate, I guest moderated until this happened:

Twitter Jail

Yes, my friends, with around 15 mins to go… I found myself in twitter jail!  (Which I find hil-arious).  Twitter sort of kind of explains what this mystical place is here. A place I had never heard of until deep into moderating a popular chat.

So, note to self: Day of hosting a chat = barely tweet.

Still Worth It (Check Out the Archive)

It was still worth it, however, because I love #engchat and tonight’s sharing of ideas was another great night of learning.

If you couldn’t join us live check out the archive.  Start from the bottom and work up (it’s only 74 pages!) …And laugh as you notice me suddenly disappear… 

Or as @thereadingzone explains in a way that makes me feel less embarrassed and more proud of everyone’s work tonight:

In closing:

  • Join #engchat every week, Mondays at 7 pm ET.
  • And finally, hoard some Get Out of Jail Free Cards. You never know when you’ll need ’em.

So You Think You Want to Tweet Chat: From Lurker to Chatter 101

This post is intended to help anyone who has been a twitter lurker (some of my favorite people are still lurkers) into being a twitter chatter.

An older edweek post circulated on Twitter today: Why Educators Should Join Twitter.  In it Peter describes that in his early-to-Twitter, are-you-really-sure-this-is-for-me uncertainty, he suddenly became converted after joining a twitter chat (in his case the terrific #elemchat).  As you probably know, I’ve become a bit of a twitter evangelist myself, professing it’s power everywhere I go and for me, just as with Peter, joining in chats has been not only powerful professional development but also emotionally uplifting in those times that I find myself in a deep funk.  Like this recent #edchat archive, where I left the hour feeling amazing.

I’d like to share how I set myself up for an education chat on twitter to help you do the same.

Go from Twitter Lurker to Twitter Chatter

And just so you know, I personally think this post would be a million times better if it were actually a 1950s educational video on a grainy black and white film reel, but we’ll do the best we can.

(I’m very proud of that graphic, everyone.)

Step One: Find a Chat

Chats are typically one hour discussions, usually on a regular schedule (like every Wednesday at 9pmCST). Think of them as a party of smart people that you are mingling within, not as a typical workshop.  There are many people meeting to talk about a topic (depending on the facilitation they could be conversations led with questions or just very open) but it is nearly impossible to pay attention to all comments.  So your first step is just finding a topic you want to mingle about and the time the party takes place.  Here are some helpful ways:

  • Cybraryman (he calls himself a twitter librarian) has a very thorough twitter chat page: http://cybraryman.com/chats.html
  • Here’s a non-education-specific list from ReadWriteWeb that is a touch outdated but many of the chats are still active.
  • Or I often find chats when suddenly everyone in my twitter stream is using the same hashtag…

Step Two: Set Up

I like to have both my computer and phone, though you could do this with one or the other.  I find it helpful to have three websites open on my laptop:

  • I  have my phone next to me, using the Twitter App.  This seems to help me notice when someone has sent me a direct reply (more on this later in the post).
  • What’s nice about tweetchat (and there may be other clients, please feel free to suggest in the comments) is that it automatically follows that hashtag for you , meaning it only shows tweets that include that hashtag in it’s text.  It also automatically puts the hashtag in for you when you type, saving the correct number of characters automatically.  Like so (note – if your mobile browser is not displaying the images below, be sure to view on “Full Site”):

Log-in. Type in the # to follow (in this example #edchat). You can even adjust the refresh rate.

Type what you want to say into the box – you must stop at or before “0” characters left.

Et voilà, tweetchat plugs in the hashtag for you when you hit “update”.

As an alternative, you can do a similar move inside of the Twitter App by clicking “Discover”. Just be sure to click “All” in order to see everyone’s tweets, not just from those you follow. And note: while in “discover” the app will put in the hashtag for you, outside of that you need to remember to type it in yourself.

Step Three: Chat!

Depending on the size of the chat, it can sometimes feel really overwhelming.  My advice: start by replying to individual people.  In a very large chats it’s often easier to have small conversations than to try and follow the whole room — as I said earlier, think of it like mingling at a dinner party, not attending a workshop with a main speaker.

Advanced Tweet Chatting Tips

Here are a few more tips that help me (I’d love for you to add any others in the comments).

  • Mind your Qs and As. Some chat hosts list questions in an order: Q1, Q2, Q3…  And then participants can indicate which question they are responding to with A1 (for Q1) , A2 (for Q2), and so on.  If you come late to a chat watch a bit to see if there is a numbering system (not all have them), so you can be on the lookout for the next question.
  • Adding links for others. In the Twitter App you just need to type in the link and Twitter automatically shortens it (HootSuite does the same, as do a few other apps). Tweetchat for some reason does not, so that’s why it helps to have that 3rd page open – bit.ly or tinyurl.com or whatever other url shortener.  You just plop your mamoth url address in and it makes it use less characters.

Bit.ly for example turned this

Into this

Same link (56 characters) christopherlehman.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/the-book-gap/ , shortened (now only 13 characters) bit.ly/Py7t2h

  • Keeping track of links people post. I often find it hard to both follow a chat and open links, so many people use the “favorite” feature (the little star in the Twitter App and on Tweetchat) to hold something you want to read for later.
  • Keeping track of the fast moving conversation. Two bits of advice:
    • One, as I mentioned earlier in the post: in tweetchat, adjust the “refresh” speed.
    • Two, have your phone next to you using the Twitter App, it helps so much. For example, I have my iPhone set up to buzz me and preview a twitter reply to me (called “mentions”).  So in a busy chat if my phone buzzes, it’s an audible notice that someone said something directly to me in the room. I’ll look for it on the Tweetchat screen or if the chat is really busy, I’ll just pick up my phone and chat with that person through my Twitter App (note: in that case you have to remember to write in the hashtag yourself or it won’t show up in the main “room” for everyone).

You Can Always Read the Archive Later

If you feel like you missed a lot in a chat – which is very likely.  Look for (or ask the person hosting for) a link to the archive of the chat.  To be honest, I find them impossible to read in any logical way because it is often just a literal print out of every tweet, in order.  But you can still find a lot of really helpful advice and links. Just go into an archive thinking you’ll get a general sense of the chat and you will look for some helpful threads of conversation.

You Learn by Doing – and messing up is okay

Like anything, it just becomes easier the more you do it.

I hope to see you in twitter chats soon, not just lurking but sharing. Feel free to tweet me if you have questions or need some advice on chatting – or to any one for that matter already in a chat.  I find every education conversation I join in to be warm, welcoming, and supportive. All of us actively chatting in the education community on twitter really, really, really would like you to join us.  So don’t fear messing up–we’ve all done it before.

Happy chatting!

________

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