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August Institute: Writing Institute 2014-15 Day 4

August Institute: Writing Institute

Day 4

        I'm here at Teachers' College Reading and Writing Project! It's day 4- oh. no, it's passing so fast!!

Writing to intensify reading Kate Roberts

Keeping students engaged and motivated for Reader's Notebook work

  • Talk to partners or book clubs. Watching a small group conversation on Vimeo.  Look at partner talk.
  • Technology>>blogs, video trailers, book reviews, Video Confessionals (like reality shows), Mission Impossible videos for small groups, GoodReads, Todays Meet , Uses her blog to teach and students use their blog as a reading notebook, WhiteBoard App (ShowMe, Explain Everything, Educreations) 
  • Flexibility  Talk to kids about what their reading responses should look like. Every student has different needs/abilities.
Which of these ideas/tools have you done?  Which of these ideas/tools are you thinking of trying?

Companion Books

A companion book is like a bonus to another book.  It might give readers more insight to issues, themes, characters or plot in the book.  Could be argument, informational or narrative. It's a flash draft project.  It's a multi-genre project.  You are leaning on your students knowledge of the different genres- Probably an end of the year project for third, fourth and fifth grades.  You can find companion book examples for most very popular books (e.g. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson etc.).  Also look for the bookshelf on GoodReads!

What goes into a companion book?

We need to create chapters- what are the most interesting, fascinating, or easiest things to write about?
Common structures for companion book chapters

  • Essays-idea based writing
  • Informational texts
  • Narratives
  • Problem-solution
  • Classify/sorting or ranking
  • Definition "What is the meaning of hunger in the hunger games?"
  • Trail of research
  • A combination of the above
A way to do this with A Stolen Party
Table of contents  
  • Rosaura and her mother-Lit essay
  • Role of money and how people see it?-Argumentation
  • What's up with the monkey?-Informational
  • Luciana's perspective-Narrative

A way to do this with The One and Only Ivan
Table of contents  
  • Relationship between Mack and Ivan-Lit essay
  • Are we taking care of the earth and the animals that depend on us-Argumentation
  • The physical and emotional needs of a gorilla-Informational
  • Bob's perspective-Narrative
Structures students can nuse to plan writing:
  • Can use "boxes and bullets" to structure draft
  • "Tell the story of their journey" linear structure
  • Problem >>> solution
  • Any structure you've taught your kids to plan their writing
Train kids to chink the text and then jot down words or phrases.  The group them together.  Emotions works well (Defensive, Rudeness affecting relationship, Anger)

My practice with The On and Only Ivan
Ivan's Image
Chapter I chose how I look
wild gorilla
shy gaze
sly smile
snowy saddle of fur
uniform of a silverback
gorilla's majestic shadow
test of themselves
fighting winds on the wind
mightier than any human
pure power
made for battle
great ape
distant and distrustful cousins

this is troubling

linking me to a race of ill-mannered clowns

Looking at my list, it could be be organized in how they look, who they are, how humans see them and how Ivan sees humans...

My flash draft... 

To Ivan, humans look bad.  We make faces at them as we pass.  We see them as large fearsome beasts that are "made for battle."  He knows we're "related" but he doesn't see how we could be.  He's actually troubled by how that could be when gorillas are gentle giants and humans clumsy oafs.

Homework!!  Finish up your chapter!

Companion books

  1. Research  Text box of information
  2. Infographics that represent the heart of your chapter
  3. Text features-Non ficytion headings
  4. Choose an audience/tone

  • Earnest fanboy
  • Just the facts, ma'am
  • Sarcastic critic
  • Intelligent professor

Conferring to move kids and generate curriculum  

  Carl Anderson

The teacher's role in a conference
In the first part of the conference:

  • Invite the child to set the agenda
  • Ask assessment questions
  • Look at the child's writing
  • Make a teaching decision
In a conference, be sure to stick to the point.  Good idea to keep a writer's notebook close by to use as a Mentor text.

Qualities of effective teaching in conferences

  • Cue the child that you're about to teach "There's something I want to teach you today..."
  • Name what you're teaching
  • Give an explanation of what you're teaching
  • When necessary, explain why the craft, strategy or convention is important for them.
  • Explain how to do what you're teaching.
Conferring cheating!   You're conferring with one kids but you know kids 2 and 3 need the same thing, bring them over too and have them listen in- it becomes an informal conference.

Coach the child as she "has a go" with what you taught

  • Have the child talk out how she can use what you taught in her writing
  • Katie Ray calls this writing in the air
  • Coach the child by prompting them with the questions writers ask themselves when they use the strategy, try the craft technique etc.
Remember-you are the coach, not the creator or the leader.  Kids should be doing most of the work.

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