Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Inside Out Chapter 6

When you read good writing, you hear the sound of the writer talking to you. Diversity in classes is a source of richness and should be tapped. Students can be taken through exercises in mad talking, soft talking, and fast talking to think about what the corresponding sentences would be like.Some activities in developing voice include writing a dialogue with two very different points of view, recording one side of a telephone conversation, and listening to a conversation between two people.

Inside Out Chapter 5

The journal is an effective tool for building fluency. Many teachers have see students' writing ability bloom through journaling. Journals are effective because students can write about what interests them without fear of the red pencil. It is the one place they can write to please themselves, so they often take a great deal of pride in their journals. Journals are a pain for the teacher to keep up with, but
they keep the teacher connected to the students. Writing daily, keeping that writing together, and having it available for future viewing nurtures good writing. There are many ideas for getting students to write in their journals. I personally like a little structure. Many years ago, the idea was that students should have complete freedom. Without some structure, I'd get the same entries over and over.

Inquiry Question

What constitutes a positive and effective classroom environment for limited English students with special needs?

Inside Out Chapter 4

Students worry about what they are going to write before they begin the process. Teachers can help by working to build fluency. A good way to accomplish this is by getting students to write about how they think and feel. Teachers have two important tasks in teaching writing: build confidence and develop voice. Many students hate writing because they are afraid of writing. Teachers can help by praising students for what they find noteworthy in their writingm even if it's just the hard work that the student put into the piece. Student writers often turn out lame writing when they are given topics they don't care about (TAKS Prep) and when the emphasis is
on correctness. Freewriting, journaling, quickwrites, and writing which is of personal interest or which ignite the imagination of the student build interest
which leads to the student writing with confidence and voice.

Writing Without Teachers Chapters 1 and 2

Writing is a process of discovery where students sort out, organize, analyze, and synthesize. Writing anxiety often comes from the misconception that the ideas and organization have to be in place in the student's mind before the student starts writing, when actually writing is the process where this takes place. Freewriting gets students' thoughts flowing, and should be done regularly in a writing class.
Writing is referred to as cooking a message instead of transmitting a message.
Anxiety about what you are going to write keeps you from writing. The process should
involve change and a focus and theme should emerge.

Inside Out Chapter 9

Writing is intimidating for students possibly because the focus traditionally has been on correctness. Good writing is thought-provoking. It is something that the reader can respond to, agree with, critique, ot argue with. The blank page can be a terrifying sight for student writers. We need to develop sensitivity to the student's
voice. Often their best writing is mixed up with their worst. Emphasis for decades has been on style, but voice is what makes the writing come alive. Voice explains why a poem is not written like a commercial, and why novels don't read like doctoral dissertations. Voice is the reason that bad translations are often awkward (and sometimes hilarious). Students who speak another language can make best use of voice by using that language in writing with enough context clues to help the reader figure out the meaning.