Presentation on theme: "Make their writing shine! How do you feel about teaching writing? Choose a picture that depicts your relationship with writing. Write for 1 minute. Now."— Presentation transcript:
Make their writing shine!
How do you feel about teaching writing? Choose a picture that depicts your relationship with writing. Write for 1 minute. Now trade. Trade again.
Preparing 4 th graders for the STAAR Writing test makes me feel like I am buried pretty deep right now. I just hope nobody moves my shovel. I think I can dig my way out! Just give me a little time to meditate on it.
Let’s get started!!
RELAX There are soooooooooooooo many ways to inspire creative writing. We will give you a few. We are going to be okay, if we can get them to put something on paper. Remember you DO NOT have to grade every piece that a student writes. Write with the kids so they can see your thought process as you write. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!! It actually helps students to see how a teacher revises and edits his/her own writing. Students need to write EVERYDAY! (& in every content area) Some of them actually like it and choose to write on their own. (Keep notebooks handy at all times). Use picture prompts! Let them think outside the box Group work & class collaboration builds confidence!
2 Bad words There are 2 “F” words to avoid when teaching writing. FAKE The students’ writing will be better if it is authentic. They need to care about the topic. If you are bored while reading their work, they were probably bored with the assignment. FORMULA Teach the students organization, not formula. The 5 paragraph essay is no longer a MUST! Different pieces of writing call for different text structures. There are alternatives to the “schoolified essay.”
The schoolified version of a 911 call: Uh…hello, 9-1-1? In this phone call I will tell you about an emergency happening in my house right at this moment. I will tell you the good and the bad things about fires in the living room. First, I will cover the bad things. Smoke is bad. Next, the heat from the flames is also bad. Third, the house will be expensive to replace. This concludes my call.
We are robots. We are all the same. Really?????? NO!! You can inspire Your students to “Bedazzle” their writing with originality and “Bling” it up with fabulous descriptions!
Choices The students need to choose what to write about when possible and write about things that are meaningful or fun to them.
Writing should track movement of the mind: What do you know? How do you know it? =truisms
Express yourself Students need to find their message. Find (or invent) their structure. (organize) Experiment with Thick description. (Bling it up) Craft the piece for a reader’s ears. (revise & edit)
My Gritty Life Quick List 1. pet peeves 2. “” 3. things I need to buy 4. “” 5. Topics of conversation. Things I discussed with someone in the last week. 6. “” 7. Things that I own that I love. 8. “” 9. Things that I learned how to do 10. “” 11. Moments to remember from last school year. 12. “”
The kernel essay A kernel of corn can just be a kernel, or it may be planted to grow an entire corn field. An idea may be just enough for a short piece or it may be expanded into an essay.
How to do Kernel Essays with students: Students write their prompt at the top of the page. Below it they choose a text structure and draw the boxes. Below that, they write one sentence for each box in the text structure. When they read these sentences aloud to a listener, it’s easy to tell whether they hang together cohesively. So then any part of this could be expanded into an essay. Or not. Just doing the kernel essay is a useful exercise. ** from: Reviving the Essay by Gretchen Bernabei
My topic/truism: Fingernail biting is a nasty habit. My structure: Pet peeve What you saw What you said to yourself What else you saw What you decided. What you know now. x
My kernel essay 1.I watched in horror as my son put his nasty fingernail in his mouth while he was playing 3 rd base. 2.I thought, “Why does he always bite his nails when I can’t get close to him and make him stop?” 3.I looked at all of the germy garbage in the dugout left behind by the boys on the field. 4.I decided that an appropriate punishment might be painting his nails pink. That would be brutal for a 13 year old boy. “Hee. Hee.” 5.I know now that nervous habits are hard to break and sometimes when you are a parent you have to pick your battles.
The student then decides if this piece will grow into a full essay *Read it to 3 people and have them sign it. Do the sentences flow? Have your readers ask you questions. The answers become details Plan for details – use sticky notes to show ideas you could add. (infoshots, thoughtshots, snapshots etc.) (I could add details about the germy garbage in the dugout. What was it? What did it smell like, look like, remind me of?)
