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Via Jonathan Jarc, Dalyce Beegle
By Bill Harrison
"Fiction alert: Random House is accepting submissions from new novelists for their new digital-only imprints. Mystery/suspense, science fiction/ fantasy/horror, romance/women’s fiction and new adult are the genres in which novels are sought. If Random House editors like your work, they will publish it in ebook form. Although you’ll still be responsible for the bulk of the marketing, having a legacy publisher’s imprint on your book is a big bonus. More information is here. Good luck!"
I am pretty sure as you introduce the idea to your students everyone will want to have a say in their next e-magazine. There is nothing much more rewarding to students then to have a proof of their hard work recognized in a publication of some sort.
Most of the tools cited here are easy to use and have user friendly interface and they will let you create your own e-magazine or newspaper in few simple steps. Yet I would recommend your discretion as you use them with your students.
Via Gust MEES, Jim Lerman
By Ralph Fletcher
"I've spent most of my professional career helping teachers find wiser ways of teaching writing. In the past few years I've become interested in how we might do a better job of engaging our boy writers. Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that boy writers are struggling. According to the most recent NAEP test results (2011) 38% of 8th grade girls scored "proficient" or above--only 18% of 8th grade boys scored proficient.
[I love the comment in this next paragraph, "Sometimes we may look at boys as defective girls....Try to notice what unique strengths boys bring to the table." -JL]
"Try to understand boy writers instead of judging them. Let's face it: elementary teachers, who are overwhelmingly female, may not always "get" boy writers and their quirks, strengths, and struggles. Sometimes we may look at boys as defective girls (I have done this myself) try to notice what unique strengths boys bring to the table.
"Boys and girls really are different, and I'm convinced that some of that difference is biological. A mother I know has two girls and two boys. She told me: "The boys made sound effects, almost from the moment when they could vocalize. My daughters never did that."
"Boy writing often differs from the writing created by girls. (For instance, in his book Why Gender Matters Leonard Sax points out that in their drawings, little girls draw nouns whereas little boys draw verbs/action.) Try to appreciate the difference."
By Larry Ferlazzo
Summary by The Accomplished Teacher
"Educators share their advice in Larry Ferlazzo's blog post for helping students become better writers. Aimee Buckner, a consultant and author, suggests starting a writing workshop, giving students time each day to write and showing students how to eliminate unnecessary words in their writing. Writer and teacher Carolyn Coman suggests that teachers focus on their own writing and help students make connections to their writing, while Tanya Baker, director of National Programs for the National Writing Project, agrees that teachers need to write, write, write"
By Angie Kaufman
"One area that many homeschoolers struggle with teaching is writing/composition. In my house, when some of my kids struggle with writing, it is especially difficult for me as someone who has been writing stories since as long as I could write words. Luckily, the Internet is full of ideas for writing activities and resources to help."
Amy Gallagher Critchett is on Learnist. Join Learnist share learnings with Amy Gallagher Critchett and others. - Lori Johnson
Critchett maintains a very rich and growing collection of resources for high school ELA teachers, keyed to the CCSS. This should be of considerable use to teachers now and going forward. -JL
Via Lori Johnson, Jim Lerman
From the website (download report for free)
"Sharon J. Washington, executive director of the National Writing Project, said, "The experience of these nine teachers reminds us of the central role they play in true education reform. It's teachers who are the technology drivers, seeking out digital tools, learning them, testing them and finally implementing them successfully in their classrooms. With the benefit of professional development from organizations like the National Writing Project, these pioneers are preparing their students for the digital world."
"The teachers featured in the report found that the use of such Web 2.0 tools as blogs, podcasts, wikis, and comics-creating software has heightened students' engagement and enhanced their writing and thinking skills—in all grade levels and across all subjects. Even as these teachers' students gain the skills to live and work in the 21st-century setting, too many times, the report found, their classrooms look like 20th-century models."
A free, 8-part online workshoop series from Annenberg Learner.
Creating a Community of WRiter
Making Writing Meaningful
Teaching Persuasive Writing
Teaching Multigenre Writing
Responding to Writing: Teacher to Student
Responding to Writing: Peer to peer
Teaching the Power of Revision
Via Lynette Van Dyke
Check out Doodle Splash, a cool interactive from ReadWriteThink, that combines the process of drawing with analytical thinking about a text by pairing an online drawing space with writing prompts that encourage students to make connections between their visual designs and the text.
