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and welcome to liquid margins this episode is literacy and learning with social annotation in high school so glad you're here today today's guests
are morgan jackson um she's a high school english teacher at bishop gorman high school where she is on location right now her beautiful burnt orange wall
which i love um and then we also have joe dillon he's an english teacher and instructional coach at gateway high school and then our moderator today and i'm about to turn it over to him
is raymie collier he's assistant professor of learning design and technology at the university of colorado denver school of education and human development i had to take a breath in that was long
and he's also our i'm proud to say our hypothesis scholar in residence he's our first ever um and maybe what's going to be our all-time best i don't know i i think so
so okay and with that i'm going to turn it i'm going to stop sharing i'm going to turn it over to raymie so take it away well greetings everyone and thanks for those who are joining us today live
and we know that this will be recorded for those folks who want to watch and complement their professional learning down the road i want to begin by just first of all thanking hypothesis for bringing this important conversation
forward and doing so at a really crucial time this has really been a challenging academic year to state the obvious and i think that we see kind of flavors of that even with today's
wise panelists again morgan's joining us from school joe is i believe teaching students while he's also on the panel right now talking about multitasking and juggling amazing responsibilities
and i just want to recognize again just the many many sacrifices that students their families and also of course educators that have made this year it's really been
so so hard and exhausting and so with that being said to be able to create a bit of a space to step back perhaps a little bit and talk about consequential teaching and learning and
to talk about the ways in which social annotation contributes to literacy education and does so in meaningful ways for students and to learn again from educators like morgan and joe is really just a pleasure
so i want to thank them in particular for taking the time to share their experience and their knowledge with us today um and we're going to kind of kick things off you know in that way um and so maybe you know just for folks again who are with us
right now but who will be watching this and who may maybe be less familiar with where you teach and what you're teaching morgan can you kind of give us like a sense of like what do you do day to day like where are
you teaching and who are you teaching in what is you know a slice of your life look like as a literacy educator hi yes thank you so much for having me here it's a pleasure to be a part of this conversation
um i teach high school in las vegas nevada it's a catholic private school i teach juniors and seniors so a lot of what we do is um not just within our literacy information but also helping to kind of
bridge that gap and prepare them to go off to college so i'm trying to do two things at once which is even more interesting when you throw in a pandemic and two-thirds of your kids are at home online possibly
with their cameras on or not so that's kind of my day-to-day is can i get your camera on and can i see someone's face other than just a little black box with a letter in it morgan thank you so much joe again tell us a little bit about where you are and
what you know you do day to day as a literacy educator yeah thank you so much for having me by the way um it's a pleasure to join this conversation i teach um english in aurora colorado at gateway
high school and uh sorry do you need anything okay i apologize um i'm doing triple duty um i have a child that i'm attending to and i'm helping out my niece
so anyway i teach at gateway high school in aurora colorado i'm also an instructional coach so i support teachers across content areas but primarily teachers new to the profession in you know areas where literacy is
important so this year in particular gateway i've been working with students who are needing an alternative program because they might be off track for graduation sort of experience sort of long time
lack of success in a traditional k-12 setting and so increasingly this year i'm trying to personalize the learning that students have to do when they seem like they have a high bar to clear in order to graduate
high school and access their post-secondary um goals and opportunities and so it's it's good in the sense that we uh we're trying to innovate as much as we can while we're also you know
being mindful of what our students are asking for needing and then thinking about the implications for for the work we do with those students who need our best every day and how does the work we do
inform the way we might personalize in a mainstream classroom so that's generally the day to day joe thank you that's that's just really helpful to hear um so morgan take us a little bit into your
into your practice as a literacy educator and as you explain to us perhaps about how you approach what is again such an important aspect of student learning where does annotation fit into that and
why in your experience and in your expertise as an educator have you found annotation and maybe social annotations specifically a useful complement to what you do
in your literacy classroom i will say the first and foremost thing that i loved about it is um particularly using hypothesis worked very well when we transitioned to online in march
having students who were used to logging in who knew what to do allowed me to maintain a sense of community that was really hard to kind of create even this year with two-thirds of my students online
having class discussions gets to be a little tricky but being able to put something down where they can collaborate together and expand on each other's ideas really helps them to kind of come together and find that
that common ground for my students because they're juniors and seniors a lot of them are social media heavy that's kind of what they like so for them this actually taps into something they're already familiar with
they are used to the concept of looking at something collectively and sharing their ideas on it and then responding to each other's thoughts and kind of evaluating and growing that thought process together so this takes kind of what they
do outside of school and puts it in a format that works beautifully within school which is already amazing i also find that my classes are very boy heavy and discussions aren't very
always very conducive for boys um just that thought process my girls tend to take over the conversations but this allows for them to stop and think and so everyone's kind of participating equally and no one's really being
