Dawn’s Blog

November 4, 2008

Writing Without Boundaries – pp. 105-end

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 2:38 am

I thought the eight principles listed for classroom-based literacy assessment on page 106 were important.  I liked number three where it said assessment is best when it is authentic.  I believe you can assess students better from their reading and writing activities than you can from a test.  Also, for example, you probably would be able to tell more from a student’s multigenre project about what he has learned about writing than you would from a writing test with a prompt.  It was stated that “states usually evaluate each writing assessment using writing traits.”  It targets their strengths and weaknesses in ideas, organization, voice and conventions.  The authors believe that multigenre writing helps students with these assessments and I would agree. 

It was helpful to see the three multigenre portfolios and how you would go about assessing them with students as far as looking at their strengths and needs.  I think it is important that there is an explanation to understand the genre.  For example, in Harmony’s project, she needed to explain the acrostic poem on Martin Luther King Jr. I was writing my acrostic poem on Barbara Mandrell and thinking how will people understand this poem.  Will they know the story behind the words I chose?  I had a good laugh while reading Allison’s multigenre portfolio and how she just basically told the principal what she needed and by her style of writing you knew that she expected this to happen.  In the thank you note, she thanked him and asked for twenty more chairs and told him there were more supplies that she needed and asked to borrow the supply magazine.  Wouldn’t it be great if it worked that way! (ha ha!) 

Student reflections are very interesting.  You can really see and understand what they’ve learned by doing the multigenre project.  In the interview with Suzette and Ali, Ali commented that her students were inspired to work and that classrooms that don’t use multigenre writing are not seemingly that way.  I can see how it inspires you to write and even research from working on my project.  She also talked about a test-writing genre.  I know in our school that we have reading and writing strategies that we teach the students and test as a genre is one of the strategies. 

I agree that it would be important to have a writing workshop in place for the students before beginning a multigenre project, especially with the younger students.  I liked how you can start with a small project from a unit and have each student write a different genre.  When it is completed, you could compile a class book.  The suggestion was for teachers to work on a multigenre project over the summer.  We are fortunate because we will have one from class.  By doing this, the research has been done and the project can be added to and the writing process can be shown with the students.  The teacher has a model to show the students which is important.

I liked the last sentence on page 132, “Writing about anything, really it doesn’t feel like a homework kind of thing-it feels like free time kind of thing that you really want to do.”  This is how I have felt while working on my project.

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October 21, 2008

Writing Without Boundaries

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 2:06 am

These chapters continue to explain well how to teach multigenre writing.  I feel like I could implement these ideas into the classrooom while teaching multigenre.  I liked the idea of the time line.  As it stated in the text, it will give students an idea about deadlines and time management so when they get out in the real world this will not be something new to them.  Management and organization of writing pieces was helpful.  I would definitely use the forms recommended such as the weekly goal sheet and peer conference form. 

By using think-alouds, students can understand websites and can locate genres such as certificates, brochures, e-mails, etc. which would be beneficial to the student.  Students may even learn about genres unfamiliar to them.  We can not assume that they know all genres.  Introducing and teaching genres by exploration, shared or guided reading and critical reading was informative.  By doing this, I can see how the students could really analyze and learn about a genre.

I liked the Time Period Genre Guide so students can organize their thoughts and look at genres that were used in a particular time period.  Choosing perspectives was very informative.  I see that in a multigenre project students can write from different perspectives.  I believe you would have to research and study the character thoroughly, for example, to be able to have an understanding and to really put yourself in the character’s shoes.

As I read, I learned of more genres that I may be able to use in my own multigenre project that I had not thought about previously.  These chapters continue to be helpful as I work on my project.  They have given me great ideas and a clearer understanding of a multigenre project.

Flicker Flash

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 1:49 am

I enjoyed Flicker Flash with the concrete poems.  What wonderful poems to integrate science and poetry!

October 12, 2008

Multigenre Project Ideas

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 9:16 pm

I have two topics I have thought about for my multigenre project.  I just have to narrow it down and decide which one.  They are definitely from one extreme to the other.  The first one is Country Music Singer, Barbara Mandrell.  I think she is very talented and I grew up watching her television show.  I thought of many genres I could use with her.  The other topic is on pigs.  The reason I thought of this is because in our school we do a unit on pigs in kindergarten.  I teach in Lexington, North Carolina where we have the big barbecue festival and that is why we do this unit.  If I did this, I guess I could do pigology.  Any suggestions or feedback is welcome.

