Monday, July 4, 2016

#CyberPD 2016 - Week 1

It's time for July CyberPD.  This year we are reading DIY LITERACY by Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts.  You can follow and join the discussion on the Google CyberPD Community and follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #cyberPD.

This week's response is for Chapters 1, 2 and the Bonus Chapter.

How do we get our students to remember what we've taught them?  How do we get our students to work independently?  How do we meet the needs of a diverse group of learners? These are our goals as classroom teachers and these are questions all of ask each regularly!  In this book Kate and Maggie will be introducing tools that can help us meet these goals.


TEACHING CHART: I think many of us already use these - I certainly do! The authors refer to 2 types: repertoire - a list of skills or strategies and process: steps to using a skill or strategy.  I believe the key here is to make the chart with your students and make sure it hangs where students can see it.  In my experience students also need us to model how to refer to and use the chart.

DEMONSTRATION NOTEBOOK: This would be a working notebook that the teacher creates and keeps on the ready to use in small group or individual instruction. It is a collection of interactive lessons to help students practice a needed skill.  I am interested in learning more about this tool.  The first time I heard about this tool was on Kate and Maggie's blog DIY Literacy video series and it really captured my attention.  How many times have I gathered a few students together to try and reteach a skill, only to spend more time talking and not enough time practicing!  I really want to see and hear what other teachers are thinking about this idea! Am I organized enough to make and use one of these? Would I start making it as I need it and then have it for the following year?

MICRO-PROGRESSION CHART: This reminds me of a rubric.  Students are provided with examples of work that are leveled from lowest to highest quality.  Criteria or descriptions for each level are provided.  This way students can self assess and know specifically what they need to improve.  I don't think you would make this chart for everything you teach, but I could see creating one for areas that you feel the whole class is in need of work.  One particular area I think would work for me is in writing workshop.  Even after using checklists and rubrics my third graders will often think they have included particular revision strategies or skills.

BOOKMARKS: These are personalized for the specific student and students are involved in creating them.

In the Bonus Chapter Kate and Maggie discuss how to find the strategies you need.  And I think this CyberPdD is a perfect way to connect with other teachers to help locate great resources.  They also discuss how to write a strategy and what to write, in detail.  I admit this is where I will need to go back to when I'm ready to try it in the classroom.  It is summer after all!

FAVORITE SNIP-IT FROM BOOK: page 3, "we often get trapped in the hamster wheel of breadth-of being sure we have gotten to everything-rather than centering our work on depth." Yep, yep, yep! I agree and remind myself of this hamster wheel for me!

I am very excited to read and learn from all the other cyberPD-ers this summer.


  1. One of my summer goals is what they call a demonstration notebook (I call it a conferring notebook). I am collecting ideas now and will make them when I am back at home in just over two weeks. I know what I create will just be a start, but it will give me something to add on to throughout the year(s).

  2. I am with you on the demonstration notebooks! What an intriguing idea... but I'm still wrapping my head around it! As much as I would love to have one started before school starts, I feel like this is going to grow out of needs as I see them arise.

  3. Debra,
    I'm looking forward to learning more about the demo notebook. I think all of the tools will be powerful when they are explicitly modeled and blended with instruction. One idea that stuck with me is the notion of practice and how many times we must do something before it sticks.
    Looking forward to learning with you.