overwritten in a conversation because it's happening kind of simultaneously so five people can be annotating at the same time and you're not talking over each other the way you would in an actual classroom discussion
so for me it's really nice to have that element that makes a little bit more egalitarian in conversation interesting work and that's so fascinating i want to i want to pick up maybe more and i think that we can maybe really riff a little bit more in
this idea of kind of egalitarian participation but if you don't mind i actually want to follow up on a point you made earlier about the ways in which something like a specific social annotation technology like hypothesis
is similar to the kinds of social media experiences and lives right that maybe we all are but certainly high school students are living outside of school and how that then is a useful way of getting students
into social annotation i'd be curious like when you first introduce something like hypothesis to your students are they like is there some confusion is there any resistance do they kind of like
get it because they make that connection right away like how do you for students who are like new to this idea of having what sounds like actually very meaningful conversations in an online setting
how do you set that up for your students in in the first place um i typically reserve my social annotations in the very beginning for things that are not curriculum related so they're typically things
that i find interesting that i think they should know about but doesn't fit into my curriculum so um i think last year when i first started i did something with barnes and noble they had the big kerfuffle
about their black history and they did their they redid classic covers but they didn't change anything so we we use that article i was like let's talk about this and what's happening it didn't fit into my curriculum
specifically but it was like you should be aware of things that are going on in the world so i try to do things they're going to be high interest that they have an opinion on but they actually really like the fact that i can read this at my own pace and i can put in my comments and it's
really kind of nice to be able to kind of sit there with it and think for a moment and you don't feel like you're missing out on the conversation where someone says something and 10 minutes later you're like oh that's right i had something i wanted to say about that
or the teacher gets around you're like i don't remember what i was going to say you can pass me this allows them to kind of respond in real time with both their own thoughts and respond to each other so they
really enjoy that process of wait i can say whatever i want and no one's going to interrupt me and it can be as long as i want it to be or as short as i want it to be and like i can do it at home i can finish it for homework i'm not like on the spot
no one's looking at me it changed things drastically for my students because the kids who won't raise their hand and speak are okay with people reading their words because you don't know when someone's reading your comment when you're in class
everyone sees you and they look at you and they're like what's joe saying but when joe types it he doesn't know if the person next to him is laughing at his comment or someone else's comment or the article itself so it really opens that um you know for
them to just really kind of it's a lot less personal in a way but also more personal because they get to be their authentic selves but they don't have that necessary fear of like immediate judgment morgan that's so fascinating there's
just already so much to unpack you know around like again as you said high interest which maybe is a kind of removes that barrier to like well i'm maybe using a new technology but i really want to talk about these like phenomenally tone deaf if not kind of
racist book covers like i want to do that so then i'll just use this technology to kind of get into that conversation i very much remember that and i'm so just inspired to know that you were just like come on students it's not in the
curriculum but like let's have this conversation um and then of course all of this from social presence so we'll we'll keep roofing but show bring us again into kind of your practice too and you know and for folks who are watching and it's important to
know morgan and i and joe and i are connected in a variety of ways and joe and i have done some previous work together in a project that does leverage social annotation kind of outside of it again the formal school curriculum but joe
how does how does this kind of fit in with the ways in which you support literacy education in your work and how you see again annotation generally supporting students literacy education
yeah thank you for that question i think uh so my setting of course is is large public school district right and so what's interesting about um the way social annotation works with hypothesis is we have to use a little
bit we have to do a little bit of hacking for my students to to use hypothesis in our space and so it's something i've used with students probably for the past four or five years but i'll get into the hacking piece in a
little while but i do think that that's it it um it introduces the notion that we sometimes have to uh sort of skirt the technical setups of the devices that the schools
distribute to students and also you know the notion that hey when we when we want to make a decision about the learning environment when it's digital sometimes we have to you know
look at okay how are we going to do this is it going to serve me as a learner so the hacking conversation is one i'll share but i would say that probably more important than the hacking conversation for me is just the notion that i always think
reading you know is best when it's social right i'm a bibliophile and i love to be alone with a book right but when you get 30 students in a room
particularly 30 teenagers in a room the notion that 30 people sit alone with a book and alone with their thoughts is you know it happens but it's not really what the situation dictates and what's also true i believe
is that uh i've been inspired by kind of the pedagogical practices that i learned about years ago in a presentation i heard from a from a professor named sheridan blough and
right now he's at teacher's college in columbia but this uh i was attending an ncte conference and he was just talking about the importance of the meaning that a class made and
how that should be situated with the meaning that a teacher made of the text and you know when i was a second year teacher or something he was advancing the idea that he really liked to know what students thought about a text what
struck them as important what was confusing what were the points they wanted to discuss before he shared his own vantage point right and and this notion was in the conference
