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Greg McVerry

How to Write Your #Literacies Mantra #edu506

Mantras, a sanskrit word, derives from meditation practices of Hinduism and Bhuddisum. These short phrases, represent universal truths people use to focus their minds away

2 min read

Mantras, a sanskrit word, derives from meditation practices of Hinduism and Bhuddisum. These short phrases, represent universal truths people use to focus their minds away from the material.

"Mantra" by A literacy mantra repesents your worldview to how we and children learn to read and write. Your epistemological views, what you think about knowledge, and ontologogical views, how you see the world will influence your classroom.

Do you center knowledge in the indiviudal? Is reading a set of discrete skills that must be taught? How much agency and voice do we allow students to project?

Develop the  powerful phrase that captures what your classroom will look like.

How to Write your Mantra


Begin by brainstorming jot down a lit of words of what will be important to you as a classroom teacher. You could also look to mentor texts and find ideas in educational philosophers, underline key phrases.


Once you have collected yoru words or phrases sort them by categories. You want to get down to no more than three or four key ideas.

Identify the Universal Truths

Examine yoru categories for universal truths. What holds for every child? Every classroom? You want to use active words that provide you with direction. A mantra you can repeate each day with your morning coffeee.

Include supporting evidence

Once you have written your mantra share it in a journal entry or a blog post. Then include supporting evidence to prove your mantra includes universal truths. This last step will be an ongoing practice. It may even shift your mantra. That is fine, no rule can be a rule, and set in stone. That is the only rule.

Greg McVerry

Five Reasons I chose to Carve a Spoon as My Subjective's Metaphor #OpenPedagogy #digped

My Free Choice Post for #edu522

3 min read

In my previous post I shared pictures of a hand carved spoon I am shaping from wood. I used this tool as a metaphor to explore my goals for . Got me thinking about what would the shape of the sotry be if I stretched the metaphor just a little too far.

Knowledge isn't Spoon Fed

In this class you design your syllabus, well the important parts. I still curate materials and facilitate discussions.

Open pedagogy draws heavily on principles woven into feminism and critical theory. in the sense of striving for the better (hooks, 1994); of seeing growth as a community process rather than a taxonomy of skills aquisition (Weber, 2006).

Many of us gather on a quilt Dave Cormier  (2015) calls "Community is the Curriculum" which we hold together through intentionaly equitable hospitality. In this class I want us to cook together. Bring in our own flavors to a shared table.

Learning is Messy

We often cast learning in such clinical terms. Our students need an "intervention." Growth requires "diagnostic" assessment. A nice easdy picture cleaned with the medical precision of a septic wipe.

Open pedagogy also draws on ideas of rhizomatic learning. We waste so much time and treasur measuring and sorting children. I would rather double down on reinforcing classroom practices that we know have positive impacts.

I believe the space of learning and not the learner is the variable of interest that should draw your focus. What can you do better to let your students make a mess as you create a community of readers and writers?

Learning Takes Deliberate Planning, Action, and Reflection

Open Pedagogy gets driven by those who learn out loud. By that I mean we share our reflections, openly blog throughout the design practice, often create content for the Commons, and encourage our students to do the same.

When you make learning visibile (Hattie) you help students grow. When you encourage students to that from a place they can call their own you help them be.

In this class you control your level of openess and privacy. You can share only in our private Microsoft Teams channels or publicly by publishing on your own website.

Play With Knives

Imagine walking into your principles office and suggesting giving out knives to all the eigh year olds. Think it will fly?

Why not?

I have taught so many children ages 6-10 to play with knives in cub scouts. I am happy my kids can, with supervision, sit outside and play with knives

We shelter our children from too many complex tools and topics. I believe we must engage students in critical issues for change from a Vygotoskian dialectical perspecticve.

In this class we will explore the relationship of open pedagogy, privacy, and strategy exchange amongst our peers as you folks work toward your subjectives.

Know the Right Amount of Pressure

If you look closely at where my spoon is and where I planned it to be you will see they are not alike. I say I am trying to break from my love of symmetrical design, others will call it a lack of skill. Either way, many times when I press too hard the wood cracked.

Learning works this way. We need to rethink assessment and the pressures we put on children. As Sean Michael Morris and Jessie Stommel ask us, "How do we measure the love of learning?"

In this class I hope to leave that question unanswered as we all try a little bit better tomorrow all figuring it out.

Greg McVerry

Participatory Design Research and Educational Justice: StudyingLearning and Relations Within Social Change Making

Importantly, PDR maintains a commitment to advancing fundamental insights about human learning and development through explicit attention to what forms of knowledge are generated, how, why, where and by whom.

So it is a generative process

Greg McVerry

I wondered
did I watch a
lonely ant wander?

A last meal
  before solitary
  or proud
scout drunk'
on love
a fill of social stomach
  A student yearning
to share knowledge
  or one drowning in
Can we craft our

Greg McVerry

@RuthJoy96960173 I am not denying students knowledge. In fact in all my classes I will always stress content knowledge over strategy instruction. What I take issue with is the idea that there is "canonical knowledge"

Greg McVerry

Replied to a post on :

@RuthJoy96960173 But means we need a gatekeeper to decide what content students need. Not sure that comes first, community is the curriculum for me. When we talk "foundation of knowledge" you have to decide whose knowledge counts

Greg McVerry

@vmarks Get a domain and a website. If you want one with building blocks built in @microdotblog is turnkey, @WordPress takes minimal set up @withknown and other Class take some technical knowledge to install and update.

Greg McVerry

Delman and imore importantly we build spelling by building our word analysis skills. It really sits on the wall between phonics and knowledge. I always say, want me to assess a student's reading give me a paragraph they wrote.

The spelling clues and sentence syntax tell me just as much quicker and more reliable than any running record imo.

We also know spelling gets best learned through patterns so we teach students to recognize when patterns do not match and then use the affordances of the text around them to help decode the word.

When teaching spelling the readings taught us we need to make it production based and not just rote memorization. Your connection to fluency was spot on.

Greg McVerry

In #edu407 We asked this week why is argumentation considered the highest form of discourse? #literacies

What if asking, "Is It?" is more important than stating, "It is?"

1 min read

In many ways though I see the dominance of argument to be a central problem with the enlightenment theory that tried to quantify inequality based on sex and an artificial construct of race. It goes farther then the Enlightenment

The whole idea that man was given dominion over the natural world, which traces further back to Greek ideas of argument in logos, pathos, and ethos....The central dominance of "I" in the organizing force of knowledge.

This is what I want us to question with this prompt. Why isn't reflection considered the apex of thought? Why do butcher Spencer's concept of "fit" apply to Darwin and create worldviews around "survival of the fittest?" What if we took a expansive worldview of how the world works?

Why do we call it the Iron Age and Not the Flax Age?

Maybe these questions all draw from the poisoned wells that where Western knowledge gets drawn. Maybe if we allowed more voices from the beginning we wouldn't think the one who argues the best is the mostest right.

Greg McVerry

@jackyalcine maybe answer is, everyone should be able to flip the switch, decorate the switch cover,but those that want can undue the screws look at the wires and swap parts with their friends because of shared knowledge.


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