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This I Believe

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 9 months ago

Discussion of Chapter 2: This I Believe


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Comments (8)

Anonymous said

at 11:23 am on Jun 9, 2008

For me, the theme of this chapter is model, model, model. Only over the last few years of my teaching have I really understood the power of showing--not just telling--students, no matter the concepts or skills being taught. Penny (I feel we're on a first-name basis since Penny has joined our discussion!!!) makes an important distinction: we need to model the process of writing not just the end products we write. This reminds me of the "Think Aloud" mini-lessons we use to teach reading strategies. The idea is the same for writing--thinking aloud as we struggle through a piece from the very beginning.

I've not done a very good job of this. I've made a conscious effort this year to blog alongside my students, but I was modeling only end products. I can see how helpful it would have been for me to walk them through the process, showing them my struggle--in all its messiness. It makes so much sense. Why haven't I been doing it all along? Next year!

Anonymous said

at 2:57 pm on Jun 10, 2008

Modeling is the key...and I realize I have to take much of the blameresponsibility for all the disappointing papers that have been handed in to me over the years. I hope to do better by my future students. I am anxious about finding the needed time to devote to the writing process in an already jam-packed curriculum...although, maybe it really just comes down to making a decision for my students and not my school district.

Anonymous said

at 2:01 pm on Jun 11, 2008

Here, I will echo the other comments...yes, modeling. One of my weaker areas within my classroom (besides staying even nearly caught-up on grading!) is using the word model as a noun and not as a verb.

Based on Ms. Penny's thoughts so far, well...I'm feeling more and more like a failure! Please don't get me wrong! This is just the sort of motivation I need to make the changes needed within my classes, for I, too, want my students "ready to write" when I finish modeling!

Anonymous said

at 6:52 pm on Jun 11, 2008

I am teaching summer school classes and used a couple ideas from the book. I figure these students are the perfect "guinea pigs" in the sense that they really don't want to study all the same things that they did during the regular year and I don't want to have to develop all new lessons for them. I used the "Where I'm From" poem in one class and the "Music in my Heart" idea in another. Both exercises had students engaged and listening, asking questions, and writing furiously. They really paid attention to my modeling (I wrote on the overhead)and seemed to take an interest in what I had to say. We spent the first half of class (one hour and fifteen minutes) discussing, brainstorming, and starting to piece together a poem or a narrative essay. I had students already turning in copies of poems...and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were! In a summer school setting teachers don't have the opportunity to get to know their students as well as they do throughout the regular school year; I learned a lot about my students today (day three!) and was amazed at how willing they were to share. When you put yourself out there for them, many will return the favor! One of my favorite comments from the day was from a student working on the songs activity; he said, "I could write pages over this because it is all about my emotions!" I am really excited about introducing more activities and ideas!

Lisa Huff said

at 10:06 am on Jun 13, 2008

@Jodi: How exciting. Songs do seem to connect with teens. You make a good point--that through these writing exercises we build relationships, really getting to know our students.

Anonymous said

at 2:39 pm on Jun 13, 2008

What lucky summer school kids, Jodi. I think your model of thinking will free them to trust their own thinking and believe their stories have value. We want students engaged in the process and it sounds like yours are. That's when the real learning happens. I hope you enjoy the writing as much as it sounds like they are...and of course you have to write back and tell us all about it.

Anonymous said

at 12:38 pm on Jun 15, 2008

Thank you for the compliments and the encouragement! In hindsight, I probably should have waited to mention using those exercises with the kids...some readers may not have gotten to this portion of the book yet. But, I got excited and wanted to share. As far as my own writing/modeling...I love it and hate having to stop for the sake of moving on to something else!

Anonymous said

at 3:04 pm on Jun 26, 2008

Lisa and Jodi, I agree with your statements. This chapter is about modeling. I highlighted "My teaching was all tell, no show" (7). I wrote in the margin that "I suspect this is the root of my current problems with writing." What I meant, of course, was teaching writing. I keep wondering why students don't implement my suggestions next time. The answer, of course, is that I'm telling them to make changes, but not showing them how. To echo your closing thoughts, Lisa, "next year!"

Jodi, how great that you are getting to try these ideas out.

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