Replied to Choose Your Own Adventure – 4 Learning Options As We Go Virtual/Online by Pernille Ripp

So, for our students, I have created a “Choose Your Own Adventure” two-week exploration. This, hopefully, continues the honoring of their individual needs and desires, while still helping them with their growth. There are different levels of independence for them to choose from, as well as choices for recording or writing their responses. There are different levels of teaching involved that will unfold once they select their choice.

Pernille, I love the choice that you give students through these tasks. In such a time, it feels important to provide some semblance of structure as well as options at the same time.
Replied to Good Enough by Pernille Ripp

That as schools plan for this remote/virtual/online learning that we are all expected to be able to do now, that we cannot for one moment think that it is going to be like school. That even if we invent amazing learning adventures to go on using online services, those websites may not be able to handle all of our traffic. That even if we provide devices and hotspots that doesn’t make our learning equitable. That we cannot ask our students to sit in front of screens for hours each day, trying to patch together what would have been the learning we would have done together. That we cannot expect our students to be in a healthy place for learning. That even if we send home work to do, it may not get done. And we need to be okay with that.

Thank you always for your honesty and openness Pernille. I feel that the most important thing to consider at the moment is care for self and others.
Liked 30 Day Challenge For a Happier Teacher You by Pernille Ripp

If you are like me, January brings excitement, positivity but also exhaustion. This quiet month is one where I sometimes find my energy running low, my creativity running out, and rather than take the time to take care of myself I barrel on as if that will do the trick. So this year, much like the years before, I am challenging myself to take better care of myself, as well as those around me. And so the 30-day challenge is back. A challenge meant to remind me of all the good. Challenge me to take better care of myself. Challenge me to slow down. Challenge me to focus more on meaningful interactions, rather than hurried conversations. Feel free to join me if you want or create your own.

Bookmarked Pausing Twitter by Pernille Ripp

So for now, I will be on here. I will be in my classroom fully present. I will try to find a better balance between sharing and staying quiet. I will be in the Global Read Aloud community, the Passionate Readers community. I will be actually reading more of the fantastic things written by others whose work inspires me to be more than I am. I will be diving back into research. I will be looking at my own practices in order to grow. I will be by my fireplace reading a book. I will be at my dinner table laughing with my kids. I will be just Pernille, not Pernille that has a lot to say and doesn’t always know when to be quiet. If you see me on there, it is probably a cross-posting from Instagram or a very rare moment indeed. But until then, take care of yourself. I am trying to take care of me.

This is another insightful reflection from Pernille Ripp. It continues on from her apology earlier this year for stepping back. It makes me wonder what happens to the ‘edu-influencer‘ when they step back? As much agree with Joe Sanfileppo about the power and potential of being connected, what happens when those people stop answering?
Liked The Great Teacher Myth by Pernille Ripp

So it’s on all of us. If we don’t give space. If we don’t strike up conversations. If we don’t reach out and ask for help from the very people we work with. If we don’t share more of our mistakes as some of us are handed pedestals to stand on, then we are doing a disservice to those who come to us or guidance, who trust us with their time, who call us colleagues and mentors.

Liked The Sound of My Name by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

As we look at our incoming students and the names that they carry, I feel the importance of the correct pronunciation. How their names carry their history. How their names carry the hopes that their parents grew as they blessed their new baby with a way to be known to the world. How because I gave up on correcting people, I will forever be known as something that my mother didn’t intend. How even when my husband tells me he loves me my name is not completely correct. How my own children don’t know how to say it the right way because their American tongues get in the way. And I chose to live with that. Too late to make a difference now.

Liked Our ELA Curriculum Map for 7th Grade 90 Minute Block by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

As some of you may know, we are moving from a 45-minute block of ELA time to a 90-minute block.  I cannot tell you how excited I am for this to happen.  To actually have more time to dig in, to have fewer students so I can know them better, to be able to pull small groups more often and really support student growth – yes, please!  But with this change comes a lot of decisions.  We want to make sure students are engaged and challenged well within the 90 minutes.  We don’t want it to drag on, we don’t want it to be lecture.  So as the year starts to come closer, the ideas and aspirations we have had are starting to take shape and I thought it would be nice to share them here, in case others need some inspiration.