workshop that he shared it was a little controversial i remember the conference was in new york and there were some you know private school teachers from new york and they were talking about you know well how are they going to learn these things
about the canon and he was just pushing back that a teacher's meaning making if it's situated alongside the students really can you know it can do different things depending on the learning
community that the students and the teacher have formed and that if the teacher's reading always came first then there might be sort of less reading going on among the students and they might not see their own reading as important
so i think that before i get into why we might hack to use a tool like hypothesis in my classroom i think it's important to know why i like to use other tools like chart paper and sticky notes and
you know a really predictable chart that students might put their ideas on before i bring my ideas and another thing that uh blau said that i thought was was um
pretty fascinating was when he would walk around and see his students reading and they weren't reading something the way he thought they thought they should or thought was correct he always tried
to check himself before he introduced the notion of an incorrect reading and instead he liked to ask the question why is it that i'm reading this text this way but you guys are reading it in a different way and
situate the whole community with that question right and you know you can imagine that you know in any given classroom a group of students might decide well you know that's because you're you know you're an old man you have a
master's degree you do all this all the time and we don't we don't want to but more exciting answers are when the students identify that it's because they have a different perspective and that their interpretation like
has validity for youth and maybe not for older men like myself and the idea that if if we think about it from a pedagogical standpoint that the students meeting making might come first or alongside his
students is um you know that those are some of the driving principles and then as i share sort of like i've got um sheridan blau's book i won't plug him too much but i think it's important just to notice that
over the years i've made a bunch of you know annotations in this book and when i talk to students about how i make meaning and why i might be reading something differently than they do i have to share my process
and my process is authentically to use sticky notes morgans might not be but mine is and if i share my own process and explain that you know a lot of it's personal then they also
might decide that they need a personal process and so that's when we can get into the the uh the hacking conversation so the district likes it better when we socially annotate using
google tools but those might those might not travel with us to higher ed right and so the idea that a student may want their high school notes to stay with them forever or they might want to make some of those notes they've
been making in class public because they want to engage in a larger discourse so those are some of the ways i i like to think about annotation and we can circle back to hacking as you think it's important
no that's awesome joan yes and it's important to remind us that whether we're k-12 high school higher ed you know technical constraints which are often social and policy constraints are very much the
lives of all educators but joe as you were speaking i was very much kind of at least in my mind resonating back to morgan what you mentioned a few moments ago on this idea of kind of egalitarian participation
which seems to again really really kind of like align with or kind of seems attuned to joe's emphasis also on perspective taking and kind of like personal meaning making
processes but my personal meaning making process can also then be brought into conversation with maybe your personal meaning making process and again it sounds like you really value that in in your class so so we're like again
like how do you encourage a kind of classroom culture that uses social annotation to kind of elicit these personal meanings and this kind of
again as you said egalitarian exchange like how do you make that happen um i'm gonna go with joe i think joe's absolutely right i need to talk about that meaning making um my biggest thing is i come from the
perspective of um i'm heavy reader response when it comes to students responding to things and that idea that i don't know like i'm i'm completely in agreement
with joe that it's not if i tell the students if i'm going to just tell them my thoughts on it what's the point of them reading it like they don't need to read it they're just gonna sit and wait for me to tell them what it should mean or i discourage them because they read
it they have an opinion and i go no that's wrong okay well the next time they read they're just reading to get done they're no longer looking for those things so i come from that perspective of i have an opinion based on the fact that
i'm a 36 year old woman who's married with two kids like i shouldn't expect my 18 year olds to have that same perspective that's a very like it'd be very strange if my 18 year olds have the exact same thought process that i have
because we've lived so many different things so i do think that the idea of allowing for meaning making is so important and allowing them the space of not seeing the teacher as the sage on the stage i don't have to have the
answers i am very comfortable saying let's ask my friend google because i don't have the answers and i don't want them thinking that i know it all i didn't memorize mla you know formatting i know to go to the purdue owl and look
up how do you use an in-text citation for this particular thing so i want them to get comfortable with that idea of be okay not knowing i'm okay not knowing find the answer and the answer for me
isn't going to be the answer for you so i tend to teach in a lot of analogies and the one i use when we talk about meaning making and social annotations is what's the best way to cook a steak
the answer is how you like it and so that's kind of how i approach that idea of meaning making us well can i can i say that if it's your opinion yes like you don't have to ask my
permission for what can i can it mean that if you can support it with information from the text it can mean anything you want it to mean and social annotations for me allow students to not just hear the teacher's
perspective i think a lot of times the teacher stands up and they say this is this this than the other and then does anyone else have another opinion well i've already shared my opinion so no one's going to give another opinion because i'm right they're wrong we've all seen matilda i'm smart you
know i'm big you're small and it's that concept so social annotations allows people to go hey there are other people who thought that was strange or hey someone else noticed that thing that i
