"This week I gave a seminar at TeachMeet Clevedon. I am going to post more fully on my topic of teachers getting better by undertaking ‘deliberate practice‘ sometime soon. One smaller aspect of my presentation was how teachers can improve written feedback, both to improve learning and to marginally reduce the time taken to give written feedback. With the gift of more time we can free ourselves to pursue becoming a better teacher more deliberately: with reflection, planning and deliberate practice. Of course, written feedback is so crucial that it can improve teaching and learning significantly, therefore it deserves our attention in its own right.
"The following list of tips is a synthesis of my experience and that of my English department (see our policy for feedback here). It also draws upon many excellent teachers and their cumulative experience of effective written feedback."
Handouts from 20 workshops conducted by Penny Kittle, a very accomplished speacialist in teaching reading and writing P-12. A great deal of wonderful material here; some of it is very clear without explanation, some of it makes you wish you understood the context -JL
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I spent the day yesterday procrastinating from unpacking, painting, and cleaning. The good news? I found some incredible sites for writing! My kids in the past have always been more interested in my writing lessons that have been centered around images. I decided to do a google search to find some interesting pictures that they could write from and I came across the mother lode!!!
"If you don't know about Luke Neff already, you MUST click here. His writing prompts are A-mazing! They are geared to the upper grades, but I can completely see some higher fourth graders or any fifth graders digging these prompts. For you younger grade teachers, I can see you getting some good ideas and adapting them to meet the needs of your kids. I spent hours yesterday going through his archived prompts. Again...A-mazing! I will definitely be using some of them next year in my writing block! If you are overwhelmed by the amount of writing prompts at my link above, here is a list of Luke's "most tried and true" writing prompts he uses. If you have the time though, it's worth going through the others as well. Of course, some of the prompts are way too difficult and/or not appropriate for the younger students, so use your best judgment! :) "
PicLits.com is a creative writing and e-learning site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. It is a forum for creative writing, social interaction, and can also be used as a teaching tool.
According to today’s infographic, writing can serve as a calming, meditative tool. Stream of conscious writing exercises, in particular, have been identified as helpful stress coping methods. Keeping a journal, for example, or trying out free-writing exercises, can drastically reduce your levels of stress.
Storyboard That is a cutting edge Web 2.0 tool for rapidly creating amazing storyboards, no art skills needed. Great for business meetings and in the classroom for students to express their creativity.
Are you planning to use iPad in your teaching this year ? Are you still looking for resources to help you with the implementation of this mobile device in your classroom? I know those first steps can sometimes be extremely hard particulalry in regard to a piece of technology that is still relatively new in education. You might also have problems convincing your school staff about the importance of iPad in yur teaching. You need to have solid ground to stand on and to do this you need to have recourse to the different educational resources you can put your hands on. Fortunately this modest blog can provide you with a head start into the world of' ' iPadology '.
"The tools on this page make use of traditional book elements (text and photos) to create electronic books. In many cases the books can also be printed if desired but having them published online gives them an immediate audience."
"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."
In its most woo-woo use, “writer's block” promotes the impractical and cosmic idea that something is blocking the transmission of magical creativity particles from entering our brains and delivering our “inspiration,” that ...
There are a lot of hurdles to writing great fiction, which is why it's always important to keep reading and writing. If you can get rid of these common offenders on your own, then good editors can focus on the deeper aspects of your fiction.
"Even the best writers from among us are prone to the odd mistake. Slick Write is an online tool which helps to correct and even improve your writing on a number of levels.
"Slick Write enables you to evaluate the stylistic features and potential flaws of your work, as well as giving you the ability to identify spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Interestingly, the tool gives you an insight into the structure of your content, breaking up paragraphs and sentences in a unique, informative way.
"You can analyse the flow of your work, and assess some of the statistics which Slick Write provides for you. When using all the features in unison, it becomes relatively easy to turn an average piece of text, and turn it into a literary masterpiece.