Here are three things I read this week that moved me, challenged me, and encouraged me. I hope they do the same for you.
1. Information Writing that is NOT the “Research Paper” by Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell
From the authors of Writing with Mentors comes a powerful post on writing and research and our students. Not only is this post challenging, but they also provide a wealth of resources to help!
Not only do we limit our students’ understanding of research when we limit students’ information-writing experiences to the extensive, academic writing assignment described above; we completely dumb down their understanding of the complex, multifaceted world of information writing.
2. The Importance of Doing Laundry: Maintenance Matters by Kate Roberts
Thank you, Amy Fouse, for sending me this post. I love the new and the innovative, but Kate is absolutely right. We must celebrate the maintenance because that is where most of the real work is happening.
I would argue we do not spend enough time talking about and celebrating the labor of teachers – all the maintenance it takes to get great and innovative ideas up off of the ground and into the world. And we do not spend enough time helping each other to find sustainable ways to practice that maintenance and keep it going.
I’ve had the honor of being in Katy’s class twice — once at a Teacher’s College Institute and once at Homegrown. Reading this blog post makes me feel like I’m right back there with her. Katy’s reflective (and humorous) voice gets to the heart of why we need conferring notes and why we should share them with students.
But what if we started to think of conference notes not as teacher tools, but as teacher-and-student tools? What if we changed the purpose and intention and power of conferring and conferring notes? What if, in fact, we thought of them not as a tool at all? What if we thought of conference notes as a structure or a routine, like gathering on the rug or keeping a writing notebook, something that creates time and space for something we value?