You can write in a different genre from the same basic kernel essay. My World (Narrative) Other People’s World (expository) Real Fiction Inform Persuade Personal narrative creative story * I remember when… *The Nail biting * The secret world of *Why nail biting Alien … nail biters. Should be banned *How to stop nail biting.
How to teach writing/revision: M - mini-lesson I – independent writing/reading S - sharing
Use Mentor texts Breathe in what you are reading. Breathe out what you are writing. “Where’s Papa going with that ax?” The opening line of Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White Show them great examples of the 6 traits of great writing. (Ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, conventions) Use anonymous student samples and have them dissect the piece. (color-code) Score the pieces with student friendly rubrics
Color up your writing! Start with an anonymous student sample and later have the kids analyze their own writing this way. (I would not have them mark on a peer’s paper this way). * RED – Underline all of the TALKING in RED. (the color of lipstick) * YELLOW - Highlight the THINKING in YELLOW. (color of a light bulb) * GREEN – Highlight all of the action (the doing ). (color of green light “GO!”) * BLUE - Highlight all of the visual images (the seeing ). (color of blue eyes)
The “new” Writing process Step 1. Revise Step 2. Revise Step 3. Revise *REVISION STATIONS *Questioning techniques to pull out the details. “The Doubter” makes them support their opinions. Use post it notes and “story surgery” to add details.
“The Doubter” * Have the kids create an imaginary “doubting Thomas” who will play the devil’s advocate and ask them to support their answers on essay questions and give reasons for their opinions on persuasive pieces. He should say things to them like: -“No, it isn’t.” -”How do you know that?” - “Why do you think that?” - “That is not true”
An 11 minute Essay Practice using “Infoshots” to describe an object Find an object you have with you today and trade it with a partner. *Indent – Describe the object ( 1 min.) *Skip a line, indent – Answer: What might this object cause to happen? (2 min.) *Skip, indent – What is it the opposite of? (2 min.) *”” – What is it a type of? (2 min.) *”” – How will it change? (2 min.) *”” – What are its parts? (2 min.) This activity is great for reluctant writers! They will be surprised that they can write so much! **Idea: Bring in an item relating to a novel or story you will be reading or just random objects for the kids to practice writing details about.
Quick High-interest writing activities: Top ten lists: Example: After reading a Chapter in Skinnybones in which, the main character gets a bad haircut, I had the kids write “The top ten things you never want to hear your barber say.” They loved it and the list was way longer than 10. I had to leave it out for days so that they could add to the list. Many worked on it at home just because it was fun. They always get recognition for writing on their own in my class. What would you find in….? Examples: Have a large piece of butcher paper on a table with markers etc. with a little prompt like: What would you find in Santa’s coat pocket? Or What would you find underneath a roller coaster at Fiesta Texas? Quicklists or quickwrites as a preview to a unit of study. (Timed for 1 min.) Example: Before reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, ask: What items would you want to have with you if you had a plane crash in the middle of nowhere? Or Could you survive alone in the wilderness? **Kids write an entire essay on post-it notes and then group into paragraphs= instant “no-fuss” rough draft.
Write, write, baby! (by Carrie Strmiska, Round rock isd) All right, STOP, elaborate and listen… 4 th grade is back with a brand new conventions. Someone, grip a pencil tightly, Writing compositions daily and nightly. Will it ever stop? YO! I hope no! Turn off the lights and we’ll glow. To the extreme we rock a prompt like a vandal, Light up a page, illuminate like a candle. DANCE! I like the words that move, They’re fun to read and make writing smooth. DEADLY! When we use those similes- Sharp as a tack – makes me happy! Love it or hate it – you write anyway! The prompt’s not our choice, but write well, okay? If it is a problem, YO! We’ll solve it! Check out our skills as our writer’s compose it! WRITE, WRITE, BABY….
Fabulous Resources REVIVING THE ESSAY by Gretchen Bernabei Ba-Da-Bing by Gretchen Bernabei Lightning in a Bottle by Gretchen Bernabei Crunchtime by Gretchen Bernabei, Jayne Hover, and Cynthia Candler REVISER’S TOOLBOX – by Barry Lane ****check out these sites: discoverwriting.ning.com trailofbreadcrumbs.net *** I will also be putting the powerpoint and some other helpful things on my school website.