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Posts Tagged ‘NCTE’

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

I have to thank NCTE for the National Day on Writing as well as all the many posts on #WhyIWrite and my many teacher-writer friends who inspire me every day to make my class a safe place for writers to bloom.

Michelle Haseltine told me she was writing quotes on pencils to give to her students as inspired by Malala’s Magic Pencil. (Her post is here.)  So early Friday morning, I grabbed some fresh pencils and Googled writing quotes.  Each student received a pencil with a quote.  This was such a simple, yet positive way to garner enthusiasm for a special writing day.

Betsy Hubbard posted last minute ideas on the Two Writing Teachers blog early yesterday.  I grabbed the idea of chalkabration!  Years ago, Betsy led a monthly roundup of Chalkabration posts.  The basic idea is writing poetry with sidewalk chalk.  My students were so excited to be able to go outside and chalk their poems.  I made an Animoto video to share.

Here are some of the wonderful fall themed poems my students and I created.

–Margaret Simon Fall Haiku

Fall The holy winter is waiting. Why keep it away when you could bring it in. Winter comes. –Trace, 5th grade

Fall Mysterious Admiring Happening Turning Winter Every Night Fall –Austin, 6th grade

Autumn Summer breeze turned cold. Bright sun into dim moon. Emerald leaves turn amber. Blue skies now dark. –Madison, 4th grade

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Poetry Friday is with Laura at Writing the World for Kids

Poetry Friday is with Laura at Writing the World for Kids

 

Do you enter contests?  I don’t.  But I pretty much insist that my kids do.  I even will go so far as to write it as a goal on their IEP.  At the end of the school year last year, most of my students entered a piece of writing into our state writing contest, LA Writes.  I was pleased to hear in September that three of them had placed.  The awards ceremony was last Saturday at the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Museum in Baton Rouge.  When Madison came to the microphone to read her poem, she introduced herself as “the author.”  What a thrill for this writing teacher to hear her describe herself as an author.

Madison shows off her first place medal.

Madison shows off her first place medal.

Madison wrote her first place poem after Irene Latham’s “Tree for All.” In May, we had a Skype visit with Irene.  She wrote about my students’ poems here.

I secretly wished that Irene was there to hear Madison read.  Sometime wishes do come true.  Irene was at the Book Festival.  We met up later in the day.  She presented in the Children’s Storytelling Tent and guess who walked by?

Madison meets her author hero, Irene Latham.

Madison meets her author hero, Irene Latham.

Reef for All

after Irene Latham’s “Tree for All”

Sharks feast on my citizens;
my restaurant never closes.

Eels hide in my caves;
my shelters provide homes.

Sea worms play peek-a-boo in my tubes;
my tubes allow all ages.

Fish hide in my caves;
my cradle caves are cozy for new fins.

No sea animal can resist my charm:
I am a coral reef.

Madison

Tree for All (in Dear Wandering Wildebeests)
Giraffes feast on my leafy crown;
my buffet never closes.
Rhinos doze beneath my broad branches;
my umbrella selters and shades.
Baboons scramble up and down my trunk;
my playground delights all ages.
Owls nest in my hidden knothole;
my cradle cozies brand-new wings.
Skinks sleep in my thick, spotted bark;
my camouflage keeps them safe.
Safari ants trail along my roots;
my roadways help build a city.
No grassland beast can resist my charms;
I am a wild bush willow tree.
– Irene Latham
Contests make us feel famous.  They give students an opportunity to shine.  Thanks to Irene for being such a beautiful role model to budding author, Madison.

I will be presenting with Irene and some other awesome poets at NCTE 2016 in Atlanta:Sat., 9:30 G.12 Writing for a Better World: Poetry Response to World Events B210

writing-for-a-better-world-poetry-as-an-agent-of-changencte-2106saturday-nov-19-20169-30-amb210-copy

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Today is the National Day on Writing!  On Sunday, I wrote my top ten list and collected posts from bloggers on this topic here.

As I read blog posts, I was inspired to collect quotes and make them into images. You can use these images for Twitter posts or on your own blog posts. Spread the love of writing today!