maybe would not have ever gotten to but it helps them to feel a little less alone in their thinking and helps them see that there are other other avenues of looking at things so often it's here let me tell you what's right
and it's hard to say well tell me your opinion but social annotations is a very um safe way to explore and kind of voice something where you can say it and if you're not
quite right it's okay no one's going to do that and i'm not reading them in lifetime in lifetime if a kid raises their hand and says something i can be like well actually
but writing it down it's going to take a long time for me to get through that i typically don't even look at them until they've been working for about 20 or 30 minutes just so that i'm not focusing on like one or two people i like to have a
large number there but a lot of times when we start i won't include my annotations that's for them that's for them to explore their thoughts and i may go through there and pull that into class and say hey some people said that you know what
do you guys think let's talk this through you know who agrees with this as opposed to me going through necessarily grading you're right you're wrong nope don't think so try again and that's really freeing for them
and it's something that they have to learn because by 11th or 12th grade they're very very stuck on tell me the right answer tell me what you want that's what i will give you so social annotations i'm able to bring
in as a way of like getting them out of looking for the right answer the right answer is what you can prove and this helps them to see that in a way that's very non-threatening
morgan i'm i'm i'm like i can like feel the wisdom like emanating through the internets here there's so much that's resonating and i thank you for just sh you know i've often
when i've thought of and when i when i speak about annotation i often will talk about the phrase of it it makes thinking visible but you just helped me to understand a quality of this that i was was not
kind of in rhythm with and and i just love what you said morgan because it also resonates with so much of the past year you said that that a student's thinking they're not thinking alone i think maybe you said
which is this idea then that i can think in community and i can kind of think with other people so it's not just about making my thinking visible which i can make my thinking visible but then maybe nobody else is there
right nobody else comes by nobody else shows up um but but you're finding ways of facilitating and it sounds like through a very uh very intentional decisions about your presence
and your power and how you bring your opinion and expertise into the discursive space that you're really saying to students not don't just make your thinking visible make your thinking communal
and make it and get and that's really just so powerful particularly please please shut me up no joe mentioned that idea of social and it's so funny because i think especially if you're dealing with high schoolers the idea
that they're going to do anything by themselves is ridiculous like the idea that like as an adult i don't want to go see a movie that no one else has seen so i see the movie and it's great the first thing you do when you see
something great is ask oh my god did you see blah blah blah blah blah and then we share it like that's that's why things trend on twitter because it's a bunch of adults who want to share their thoughts on oh my god can you believe what happened
and so to expect high schoolers to not be there is so strange joe please pick up on this thread this is just so lovely well and i just appreciate you know some
of the things that morgan shared one of the first things that i mean so much of what you said has resonated has resonated but i think the notion that i hadn't considered but again it resonates is true is hey
when you speak up in a socratic circle as a teenager like some students will hog that conversation and want to hold on to that mic and some students turn beet red and
there is it's just obvious that this is a painful experience for them that people are looking at them and that's and it's true of some adults but i would just say like as we talk about the k-12 space the idea of
putting your ideas out there when they're in you know draft form can be a challenge and so i just appreciate morgan's noticing that hey this is alleviating a social emotional concern for
some of my students to do draft thinking you know their peers probably wouldn't be as harsh with them as as they might imagine when their faces are turning red but still the concern is the same and so morgan has more insight as a
teacher when she you know if she had pounded her fist and said everyone must participate this way in my socratic circle the innovation of of wait a second this is
this is alleviating concerns and showing me assets and thinking work that i otherwise wouldn't have seen so i mean i very much appreciate that the other thing i want to say about uh
the notion of social reading is and it's it's a little bit of a topic that i saw come up on in a twitter conversation about your book raymie your book that you co-authored with uh ontario garcia and there was just a
conversation i think um one one of the readers that we know well kevin hodgson had posted on twitter um something about your discussion where you had talked about
whether social annotations had value in like the genius space right and i think the book remarked that you know with all these folks annotating lyrics on genius
you know there's the notion that there would be some annotations that would really add like helpful layers to the text and some that would seem less useful right and i think that uh what's interesting
about that is it does spark an a really powerful discussion about useful for who and for what right and that's a great thing to talk with high school kids about
right we could go on about it with twitter but i like talking to the teenagers that i get to you know bump fists with and and i also think that when
when we're when we have a perspective change about a text we'll we'll often see it with among teenagers and the crowd before we'll see it you know from those of us who might you
know think we know the correct sophisticated meaning i think you can point to something like to kill a mockingbird that's still really prevalent in a lot of high schools right but the important conversations
that are happening in like a disrupt texts conversation right one they're talking about whether we should teach the book as much as we do awesome conversation also i would imagine that because of that cultural
conversation everybody's reading that book differently right we like whatever we thought was the right answer our answer key for to kill a mockingbird from 20 years ago is obsolete because we're all reading it
differently and that doesn't just happen with to kill a mockingbird that happens with 40 year old poems etc right the the current moment informs you know readings
