Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 5th, Visit to Jay Middle School, Grades 7/8

Nancy and I met later in the day.  She came in quite excited about the site she had discovered, writing fix

She had spent a great deal of time searching the net, trying to find lessons that would work for her students.  This site was particularly helpful because it had a large section on adolescent literature and the 6+1 writing traits.  

Like most of us, Nancy had pulled several ideas to use with her students, but her thoughts kept returning to all of the great information and in the end she felt overwhelmed.  This is often a side effect of the huge amount of information on the net - and there is little we can do, but let it gel.  When I experience this type of overload, for me, it signals a re-organization of thoughts or concepts in my head.  This is often uncomfortable because of the feeling of dissonance - sooo- I work on relaxing by engaging  in some meaningless task, i.e. housework.  I often wonder what our students do in the same situation.

Nancy shared her site with us at class last night and we all took time to team with colleagues and explore it.  This worked very well - sharing our perspectives and discussing possible lessons in our classrooms.  You and a colleague might like to take a look and do the same thing.  Remember, the site has all levels and is sponsored by the Northern Nevada Writing Project. 

Nancy also shared a book by David Macauly, Black and White, available on  This book has an unusual lay out.  It has 4 stories going on at the same time, each one represented by a fourth of the two pages the reader is observing.  We discussed this during our class time and considered voice lessons - focusing  on points of view - that we might use in the classroom.  I have a copy coming.  It is quite reasonable.  You might enjoy one as well.

Thanks, Nancy.  We learned a great deal:)

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