Find an audio clip that relates to your story. Maybe it’s the sound of a train, or crickets, or rain falling on a sidewalk (YouTube is a good resource for this). Play the clip for about one minute before you begin writing. What rhythms do you hear? What metaphors can you pull out of the sound? What kind of atmosphere does the sound create? Wistful? Frustrating? Intense?
… and GO! Play the clip on repeat for 5 minutes while you write.
"One method I use to teach organization is outlining the paper after the first draft. I ask students to write an outline of their paper if it is poorly organized and if they don’t see the lack of organization. " ~ Kathleen Sommers - Teaching and Assessing Writing with the Six Traits, Spring 2013
"4th and 5th graders show how NOT to conduct a peer review. Show this video to your class to help them make better use of peer review opportunities. Please visit http://www.timbedley.com for more teaching ideas. I understand that "real" peer review is done by the scientific community. However; in my elementary school class we stole the term to refer to a one-on-one critique of each other's writing."
Summarizing text: Explicitly teach students procedures for summarizing what they read. Summarization allows students to practice concise, clear writing to convey an accurate message of the main ideas in a text. Teaching summary writing can involve explicit strategies for producing effective summaries or gradual fading of models of a good summary as students become more proficient with the skill.
Hello and welcome to my zoo. This zoo is unlike any other in the world. Here you can awaken your imagination and play under the light of stars. Together, we will answer the question: what do animals dream about? So if you want to play loads of creative games, read about amazing animals and create your very own...The project fosters a great sense of creativity amongst pupils and has seamless cross-curricular links. It involves aspects of Literacy, Art and ICT.
"I often read about the importance of spicing writing up with dialogue or description: a little show-don’t-tell language, a heated argument relayed with fast-paced exclamation points, a vivid image, an exchange whose subtext reveals more than the words themselves.
“Absolutely!” I always say. “I need to include more of that in my writing.” The only question is—when? How can I gauge when to give way to rich description, and when to let my characters speak for themselves?
"Certainly part of the decision depends on balance. If we rely only on dialogue or description, challenging ourselves to develop the other at some point will surely benefit our writing. But assuming we strive to incorporate both in appropriate measures, are there any indicators available to help us see in which instances one might serve more purpose than the other?"
Rachel Small, a 5th grade teacher in New Hamphsire, chronicles her struggles with mandated, rubric-driven, writing responses to fiction and how they contribute, in her view, to limiting (rather than expanding) students' writing.
She offers some alternatives that she believes open students up to writing more authentically, for a real audience. -JL
"I try to teach revision but I always seem to run out of time. It takes my students so long just to write rough drafts that I can't help but move straight to editing. Help me find ways to make more time for revision."
This page of resources for revision create the heart of any writing workshop classroom.
Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:
Blogs are a quick way to publication for your students. This is a prime way to power up your writing process.
One step that student writers frequently overlook is the first one — prewriting. They launch into composing before taking the time to plan and organize their thoughts. This kind of impatience often turns out to be costly. Papers written without wise preparation are not only poorer in quality, but frequently more time-consuming than papers written with attention to the prewriting phase. That’s right — skipping this step can actually cost you time.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:
The writing process works. I wish I'd learned it in school when I was a kid. I certainly taught it when I was in the classroom with kids!
6 Ways Google Docs Supports Collaboration In The Writing Process (6 Ways Google Docs Supports Collaboration in the Writing Process http://t.co/Jl60W8sG @TeachThought #edchat #edtech #writing #engedu...)...
"The list of recommendations presented below is based on scientific studies of students in grades 4–12. The strategies for teaching writing are listed according to the magnitude of their effects. Practices with the strongest effects are listed first.... All of the strategies are potentially useful, and we encourage teachers to use a combination of strategies to best meet the needs of their students."
"Are you late to the social networking party? No worries. It took me a long time to get into the whole social networking thing, but I’m glad I did. It’s definitely been a beneficial experience.
"Although Facebook continues to defend its position as the most popular social networking platform, you shouldn’t focus all of your attention there. As they say, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Where else can you go? Twitter! Twitter is a great resource for social networking, but especially so for writers. By taking advantage of hashtags, you can separate the useless and boring tweets from the ones that are interesting and pertinent."
"1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages."
"To write is to paint a picture in words. It can be pleasure, pain and frustration, and surprise when it works well. Writers have the power to create and transform things; they can inform, enrage, move, persuade, or seduce us by the written word. The following resources provide opportunities for your students to meet a range of writers. They can find out more about some popular authors and discover some new ones, and the references will assist you to develop writers of the future."
Welcome to “Podcasting in a Writing Class? Considering the Possibilities,” a multimodal project exploring podcasting as a part of a writing class. This text has two main components: a hypertextual webtext and a six episode podcast series. I encourage you to listen to the podcasts and explore the webtext to experience the full article. I focus on the practice of podcasts in our writing classes.
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