Via Jamie Forshey, Lynnette Van Dyke
A thoughtful rumination on how voice to text dictation may shape both written and oral communication. - JL
By Robert Rosenberger
"In the case of voice-to-text technologies, however, all writing becomes a kind of rehearsal for verbal interaction. In this light, an important effect of computerized dictation technologies is that they could lead people to become more skillful speakers, and thus more thoughtful participants in meaningful discussions. If writers of the future are composing text almost exclusively through computerized dictation, then they may become more thoughtful and nuanced speakers in the process. That is, the effect of dictation technologies may not be just on our writing, but that they may train us to be better verbal communicators, not just with our machines but with our fellow humans too."
By Tabitha Smith
"A one-page profile is exactly what it says on the tin. It's one page of information which has three questions. What do others like and admire about you? What is important to you? And what support do you need? We started using one-page profiles at our school four years ago because we had a year 3 class that wasn't gelling well and I wanted to find a way for the children to get to know one another, and to learn more about themselves, too. The children gather information for the answer to the first question on the profile from their friends and families. It's fun and very good for self-esteem. The other two questions are completed by children and parents, working as a team.
"The pilot worked so well that we soon found ourselves introducing one page profiles across whole year groups and then across the whole school. Then we introduced them for staff, too, as an aid to career development. The idea for one-page profiles actually came from one of our parents here in Stockport. Helen Sanderson is a former government advisor and expert on person-centred thinking. Helen had been developing detailed personal profiles for use in health and social care. She recognised that these profiles would help teachers get to know children, too, but they would need to be much simpler to work in schools – hence they became one-page profiles."
Via The Accomplished Teacher SmartBrief
"Created by students for teachers, this movie shows students frustrated with the lack of visuals in the classroom. Teachers need to educate..." The power of the visual image and convincing argument for visual as well as verbal essays.
Via Meryl Jaffe, PhD
From the website
"NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News, has launched an original video series called “Writers Speak to Kids,” featuring interviews with popular and award-winning children’s book authors. Answering questions from NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, the authors share their writing process and experiences, helping students learn more about the craft and techniques of creative writing."
By Deborah Miller Fox
"One of the ongoing challenges for my composition students is the task of narrowing a broad, generalized topic into a more particular, focused topic for a short research essay. To help them develop this skill, I now prescribe a broad topic for everyone to use in the first research essay. Over several class sessions, we work collaboratively to explore the general topic, identify more particular subtopics, and develop research strategies to investigate these subtopics as possible subject matter.
"This semester I required all of the students to write about our city, Anderson, Indiana. In addition to all of the other “process” assignments I use to teach my students inquiry, research strategies and drafting techniques, I recently added an art project to the mix. The assignment was simple: create a poster that gives a “face” to the city of Anderson. I told the students to be creative in their design and to represent visually the key discoveries they’ve made about their specialized topics. I also encouraged them to suggest the focus and purpose for their essay through the content or design of the poster. I promised to give each student 30 seconds to offer comments about his or her poster to the class...."
"The posters students created in response to the assignment were impressive—not in their artistic design but in their clarity. Nearly every student was able to articulate an appropriately narrow focus AND a specific purpose for the essay project. Making the poster seemed to help them identify the key ideas or categories of information they would include in the paper."
By Med Kharbach
" Thanks to the digital boom we are living in now , there are several apps that teachers can use to promote and enhance creative writing for their students. We have collected a great list of such apps and we want you to try some and see how they work with your students. These apps you can have access to a wide range of writing prompts, fun games, and activities to help your students write out of the box."
By Jennifer Funk
"Jan Worth-Nelson has specific and detailed workshop guidelines for her creative writing class: “begin by responding to what you think the essay is about;” “see if you can find a way to describe the ‘voice’ of the essay;” “when you say you like something, try to continue your commentary with something that suggests why you like it.”
"For years, though, despite telling her students exactly what to do, Nelson often felt the workshops fell short of her expectations.
"So when she and a few colleagues at the University of Michigan-Flint began researching the effect of clickers on student learning, she took the opportunity to reinforce workshop procedures.
"If their hypothesis proved true — that students would better retain information they learned using clickers — the quality of the writing workshops would improve."
Writing is one of the key literacy learning skills.
In their words...
Via John Dalziel, Lynnette Van Dyke
A free, 8-part online workshop from Annenberg Learner. Topics include:
A Shared Path
Usage and Mechanics
Providing Feedback on Student Writing
Learning from Professional Writers
Writing in the 21st Century
Via Lynette Van Dyke