Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Writing Institute 2017 Day 2

Day 2 did not disappoint. The day started with Lucy Calkins in our large group session that was targeted for grades 3-5. She focused on the management of the workshop and the parts of the minilesson.

Management of the Workshop
We act as if management is something only the first year teachers worry about. Lucy says that management of her people is one of the hardest parts of her job.

  • Way to signal to kids it is a way to signal to kids that it is workshop time.
  • Bring kids to the meeting area (get kids to do this in 15 sec)
  • Ss sit in their assigned seats at the meeting area with their partner (mixed gender, mixed ability-not the same in reading) Don’t put the high and low together
  • Sit down when you teach (it must signal something different than traditional lessons)
  • Have Ss always bring everything (pencil, notebook, etc)
  • Give minilesson
  • Send them off (link) “Off you go”
    • Get started on their writing immediately, then whisper for them to go back to their seats one at a time, leaving the small 5 to gather a small group
    • Back row go...next row
    • Red table go…
    • Those of you who are going to be doing...get started. Those who have no clue, stay here.
  • Move around the writing space, and move from kids to kid to kid. Use your non verbals. Don’t start by having a conference right away until they all know how to get writing. Maybe by November, you can do this.
  • Then small group work (mostly at the beginning of year), then conferring
  • Midworkshop interruption: stand in the middle of the room.”Writers…” In the beginning of the year, this could be partner share time to help build stamina
  • Share usually backends with the minilesson and it is shared with partner work. Sometimes it is a whole class share

For a choice session, I attended Cornelius Minor’s session titled Writing Workshop 2.0: Using Digital Tools across the Writing Process to Support Collaboration, Revision, and Feedback.

I have been following @MisterMinor on Twitter for a few years and enjoy learning from him long distance. I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to hear him present today. His energy is inspiring, and his love for teaching kids shined through his presentation. He really encouraged us to let kids use whatever tool works for them in the writing process, as the writing notebook is just a metaphor for whatever holds your ideas.

The Writing Cycle:
  • Is not linear
  • Can backtrack, zoom ahead, skip…
  • Can be interrupted
  • Can overlap or happen in parallel ways
  • Changes depending on the purpose or audience
  • Can happen without distinctions from phase to phase
  • Can be repurposed to suit the needs of the writer

Remember there is no such thing as THE way to go through the writing process.

Lastly, we were all fortunate to hear Katherine Patterson speak.

She is the author of many books including...
Image result for bridge to terabithia Image result for katherine paterson books

I was in awe at her humble nature, quick wit, and openness to share some of her most devastating heartaches with us. Tears rolled down my cheeks as she told the story of her young son’s best friend’s death that came in the same year she found a lump, and how these two things in the summer of 1974 set in motion the writing of Bridge to Terabithia. Towards her close Katherine brought everything full circle. To know yourself loved by those who you thought you hated is a very special gift. The reason crimes are committed, wars are fought is because some believe others are disposable. We, as teachers, have an awesome opportunity to love our students.

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