Friday, August 10, 2012

Cognitive Markers and Outcomes

After attending a workshop this summer where Ellin Keene shared ideas and insights from her newest book, Talk About understanding and then reading the book, I wanted to better remember some of the concepts. I have crafted some posters to help me think about cognitive markers and outcomes. I can then model these when working with students and help them develop their thinking as well. I find it useful to use overviews and bullet points of various components along with clipart to help me better remember ideas. Let me know what you think. Your ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated.
Any of the files provided below can be viewed in a larger format by clicking on them.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Quick Slice on a LONG Day

I took the March SOLC and wrote all 31 days. While not all of my entries were great, it provided me with an opportunity to challenge myself to find something to write about everyday. Prior to the March challenge I had been writing a slice each week since December. In January I introduced the concept to my 5th graders and they have been slicing most Tuesday since then. I've learned a lot about myself as a writer and my students as well.

This month we are focusing on poetry. We started reading Love That Dog in class. A number of my students even tried their hand at poetry for their Tuesday slice. I am so impressed with their work and effort. They are growing so much as writers. I look forward to seeing them write more poetry during this month.

Today was a LONG day.
One filled with meetings...
I arrived at 7:20 AM.
Didn't leave until 8:10 PM.
Day ended with parent meeting....
An introduction to our Human Growth unit.
Glad it's a 4-day week.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Slice #31 2012 - Last Day

It's my last full day in St. Louis and spring break is coming to an end. Today we will head to Budweiser for a brew tour, see the zoo, eat and early dinner on the Hill and then see Cavalia, a show with horses. We head back to Chicago tomorrow and school begins on Monday. It's been nice to have time to travel a bit. It's also the last day of the SOLC. Wow! 31 days of writing. It's been an adventure writing each day. I look forward to seeing my fellow slicers on Tuesdays.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Slice #30 2012 -Time with my daughter

My daughter was still asleep. (She's on spring break too.) I took the dogs for a walk and headed to breakfast in the hotel's atrium. The room was filled with families eating and getting ready for their day. It's spring break and they were enjoying a visit to St. Louis, just like me. I brought a book and as I read as I sipped coffee and watch the news on TV. An unhurried morning, the last Friday of spring break.

Yesterday we walked to the arch and then to the baseball stadium. We enjoyed lunch from the Zia's food truck. (Zia's is a well known Italian restaurant on the Hill.) In the afternoon we headed to the pool, the high school pool. My daughter coaches water polo for a high school, something she has done for three years now. We returned, ate dinner, walked the dogs and watched a movie. While my day wasn't spent trying to pack in all the sights, it was nice to spend some time with my daughter. She'll graduate next December after student teaching in the fall.

I look back at the days when both she and my son (her younger brother) were still at home, when we'd go on trips together. They've grown up more quickly than I could have imagined. Now I savor every opportunity I have to spend time with them. We don't get to take the family trips we once did, but memories of them return.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slice #29 2012 Trips down memory lane

Yesterday I drove to St. Louis. It was a 6 hour drive south. I brought our dogs along since we'd be visiting my daughter who attends school in Missouri. The temperature climbed as I drove further south. I had my iPod playing as I drove since radio stations come and go quickly. The songs made me think back on days gone by, people and memories from high school and college days. It's funny how songs can take you back like that, isn't it?

Today, as I sat with my daughter at a Drury Inn enjoying the "kick back," I heard "Mrs. André, Mrs. André" from behind my table. Standing there was a girl who had been in fifth grade a few years back. She wasn't in my class, but I remembered her from school. She remembered me too. She's a freshman now. It was quite a surprise to see her so far from school. I'm sure my presence here took her by surprise as well. It was so nice to see her and have a chance to say hello.

These recent events provided trips down memory lane.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Slice #28 2012 - Thoughts from a Digital Immigrant

I love using technology as a tool to support learning in my classroom. We have a class wiki, a class website with links and published work and a class blog. We craft movies after writing scripts, filming and editing. Students have learned how to troubleshoot and why it's best to have a laptop on a flat, hard surface. (Yes, I know they are called laptops, but that's a bit of a misnomer. They get hot and keyboarding is more of a challenge on one's lap too.) My students were born at the turn of the century, that is the 21st century. They have always lived in a world filled with cell phones, MP3 players, cable and the Internet. My students are digital natives.

While I grew up in a time when you had to approach the TV to change the channel, used a "land" line to call your friends, researched using encyclopedias and typed papers on a typewriter, I have adapted to the ever changing world of technology. I read about new technology tools, find ways to use them when it's appropriate and even competed a master's degree in Instructional Technology. Technology is an important part of my life. I plan lessons using my laptop, enter grades in PowerSchool, call parents on my smart phone, connect with friends, write on my blog, family and colleagues on Twitter and Facebook, and pay bills online. However, I am and will always be a digital immigrant.

I still look back fondly to the long ago days I spent riding around on my bike. When I wanted to hang out with a friend, I'd knock on their door to see if they could play. My time was spent outside whenever the weather was nice. The only video games I played were Pac-Man and Centipede at an arcade. I listened to records and later 8-tracks. We used maps to find our way. While I have willingly (well, most of the time) entered the digital world, I still sometimes think life was a bit easier, more relaxed even, back when we weren't so connected.

What will my students think about the technological changes they will encounter as they become adults? Will they look back and think life was easier and more relaxed too? Our world changes at an ever increasing rate. "Change is good, you go first...."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Slice #27 2012 A Spring Break Poem

I thought I'd try a quick poem for my slice today. April is poetry month and we will be focusing on this genre as we read and craft.

Temperatures are in the 40°s.
The wind is blowing strong.
The early flowers sway.
It's a typical March day.

How I wish the sun was out.
Where is that blue sky?
Looking up the sky is gray.
It's a typical March day.

Spring break is here.
Can the sun come back?
I want to go out and play.
It's a typical March day.