I love to read! I always have. The only time in my life that I really didn’t like to read was when I was in college and I was reading for school – not pleasure. I think that’s where my dislike for any kind of reading other than reading for pleasure started. I hated my college textbooks. The language was dry, academic and could put me to sleep within 5 minutes.
That college experience with textbooks has kept me from reading books that would help me in my profession. I distinctly remember a conversation I had a few years ago with an Instrucrtional Specialist I greatly admire. She was telling me about several of the professional books she was reading and how the information in those books were really helping her help other teachers. At the time I thought “Yuck! Why would you want to spend your free time reading books about teaching ?!?” And as usually happens, those became famous last words.
That next summer, I stumbled upon the most wonderful book, The Daily Five, which opened a whole new world of professional literature for me. Everytime I “one-click” a book from Amazon.com, I think, “That’s it! There can’t possibly be another book I need.” But there is always another one – always.
I wanted to share wtih you the latest books I’m reading – you’ll no doubt see them listed as resources on my lesson plans.
Crunchtime: Lessons to help students blow the roof off writing tests and become better writers in the process by Getchen s. Bernabei, Jayne Hover and Cynthia Candler
Writing Circles by Jim Vopat
The Digital Writing Workshop by Troy Hicks
Revisiting the Writing Workshop by Marybeth Alley and Barbara Orehovec
Looks like I’ll be doing a lot of reading over the holidays. 🙂
One of the things I’m learning this year is that publishing is more than just writing a perfect copy of your revised and edited draft. It’s just November and my students already have several written published pieces as well as digitally published pieces, recordings and now we have videos.
We chose 4 pieces of writing to tape in the style of the In Plain English video series. I showed one of these videos to my students so they would have a visual of what I wanted them to do. With the help of my husband, the Technology Director, we decided what pictures students needed to draw that would best illustrate the story. We outlined the pictures in black and cut them out.
Once we had our pictures, it was time for rehearsal. We positioned ourselves around the table and rehearsed moving the pictures in and out of the shot of the video camera. It took a total of about 45 minutes of rehearsal over two days for the students to get the timing down. Once we were ready, Mr. Wilson came in to record and then worked his magic in Movie Maker on the project.
Click here to see our finished product.
The students loved this project so much that I think we’ll keep creating them.
One of my favorite pastimes is to search the internet for new ideas about teaching. In my searches, I’ve run across all kinds of ideas to use in the classroom. I’ve always been grateful for the educators who have been willing to put their ideas out there for whoever wants to use them.
So, this weekend, I was once again searching the internet for ideas on preparing my 2-5 graders for the UIL Creative Writing and Ready Writing Contests. And guess what. I found a jewel. Teaching That Makes Sense has so much information on it about teaching reading and writing that it’s going to take me a couple of weeks to get through it all. It’s such a good website that I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I’m passing it on.
You do the same – pass it on to the teachers you know who could benefit from this great website!