Transformative Writing InstructionCNY Reading Council Spring Conference 2011Within Classroom Walls: How Struggling Writers Thrive Donna Mahar, Ph.D. NBCTAssistant Professor, English & LiteracySUNY, Empire State CollegeDonna.Mahar@esc.edu
To-With-and- By-Framework Margaret Mooney (1990) Originally articulated as a guide to early reading instruction Helps to balance teacher direction and explicit instruction with student innovation and independent learning Provides teachers with a tool to evaluate our decision making and ensure we are providing student writers multiple chances to learn skills and strategies around topic selection that are valued in, as well as beyond, school
Scaffolding Learners need opportunities for experts to: Write to, and in front of them Write With them Write by themselves (Brunner, 1986, Dixon-Krauss, 1996, Moll, 1990- as well as other Vygotsky-influenced scholars)
Mooney’s Model Extended to Topic Selection Change prepositions from ‘to’ to ‘for’ Thus students need the opportunity: To have topics chosen for them To choose topics with others, including the teacher To choose topics by themselves
Each Approach Addresses Different Aspects of Topic Selection For: How to deal with assignments that must be completed regardless of personal interest With:How to negotiate topics with other writers and pursue a common goal By:How to address one’s own efforts with little or no assistance from others
Poetry:Negotiating ‘For’ to ‘By’ Linda Christensen, (2000) “Where I’m From”: Inviting Students Lives’ Into the ClassroomReading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word.
Where I’m FromGeorge Ella Lyons I am from clothespins,From Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.I am from the dirt under the back porch.(Black, glistening it tasted like beets.) I am from the forsythia bush, the Dutch elm whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my very own.
George Ella Lyons I am from fudge and eyeglasses, From Imogene and Alafair. I’m from the know-it-alls and the pass-it-ons, from perk up and pipe down. I’m from he restoreth my soul with a cotton lamb and ten verses I can say myself
George Ella Lyons I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch fried corn and strong coffee. From the finger my grandfather lost to the augerthe eye my father shut to keep his sight.Under my bed was a dress boxspilling old pictures,a sift of lost facesto drift beneath my dreams.I am from these moments-snapped before I budded-leaf-fallen from the family tree.
Ryan MillerGrade 7 I am from swimming in Skaneateles Lake cold, blue water at my grandparents’ camp I am from lacrosse, and basketball, running with friends focused to win.I am from my parents who love me and my brother who’s okay I am from S.U. sports and Wildcat spiritGo blue and yellow.
Ryan MillerModel of fused class representation of his poem
Poetry With English Language Learners Draw on Students’ Backgrounds Poetry in Translation “Students translate the work of poets from their native country or ethnic heritage, and then write and translate their own poems.” Carol McCarthy, Queens NY McCarthy, Academy of American Poets website www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/17106
Poetry and English Language Learners Predictable language patterns Repeated words Repeated phrases Repeated lines Identifiable rhymesAlpha, J. (2009). Utilizing poetry as an ESL teaching tool and resource. Retrieved February 3, 2011 from http://www.brighthub.com/education/languages/articles/7143.aspx
Georgia Heard's wonderful book, Awakening the Heart. In the book, Georgia struggled with getting the kids to write about things that were truly close to their hearts- .As a result, she asked kids to make a map of their heart- however they wished and to include all the things that really matter to them. What has really affected you heart? What people have been important to you? What are some experiences or central events that you will never forget? What happy or sad memories do you have? What secrets have you kept in your heart? What small things or objects are important to you? (Page 110)She doesn't then follow up immediately with a poetry lesson- that would be overkill. But they keep their hearts and refer to them later in the year when writing poetry. source: www.proteacher.net
What has really affected you heart?What small things do you carry in your heart? Who are the people in your heart?
Valentine for Ernest MannBy Naomi Shihab Nye You can’t order a poem likeyou order a taco.Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"and expect it to be handed back to youon a shiny plate. Still, I like your spirit.Anyone who says, "Here's my address,write me a poem," deserves something in reply.So I'll tell you a secret instead:poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,they are sleeping. They are the shadowsdrifting across our ceilings the momentbefore we wake up. What we have to dois live in a way that lets us find them.
Valentine for Ernest MannBy Naomi ShihabNye page 2 Once I knew a man who gave his wifetwo skunks for a valentine.He couldn't understand why she was crying."I thought they had such beautiful eyes."And he was serious. He was a serious manwho lived in a serious way. Nothing was uglyjust because the world said so. He reallyliked those skunks. So, he re-invented themas valentines and they became beautiful.At least, to him. And the poems that had been hidingin the eyes of skunks for centuriescrawled out and curled up at his feet.
Valentine for Ernest MannBy Naomi ShihabNye p. 3 Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sockin your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.And let me know.