Margin Notes

Try This Tomorrow: Judging a Book by Its Cover

Nov
29

Judge

Literary Hub is one of my favorite bookish websites.  They regularly post round-ups of their favorite book covers of the month with brief explanations about their choices-for example-October, September, and August .

These brief reactions make terrific mentors for students to pay attention to and reflect on the covers of the books they are reading.  Why not ask students to discuss if the cover played a part in their book selection, whether or not the cover captures the essence of the book, what connections they can make between the cover and the content, how the cover has changed over different editions, etc.?  Students can read these round-ups to create a running list of options for commenting on book covers.

Designer Chip Kidd has made a career of trying to make readers judge a book by its cover.  This Time photo essay highlights some of his most iconic covers.

So, go ahead and judge a book by its cover and invite your students to do the same.

Craft Studio: 12 Novels to Remind You What’s at Stake Tomorrow

Nov
22

Vote

What I Was Reading

I subscribe to the Literary Hub Newsletter.  It is a never-ending source of excellent information and inspiration.  On November 5, the day before the US Midterm Elections, they posted 12 Novels to Remind You What’s at Stake Tomorrow: “To remind you of just what’s at stake in tomorrow’s elections, we thought we’d do something a little different and turn to those contemporary fiction writers who have brought some of the most pressing issues currently facing this country to the forefront of their recent work.”

 What Moves I Notice the Writer Making

 Each of the twelve selections in this collection is accompanied by a very short summary followed by a brief review that combines summary, reflection, and analysis. (more…)

Congratulations!

Nov
01

Michelle Wuest and Krista deMolitor, you are the lucky winners for the month of October for #ASDWReads!  We will have a shiny new book in your hands, ASAP:)

To be entered into the draw for November, simply post a picture of a book you have read and use the hashtag #ASDWReads on Twitter.  Happy reading and tweeting!

Book Relay 2018-19

Oct
12

This year, 40 educators are participating in our Book Relay.  In teams of 5, readers will read and circulate a collection of titles.  We took pictures of their stacks before mailing them out.

Grades 6-8:

BR 1

(more…)

Winner! Winner! #ASDWReads…

Oct
03

Congratulations to Melissa Canam for being the winner of our draw for participating in #ASDWReads on Twitter for the month of September!  We will have your prize of a book in your hands ASAP.

To be in the draw for the month of October, snap a picture of a book you just finished and tag it with #ASDWReads on Twitter.  The more you read, the more entries you get-happy reading:)

September Stacks

Oct
03

We’ve been very busy visiting classrooms for book talks. Thanks to all the teachers who invited us into their classrooms to share some of our favourite titles with their students. We got some wonderful recommendations from them too! Here are some shots of our September Stacks:

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#ASDWReads

Sep
06

Since we had such a great time this summer looking at all the titles you shared on Twitter with the hashtag #ASDWSummerReads, we decided to continue the book love throughout the school year!  The hashtag is now #ASDWReads and we encourage you to snap a picture of the book you are enjoying then post it on Twitter and add #ASDWReads.

We gave away 5 books to teachers at the end of the summer and we will be drawing a name every month for a book to send to the lucky winner.  The more you post, the higher your chances are.  Happy reading!

Conversations About Artifacts of Learning- Inquiry Writing

Aug
15

This is a summary of this year’s final conversation about artifacts of student learning as part of our Visible Learning project with our colleagues Michelle Wuest and Shelley Hanson and their Grade 11 students at Leo Hayes High School.  You can read a description of the project here.

In order to make our own learning visible, we decided to follow a protocol based on the Project Zero See-Think-Wonder thinking routine to structure our conversations and capture our thinking and reflections.  We recorded the conversation and I have summarized our observations, wonderings, and reflections.

Description of Artifact

After brainstorming a list of their wonderings-questions they would like to know the answers to-Shelley’s students selected a question (from the list or on their own) to explore further in an inquiry writing piece.  Students were challenged to explore at least 3-4 different perspectives in their final pieces.

Shelley shared a mentor text with her students: “What Women Really Do in the Bathroom” which can be found on page 119 of Kelly Gallagher’s book, Write Like This or here. (more…)

Being the Change Week 3

Jul
16

This is the third week of #CyberPD and the focus is on Chapters 5 and 6 of Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension by Sara K. Ahmed.  You can read my previous #CyberPD reflections here and here.

Chapter 5 is about Finding Humanity in Ourselves and Others.  We are reminded that it is critical to recognize that “the social constructs under which we live can lead us to classify, label with symbols, and eventually dehumanize individuals and groups (p. 101).”  Sara suggests two important steps to counteract the resultant othering:

  • We fight these destructive forces by finding and examining our humanity first.
  • While we are working to build kids’ capacity for empathy, we can honor how they see the world.

(more…)

Student Self-Assessment, Mentor Texts, and Single Point Rubrics

Jul
11

After meeting with Michelle Wuest and Shelley Hanson yesterday to continue our conversation regarding making learning visible, we have an idea that comes from Michelle’s classroom that we want to share with you.

Writing teachers are always looking for ways to foster students’ motivation and capacity to self-assess. As Sandra Herbst explains, “Self-assessment teaches students how to self-monitor, especially when it is informed by clear criteria and samples or models. Students who self-monitor are developing and practicing the skills needed to be life-long, independent learners.” (more…)