Based on my experience using Google Docs for the past two years, I have come up with a strategy that I think may help anyone who plans on using Google Docs with students next year. The purpose of this strategy is two fold:
1. Stay Organized (both teacher & student) 2. Promote the writing process, revision & resubmission of work
A few years ago, my local school district invested in software designed to teach students better writing skills.
During my daughter's initial assignment using the software, her first draft earned a 5.9 out of 6. The tenth of a point deduction was for repeating a short phrase. Fair enough. She changed the wording — maybe four words — and her score inexplicably plummeted to a 4. She put the original wording back and her score rose by a couple tenths of a point. Then she spent the next three hours trying to figure out how to get her score back up and left the computer sobbing and declaring that she hated writing and school.
I’ve long believed that everything we write is a form of storytelling. A memo is the story of an outcome you would like to see. A letter to your child who’s away at camp is the continuation of your family story. A text message to that cute girl is the story that may lead to a first date. Even your grocery list is the story of what you will eat for dinner this week. Embracing the storyteller within makes writing easier, because who among us doesn’t tell stories every day?
Surely you were made to read one of John Steinbeck’s seminal works at some point in your high school career. Hopefully you enjoyed one of them, be that his novella Of Mice and Men, his classic The Grapes of Wrath, or what Steinbeck called his finest work East of Eden. Most of his literature can be classified as Dust Bowl fiction depicting tales of common people during the Great Depression. Steinbeck had an extraordinary career, receiving the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath, and eventually being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Much can be gleaned from his masterful writing. Here are a few storytelling tips from Steinbeck himself.
Long, fancy words designed to show off your intelligence and vocabulary are all very well, but they aren't always the best words. In this short, playful video Terin Izil explains why simple, punchy language is often the clearest way to convey a message.
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.
"Last year I shared an animated video of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Yesterday, through an Open Culture post, I discovered eight more short animated versions of Shel Silverstein's works. The videos can be found on the Shel Silverstein Books channel on YouTube. I've embedded Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too! below."
In 2005 Chuck Palahniuk began submitting original writing essays on craft to his official fan site ChuckPalahniuk.net. 36 essays later and Chuck had amassed a wealth of knowledge on his readers; tools and writing tenants that could fill a book!
Is the beloved paper dictionary doomed to extinction? In this infectiously exuberant talk, leading lexicographer Erin McKean looks at the many ways today's print dictionary is poised for transformation. As the CEO and co-founder of new online dictionary Wordnik, Erin McKean is reshaping not just dictionaries, but how we interact with language itself.
“You’re a fishmonger!” By taking a closer look at Shakespeare’s words--specifically his insults--we see why he is known as a master playwright whose works transcend time and appeal to audiences all over the world.
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