Image by Margaret Simon. Quote by Ruth Ayres.

Image by Margaret Simon. Quote by Ruth Ayres.

Image and quote by Catherine Flynn

Image and quote by Catherine Flynn

Image by Pixabay Quote by Michelle Haseltine

Image by Pixabay
Quote by Michelle Haseltine

kdouillardquote

Image enhanced by Picmonkey. Photo and quote by Kim Douillard

julieannequote

Image by Pixabay. Quote by Julieanne Harmatz.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

 

Excitement is building in cyberspace for the National Day on Writing scheduled for this Thursday, Oct. 20th.  This is a day when everyone is asked to think about why we write.  NCTE created the hashtag #WhyIWrite for Twitter.  The day is a collaboration among NCTE, National Writing Project, The New York Times Learning Network, and Teaching Channel.

Here are my top ten JOYS for writing:

  1. Writing helps me see clearly.
  2. Writing makes hard times easier.
  3. Writing sends my words into the world.
  4. Writing is a creative act that feeds my soul.
  5. Writing is hard and challenging like vitamins for my brain.
  6. Writing connects me with others.
  7. Writing leads me to me.
  8. Writing is understanding and confusing all at the same time.
  9. Writing builds hope.
  10. Writing is the thing with feathers.

Hope is the thing

 

Kevin Hodgson says he writes digitally to feel the groove between the spaces.  Read all about Kevin’s groove and explore a Thinglink of thoughts here.

Enter your DigiLitSunday posts below:

 

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SOL #15

SOL #15 

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

I invite teacher bloggers to write about their digital literacy experiences in the classroom and link back to this round up. Please leave your link in the comments. I will update the post during the day.

This week I read an NCTE article in Council Chronicle entitled Students as Makers and Doers by Trisha Collopy. At the end of the article is an “Authenticity Test” for student activities. This test includes two major priorities: 1. Is the activity used outside of school? and 2. Is it a literate habit of experienced adults?

As a reflective teacher, I wonder about the activities and lessons that I setup for my students. In gifted education, we strive to center our work around student interests. When students are interested, they remain engaged and motivated. When you think about authenticity, adults usually engage in activities that interest them. When we are interested, we immerse ourselves in the subject. If you were to look at my email inbox and my Facebook feed, you would know immediately that I am a teacher who loves to read and write.

How do I make activities that advance a students’ learning, engage them in their interests, and practice an authentic task? Blogging. As I sit here at my computer writing about an intense interest of mine, I realize that this is what I pass on to my students. In the Slice of Life Challenge, they are allowed to write about their interests. They are engaged in the process. They are learning by doing. Some of them are even choosing to write outside of school.

Erin is a third grader. She is a voracious reader. She loves all things Rick Riordan. She devours these books within days. But her writing. Well, that has not been quite up to my expectations. For some reason, though, with the SOLC, something has clicked in her. She came to school on Monday with pages of a notebook filled with slices. Her typing is slow, so I helped her type them in. Not any more. On Friday, she went home and typed 3 slices. You can see Erin’s blog here. She writes just like she speaks, with great enthusiasm.

I am probably preaching to the choir here about blogging with students. I love that I have found “real, authentic” articles to back up my convictions.

Don’t forget to leave your link int the comments. Thanks!

Tara Smith tells about preparing her sixth graders for historical fiction book clubs. https://ateachinglifedotcom.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/sol15-march-15-2015-digilit-sunday-preparing-for-historical-fiction-book-clubs/

Julie Johnson tests out Animoto by creating her own six-image story. Great idea! http://www.raisingreadersandwriters.com/2015/03/spring-break-with-puppies-6-image-story.html

Julianne Harmatz is here with a reflection about blogging with her students. https://jarhartz.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/sol15-day-15-reflections-on-tech-in-writing-workshop/

Deb Frazier is trying out Nutshell to define her maker space. http://debfrazier.blogspot.com/2015/03/slice-of-life-my-maker-space.html

Cathy Mere defines a Maker space and invites us all to participate in the Digital Maker Playground. http://reflectandrefine.blogspot.com/2015/03/digilit-sunday-digital-maker-playground.html

Carol Varsalona shares some of her experiences in digital literacy. http://reflectandrefine.blogspot.com/2015/03/digilit-sunday-digital-maker-playground.html

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Julianne Harmatz, Fran McVeigh, me, and Mark Flannery (Kidblog President)

Julianne Harmatz, Fran McVeigh, me, and Mark Flannery (Kidblog President)

I have been a devoted Kidblog user for three years. My students love blogging. When I was at NCTE, I had the privilege of meeting Mark Flannery, Kidblog president. He invited me to try out the new Kidblog interface. I was thrilled, and so are my students.

