Speaking of Irony

It’s not just a little bit ironic that I’m writing about how many books I would like to read but don’t have the time while my daughter is dealing with trouble about having one book to read.  Her teacher wanted the class to read The Grapes of Wrath and guess what?  Some folks are objecting to the GD’s.  They’re not upset by the portrayal of hardship and sadness but to the language.  The students, on the other hand, object to the length of the book and are happy to get out of reading it.  Alternate books have been offered.  I’m very proud of my daughter though, who has chosen to read “Grapes”.  She has suggested that the kids/parents should probably turn off the TV, radio and internet if they find Steinbeck so offensive.  You go girl!

Published in: on February 27, 2008 at 3:19 am  Comments (1)  

Synchronicity with RealWritingTeachers

So, I’m gushing about the RealWritingTeachers group on Yahoo at our meeting of the West Tennessee Writing Project.  I get home and there’s an e-mail from one of the moderators and it turns out she’s a TC from the Little Rock Writing Project.  They too had a meeting Saturday and were discussing the booklist for their Summer Institute.  Here’s their list of potential books:

The 9 Right of Every Writer: A Guide for Teachers by Vicki Spandel
What a Writer Needs by Ralph Fletcher
Wondrous Words: Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom by Katie Wood Ray
Best Practices in WRiting Instruction Edited by Steve Graham, et. al
Inside Writing and My Quick WRites for Inside Writing by Donald Graves et. al
Designing Professional Development in Literacy by Catherine Rosemary, et. al
Portfolio Teaching by Nedra Reynolds et. al
Because Writing Matters, NWP & Carol Nagan
A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves
The Artful Edit by Susan Bell
The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets by Ted Kooser
That’s just great!  They all sound terrific and I haven’t read any of them.  Oh well, gotta go track them down and read them!

Published in: on February 27, 2008 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Real Writing Teachers

The RealWritingTeachers group on Yahoo is fantastic!  I receive the daily digest and each day there are exiting suggestions, ideas and questions from other teachers across the country.

I’ve gotten so many wonderful resources from them.  Currently, there are a bunch of entries about “my life in a six word sentence”, that are so interestesting, intriguing and entertaining.

I’m thankful for all of these wonderful, sharing teachers.

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Too Many Books, Too Little Time

Oh how I wish there was an hour each school day when we could read professional material.  Even an hour each week would be great.  There are so many wonderful books and articles and I fall so far behind each year.  Then I read during the summer and have to wait for school to start again to put anything into practice or at least give it a try.

Add to that the whole issue of sharing with colleagues!  If we could read during the year, we could read together.  As it is now, the best I can do is collaborate with strangers via the internet.

Oh well.  I’m GLAD to be behind!  That way I have so much to look forward to!  Becky suggested some books she has bought on editing and revision that I can’t wait to take a look at.  I hope I can get some more suggestions.

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 10:05 pm  Comments (2)  
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Personalizing a Journal

Personalizing a Journal

Published in: on February 16, 2008 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Writing Workshop – Publishing Student Writing

I’ve managed to neglect this important part of the Writing Workshop for years now, but I think I’ve finally gotten into the groove. I’d been trying to publish too early and I’ve made promises I was unable to fulfill. This year I made no effort to publish indivdual works until after Christmas. Eureka! My students already understand a lot about re-reading and editing. Now they are experiencing the really revision process. They can see better ways to tell stories they have already written and get them ready for publication. Our current publishing process includes copy paper folded into books with scrapbook paper covers. I type their name and title for the cover. The write the innards of the books and ilustrate them. We’re keeping it simple and they have taken to it well. In period of three weeks we suddenly have over 20 books written. They are of various lengths and strengths but they get better and better. My student who ONLY wrote about how she loves her mother, published that book and has finally moved on to other topics! (I would have published her mama stories three months ago if I’d known that’s what it took.)

Published in: on February 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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Writing Workshop – Poetry Explosion

Surprise, surprise!  Poetry has broken out in my classroom.  Some of my students have checked out “You Read to Me and I’ll Read to You” books and have taken it upon themselves to start writing similar pieces.  When the first one was presented, I was speechless.  The basic idea is a dialogue between two opposing characters who conflict about many things but agree on their enjoyment of reading.  Consequently, the resulting poems have all ended with “You read to me and I’ll read to you.”  There’s been one about a hamster and a rat, a ghost and beast and more.  I’ve banned the final phrase but am trying to keep the formula going.  What a great way to demonstrate an understanding of skills in comparing and contrasting!

Published in: on February 16, 2008 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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