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Week 4

Revision, revision, revision. I have to be honest, I have never been a big revisor myself. But in spending more time thinking about it, most of the obstinence towards revising has had to do with time. Reading through some of the great tools and suggestions in the reading actually have invigorated my willingness to revise...especially personal writings.
All of the readings for today convinced me of one thing: I really want my classroom to take on the atmosphere of a constant writer's workshop. Students will turn to their classmates for help with ideas, description, structure, etc., and just view me as another resource, not the ultimate dictator in what they are going to write and how they are going to write it. Using my own writing in modeling peer-response and editing methods will be key in developing this classroom atmosphere. Barron's article lays out a great method for establishin productive peer-editing groups: 1) model the behavior, 2) introduce my own writing and have them edit it, 3) actually DO the revisions for the class. When students see what the whole process looks like, this will help build the confidence they need to create useful feedback in groups.
I really want to remember the different tools in Harper's article: 1) Questions (what a neat exercise she did with her engagement), 2) Snapshots, 3) Thoughtshots, 4) Exploding a moment and, 5) Making a Scene. How great it would be to put these different ideas up around the classroom to remind students of things they can do to improve/enhance their writing. And they seem like they could be fun to model and practice, as well.
Very helpful readings today. I will be returning to these.

http://www.mpls.lib.mn.us/wft/webforteens.asp
This is a nice resource to use for those of us student teaching in the Mpls school district. There is a link for live homework help, links for different workshops held for teens (there is a SLAM POETRY one coming up), and other great activities. Provides many different sorts of writing opportunities, including writing computer games in Spanish.

Comments

I really like your ideal classroom environment. Moreso with the classroom interdependence and the teacher as facilitator instead of authority, but I'm also picturing little laminated posters with the different toolbox elements, and I'm picturing one student saying to another, "well, why don't you try a Thoughtshot?" and I'm kind of loving it.

They should make this into a Kool-Aid so I can drink some.

MadS