Tuesday, July 19, 2016

DIY Literacy: Chapter 5 & 6

We are building a screen porch in our backyard this summer.  When I say we, there are three integral people.
  • our friend (the builder) who knows everything and is helping my husband learn about construction
  • my husband (the runner) helps with everything and is learning several new building skills
  • me (the supporter) cooking meals, filling drinks and helping when asked.  I am very good with the million trips to the lumber yards because I can follow a list extremely well. 

As I sit on our front porch writing this post, and I hear the saw cutting the cedar wood, measurements being told several times and the occasional, "I love it when a plan comes together."  That is how I am feeling as I finish the book.  I love it when my learning comes together.

Chapter 5 Just for You
  • ...during  the preparation, investing time in the right tools and collecting them p. 72
  • look across the lesson and make predictions - where might students need support? p. 80
  • with the correct tools students can differentiate themselves p. 72
  • Which strategy are you going to try today? p. 74  (opening of workshop)
  • How did yo push yourself as a writer today?  p. 74 (closing of workshop)
Chapter 6 Nuts and Bolts
  • As I am considering my classroom design, I am now considering where the most foot traffic will be in our class?  p. 88
  • How can I support my students when they need fuel to keep them going when plugging away on the hard stuff?  p. 88
  • Kid friendly language - less is more p. 91
  • If students are shrugging... it's time for them to roll up their sleeves and take more ownership of their work. p. 93
  • Think of our demonstration notebook as a library book - it should travel around the room. p. 95
Every statement above has stumped me in the past.  I've said them aloud to myself in a questioning voice or have asked colleagues. I always feel a little better when I read my "problems" in a book because it's not so lonely.  One of my biggest take away from both chapters is that I need to spend more time thinking about these issues and how I can begin to make minuscule shifts in my practice.  One thing I know about myself as a learner in the summer is that I want to do EVERYTHING and I know I can't.  Already as I have read other blog posts and twitter chats, I realize that we're a community of learners.  It's not an isolated experience and learning with 50+ is so much better than learning alone.  I am thankful for comment feeds and a huge thanks to everyone who made a video or shared their own work by taking photos.  It's been another amazing summer PD.  Here's to the last few weeks of summer.  Thank you for the journey of #cyberPD.


  1. You are living DIY in may ways this summer! That screened in porch will be amazing!

    I agree that sometimes teaching can feel lonely, but it's so good to hear K & M and other teachers share their struggles. We are not alone and together we can do better! I love adding more tools to my toolbox and there will be a right time and place to use each -- not all at once! Enjoy your last weeks of summer!

  2. Love the connection to your porch construction...can't wait to see it!

    Good reminder to make small shifts CONTINUALLY rather than trying to do one big remake.

  3. Hi, Maria - I think you are right in stating that we need to reflect and figure out ways "to make minuscule shifts in my practice". As teachers, we have a tendency to set the expectations for ourselves too high. Reflection will help us focus on what is really needed and how to go about achieving that goal. Screened porches are great for reflecting!

  4. Many smiles as I read your post! (And I am so jealous of your porch!) Knowing we are not alone is reassuring and I love that you are thinking about what 'minuscule' shifts you can start making! Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference!

  5. Three cheers for summer learning...and beyond!