Liked On Boy Books and Girl Books by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

So I am wondering if we for once and for all, can we all agree that there is no such thing as a girl or a boy book?  That kids need to be exposed to characters that inspire them, no matter their gender.  That kids need to be exposed to characters that will expand their worldviews and invite them into new worlds that they knew little of before, no matter their gender.  That kids need to be exposed to great books, without us adults thinking that they will only read a certain type of book based on what we see in front of us.

We must give them a chance to experience more than what they are.  Books allow us to do just that, but not if they never read them.  Not if we never recommend them.  That’s on us, which means we can change it, so let’s do that starting now.

Liked On Saying No More by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

I have realized in the past week that self-care is something I need to plan for. Is something every educator needs to plan for. That no matter what we do, which role we play, we can always feel like we are not enough. Like there is not enough of us. But I have also realized that that is not true.

There is enough of us but just too much of other things.

There will always be more coming at us, no matter what we do.

Replied to On Reader Identity and Its Importance by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

To develop a meaningful reader identity, one that goes beyond the obvious questions of are you a reader or not, we have to have teaching opportunities where students can explore what their reading identity is to begin with and then chart a specific course to further explore it and grow.

I really like this Pernille. I always used to focus on goals or the CAFE menu, but there is something raw about starting with I and a student’s identity as a reader.
(Re)reading Adam Greenfield’s sociology of the smartphone today and I came upon this quote discussing the impact on our lives:

Work invades our personal time, private leaks into public, the intimate is trivially shared, and the concerns of the wider world seep into what ought to be a space for recuperation and recovery. Above all, horror finds us wherever we are.

Made me think about Pernille Ripp’s trials and tribulations on being a connected educator. It also made me think about the darkside to PD in 140 (or 280) characters.

Bookmarked i am sorry by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

So it is time for me to step back a bit. To do less work publicly, to share less, to not be so immediately available.  To be just Pernille, the person who doesn’t have all of the answers necessarily.  That only creates something because she cannot help it. That gives all of her when she is in a public space, but then steps back when she is private.

Pernille Ripe reflects on life as a connected educator. She discusses the stress, anxieties and perceived responsibilities that come with being an educelebrity. Although we often talk about the technicalities associated with being (digitally) literate, what is sometimes overlooked are the social consequences. This is something that Austin Kleon also recently reflected upon.
Bookmarked In These Divided Times by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

So look at the power of the tools you have at your disposal.  Look at what you can do with a camera. With a computer. With your voice and your connections.  Look at whose voices are missing in your classroom. Look at who your students need to meet so that they can change their ideas of others.   

We say we teach all children, but do we teach all stories?  Do we teach the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or just the sanitized version that will not ruffle any feathers?  I can choose to bring others into our classrooms so that their stories are told by them. I can choose to model what it means to question my own assumptions and correct my own wrongs.

I really like Ripp’s point that we need to consider how we use technology, it just makes me wonder what play technology can play in silencing voices? Whether it be the labeling of gorillas or the normalisation of whiteness by camera flashes and filters, it feels that speaking ones voice is easier for some than others for a range of reasons.
Bookmarked Using Picture Books With Older Students – A How-to Guide by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

Which book I choose to share depends on the lesson.  I treat it much like a short story in what I want students to get out of it so it has to suit the very purpose we are trying to understand. I introduce the concept by sharing a story and then I ask my students to come as close as they can to the rocking chair in our corner.  Once settled, whether on the floor, on balls or on chairs, I  read it aloud.  We stop and talk throughout as needed but not on every page, it should not take more than 10 minutes at most to get through an average size picture book.  If it is a brand new concept I may just have students listen, while other times they might engage in a turn-and-talk.   I have an easel right next to me and at times we write our thoughts on that.  Sometimes we make an anchor chart, it really just depends on the purpose of the lesson.  Often a picture book is used as one type of media on a topic and we can then branch into excerpts from text, video, or audio that relates to the topic.

