Saturday, February 23, 2013

Make your next summarization activity interactive, artistic, kinesthetic - courtesy of SmartBrief

In a recent Inservice post, ASCD communications specialist Julia Liapidova shares a summarization technique from Rick Wormeli's "Summarization in Any Subject." The technique, called "body sculpture," will get students collaborating, moving and thinking creatively as they determine the attributes of a concept or idea, then create a frozen tableau that represents those essentials. Read on.

Summary is one of those terms used over and over again in the CCSS.  Here is a great instructional technique.  Enjoy:}

Monday, February 18, 2013

Celebrating Pet Month with webmaster Corbett Harrison

A happy and well-deserved three-day weekend, I hope, for most of us!
I was just perusing next week's Sacred Writing PowerPoint slides and noticed that Wednesday is National "Love Your Pet" Day.   Our new puppy, Tucker, has already chewed up enough shoelace tips, throw rug edges, and pant cuffs that I can shake my fist and pretend I don't love him on February 20th, but I'd be lying through my teeth.  He is adorable and worth all the work and lost sleep.  Click on his name to see his picture; he's like a little polar bear.
Well, I have been working diligently on March's "Writing Lesson of the Month," which will focus on having students write about two common core reading elements: theme and characterization.  It's going to be a good one!  I can't wait to see if it inspires you when I post it on March 1. luck would have it...I have simultaneously been working on March's "Writer's Notebook Idea of the Month," which focuses on celebrating the love we have for our pets.  I thought--since this Wednesday is "Love Your Pet" Day and that many of you have pets (past and present) that you can easily share some writing about with your kids (assuming you keep a notebook you can share from!)--well, I thought I would send the "Writer's Notebook Idea of the Month" out early in case you were interested in celebrating the holiday during sacred writing time this week on the actual holiday. You don't really need the cited mentor text to inspire the writing, but I hope you like the way I describe that my fellow teachers and I are using these Cynthia Rylant books with our team of students.
So...Here is a sneak preview of the almost-completed "Writer's Notebook Idea of the Month" for March, which celebrates loving our pets:  I'll have student samples and a few more resources attached to it by March 1st, but it's very usable in its present state.
I hope everyone who gets Presidents' Day off is planning something fun tomorrow!
Visit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Corbett and Dena Harrison - writing lessons from the webmasters of Writing Fix

January's lesson:  Crazy Time/Place for a Newscast  Simple a live news team in a historical era before there even were live news teams and report on a newsworthy event with a modern bunch of equipment.  Inspired partially by both Margie Palatini's awesome Tub-boo-boo as well as Barry Lane's wonderful 51 Wacky We-Search Reports--two of my absolute favorite mentor texts.
February's lesson:  Start & Stop Poetry  A great poetry format for writer's notebooks or for larger projects.  This is actually the "center square lesson" on our February Writer's Notebook Bingo Card.  We'll be doing an interdisciplinary unit on Lewis & Clark soon, and I plan on using this poetry format as part of the students' final product.  I probably will use some elements from the January lesson above too!
Bonus writing prompt...for February 5th, which is National Weatherman/person Day:  I'll be showing a few weather reports tomorrow to study the voice of meteorologists so that we can write forecasts for our day in a unique voice on Tuesday.  Join me in this?
Hope your team is the one that ends up victorious tonight!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Memoir writing encourages self-awareness among students - courtesy of SmartBrief

Here is a great article!  Consider students keeping diaries!!
The most meaningful writing students can do is to write their memoirs, notes Greg Graham, who teaches writing at the University of Central Arkansas. "Putting a narrative frame on our past -- especially our struggles -- promotes perspective and self-awareness that are otherwise out of reach for most people," he writes. The benefits of memoir writing are demonstrated through the movie "Precious," Graham writes, in which an abused teenage girl is able to make headway in life through writing. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of (1/29)