Replied to Assessment in the digital world….with a pencil by Gill (a macgirl in a pc world)
My current setup for my reading conference notes looks like this – a summary page at the start with hyperlinks to individual pages for each of the student records. The different colours on dates are for the fact that I share my grade with another teacher so this solution allows us both to take notes and know where the other teacher is up to.
When Reading Conferences rolled out across the WMR a few years ago, I pushed for doing conferences online. Initially this was via Google Docs and then Word documents on Dropbox.

In a Secondary environment, this allowed access to multiple stakeholders, both teachers and students. In hindsight, it did not work. Not only did students feel that reading was done to them, but it was also left to the English teachers. I reflected about it here.

When I moved down to Primary, I discovered the limits of capturing things like running records digitally. I can really see the possibilities of the pen in supporting this.

How do you see this continuing to evolve? Are students actively involved?

Bookmarked Wild About Books by Kim Yeomans (wildaboutbooks.global2.vic.edu.au)
The Wild about books blog is a place for me to continue to share books I have enjoyed reading as well as letting you know about author or bookish events that make reading even more fun.
Kim Yeomans has started a new blog to share books for young readers. Along with Bianca Hewes’ Instagram account @Jimmy_Reads_Books and Pernille Ripp’s collections, these sites are useful resources when looking for new titles.
Listened Bookclub - BBC Radio 4 from BBC
Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels
Here are a collection of quotes I came across in my Evernote as I was cleaning it out from old BBC Bookclub episodes.

Hilary Mantel

History is not something that is behind us, it is something that we move through

History is never cut or dry, because it happened that way, it doesn’t mean it had to happen that way

We have to think of [fiction] not as an addition to history or an alteration of history, we have to think of it as a parallel record, because fiction deals with that which by its nature never comes along to the historical record. The private life, the private thought, the private word, the unexpressed impulse, the thought repressed, the dream, the inner being, the workings of the psyche

Clive James

The problem with anyone who talks well is that they often talk too much

Eventually I achieved sharing as a moral imperative, but I never learnt it

Paul Auster

A book is made by two people – a writer and a reader

Will Self

You don’t really research fiction, except through life

John Banville

I know there are failures on every page and I am tormented by that. That is why I write another book, so that I can get it right.

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.
Bookmarked Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read (The Atlantic)
To me, it doesn’t seem like narcissism to remember life’s seasons by the art that filled them—the spring of romance novels, the winter of true crime. But it’s true enough that if you consume culture in the hopes of building a mental library that can be referred to at any time, you’re likely to be disappointed. Books, shows, movies, and songs aren’t files we upload to our brains—they’re part of the tapestry of life, woven in with everything else. From a distance, it may become harder to see a single thread clearly, but it’s still in there.
Julie Beck discusses reading and suggests that unless we do something with it within 24-hours then it often disappears. Associated with this, she recommends reading more slowly if we are to take them in. This builds on Ryan Halliday’s point to do something with what you read. I am also left wondering about the connections with digital literacies to support this.
Bookmarked Some Small Ideas to Help Students Self-Select Books Better by Pernille Ripp (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

Bookmarked On Which Reading Program to Purchase by Pernille Ripp (pernillesripp.com)
I was recently asked if I could give a 2-minute answer to which reading program would be best for a district. While I was flummoxed at first; 2 minutes, that’s not enough time to discuss the needed components?! I quickly realized that I really don’t need even two minutes to answer this question ...
In a recent post, Pernille Ripp addresses which reading program to choose. Rather than listing a range of programs, she provides a list of what should be included:

So what should we look for instead?

A program that supports choice, independent reading time, small group, one on one conferring, as well as lessons for ideas.

A program that focuses on the needs of the individual as much as the needs of the group.

A program that leaves teachers and students alike that reading and being a reader is something good.

A program that builds hope for all readers to be readers.  That balances out between reading for skill and reading for pleasure.  A program with an emphasis on developing reader identity as well as reader skill.  A program that doesn’t kill the love of reading but instead bolsters it.

That is the program you should buy.  And then don’t ever forget that fidelity should always remain to the students and not to the program itself to quote my Assistant Superintendent, Leslie Bergstrom.

I think that listing all of the different influences and attributes is so important. I have spoken about this elsewhere in regards to EdTech, using the Modern Learning Canvas to illustrate it. I have had a quick go at translating Ripp’s ideas here:

Modern Learning Canvas is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Click here to make your own copy of the canvas

Liked The Shape of Stories by Alex Quigley (The Confident Teacher)
When our students read and write they draw upon their knowledge of stories – sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. The language and words and patterns become known and understood, matched and linked together. Over time, students develop what we can term a ‘mental model‘. That is to say, the more we read, the more we understand, the more we develop a ‘model’ of different types of stories and their respective worlds. We know that the earlier we read, and the greater the volume of our reading, the more fine grained and precise our ‘mental model’. For many children who join school, they are well on the way with being read to and the shape of stories – mental models – are already emerging in their minds. By secondary school, I can teach a gothic story, but most students could write a good attempt with little to no teaching. The shape of the story is already well formed in their minds.
Liked Reading a Book is The Answer (kinlane.com)
Reading a book is the answer for a lot of what troubles me. When I’ve had to much screen time–read a book! When I’m tired from work and want to turn on the TV–read a book. When I’m frustrated with the current state of things in this country–read a book. When I can’t shut down the voices in my head because I’m spinning out about something–read a book.
Replied to Pocket 2017 Year in Review (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
According to Pocket, I’m still in their top 5% of their readers/users despite the fact that I cut way back on using it this past year in strong deference to using other feed readers including one built into my website. Apparently I read 678, 617 words in their app this year which according to the...
Apparently I am in the Top 1%. I must admit that I have come to use it more now that you can play posts. What I find intriguing is what they measure ‘reading’ as and how they decided that it was like reading 35 books. It actually made me wonder if there are many people actually using Pocket anymore?