Good writing/Great writing–a visual

Well, I’m a strong visual learner so this recent post on the Brain Pickings blog kind of fascinated me. See if you don’t agree that visuals can help explain complexities.

Explainer–Elucidator–Enchanter

 

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Back to School with Teachers And Writers Magazine!

My email newsletter came today from Teachers & Writers Magazine–the online zine of Teachers & Writers Collaborative. It is loaded with wonderful and imaginative ideas for teaching your writers. You can subscribe to this wonderful magazine (I think I have mentioned it somewhere before on this blog) for free–however, T&W Collaborative is sustained by donations.

T&W publishes Teachers & Writers Magazine as a resource for teaching the art of writing in kindergarten through college and also in non-classroom settings. The online magazine presents a wide range of ideas and approaches, as well as lively explorations of T&W’s mission: “educating the imagination.”

Here’s a taste of what they offer you in the Back to School edition. Visit  http://www.teachersandwritersmagazine.org to sign up for this great magazine, and share with your colleagues!

From the Aug 2016 edition (but also check out the archives for great ideas and lesson plans):

http://www.teachersandwritersmagazine.org/travel-poetry-lesson-2847.htm
Travel Poetry

http://www.teachersandwritersmagazine.org/just-write-2925.htm
Just Write—a daily ritual in a middle school classroom…Also loaded with good writing tip starters.

 

 

 

Teacher? Writer? Then check out this resource…

Teacher & Writers Collaborative supports creative writing programs at community sites and schools in NYC and surrounding communities. They rely upon funding from individuals, corporations, foundations and government to continue their amazing work. They also–which really brings me to this post–publish a wonderful digital newsmag, Teachers & Writers Magazine which is free to you and an amazing resource. Subscription to their digital mag is free (through they would love your contributions).

Follow the link above and see what the January issue offers, and while you are there, explore the archives. You will not be disappointed!

TedED interview with girl with Asperger’s

Excellent TedED interview!

She’s highly successful, a recent speaker at a 2015 Women’s Conference, an undergraduate student, and she suffers with Asperger’s. This is a compelling read, for her words as well as the excellent resources she suggests/provides. Found this on my twitter feed; so glad that I did!

No Words? No Problem!

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Wordless picture books, believe me, are for ALL ages! In class, the preservice teachers shared wordless picture pictures in small groups. While it would seem a picture book without words would target early childhood or elementary, my students saw (and suggested!) the possibilities for middle grades and high school students. Here’s a short list of their thoughts:

Reading comprehension:

-Even without words, students sequence a story line…Great way to develop what is often referred to as a Story Mountain, where the plot is developed from problem through climax to solution…Inferencing possibilities-no limit!…the strategy of Synthesis!…Summary!…Monitoring Comprehension!  We worked all semester with Ellin Oliver Keene’s Mosaic of Thought, 2nd ED Unknown where seven reading comprehension strategies are presented. I like to save the Wordless Picture Books day for the end of the semester, after students have worked separately with each of the seven strategies (monitoring comprehension, activating schema, inference, questioning, visualizing, determining importance, synthesizing), so they see how each strategy is at work in comprehending the story line of a book with no words.

Writing:

-Students could work together to sketch out a story sequence…to sketch a character map…to add words to each page…the possibilities are endless–

What I enjoy best about this day in class is the conversations in the small groups. The swapping of thoughts, the AHA moments, the laughter, the questioning…IF you teach middle or high school, wordless picture books are a wonderful resource!

138070 images images-1 images-2 images-3 images-4 images-4 images-6 images-7images-2images-1

 

Amazing fun with Animoto

Each semester I have my preservice teachers create book trailers using Animoto software. (Animoto is tagged on this site) While Animoto offers FREE accounts to all, if you are an educator you get a FREE account for up to 50 students and you can renew it every six months. No trouble to you at all–they send you a renewal notification. I’ve used other slideshow software but none compare with the ease of use as Animoto. The educator FREE account allows your students up to six shows, each up to 10 mins in length. My book trailer assignment resembles a “book talk,” where the speaker invites a reader into the book without giving away the ending. Following our class presentations we talk about the educational possibilities of digital software such as Animoto. Here are some ideas this class suggested:

Teachers–you can create an Animoto to introduce a new content topic or theme–be original–hook them!!

Students–you can summarize content, reflect on content, create original responses to content.

Teachers–NO subject content area is left out–Animoto is not just for reading teachers–imagine the following:

Students write poetry and attach images and music…students react to historical events, summarize historical events, or current events….students create Animotos to introduce or summarize Science content…etc!!

As promised to my students, the following book titles were Animoto-ed by the class:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Becoming a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

The Short Bus by Jonathon Mooney

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Trouble by Gary D Schmidt

Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Paterson

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Bird Child by Nan Forler

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

…The Book Trailers follow…

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Hatchet (1)

Hatchet (2)

Trouble by Gary D Schmidt

Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Paterson

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Bird Child by Nan Forler

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Becoming a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Becasue of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

The Short Bus by Jonathon Mooney

ENJOY!!

Robert Frost Farm website

I always say that I love Robert Frost because a teacher loved him first. A favorite high school English teacher was crazy in love with his poetry; her passion was contagious. She traveled to Washington DC to hear him give the Inaugural poem for JFK. She visited Robert Frost Farm, in Derry, New Hampshire. Just shows you how a teacher can ignite a lifelong interest and passion. One of my favorite gifts ever is a book of his poetry given to me by my son.

The Robert Frost Farm website is a fun visit, filled with so many great teaching ideas—or just linger awhile during this month when we honor our American poets, explore and enjoy.

poem in your pocket day

Every April, one day is targeted as Poem in Your Pocket Day, a day to celebrate a favorite poem, write it down and carry it all the livelong day to share with others. This year, the date is April 30. Mark it!! You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.  I’ll be sharing mine! Teachers–you can find poems to download on Poem in Your Pocket Day page of poets.org.

I know I will argue with myself…do I share a favorite Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, or Billy Collins..Mmmmm..choices!

Read Works for National Poetry Month

Linked to Read Works just a few minutes ago, but here is a timely link for poems to celebrate National Poetry Month, which is always in April. Bet you will find some good poems!!

http://www.readworks.org/rw/poems-questions-national-poetry-month