Writing Project! Whoop!

So many women are sources of my inspiration–I love the promise of this writing activity for middle and secondary kids…thank you!!

weekend therapy

I’ve got another little freebie to add on here, this time, I’m posting a little project I’m going to try out in small groups.  It’s for my girls, in celebration of Women’s History Month. Go chicks!  Basically, I’d like for them to sign up, come in small groups and fill out the worksheet after a brief conversation about the Women’s Movement.   Should that be capitalized? Not sure, and I’m OK with that (you know the saying, “those who teach, should know things like that.”).  SO, below you will find a copy of the pass and the worksheet.  I am attaching this great timeline to the pass as well for some inspiration (I mean, I know they probably won’t read it, but a girl can dream). My goal is to make a book that can be given to the school, or kept in the Guidance office.  Anywho, enjoy! And let…

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Use Popular Music to Improve Reading and Inspire Writing | Scholastic.com

…blog post of interest from a third grade teacher…I used music throughout the day when I taught my middle schoolers. Music was definitely a classroom tradition.

Use Popular Music to Improve Reading and Inspire Writing | Scholastic.com.

Lesson Ideas–Using Guest Journals to encourage

There are many interesting ways to use Journal Writing to encourage the voices of all students, as well as spark interest in writing. The Journal strategy presented in this post reminds me of the Shared Journal strategy for the youngest writers (K-2), wherein students share their daily journal entries then vote on which entry they will all write.

This post from Edutopia.org is exciting to me.

Lesson Ideas.

Tell Me…

So, today in my Hope College class  of preservice teachers we engaged in the Tell Me strategy to express thoughts about the first two chapters in our course text, Mosaic of thought: The power of comprehension strategy instruction, Ed 2, by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman.. The teaching profession is “hot” today with strategies to help students to comprehend “complex texts,” and for the students in the class, Mosaic is indeed a complex text. They respond individually to me through Double Entry Journals, but the Tell Me strategy allows them a structure within which to mingle their voices in small groups–to share their thoughts and to listen to the thoughts of their classmates.

I engage them in use of strategies they will eventually use themselves as teachers. Tell Me is socially-driven, which is so beneficial to middle schoolers. So, here is how the strategy plays out:

There are three “Sharings” of focused thoughts about the text they read (in this case, first two chapters of our class text).

First Sharing: Enthusiasms   What rocked you? Made you think, wow, that’s cool. Got you excited?

Second Sharing: Puzzlements, Wondering, Difficulties  What places in the text made you stop and question–what’s this about? Or, were there statements or passages with which you disagreed? Were there passages or concepts that you didn’t quite get?

Third Sharing: Connections  How did you connect to your lived experiences? To other things you have read? To life, in schools or otherwise?

They worked in small groups, each member contributing to all three Sharings. Then, we came back together as a whole group to share.

I cannot take credit for this strategy–I have adapted it over time from an unknown source. All I do know, is it works!! I hope you give it atry!



Around the World in Nine Photos

This is the second set of ‘Round the World Photos I have reblogged. What writing possibilities they offer!! ENJOY!

The WordPress.com Blog

Do you love stories from around the world? Check out the work of the following nine photographers on WordPress.com and allow your imagination to take you away…

Nathanael‘s monochrome photo of the Star Lite Motel in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, conjures images of wayward romances and clandestine meetings. We loved the marquee’s message, “Forgive and forget its human to err.” (sic) which offers an almost haunting absolution. For more of Nathanael’s work, check out his blog, G’Nat’s Eye View.

Photo by Nathanael Photo by P. Nathanael Gough

The image below, by UK photographer Andy Hooker, had us at hello. We love how the sign matches the woman’s red coat and how her right leg is in crisp focus just as her stride reaches the “h” above her head. Check out more of Andy’s work at LensScaper.

Photo by Andy Hooker Photo by Andy Hooker

Bao Pham‘s photo of this

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YES to Arts Integration!

Arts Integration

Great article (located on a cool resource website The Edvocate) on the how’s and why’s for integrating the arts across the K-12 curriculum, a topic of passion for me. I especially love this statement from the article:

Why does art integration work?

The science behind arts integration is solid. Simply put, more of the brain is at work when the arts are part of the learning process, strengthening attentiveness, reaction time and comprehension. There is also plenty of research to suggest that arts education methods improve long-term retention. In other words, what the students learn through arts integration will stay in their memories for longer than that year’s standardized test. When students are allowed academic expression through artistic means, like drawing a picture or writing a song, the information is embedded in their minds. Long-term learning and practical application of knowledge are both supported when the arts are integrated.  (Matthew Lynch, 2014)




Worth taking a look..and joining an amazing community of educators–Digitalis

DigitalIs ….sponsored by the National Writing Project, is a current favorite to visit and I have also joined (free, of course!) and will likely contribute, as well. Every resource, collection, reflection, story, inquiry, is of highest quality, as can be expected from the NWP. I encourage you to visit and look around. I am certain you will find something of tremendous value to support your own digital footsteps.

 The NWP Digital Is website is an emerging and open knowledge base created and curated by its community of members. We gather resources, collections, reflections, inquiries, and stories about what it means to learn and teach writing in our increasingly digital and interconnected world.

With a particular focus on digital literacy and Connected Learning, NWP Digital Is invites all educators (in/out of school, across all levels and disciplines, modes and modalities!) to join and share work, reflections and practices. (digitalis.nwp.org)