and that's as it should be and at some point harper lee has handed it over to us and now it's our discussion so i think the social aspects of it are really important and again things that may or may not
you know spark a tired high school student on a friday these are i think fun things that i like to engage in as an english teacher and so i'm glad to be able to be in conversation with you and morgan about them
there's there's just so there's just so much here to continue to unpack and particularly those you bring up this notion of like how these conversations change over time um which morgan you spoke to earlier particularly as we have
different perspectives in our own lives and in our own roles that also of course shift over time as you were mentioning morgan you know reading as a 30 40 50 60 year old educator and maybe working with learners
who are in their teens you know and just how the relevance of those conversations will resonate or not with learners of various ages and then how do we again invite them to bring their interpretations and their opinions
to the four it's just so so critical and important i could i could just listen to the both of you let's speak for hours and now what i want to do though because again we're coming at about 10 minutes till at least the official
recording at this time and we've already gotten one series of converse or excuse me series of questions in the chat i want to bring that to the fore um and have you both riff on that and then maybe we'll open this up for additional conversations but i'm just
going to read this this was sent by one of our attendees uh chris long and he says a question i would love for the panelists to discuss would be how many students they would recommend
to annotate a text together so maybe a question here about class size and group size and do they do it with all their classes so everyone sees everything or do they break it again to smaller groups
and then finally and this is the kind of third piece of this question what kinds of preparation do you morgan and you joe provide students so they have some strategies to try out as students initially begin
the annotation process so there's a few questions there kind of take it at your at your pace but i'd love to hear again from you both in response to chris's question i'm going to let you go first because i
am at school and the bell's going to rain here in a little bit and no one wants to hear that terrific morgan i appreciate it and you may have a more practical answer because i think you probably use hypothesis with larger groups of students at a time and
so my answer will be a little bit more like philosophical how do i think about it but you could probably um follow up with however you like of course but maybe more practical uh answer than mine i think that uh
i would return to the notion of you know the decisions of the community are best right and so i think that for me where i might tr how how might i set it up um one
i usually set it up by asking a student to find a line that's interesting or important a section that's interesting or important right and then to make a note about it
and share it with a partner or something now that may happen it might be the kind of thing where i might set it up with for example what i often do in my classroom as i'm using
paper tools is we're gonna you know we're going to highlight a text with a with a marker and then we're going to write with a sticky note and we're going to fix that there and you know one teenager might become more
interested in the text because they see in what another teenager has highlighted that they didn't choose to highlight that that noticing about what's important is a different conversation when it's a teenager to a teenager and so then i
think those those two teenagers might decide okay after you have x amount of annotations which ones should we make public for other folks that you know those kinds of decisions and there's other times where we certainly we get
the whole the whole crowd of annotations all at once i would say usage might vary but but the notion that uh there's some there's some
social discernment about okay now that we got some of this initial thinking down what do we think should share what do we think we should share what do you think would you know add value or push the classes discussion of the text the essential
question something like that so for me it's it's kind of like what line is interesting why does it mean why does it matter those are initial notes and if everybody has ideas about
something important what it means and why is it why it matters then the idea that we might collectively edit down to what do we think is most important for us to consider as a community and then if they want to
go somewhere the the old man at the front of the room doesn't want to go i might say why is it that i want us to go somewhere more academic and you guys want to talk about what you're doing on saturday but i think that negotiation and that conversation
is sort of the philosophical approach i tend to do mine by class period so i have anywhere from 20 to 30 students in one section and they're annotating at a time i do have colleagues who have done
smaller we've totaled the idea of also doing like one where i have all of my seniors in one group as well so that you're working both with everyone or individually i find that i like the smaller like i
like the class periods because um if it's later in the day like i have sixth period seniors you want there to still be some novelty there you want there to still be kind of an opportunity it's almost a blank slate so each period gets their own blank
slate because i also don't want the first two periods or first three periods to skew with the later periods oh well everyone's saying this so i'm just gonna say this too so i kind of want them to have start over fresh um
we're a one-to-one school so they have ipads and what i've discovered is if they don't hit refresh it only shows their annotations while they're working so it kind of looks blank to them at first and then they can refresh and see
what other people have done which i like for them like i don't ever want them to feel like i don't want their peers to kind of become a pseudo-teacher of i don't want to disagree with the group so i like breaking it down by class periods
in terms of how i prep them for it i typically will require three annotations and i give them the idea of you know go with something that interests you go with a question that you have or um
sometimes it'll be something you agree with or something you disagree with so as you're going through what's something especially for getting controversial i'll say what's something you disagree with with this what's something you agree with with this just to kind of get them thinking
outside of their their own personal interest i think it's very easy to become blinded by things so to find something you disagree with because then they go and respond to each other and so when you have something you disagree with and people start