Pernille Ripp provides a detailed guide into using picture books in any classroom. This includes choosing picture books, how she displays them, there place in supporting fluency and how they are used as introductory texts. This is all a part of knowing yourself as a reader. I too have used picture books in the past to support the teaching comprehension.
Liked Make Room For Both Types of Independent Reading by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

if we listen to Louise Rosenblatt, and I don’t know why we shouldn’t, she reminded us back in 1978 that children need to be taught that there are two types of reading.  Aesthetic reading which focuses on the love of reading, on living within texts so that we can create a relationship with the text.  On being with the text so that we can see ourselves as readers.  And also efferent reading, reading for skill, reading to work on reading.  The things we do with what we read.

Pernille Ripp on the two types of reading.
Liked On Reading Rewards by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

do not make your end of year reading celebrations about the number. Instead, ask the students what they are proud of. What they have achieved and celebrate them all. Let them have the time to see how far they have come so that they can leave our schools with a sense of accomplishment that they might not otherwise have had.

Liked One More Time for the People in the Back by Pernille Ripp (pernillesripp.com)

We need to speak books.

To share books.

To have books that show them who they are and also what others are.

To celebrate books and all types of reading so that within our classrooms and schools every child can see themselves as a kid who reads. As a kid whose reading matters.  As a kid who doesn’t read “easy” books, who doesn’t cheat in reading when they listen to audio books.  As a kid who might not just be a reader someday, completely dismissing that they are, indeed, already a reader.

And not just in their own eyes but in our eyes as well.

So I suppose I can say it one more time; what we do with the reading we do matters.

What we don’t do with the reading we do matters.

The identities we help create matter.

And the words our students share about what is killing their love of reading matters.  the least we can do is listen to them.

And we must bring back common sense reading practices to protect the very kids whose reading lives we were told to nurture, to protect, and to grow.

Replied to On the Need for Phone Free Classrooms by Pernille Ripp (pernillesripp.com)

I know that I have pushed the use of phones in our classrooms before on this blog, how I have written about using them purposefully, but I will no longer subscribe to the notion that when kids use their phones it is only because they are bored. It is too easy to say that if teachers just created relevant and engaging lessons then no child would use their phones improperly in our rooms. That’s not it, all of us with devices have had our attention spans rewired to constantly seek stimulus. To instantly seek something other than what we are doing. To constantly seek something different even if what we are doing is actually interesting. And not because what we seek out is so much better, look at most people’s Snapchat streaks and you will see irrelevant images of tables and floors and half faces simply to keep a streak alive. It is not that our students are leaving our teaching behind at all times because they are bored, it is more because many of us, adults and children alike, have lost the ability to focus on anything for a longer period of time.

Pernille, you might be interested in a Douglas Rushkoff’s recent reflection at the beginning of a Team Human episode. He wonders why is it so easy for people to lose sight of the design and purpose behind these platforms? He argues that other than teaching media, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) should never be used by schools. I think that this crosses over to the smartphone debate.
Bookmarked The True Power of Technology (pernillesripp.com)

the true power in technology is not just the readiness. The skills. The playing around with tools to create something impossible.

It is the power to be seen.

To not be alone.

To feel that in the world, someone values you. That someone out there gets you.

A like your point Pernille. My only concern is that connections are not always guaranteed. As Bill Ferriter explains in regards to audience, connections are not a given, especially when we expect them to have certain comments. Here I am reminded of Clive Thompson’s argument about it being harder to write for ten than ten thousand:

Going from an audience of zero to an audience of ten is so big that it’s actually huger than going from ten people to a million.

Although connections are powerful, it is important to not over-hype the hoped for outcomes. All that we can do is create the conditions for comments. A point Kathleen Morris makes.

Bookmarked Some Small Ideas to Help Students Self-Select Books Better (pernillesripp.com)

I was asked this morning on Twitter how we move students beyond wanting hand-picked recommendations every time they book shop. How do they move beyond needing someone, typically, the adult or trusted reading role model to help them find the next book to read?

Pernille Ripp lists the things that she does to move students from hand-picked books:

  • We build our libraries, both whole school and classroom libraries.
  • We carefully craft our book displays.
  • We have a to-be-read list.
  • We book talk books almost every day.
  • We do lessons on how to book shop.
  • We just say no.
  • We dive into their reading identity.
  • We read every single day in class.

This continues on from an earlier post discussing reading programs