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Teaching and Assessing Writing with the 6-Traits

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Natalie Goldberg: “I Don’t Believe in Writer’s Block” | Talking Writing

Natalie Goldberg: “I Don’t Believe in Writer’s Block” | Talking Writing | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Some people embrace Natalie Goldberg’s Zen approach to writing; others resist it. But in all cases, she urges writers to dive deep. Author of the bestselling guides Writing Down the Bones (1986) and Wild Mind (1990), Goldberg peppers her conversation with Buddhist references like “sitting with my own mind.”

She speaks of the need to observe your “passing thoughts” in order to get to wild mind: the place within yourself that’s devoid of self-censorship.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

I discovered Natalie Goldberg when I was teaching middle school writer's workshop (back before the turn of the century).


Her mindful methods worked then. They will work now if they fit your vision of teaching writing. 


Think about it.

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Always Write: Sacred Writing Time

Always Write: Sacred Writing Time | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Corbett Harrison:  One of my core classroom beliefs: Students will write every day...in my classroom, we call it "Sacred Writing Time"

It's ten simple minutes out of our daily schedule, but it's become one of the most important things we do in my classroom. We write...every single day...about anything we want. Ten minutes of freedom with our pencils and our imaginations or our dogmatic, pondering brains. There are no exceptions to this ten-minute time allotment. When my students walk in, those who keep their writer's notebooks in my classroom bin pull out those notebooks, locate their sacred writing partners, and sit side-by-side with them. Those students who take their notebooks home with them every day pull their notebooks out of their binders or backpacks, and they find their SWT partners. As soon as class begins, we have ten minutes of silence, and I monitor, making sure everyone's pencil is dancing.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Do your students write everyday?  Like Corbett, I had a 10 minute 'free write' built into every block during my middle school teaching years at Lake Tahoe.  When I read Corbett's assessment I was back in my classroom again.  


"I assess how well my students have learned to value their ten minutes of "free writing" every day in the following way: if you're doing it right, this is what will happen, not every day, but certainly every week:

  1. Students will audibly groan when the ten-minute timer goes off and ask if they can have extra time to finish up their thinking.
  2. When the timer goes off, students will beg, "Can we share today? PLEASE!"
  3. You will hear a student (in the hallway or during a class discussion) excitedly say, "Oh, I am writing about that the next time I have to do sacred writing."


Fine work going on in Northern Nevada! 

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Hack your notebook: National Writing Project Digital Island

Hack your notebook: National Writing Project Digital Island | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it

Posted by Jillian VanRiper


I started Hack Your Notebook day begrudgingly, wondering why we were allotting an entire day to decorating our notebooks when we had so much more work to do.  What was I really going to learn from this activity?  I looked at the piles of paper and beads and scissors and glue, and gave an inward sigh because it appeared as though we were going to spend time putting cool pictures on our notebook covers.  Which is fun...truly.  I love crafts; and spending time crafting seems like an indulgence when facing my multitude of career and family obligations.  Obligations, for instance, like the portfolio pieces for RCWP that were calling my name, wondering when I would be devoting time to them.  I’d been neglecting them more than I should.  


So when Dawn announced that we would be hacking our notebooks today, I entered the activity intending to finish quickly and move onto something that would be more productive for me, as a teacher of writing.


Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Looks like a brilliant beginning of the year writer's workshop project.

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Using Evernote to Confer with Writers ~ Two Writing Teachers

Using Evernote to Confer with Writers ~ Two Writing Teachers | 6-Traits Resources | Scoop.it
Today's guest blog post by Cathy Mere will help you jump on the electronic record-keeping bandwagon. Learn how to use Evernote to keep conferring notes on all of your students.

 

"We learn so much sitting beside writers as they work in our workshops each day.  Two years ago I gave up my spiral notebook I used to keep records of writing conference conversations for a digital system.  Saying goodbye to my spiral notebook with tabbed sections for each student was easier than I anticipated.  The time was right.  More and more often I found myself wanting to do more than record handwritten snippets of evidence, thought, and conversation.  More and more I found myself wanting to take pictures of student work or record student voices.  More and more I found myself wanting to link to digital pieces students were creating.  More and more I seemed to have a device in my hand instead of a pen.  After learning about Evernote I decided to see if I could use it as a tool to record notes from across the day.  I found myself enjoying the seamlessness of Evernote. It seemed Evernote was a tool to allow me to capture the learning journeys of the young writers in my classroom.

 

"To begin I created a notebook for each student and then placed them in a class stack.  Each time I confer with a writer during writing workshop I use Evernote.  Before I begin our conversation I glance through the last few notes, watch the work the writer is doing, and wait for an appropriate moment to chat.  For me, it has worked to create a new note inside the student’s notebook each time I have a conference with a writer.  My conferences are often structured like this:"

 

 

 


Via Jim Lerman
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Jim Lerman's curator insight, September 1, 2013 1:47 AM

A well documented description of how one teacher has developed her own method to maintain digital notes for all her students in Writers' Workshop by using Evernote.

Patricia Christian's curator insight, September 2, 2013 2:35 PM

Another way to document student writing electronically using Evernote.

Franc Viktor Nekrep's curator insight, September 2, 2013 4:44 PM

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