Well, here we are in Bailey enjoying the pink halls of the second floor (who decided that was a good idea?!) and the first day of the summer portion of the Invitational Institute. Hooray! We began the day negotiating USM bureaucracy -- parking, email accounts (huzza to the Help Desk!), and other what-nots. For her Opening Moment, Brigid read from an essay on the similarities between running and writing, which was a great way to begin our writing excursion. As a set up for our Quiet Conversation about Donald Graves’s Testing is not Teaching, we watched SIR (yep, that’s right, he’s knighted -- how cool is that?) Ken Robinson’s RSAnimate version of his TEDtalk on Changing the Paradigm. Later, many noted that moving toward proficiency-based grading is at least a small paradigm shift. Personally, I envy Pat and Wendy for being able to work with 98% genius divergent thinkers all day.
The Quiet Conversation led to a thought-ful and reflective Spoken Conversation about Graves’s book, our current times, and our hopes and fears for education. Is standards based learning a true paradigm shift? Are we all in danger of becoming robots? A big shout-out to Wendy for keeping the Bean Lesson alive and well in Saco!
Google drive discussions came next. We lamented that we cannot block certain students from using the chat feature and bemoaned the temptation of cursor races. But don’t forget all the tips and tricks we listed in the “Google Docs Resources” document.
Fun times were had by all as we assembled our writer’s toolbox. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the time Thurston Rathbone actually objects at his daughter’s wedding. The story of “Little Red Writing” was oddly appropriate; she knows that for a good story you need characters, a setting, trouble, even bigger trouble and a solution to the trouble. She also found some pretty good words on her journey, like verdant and russet.
Keep the writer’s toolbox in mind tomorrow, when you go out on your writing marathon (and don’t forget your umbrella!).