responding you kind of start going oh wait now i get so that's how i set that up for them in terms of what they have to include i tend to let them go with where they want and um the the directions are you can't
just say i agree or i disagree what specifically do you agree with what specifically do you disagree with or you know what's your question specifically and it gets really interesting we read one on
food deserts recently and i had a student who goes is it possible that hiring practices lead to food deserts if you have more non-white people who work as laborers would that then mean that they
live in poorer neighborhoods and thus they have less access to my and it was one of those thoughts that i hadn't gotten to but it allowed her to really think through um you know where this might be coming from and the other
things and it was a matter of she goes well could it be i'm like it could be anything you know but getting her to think through how these things layer on to each other are things that i can't pull out of them in class
so i kind of like to blank slate it for them and not give them too much because i think i do a lot of that already in our regular class period um so this is really i try even if it's going to tie into the crucible i may do
something about the witch trials or what a witch hunt is and let them go on their own and think about what they want and then we may discuss it at the end or they may do a writing after we've read the crucible tie it back in now based on what we've read
how's your opinion changed or go back now we're gonna do the same hypothesis only this time i want you to do three new responses and you see how things have grown and progressed how are you synthesizing all of this information
together over time can i ask a follow-up question to that that's really interesting um so do you find that as they um you know do they end up annotating
more um without you know as the conversation becomes more you know richer and more vibrant do they just kind of like get in there and really do it um i do i i think that they i find
that they annotate more i find that um it's always interesting because i'll have some students where i'm like i would have never guessed this student had this thought process because i don't see it in class but sitting there like
i get some things where i'm like really like has this person been in my room all day like can you bring this kid to class with you like i want this kid to come to school where's he been so it they definitely go a little bit
further they're willing to they get out of their friend group um because we're a private school a lot of them have known each other for a very long time so if you were to be in groups and you were to do this they'd group together but because it's online they're responding to other
people's um i've even seen some things where they've gotten really um kind of territorial of like well can you guys stop responding to so-and-so's because they already have a lot of responses and like they want to spread that out and they want to make sure that
everyone's thoughts are being heard and responded to so it's a very interesting thing that happens they take a lot of ownership of it they don't like it when we start because we tend to do it once
maybe every couple weeks but by the end they're kind of looking forward to it's the one place where they can have an opinion and so long as you don't call people names and so long as you're respectful you know there are no real rules so they're
like i can say anything i want about this and i'm not going to get in trouble so long as i'm you know and i'm like yeah go for it so long as you can support it with the text and that allows so much it's like the
one place at school where they don't have to be on morgan that's like i i i it's like blowing my mind i know that's such a trite expression
like but like what you just said is so relevatory it's because it is school and they are on but yet you've created this space where
it's so different for them anyways it's really it's just really inspiring hey i'm gonna it is definitely inspiring
um i'm gonna interrupt just to say we are at 9 46. um morgan do you have to teach joe do you have to teach i got someone to cover me for a little
bit so that i would be available so they are covering the beginning of my class and we're starting with reading so we start every class with independent reading they'll be happy to get a little bit extra reading time they've been begging for it for about a month oh great okay
well if yeah if you want to and joe if you can keep going for a little while let's just keep going and then we'll wrap it up yeah do we have any questions i know we still have some some folks who are still watching with us live do we have
questions or observations from folks maybe you want to drop those questions or observations um into the chat um give a give a moment for that i have a few more back pocket questions but yeah i really kind of met a bit of a loss for words
with the wisdom that that both morgan and joe are sharing with us today but again for those folks who are live questions or observations that you'd like to contribute to the conversation while we hang out for a few more moments this is nate you know our crowd has been
a little quiet today but i was really taken by you know morgan talking about you know having students do anything they want anything they want as long as they're supporting it
from the text itself i'm just thinking about the way that you know that all annotations start from an anchor in the text kind of encourages that locating the thinking in something that came from the text
itself and sort of a almost like a you know technological mandate that forces everyone to start from the text itself as opposed from some other place and i don't know if you guys want to riff on
that at all or not maybe there's nothing more to say no i i will say that i definitely um going off of that idea it definitely helps my students that have done it for two years so my senior sister who started last year
um they've gotten better at realizing that they're everything you know you write it's like you need a concrete detail you need a commentary like well how would i say about it i'm like it's just good conversation you don't make an argument without a point
and it has helped with the annotating aspect of it to recognize that whether you realize it or not there's something in the text that got you to this point so like my juniors are reading the crucible right now and they're like i hate abigail
why do you hate abigail i just do no there's something that happened in the text that makes you hate her what is it so this allows them when you're talking about annotating especially technology-wise you really
have to find that thing that got you to that point and it does require a little bit of a metacognition thing of like i'm feeling this sort of way let me go back and figure out like how did i get here so it's definitely the thinking about
