Saturday, August 4, 2012

On the "Write" Track

Why would a person like myself who is completely NOT a morning person take 8:30 classes every day this week?  My first thought is because I'm an idiot! lol  To be honest... there were too many great classes offered during those time slots and I couldn't resist.  My writing class through The Leadership and Learning Center would be the perfect example.  I walk in with my large coffee and knew right away I was going to enjoy this class because the instructor had me laughing not only throughout the entire class, but more importantly before 9 o'clock in the morning.  Takes a lot to accomplish that. :)  He sang songs, told jokes, asked us trivia questions, and kept us involved in the activities.  Three hours of learning about writing went by in no time at all.

We began the class with a self-assessement on our level of comfort in writing across the curriculum on a scale of 1-10.  I tend to be my own worse critic and gave myself a five which meant that I manage a workshop environment and offer some writing opportunities outside that time.

Along with that, we did a quick write about how we use writing in our daily lessons.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that I do it more than I realize;  definitely have room for improvement, but not as bad as I thought.  I am a HUGE advocate of journals.  Last year, my students used journals in every single subject.  So at least they were doing some form of writing across the content area.  In an earlier post, I wrote about my social studies journals and shared some examples.  Last year was my first year doing this and the students really enjoyed it.  Click here to view that post.  I also use science journals, but definitely need improvement in the writing part because a lot was note-taking and recording data from experiments.  We did some writing with the scientific process though.  I believe I am on the WRITE track. ;)

I am totally into quotes, so I want to share some based on writing, from my class today.  With this activity, he had us underline the words we felt were important to successful writing.  You can see in the quotes below what I felt were important.

"Students need to write every day, for a variety of purposes and audiences, in order to become fluent, competent writers."  -Graves, 2004

Volume of writing also matters.  Students should be writing in every segment of the day, rather than only a designated writing workshop time."  - Hoyt, 2006

"To pass high-stakes writing tests, students need fluency and endurance, which they can attain only through daily writing practices that includes free writing, lots of choice, and writing across the curriculum.  Students who write extensively develop high-order thinking skills that translate into high achievement on all types of tests."  - Routman, 2005

NOW... for a part that I thought was a fabulous idea.  He had us come up with an acronym for writing.  He mentioned the idea of creating numerous ones and displaying them in our classrooms for the students to see.  How cool is that?  Here are some examples that I came up with:

W- writing and                            I- Ideas that use
R- reading                                   D- details which are
I- in all subjects                           E- expressed with clarity
T- teaches us to achieve              A- and are focused
E- excellence with our words     S- so message is clear

                         V-  voice
                         O- our
                         I- individual ideas to
                         C- create writing which is
                         E- expressed in our own unique way

Another great idea was the SACREDQQF.  This was created by a student of my presenter.  I wish I would have written her name down so I could give her credit.  The SACREDQQF is a way to expose students to the various ways to start a story.

An acronym for writing conferences-
       T- tell something positive
                       A- ask a question (with a positive tone)
G- give a suggestion

And last... An acronym for assigning writing
T- topic
     A- audience
    P- purpose

I hope you enjoyed the information from my writing class.  What are some ways you use writing across the curriculum?  Do you use journals/notebooks?  If so, what are some tips for those of us who are fairly new to this?

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! I love the use of acronyms!! Thanks for sharing!!