Today's guest blog post by Cathy Mere will help you jump on the electronic record-keeping bandwagon. Learn how to use Evernote to keep conferring notes on all of your students.
"We learn so much sitting beside writers as they work in our workshops each day. Two years ago I gave up my spiral notebook I used to keep records of writing conference conversations for a digital system. Saying goodbye to my spiral notebook with tabbed sections for each student was easier than I anticipated. The time was right. More and more often I found myself wanting to do more than record handwritten snippets of evidence, thought, and conversation. More and more I found myself wanting to take pictures of student work or record student voices. More and more I found myself wanting to link to digital pieces students were creating. More and more I seemed to have a device in my hand instead of a pen. After learning about Evernote I decided to see if I could use it as a tool to record notes from across the day. I found myself enjoying the seamlessness of Evernote. It seemed Evernote was a tool to allow me to capture the learning journeys of the young writers in my classroom.
"To begin I created a notebook for each student and then placed them in a class stack. Each time I confer with a writer during writing workshop I use Evernote. Before I begin our conversation I glance through the last few notes, watch the work the writer is doing, and wait for an appropriate moment to chat. For me, it has worked to create a new note inside the student’s notebook each time I have a conference with a writer. My conferences are often structured like this:"
Reflecting on 2013, I thought I'd share my favorite non-fiction and historical fiction kids' grapic novels with you, hoping you'll find ways of incorporating them in your homes, libraries, and classrooms. For those of you interested in a wider reading list, I have also included links by other librarians, educators, and graphic novel aficionados who have listed their 2013 favorites as well. I've included a few outstanding "honorable mentions" in fiction (I just couldn't resist sharing them with you).
"Healthy online reading habits require constant gardening. Every Internet company provides us a little plot to tend for, and that’s how they keep our attention where they want it. But the soil is pretty gross in most of them, and the seeds are tightly regulated. If we want to read healthily, we have to build our own info gardens.
The most important gardening task is deciding what to plant — that is, what sources to read — and that’s a personal choice. The topics, tone, and perspective of your information sources are for you to determine. But the bulk of the work is in building and tending the garden, and this guide will suggest some tools and methods to help. And with the gardening work out of the way, you’ll spend most of your time cooking, eating, and sharing. That’s the delicious part, and this guide will offer my best recipes."
Bridging traditional language-arts education and 21st-century technology with Common Core Standards, Meryl Jaffe, PhD demonstrates: (1) how non-fiction graphic novels can be paired with classic and prose texts and media links to meet learning and curricular demands, promoting visual and verbal literacies; and (2) how these types of lessons not only meet CCSS, but help address different student learning styles and learning skills.
Hitting a Home Run: Integrating Non-Fiction Graphic Novels in Your Lessons to Meet Divergent Student Needs and CCSS.” You can view it here: https://vimeo.com/81551403
If you have questions after viewing the webinar, please feel free to contact Dr. Meryl Jaffe via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Jaffe posts teaching suggestions weekly on her website Departing the Text welcoming reader comments and questions (http://departingthetext.blogspot.com). Finally, for those wanting more great ways to incorporate graphic novels in classrooms and with or without prose text and/or media pairings, please see her monthly columns for The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, "Using Graphic Novels in Education" and download her web version of "Raising a Reader!" as well.