I teach elementary gifted academics, and twice a year when testing is completed, I may receive new students. This week Jacob, 1st grade, started coming to my class for his morning ELA block. Jacob knows a little bit about my class because I taught his older sister, and his mother teaches across the hall from me. What a joy to have him officially be my student. After his first day, his mother texted me a picture saying “Look who just finished his first chapter book.”

But she told me he writes like a first grader. Well, she couldn’t have been more wrong. On Monday, I asked my other older and more experienced students to read some of their slices to him. I told him he should write about himself for his first slice to help everyone get to know him. He came in on Tuesday with a whole paragraph. When I asked him to add another paragraph with one detail about each person in his family, he did not hesitate. (He has three sisters, so he had to add 5 more sentences.) Then on Tuesday he told his mom he had to write another blog post. She gave him the topic of pets. And on Friday, I taught him how to write a haiku poem. Whew! First week and he already has 3 blog posts.

I continue to believe strongly in the power of blogging to inspire student writing. I also believe by this daily writing practice, skills improve. When we were talking to Jacob about blogging, Tyler, a 6th grader, said, “It’s a way for us to connect to each other.” I love it when students have discussions and say exactly what you want them to say.

The connections we make, the stories we write, and the support we give each other makes blogging top priority in my gifted classroom. Thanks, Mark and Kidblogs, for giving us the opportunity to connect in such a meaningful new way. I hope the new interface will be available for everyone soon. Take a look at our site here.

Add your own DigiLit Sunday post here with Mr. Linky:

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Georgia Heard and Ralph Fletcher congratulate me!

Georgia Heard and Ralph Fletcher congratulate me!

I am having a hard time coming down from the high of NCTE14 in Washington, DC. To begin the weekend, I was honored at the Elementary Get Together for the Donald H. Graves Award for teaching writing. My acceptance speech is here. I was surrounded by notable writers Lester Laminack, Ralph Fletcher, and Georgia Heard. All three of them were kind and easy to talk to.

Selfie with Lester Laminack and Ralph Fletcher.

Selfie with Lester Laminack and Ralph Fletcher.

On Friday, I presented with my colleagues from the National Writing Project Professional Writing Retreat (2004). This was our 10 year reunion, and we talked about what keeps us writing. We created an acronym, STAMP, for Social Media, Time, Audience, Mentors, and Peers. Here is a link to our Emaze presentation.

Another highlight of my weekend was meeting so many authors. I passed Augusta Scattergood standing alone in the lobby, so I stopped and talked to her. She used to attend these events as a librarian and now she is an author. Her second book, The Way to Stay in Destiny, was available as a galley copy. I stood in line and was the last one to receive one. The guards at Scholastic did not want me to get it signed, but when we started waving to each other like silly school girls, they let me through.

Augusta Scattergood

Augusta Scattergood


Meeting fellow bloggers as long lost friends was a joy. We connected immediately and sought each other out at different sessions. We had dinner together with the Two Writing Teachers team on Saturday night and had a difficult time saying good night. We all wanted to continue the time together. Being in the company of kind, thoughtful teachers who think like I think and struggle like I struggle and love their students like I love mine was inspiring and heart warming. I feel like we have begun a long friendship as well as a strong professional connection.

Professional Book Exchange organized by Chris Lehman.

Professional Book Exchange organized by Chris Lehman.


I made an Animoto video of all my pictures. I took along Jack, the lemur, for some of them. Jack is our class pet that Emily snuck into my school cart. He enjoyed NCTE as much as I did.

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