Saturday, April 15, 2017

Celebrating: Student Voice

Last Saturday I spent the day listening to #TheEdCollab Gathering "PD in my PJs" with a cup of hot tea, and my notebook to collect all the juicy nuggets that I learned.

I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to learn side by side virtually with brilliant educators.  The ease of learning at home, being able to pause a session to switch the laundry or answer my phone was a perfect Saturday combination. Another key for me is writing down nuggets of learning and referencing the session numbers.  Did I mention the power of twitter? When you tweet and there is an instant community of learners. #purehappiness All the sessions are archived, so I can go back and listen again, or better yet share a session with a colleague.

One of my favorite quotes “Step back in your classroom and let your learners take center stage” My biggest take away was the reminder and importance of student voice.  This shift in thinking has happened for me over the last 2-3 years; however, I have to be purposeful with creating this feeling in our classroom. The sessions I listened to were focused on writing and honoring the power of writer’s notebook. The importance of teaching my writers that their notebook is a safe place to write anything. A sacred place they can choose to share their thoughts that they may not be able to express verbally.  Writers need a place to capture their thinking with free choice on topics.  Opening a mini-lesson with What Do You do with a Problem? allows all writers to have an opening and a choice to write about a difficult situation.  Some of my favorite picture books for an opening include:
·      First Day Jitters
·      Courage
·      Those Shoes
·      Henry’s Freedom Box
·      The Book Itch
·      OK Book

Continuing to learn to step back as a teacher and reminding myself that writing workshop is a perfect place to allow students to share their voice will be my target the last six weeks of school Thanks to Ruth for encouraging us to celebrate every Saturday. 



  1. Thanks Maria! I love your reflection and the inspiration you are to always always always learn! Hugs, Ruth

    1. Thanks Ruth your EdCollab talk really spoke to me. Your stories touch my heart.

  2. I love the PD in PJs offered by EdCollab. I listened to Ruth's presentation and loved every word. It's great that we can access these sessions later. Love this quote from your post: "When you tweet and there is an instant community of learners. #purehappiness"

  3. I've heard many praise this session and I'm happy that you enjoyed it so much, too, Maria. Have a great time implementing the new ideas in these final weeks.

  4. EdCollab is a fabulous PD. Always so inspiring. I appreciate that they allow viewing it later when you can't attend on time.

  5. I have not had a chance to look into the archives of the EdCollab last weekend, but from what I've seen about it on social media, it was absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing your takeaways!

  6. I too spent some time this week with EdCollab -- via the archives. Inspiring! Gotta love "PD in my PJs."

  7. Maria, I was at The Ed Collab Gathering throughout the day but this time, I woke up early to shower and get dressed. There were many powerful statements and I tried to capture them in tweets throughout the day. “Step back in your classroom and let your learners take center stage” is a powerful mantra for your last 6 weeks of school. Happy Easter!