*****Started the day at the IRA Bookstore. They have a large selection of books for a $1.00. Wow! What a wonderful way to take a risk on a title you may not be sure about.
Nonfiction Mentor Texts: Crafting Content – Lynn R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli, authors of a a book by the same name
- Handout on website at reading.org
- From The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson – “If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to reside over the christening of children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.”
- Begin with “Ideas” and how to develop. Need new ways to develop content beside the five line/paragraph writing surrounding a main idea and details.
- Nothing about nothing = nothing. Begin with quality ideas and you will have strong voice.
- Rich Descriptions: used “Rachel” by May Ehrlich, “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Begin with a paragraph that include sensory descriptions of setting. Important in informational writing. Share with students then ask them to create a descriptive paragraph perhaps emulating the style of the anchor text to provide a scaffold. “Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights” by Debbie S. Miller – each page begins with onomatopoeia, Need to be a keen observer of the world to be writer, write about ordinary things in extraordinary ways, “Wings of Life, The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly” by Steve Swinburne – embeds a main character in a setting with informational text, Robert Burley – explodes a moment in time – “One Giant Leap,”
- Using Anecdotes: another way to develop an idea and build content, examples: “My Brother Martin, A Sister Remembers,” “Mother to Tigers” by George Ella Lyon, create your own anecdotes and ask students to brainstorm what informational topics would begin with this text; again ask students to try. Need ways to describe people, use character traits to develop anecdotes. Usually needs repeated practice.
- Timelines: To be a teacher of writing, you need to be a teacher who writes. Features of nonfiction help to build content like timelines, examples: “From Seed to Sunflower,” “Look to the Stars” by Buzz Aldrin, “Skyboys, How They Built the Empire State Building” “Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells,” Reflection questions about timelines: How did you choose what information to include or not include on your time line? How did it help your reader? How did creating a time line help you as a writer? Was making the time line worth the effort? Why? What book have you read that could have included a time line to to help you understand something? When will you use the time line strategy again?
- Cartoons: Mike Venezia’s books about musicians, artists, and presidents, cartoons refer to the running text, “Miss Frizzle Ancient Egypt,” has fun with speech bubbles (have the bubbles reflect the mood by shape and color) “Independent Dames” use many speech bubbles and drawings, to convey the ideas. Students then try it out – factual text expanded with the graphic/speech bubble. (Comic Creator at readwritething.org), “Vote”
- Students often reread the texts to be able to better their writing.
- If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder.. he needs the companionship of…”
Power of Podcasting – Nancy Biddinger and Tamara Roberts
- Why podcast: rigor, relevance, and relationships (collaborative effort) – all 21st century literacy skills
- Creative Commons: You have a copyright to something as soon as you produce it and give credit for it. “Don’t be fearful – just be smart!”
- Gathering the Media: Pics4Learning, Public Domain 4U, Flickr, Jamendo, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Images – be sure to check terms for use.
- Editing: Animoto – can use brief videos, Picasa, Prezi, Audacity (just audio)
- Publishing: Teacher Tube, Photobucket, Vimeo, Shutterfly (if you don’t have a teacher webpage
- Steps to Podcasting: Storyboard, Download images (Best to place images and sounds into files for easy location), Edit (Have to make decisions about what visuals will be included to tell the story, which music fits the mood of the story, the title animation and fonts, transitions,) Publish
- Frames – Tech4Learning ???
Differentiating Instruction for Every Middle School Student: Demonstrating How Anchor Texts Support Student Reading – Laura Robb http://www.lrobb.com
- Differentiating Reading Instruction – Scholastic
- Organize instruction around a genre – a common/anchor text that everyone can relate to.
- Plan units of study around read-aloud, fun, and instruction
- Instructional reading – meet at this level and stretch them
- Pick a genre, is crucial because it helps you to navigate texts and write in that genre. Take 15 minutes to find out what the students know about the genre.
- Background knowledge is key to comprehension.
- Choose an issue or essential question for relevance to the learning.
- Begin with a discussion (i.e. what students know about a topic) and then employ silent sustained writing. Model what you expect.