October 7, 2008

Writing Without Boundaries

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 3:41 am

There was so much useful information in this text.  I believe as the authors do that if we allow students to use many genres in their writing that there will be a link between home and school literacy.  This will also motivate students to write.  They will see purpose and meaning in their writing.  I liked the many genres that were listed that a student could use. 

Chapter 2 was well written as it described how to establish the Writing Workshop.  I had the opportunity to hear Katie Wood Ray at a Reading Conference whom the author cites in this book.  She talked about Writing Workshop.  Some of these organizational ideas I started using when I was in a kindergarten classroom.  I liked the idea of tracking students by organizing a sheet like a calendar.  The book that was mentioned, If You Were a Writer, sounds like an excellent book to introduce Writing Workshop.  I would like to check this book out.

Connecting Reading and Writing Workshops was interesting.  I can see how this would help writing within a genre by reading that particular genre.  I am not currently in the classroom teaching these workshops but it would be interesting to know if any of our teachers implement this Readers/Writers Workshop idea concerning genre.

I like how students can choose topics that are meaningful to them for multigenre writing.  Students can write from different perspectives.  They need to decide on their audience, what their purpose is for writing and genre possibilities.  The project should also have visual elements.  Knowing this will be helpful as I begin my multigenre project.

The multigenre paper by Margaret R. “Cookie” Moulton

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 12:39 am

What a wonderful alternative to the traditional research paper!  The multigenre paper sounds more interesting than a research paper.  I believe being able to use different genres of writing to interpret what you have learned and researched would be more interesting than writing a traditional research paper.  It seems like it would give the writer an opportunity to be creative and as the article mentioned the writer can interpret information from the subject’s point of view. 

I like how the students kept learning logs instead of note cards.  I remember as a student keeping the note cards.  I think I could organize my information better in a learning log and I may actually write more by doing that. 

The genre list given is helpful.  It really gives you an idea of the many genres you can use while doing a multigenre paper.  This type of writing is more like real life writing as this article mentioned.   It is helpful for students to know their writing is useful and not just something for school.  Genre writing is writing they can use in real life.  I believe this would motivate students more.  I agree with the author that this definitely does not seem like a dull assignment.  I am excited about trying this approach to writing and research.  I’m still thinking about who I want to pursue this multigenre project on.

September 30, 2008

“I” poems by Linda Kucan

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 2:28 am

I agree with Kucan that by writing “I” poems students can “express their own voices.”  I like the format given for the “I am” poem.  I believe the format would be helpful to students as well as enjoyable.  Also, Kucan said writing “I” poetry is a way students can understand and respond to reading.  I’ve read Out of the Dust and after reading the “I” poem written that goes with this literature, I see how this holds true.  “I” poems give the student an opportunity to become the voice of a person, place or object.  The student can enjoy using imagination or information from books to become the person, place or object.

Definition of Persona Poetry

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 1:53 am

Persona Poetry is written from the voice of the person, place or thing.  The poet can use his/her imagination to write persona poetry or use factual information from a book.

September 21, 2008

This Is Just to Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 7:55 pm

I enjoyed This Is Just to Say.  I read the apology and immediately turned to the back of the book and read the forgiveness letter.  I liked the idea of this book.  It showed a different way of presenting poetry by writing poems of apology and forgiveness.  This is a book that could be shared with students and it would probably motivate them to write something similar  in their class.  The poem with Jose’ and his dad was touching because Jose’ was an influence on his dad and encouraged him to write and some of the letters were funny which were an enjoyable read.

Love That Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — by dt78830 @ 7:42 pm

I like the approach Sharon Creech took with this book, Love That Dog.  I believe it shows how you can turn someone around and help them to see their strengths and also become interested in something.  It also shows how you can motivate students by exposing them to great poetry.  The character, Jack, is introduced to poetry by his teacher, Miss Stretchberry.  He is introduced to the work of famous poets such as William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost and William Blake.  As the article by Janine L. Certo says, he is able to “try on” other poets’ styles.  He finds his own voice in poetry.  I believe without exposure to a variety of poets it would be difficult to become writers of poetry.  Students have to hear the language and many styles of poetry.  Jack was exposed to concrete poetry and then wrote this own concrete poem.  I believe this shows if children are exposed and “provided links”(Certo, p. 268)  they can become writers of poetry.

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