Tag Archives: Lucy Calkins

Instructional Core practice #WordsMatter How will we show we CARE?

As part of our school’s Pre-Planning, I facilitated a faculty-teams workshop to continue our work and learning in the Instructional Core.

Here are my notes from the session.

The agenda, shared ahead of the meeting, looked like this:

The slide deck that accompanies this plan looks like this:

We watched 4:05 minutes of Practice is Everything to renew and review our norms around teaming.

How we practice, how we team, makes a difference. The words we choose and use when offering feedback contribute to how our learners author their identity.  As we work to calibrate our expectations, we can also hone and enhance our ability to offer high-quality, positive, actionable feedback that empower learners to reach for their next independent level.

As seen in the slides, I used video timers to pace the teamwork time. What I learned is that the timers held me accountable for the work time promised to teachers.  I was forced to wait, to be patient, and to not rush. So helpful to hold the time for our teachers.

When we focus on learning,
we hold time for learners.

And, just as we carefully plan and hold time for learning, we carefully choose what we notice and note. Words matter; the story you tell impacts how a learner is thought of and seen.

Amanda Thomas (@TrinityMrsT) found and shared the video below. I used it in our session to illustrate the power of story.

As we begin a new school year with new learners, how will we seek a balanced story, describe what we want to see next, and balance our feedback to highlight success?

What story will we notice and note?
What feedback will we offer?
What will we contribute to how  learners author their identity?

How will we show we C.A.R.E.?



Leadership Challenge in Implementing Units of Study in Writing #TCRWP

Marsha Harris and I attended Lucy Calkin’s Leadership Challenge in Implementing Units of Study in Writing.  This conference is designed to help school leaders support best practices in the teaching of writing. Rally learners to invest heart and soul in raising the level of work in writing.

Below are my notes from the day-long conference:

I love the ideas in the above sketch:

  • It takes a lot of slow to grow.
  • Teach students to learn.
  • Develop confidence in advance of victory.

How might we narrow the tasks to deepening understanding? What if we set an essential-to-learn to be I can develop my concept of self through my writing?

Session three focused on feedback, building capacity, and conferring.  Do we realize with each moment of feedback we are contributing to the authoring of a learner’s identity?