Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Friday, July 14, 2017

Working on the Work-1st Nine Weeks of 4th Grade Writing in the Books!

Noemi and I working on the 2017-2018 Fourth Grade Writing Road Map and Framework
Noemi Leon-Garcia and I spent the day at Panera feasting on bagels and broccoli cheese soup. It seems that Fridays are our new ritual for planning. We are meeting to together to create our 2017-2018 Fourth Grade Writing Framework and Road Map. We are almost finished with the first semester. We looked over what we had planned from last year, tweaked some things, and added new ideas based on our experiences and data.

I worked with Noemi on a 2016-2017 Writing Framework and Road map last July after I attended the Gretchen Bernabei's Trainer of Trainers Trail of Breadcrumb Workshop. I left invigorated and ready to write a new framework and road map. I shared what I had learned, but I couldn't put it into practice immediately as I had taken a job in another district. I told Noemi that I would still plan with her and live vicariously through her as she taught. When I returned to SBISD in October, I didn't skip a beat. I continued the 4th grade writing journey with students and teachers in 3rd-5th grade at Edgewood Elementary. I was able to put much of the plan into action in classroom demonstrations and co-teach situations, small groups, after school tutorials, 5 Saturday Writing Camps, team plannings, and in professional development sessions.

Now, the journey continues!  My goal, as a Multi classroom Teacher Leader (MCL) from the Opportunity Culture at SBISD,  will be to impact  student achievement in 3rd and 4th grade in English and Spanish Language Arts.  As such, I desire to network and collaborate with teams at Edgewood and with colleagues with whom I have previously worked. One of them is Noemi. I will always work with Noemi Leon-Garcia who was and continues to be a  great teammate. Even though she is at Westwood and I am work at Edgewood, our level of planning and collaboration will not change. I very much enjoy working with her, bouncing ideas off of her, hearing her ideas and reflections, and growing professionally. We are a great team. I have worked with her for about 8-10 years now, and she is one person that I trust wholeheartedly.

Noemi Leon-Garcia
Last year, Noemi and I met practically every Saturday at Egg and I. This summer, we have changed venue and are working at Panera on Fridays. Our goal is to put our research and experience into practice. I say, "Why not?" What holds us back?  The only thing that could hold us back is lack of time and ourselves. I choose to move forward with this endeavor. We both have many years of experience and look forward to experimenting further with our students and teams. Together, we have more than 40 years of classroom experience. I am excited about this project because I know it will benefit my team, Noemi and her team, and many of our students and campuses. My passion is to explore new avenues and ideas on the teaching of Reading and Writing in monolingual and bilingual classrooms. I would like to be on the front lines and create the most effective curriculum, ideas, shared experiences, students work, and anecdotal records to benefit friends and colleagues. It all boils down to classroom research and experimentation.

I plan on working on and publishing the framework and road map on this blog. I expect that many teachers may find it helpful. It will be tweaked as we go, based on the data that we collect. I will also be posting  more this year than last because I will be teaching two classes of students during the day, working in classrooms, developing curriculum for tutorials, and Saturday camps. This will be so exciting. I share because would like to collaborate and help lighten the teaching load. Gretchen Bernabei has shown me that there is no limit to sharing.   I know how hard it is to teach Writing especially when there is lack of training. I feel that if people had the tools and training, the teaching of writing would be more efficacious and enjoyable. Anything worth doing requires commitment and passion. And so, I would like to share our collective experience and research with others. Noemi and I seek to lighten the load and widen the road of possibilities.

When I get a chance to type up all of our notes from today, I will put it up on my Drop Box and share. I expect that you will find it helpful.  Brocolli cheese soup, bagels with cream cheese along with light roast coffee with lots of cream, and 6 hour days bring satisfaction, collaboration and hopefully something extra special to share down the road. What a day it has been!

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