Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Editing and Writer's Workshop

Since the Writing Institute at Columbia I have been reading several books. One of them is Jeff Anderson's Everyday Editing. Conventions, grammar, editing, you pick the label, as been an area of contention among our administrations and instructional staff. Jeff's book has helped me articulate my position and philosophy towards grammar instruction and how to build it into writer's workshop.

I feel it is time I clearly state my position on several areas of literacy instruction. It's time the administrators know the message I will share while coaching their teachers. I will be quoting several of Jeff's statements.

First, I learned that editing questions on the SAT and state assessments are not based on parts of speech and don't have multiple errors. Students are asked to make sentences clear and correct which connects to grammar and editing.

I am grateful that Jeff included quotes from Writing Next (Graham and Perin 2007). The reports tells educators what NOT to do and what research says does work. Students should spend their time focusing on function and practical application of grammar WITHIN the context of writing. Alternative procedures are more effective than traditional approaches. We need to teach function rather than the traditional method of memorization. Now I have research to quote while conversing with administrators.

I look forward to learning more from Jeff's Everyday Editing. Next, in chapter one, which makes me realize just how much I learned from Jeff's introduction alone, is the definition of everyday editing. Can you image what I will learn from the entire book? I love expanding my knowledge and understanding. Why? Because I will have so much more to offer my students.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Closing Session: Bolder Revision, More Ambitious Writing
Maggie Beattie

Five Ideas to Enhance Revisions
  • Sometimes it takes some time
  • Sometimes it takes a really good study of another writer
  • Sometimes it takes a risk
  • Sometimes it takes exploration
  • Sometimes it takes a plan
Revision Tips
  • Make clear what you mean by revision: more modeling, demonstrate how tough it can be
  • Address the common belief that good writing comes naturally and does not need to be revisited
  • Focus your comments on the revisions that will be most beneficial: give them the issue and how to fix it
  • Avoid abstract terms when giving feedback
  • Provide your students with specific strategies and models
  • Motivate students to revise
  • Make sure there is adequate time for the hard work of revision: plan celebration on work backwards
  • Encourage students to get feedback on writing from multiple sources

Quotes from Day One

Day One: 29th Annual Summer Institute on the Teaching of Writing
The Reading and Writing Project Teachers College Columbia University

Quotes from today's sessions:

"The words that come first are any one's words. You need to make them yours." LC

"The first draft reveals the art, revision reveals the artist." Michael Lee

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Slice of Life Tuesday

Holy Cow! It took me 20 minutes to remember how to navigate my blog since I haven't posted in over a year.

Ruth has inspired me! (She's really good at that.) I've been reading her posts thinking, 'I need to write.' I have been talking myself out of writing long enough. I even had an excuse for today, two post-graduate projects due this Friday. (I'm completing an EdS degree in leadership and administration at GVSU.)

I decided after reading several comments on today's slices that I needed to quit making excuses. So here I'm ending the excuses.

To help end my writer's block I decided to start with a list of future topics:
  • Becoming a triathlete
  • Being productive this summer (First step: no sleeping late. Alarm remains set for 6:45)
  • MY FIRST TRIP TO EUROPE, Germany this August
  • Summer Writing Institute is right around the corner
  • All the projects I hope to accomplish this summer
  • Taking guitar lessons this summer
  • Defending a Writer's Workshop approach to teaching writing
  • Tending my flower garden
Here's to a summer full of writing.