OK, it’s time to stop testing the water with a toe and jump with both feet into project based learning.
Grade 10 have today made the leap with me. A leap of faith? I hope not. Let’s hope it’s more of a giant leap forward.
But enough with the metaphors. Just as I require Grade 10 to document the process, I will do the same. I have been exploring project based learning for a while and have put it into practise in a small way. Now is the time to see how it really works, whilst addressing required learning outcomes and assessing the students effectively in order to write their reports at the end of the semester.
In my classroom I use the 2 Sisters CAFE board to teach the various reading strategies to my students during minilessons for the whole group. The C stands for Comprehension, A for Accuracy, F for Fluency and E for Expanding Vocabulary. These are the main areas that good readers need to be strong in. Each student has a reading goal and strategy that they are working on when I confer with them. An example might be, the student's goal is Comprehension with the Strategy of "back up and reread". After a minilesson, I'll select a student to make a card to put on the CAFE board. So, the workshop structure still holds true: minilesson, conferencing/small group instruction while students work independently, and meet together for another minilesson or to share.
"Write About provides many (and I mean many) images with writing prompts. Students can write their response and do an audio recording of it. Teachers can create virtual classrooms and provide individual written feedback to student writing. Student creations can be shared publicly or just with their classmates. Teachers can change prompts or upload their own photos.
"I think Write About is going to be an exceptional site, in particular for English Language Learners. It combines visual imagery, writing, speaking and listening – not to mention an authentic audience."
As an EdTech enthusiast, I am always looking for potent ways to leverage the power of digitality into my everyday learning. Writing is one of those areas where technology is definitely indispensable. Mistake me not! I am not talking here about using technology in the substitution level of SAMR model even though such a use is also a welcome) rather I am alluding to those techie tools that can take your writing genius to the next level. Those tools that have the power to transform your writing creativity and boost your thinking fluency.
To this end, I am sharing with you a bunch of some interesting web tools and apps that you can use for yourself or with your students to help them with their writing. I learned about these tools from Writer’s Circle which is an excellent website for writing enthusiasts.
Please bear in mind, there is no shortcut to developing a better writing style and technology here is but a facilitator, a means to an end. It all depends on how much dedicated and committed you are to the act of writing and as Stephen King said ”when you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely can not be put off.”
Cheryl Frose's insight:
Includes: OmmWriter, Creativist, Scribophile and Storymeter.
If you own an e-reader you often can only buy e-books from the bookstore that is bundled on your device. Many of the budget e-readers out there don’t even have a bookstore that is accessible by users and many people are left to fend for themselves to load content on it.
Here is a comprehensive free e-book resource catalog online. All of these books are hardware agnostic, which means they are not locked by DRM (Digital Rights Management). All you have to do is simply download a title and load in via the USB cable from your computer to your e-reader. Many of these sites also provide the books in more than one format, so they will work with your Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony e-reader and hundreds of others.
For our Second Annual Student Editorial Contest, in which teenagers are invited to write on an issue they care about, we have gathered a list of 301 writing prompts that may help -- an update to last year's popular list of 200.
Elizabeth Werner, 4th grade teacher at Reagan Elementary (Brownsburg, IN), initially used Ruth Culham's 6-Traits songs to introduce the writing traits to her students. But her students wanted something more modern. Being a musical learner herself, Elizabeth saw the value in meeting her students' learning needs. She began listening to some popular songs that she knew her students were familiar with. She listened to the choruses and began to consider how she could rewrite the trait songs to fit these new tunes.
To begin your workshop time, I start off with a minilesson. This is a short lesson that focuses on a reading, writing or mathematics strategy. We show students how we use the strategy in our writing, reading or math problem solving. We should keep in mind the age of our students, and keep the lessons short and sweet. In a fifth grade classroom, I keep my lessons to around 10 minutes. During my minilessons, I have the students do a turn and talk with a partner. Also, I have the students meet in a particular place in the classroom rather than having them sit at their desks. For reading workshop I'll usually teach 2 minilessons, whereas in writing I'll teach one minilesson.
Cheryl Frose's insight:
"Workshop" "Cafe" "Daily 5" These are all similar. This blog post describes well the process for older students.
As someone who teaches a whole range of different classes every day, I find myself consistently turning to a core set of apps that have made my teaching better, more organised and more effective. I wanted to share with you 5 of those apps that, when combined with Apple TV and a solid wireless network, have transformed the way I teach English forever…
The persuasive essay is a quintessential high school writing assignment. With the Common Core standards, it seems to have taken on a new urgency in many school districts and classrooms. But students should know that evidence-based persuasive writing is more than just an academic exercise — it is very much alive in the real world. Perhaps one of the best and most widely recognized examples of persuasive writing in action is the classic newspaper editorial, three to four of which The New York Times publishes every day.
The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.
Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.
Welcome to Adventures in Writing, a series of graphic-novel style learning modules designed to help you learn more about and practice a range of effective written communication skills. You’ll immerse yourself in the adventures of Maya and Chris, using each module’s interactive exercises to apply what you’ve learned. Writing instructors in Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) designed the modules to reflect PWR’s philosophy that the best academic and real world communication practices require us to think about more than “correctness” or just getting things right—we must actively consider what we’re trying to achieve with a specific audience for a specific purpose. Through joining Maya and Chris on their adventures, you’ll develop your abilities to communicate in writing—from punctuation and style to argument—increasing the power of your language in the classroom and beyond.
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