Saturday, September 13, 2014

FIRST SATURDAY -- September 13

Here we are, back in Bailey Hall, though one flight up and a vast improvement from the second floor. We are comfortable with more space and less humidity.  As happy as we are to see one another, we feel the absence of friends who could not join us for the Fall sessions.  We will miss them.

Patricia Opened the day with some wonderful six-word memoirs.  

We had a quick refresher on the expectations for the Fall (see "helpful links" or the shared folder for the Fall Requirements Doc), and a couple of cool announcements:  1) SMWP is hosting a Writing Marathon in Portland next weekend. Bring a pen, bring a friend, and join us for a day writing around the Old Port!
 2) The Technology Conference is definitely happening on November 7, so ask for a professional day this week and register early (keep your eye on your inbox for registration information).  You'll recognize some names on the presenter list and have an opportunity to meet some great people while learning some things about technology that you can share with your own colleagues.

Writing Time -- any time at all during the school year is a gift, and writing time in particular comes as a rare and precious commodity.

Book Discussion -- small groups gathered by book choice and answered three questions about the book from the Rethinking Teaching Practice category: Thinking Out Loud on Paper, Room 109, Crafting Digital Writing and When Writing Workshop isn't Working.  Each group shared a strategy, idea or concept that participants agreed was important.  

Presentation Blurbs -- fascinating and dynamic brochure-worthy blurbs were crafted and shared on a google doc.  

Closing Moment -- Rebecca shared ZeFrank's eloquent video "Sad Cat Diary."  If you enjoyed today's clip, check out his True Facts videos.

Just Sharing-nErDcamp Northern New England "Unconference" is Coming in January

Hi everyone, 
I just wanted to share this FREE professional development opportunity that is coming in January. 
It is a great day for K-12 to discuss, share and learn together. Did I mention it's free AND there are door prizes!

Six Word Memoirs

September 13, 2014

In the Opening Moment we viewed a series of illustrated six-word memoirs created by students of various ages which you can see on the Washington Post website below.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Teachers at the Center-Review

I'm Sorry but I Have to Be Honest

As I was reading this book, I kept thinking about what I would post about it. Not much came to mind. Did I learn anything I could use in my teaching? No. Did I learn any new writing insights? Not really. Did I gain an understanding of where the whole idea of the SMWP came from? Yes. Did I need to read this book to understand that? 

This is where the honesty comes in. Besides a captive audience like those of us in this Institute, who really is the audience for this book? No idea, really, except the people he talks about non-stop. It sort of reminded me of one of those "bed to bed" stories second graders write. "First I got up, then I had breakfast. I had Cap'n Crunch. Then my mom told me to get ready for school, then I went to the bus stop and saw my friend Tommy"...and so on. He chronicled every moment of every year starting in 1943!!!

Truthfully, Rebecca and Brigid, you could have given us a five minute summary and we would have understood why SMWP does things the way it does. Hopefully I am not being too harsh. Maybe I missed something I should have gotten from this book? If you are looking for recommendations about whether to use this title next year, I would say no. (Unless you would like my copy as a donation for a future fellow!)