thinking about your thinking indeed morgan again thank you i want to bring laura into the conversation laura just shared this in chat and i this is a book near and dear to my practice right now and
so laura thank you for mentioning it uh this is the book cultivating genius by dr goldie mohammed and laura mentions the importance of connecting social annotation with historically responsive literacy um
i'm wondering i think they actually you're both probably quite aware that joe and morgan are probably very familiar with this text for maybe the reasons in which much of the work that maybe the waters and the literacy
education waters that we swim in is being responsive now to trends of course not only in critical education at large but anti-racist pedagogy and again culture sustaining literacies maybe both of you could just comment
briefly on the ways in which you do see the social annotation practices that you're participating in connecting with this kind of a mentor text and the kinds of ideas that goldie mohammed has has advocated
and documented in a text like a cultivating genius um i will jump on that really quick because i it's a really quick point i think i've long advocated that
students sometimes suffer at writing because they don't have enough text to anchor their thoughts as a well-read person joe you said you're bibliophile you read something and you immediately start thinking about that documentary that you watch and that one article you
read on this like that other book and this reminds me that you've got all these things that you're able to anchor new material to to me hypothesis especially when i take it outside of just the realm of my curriculum
allows my students to now create new things they can anchor things to so sometimes it's a matter of they don't they can't make that connection because there's nothing to connect to so it's about giving them enough
information that they can start to synthesize like it's hard to synthesize with two pieces of information so it's like you know exposing them to enough that there's enough there to synthesize with and discovering that when you give them enough material
they are able to pull from it it's not it's not a deficit of ability it's a deficit of exposure and so the more they're exposed to and the more they have the more they can do with it you know i
can make amazing balloon animals but if you don't give me a balloon you're never gonna know that so it's about giving them those tools to allow them to make those connections um in terms of being culturally relevant
again you do allow for a lot of other people to speak um if you're in a predominantly anything environment you allow your non-might dominant group a voice that isn't going
to be you know isn't going to be awkward as someone who grew up and you know went to pwis my entire life it gets uncomfortable sometimes but if i can write it and people aren't going to stare at me when i say it i can be a little bit
more i can go a little bit further because i don't have to deal with you looking at me and your response like you know you're not going to snicker if you're snickering i don't know what you're snickering at like it's not tied directly to me in that moment
yeah there's a few things i'd like to build on and so i i'll try to be focused about it one i really appreciated um the the uh the impersonation morgan briefly did of her student who was
trying to say they have an opinion about a text but they weren't quite sure where that opinion came from and then morgan's assertion that oh no of course you do of course it came from somewhere and you know and so that's just a very
key like it's just a key uh interaction that talks about how a student might go from being passive to being more active which i think would be
related to being an agent or feeling like they have agency as a reader right in that passivity of like oh no you know i don't know like aren't you done asking me questions wouldn't you rather ask one of my peers a question it's like no
because you know when we're engaged we all do this right like we we all our thoughts are anchored somewhere in the text even if our thought is about something that's uniquely personal and maybe a bird walk
so i really appreciate that um the other thing and i have a little bit of a goofy story but i was thinking about it as we as i kept kind of fixating on the k part of the k12 in the title for this uh
this um webinar and i was thinking about a story that stuck with me it was an act it was an interaction that stuck with me years ago when i worked and i was working with a kindergarten teacher a first year kindergarten teacher
so as a coach i was uh yeah it might also be because i have a kindergartner asking me why everything i've done all morning and uh checking in with me about how i attend meetings as compared to
right my brother and my sister-in-law so anyway um but uh but the kindergartner the kindergarten experience was i was helping a first year teacher who had really good mentors and support
so she didn't need me to be an expert on kindergarten teaching which was good because my background was at the time was middle school but she she had a problem one day when it was my time to come checking her in on her and see how things were were going in her class what she had was a
new student and this new student had come and needed to make friends in the middle of the year and you know whole bunch of kindergartners and all kinds of social emotional stuff going on when a kindergartner starts a new school and
maybe a good problem but a challenging problem for a kindergarten teacher because this this kindergartner was reading books that were more like the books that the second graders were reading and so what had happened was this new student was increasingly
isolated so it was you know no real problem to challenge the student because you could you know get her alone read by herself but the notion that she might not be part of a group was a was a real challenge for this first year teacher and it was just
something that resonated with me and in the moment we had to troubleshoot it and the idea that no reading group would suffice because they were all reading groups that are reading books that just weren't gonna she was gonna read them too quickly
she'll stand out like a sore thumb and so what i thought about was you know with this first year teacher and we just tried something we just brought a bunch of sticky notes we said well let's slow her down let's see how she writes about reading
and you know we'll we'll put some sticky notes on the table we'll give her a pencil and we'll see how it goes before we before we try to get her to go do a reading group in the second grade room which is a whole nother you know
issue set of questions so anyway what was really impactful for me on that day was you know of course this young girl was earnest to do a good job wanting to know what she could write and we said you know you could write a question
