Every time I begin a new writing pathway for my students, I always find myself rethinking what has worked with past success, how can I engage these writers with a contagious joy towards writing, what inspires them to value their ideas and visual imagery, and just what is out there that I might not have to recreate or reinvent.
With that in mind, here are a few of my writing ideas (just click on the heading for your connection):
Creative Writing: Just what do you do when writing instruction isn't going so well: Oh, how much better writing instruction happens if you are inspiring your writers with multi-media inspiration.
Teaching 6 Trait Writing with Picture Books:What better way to teach powerful writing than to model a ten-minute “Read-To.” The traits are easy to spot within a picture book because the text is short, the leads hook you into reading beyond the first page, precise and delicious words carry the story’s plot, there is logical organization with fluid sentencing, and each story has the power of a unique and inspiring voice. Making the Writing Connection:Here you will find amazing web links for sites that can inspire you as a writer or educator. With so much to instruct and so little time, it is always valuable to have a few sights that can lead beyond what I have created. The best insights are shared, tweaked, and enthusiastically shared within our classrooms.
Date of Birth: October 23, 1963 Best Known For: Macdonald Hall (children's series)
At age 12, in 7th grade, Korman sent one of his completed writing assignments in to Scholastic; the manuscript was published that same year as This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, which became the first in a series.
15: Christopher Paolini
Date of Birth: November 17, 1983 Best Known For: Eragon (YA fantasy)
At age 15, Paolini graduated high school and then began writing his first book. Three years later, when he was 18, his book Eragon was published by his parents' company and Paolini embarked on a 135-stop promotion tour.
17: S. E. Hinton
Date of Birth: July 22, 1950 Best Known For: The Outsiders (YA fiction)
At age 15, Hinton began work on her first book, and she completed the book at age 16. When she was 18, her first novel, The Outsiders, was released under the initials S.E. instead of the name Susan to avoid any sexism or prejudice.
Inspiration for writing begins with observing life as it is unfolding around you. Playing with words on paper is the act of composing. As a symphony is orchestrated with each note in its proper place... As a masterpiece is a canvas with each color exquisitely chosen from a palate... As a performance is choreographed with each individualized motion... So must a storyline be crafted with each thread weaving in and out of a tapestry worthy of an audience's time and emotion.
It begins when you desire to bring life to your thoughts, and your thoughts will require daily nourishment from reading. For reading is your foundation... it is the mortar (how-to/organization/sentence fluency/conventions), it is the stones (word choice), it is the design (vision/voice) which provides freedom for your imagination to soar.
It is in the beginning that your thoughts will flow...
Just a few lines to greet the summer months with you. Isn't it wonderful to be able to enjoy these beautifully crafted days of sun and glorious colors? As educators, we are always looking for new insights...what might enrich our strategies...and what might be a great hook for igniting new learning and mastery with our students. Well here is an article that will give you some "much needed" refueling. Linda Christensen has written an article about the "Joy and Justice" of teaching language arts to her students. What she learned from her students guided exceptional voices within the Portland school district. Her mastery of the dreaded "red pen," will begin renovating your institutionalized thinking about "correcting" student work vs. "inspiring" the writer within the student. Enjoy rethinking your style, MrsK
As an educator I was interested in this writing standard. What could possibly be so different about these writing standards vs. what has been in use for 50 years. As you know, so many standards in education flies into the classroom and is thrown out once a new and better version is adopted. So why would the Strunk and White, Elements of Style, continue to be in demand that the book warrants a new re-printing?
Check out the article, by clicking the title of the post, and then consider getting your hands on the book.
Always on the look out for ideas that will make the difference, Mrs K
Encouraging students to be creative and to understand "voice" in their writing can be one of the hardest traits to teach. Yet, at the same time, "voice" is the one trait that you recognize right away when you are reading. I was delighted when I ran across Chris Soentpiet, an author/illustrator who portrays "voice" not just in his writing but in his artwork as well. Chris went to Grant High School in Portland, OR before attending Pratt University in New York City. With a collaboration, Chris and his wife, Yin, have published beautiful Korean picture books. On his website Chris discusses cultural accuracy, "Though Asian communities share similar values and physical features, each group has its own unique culture that is different from the others."
Enjoy discovering the various avenues in which Chris' picture books will expand the world of writing and illustrating within your classroom and with your students, Mrs K
To enter the futuristic world of Jacque Fresco, just click the above title.
Helping your students become writers often means that you must ignite their imagination with visuals. If you are asking them to create futuristic worlds, check out Fresco's world for the 21st century and beyond. His innovative visions go beyond the paper, they are scaled and created for futuristic builders to begin these new colonies. To learn more go to Fresco's Blog
Learning how to "draw" the future with this master designer. Enjoy 21st century visions, MrsK
With school beginning, many of you are thinking about giving your instructional design a face-lift. Have you considered engaging your students with "student blogging" assignments?
Web publication gives students a real audience to write to and, when optimized, a collaborative environment where they can give and receive feedback, mirroring the way professional writers use a workshop environment to hone their craft. Jeff Golub, technology spokesperson for the National Council of Teachers of English, says that the organization supports the use of Web-based publishing tools to celebrate and share student writing. Golub, who is also associate professor of English education at the University of South Florida, teaches future educators three central principles about encouraging student authorship: "Students will write when they have something to say, when they have an audience, and when they get feedback." (Quoted from above website).