Great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant, and grow again.
I’ve been thinking lately about all the writing I do in my life, and how each type is like a plant in a garden. The email responses might be mint – writing that needs to be walled off, separated, and not allowed to overrun every other type of writing.
Newsletter leads (like this one) are lettuces, with an almost infinity variety possible.
My health journal grows like tomato plants — I tend it carefully every day, and it gets pride of place for writing because I value it most.
Poetry is my pumpkin patch, because it’s seasonal, and some years I have a large crop and some years, almost nothing.
Handwritten notes and letters are flowers — they appear to be purely decorative, but in reality they are essential for remembering that writing is about being joyful and connecting with others.
A garden is a great metaphor for writing, because it helps me think about what I need to prune, plant again, or trim back to keep myself thriving as a writer. The same garden metaphor works just as well for thinking about professional relationships. Which ones are the “mint” you need to keep contained, so that they don’t take too much space in your life? Which are seasonal? Which ones are your flowers, purely joyful?
This week we take a look at flexible grouping. Plus more as always — enjoy!
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Here are two features from the Choice Literacy archives to help you ponder flexible grouping.
Heather Rader considers the biggest questions teachers have about grouping in Grouping: Who? How Big? How Often?:
Jennifer Jones works with a team of teachers who discover they need to be creative about grouping struggling learners after a series of budget cuts severely limits support staff in Flexible Grouping Across Classrooms:
Miriam Bussu shares the pros and cons of heterogeneous grouping:
Pernille Ripp has an inspiring post about grappling with those bad moments in teaching we all experience, no matter how many years we’ve been in the classroom. This would be an excellent read aloud for a staff meeting:
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Beth Lawson finds a nonfiction research book club is just the grouping structure needed for some struggling readers in her fourth-grade classroom:
In this week’s video, Katie DiCesare meets with first graders Anna and Brendan to help them learn from each other and prepare to share their rereading strategies with the whole class:
Our new cluster on grouping includes contributions from Katie DiCesare, Shari Frost, Mandy Robek, and Heather Rader:
Finally, if you’re looking for more resources on grouping, there are dozens of features for members in the Guiding Groups section of the website:
That’s all for this week!