you could write an opinion or you could just write what happened and that was good enough she was good to go and so as the teacher was instructing this reading group the way she always did you know the girl grabbed a sticky note and started writing her ideas and then the
second time they stopped to talk about the book the little boy next to her was a little ahead of the group as well and he went over and he reached and grabbed a sticky note right and i remember you know it's like this this little girl who's new to class and
the previously like you know in this like higher performing reading group all of a sudden these you know no kindergartner want to be left out with the sticky notes and so there was just like this instant challenge of practice
about like what are we gonna do here and it was really fun for me because one it felt like we made the girl for that day a part of the group and something interesting to puzzle over we also you know left that group of kindergarten teachers
some questions about how is this developing the writing and what do we see in the writing what is it what are the students doing in their response to reading what are they getting ready to do there's a question other kindergarten classes weren't asking until they had a
problem to solve it was just fun and so that's how i think about the k part of social reading and social annotation can i just really quick joe i think that works in any grade
i think that so often it we focus so much on the reading aspect of it and like oh we're reading this text it's like okay but what else is happening how are they processing the text what are they doing with the text how are they working with the text and so we
go from reading the text to writing the essay and if we stopped on any grade level and went through that process of what questions do you have what's interesting what do you think happened we could mitigate a lot of our writing issues
by having them process their reading as they're going and a lot of them would solve this themselves because you'd have that one kid who doesn't know the other thing but they know this one thing like it goes back to that concept where you set up talked about
social the social side of reading if we really made a social side of reading and we allowed reading to be a collective thing the way we do movies and music and concerts and going out to dinner for
that matter we could really change not just their perception of reading and writing but also their ability to do it because we would have found a couple of those issues early on i can tell in annotating
socially with sticky notes i can tell who's not understanding you know the reading because it's like ooh that's a little i i'm not sure like no that's not the right person like let's let's go back and discuss
this or someone else is like i think you mean so and so and it's like wait what and now we have that conversation of time out how many of you are confused about this and this and the kids are like those weren't the same people oh and like that helps me to identify
like this is so it goes back to what are we dealing with that reading and how are we incorporating that conversation that social aspect in the reading as opposed to oh you're in 11th grade you can read this
being able to decode the words and being able to read it aren't necessarily the same thing and that's essentially you know it's kindergarten but it could cover like my 11th graders need that same moment of let's talk about what you're reading
and let's make sure we're on the same page and maybe the conversation goes on a whole different topic a whole different you know that's fine because it still ties in and you know how often do we have a conversation like i don't know how we got there
you're like but it connected and that's where we went and that's what sticks in our brains that's incredible well speaking of things sticking in our brains kind of collectively sharing things that stick in a kind of collectively shared
uh wisdom really uh we're coming up on the hour and and i want to certainly be respectful of everyone's time especially morgan you know yours right now i think you're literally going to be running back to your class and your students joe i know has been triple dutying some child care and some
teaching and being here and i want to just thank the both of you um as friends as colleagues um again it's just been such a challenging year for so many and i think
what you shared with us today is not only your wisdom but a very keen sense that that educators are are experts in so many things um not only certainly uh you know technical skills how to use something
perhaps like hypothesis and as joe was alluding to earlier how to like maybe hack it or rearrange it or use it on ipads as morgan you're doing or whatever the technical stuff may be there's also of course a deep wisdom that you both bring
regarding your discipline specific literacy education commitments and the ways that again you've encouraged students as we've talked about to make meaning to share their opinions and to think again with with with others
but again even then beyond that uh just how much you care for students about how affirming you know you've both you know shown your practice to be and allowing students to then elicit
their identities and their wisdoms in the work that they do in school it's just been really inspiring and so i'm gonna i'm gonna be re-watching and listening to this actually to kind of continue
to learn from the both of you i know that many other educators will do the same as this is then shared within the broader liquid margins and social annotation community so thanks to those who are able to join us again live i know that
again many will engage with this webinar after it's again posted publicly we also look forward to having folks further continue these conversations later this summer during the ianate
conference so again morgan my sincere thanks joe my sincere thanks to the both of you and i'll just quickly kick things back over to franny and nate to wrap wrap things up yeah i i also want to
thank you so much and i i second everything raymie was saying but in particular i also sense this such caring about the students and how
they're learning and also how they're being socialized as well because i think that you know that that's certainly asking a question why do you hate this character you know and having and pushing that i think in
particular can teach students about themselves their social lives you know why do you hate your neighbor well figure it out you know like think about
it and then maybe you won't you know so or maybe you will but you'll know why you know or whatever so anyway great conversation um yeah and and and i know you got to go and um
so i just want to thank you and i want to thank everyone who showed up and took part in this amazing discussion and
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