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Students can write NCTE 2014


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Students CAN Write - Changing the Narrative of a Deficit Model

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Students can write NCTE 2014

  1. 1. Students CAN Write Changing the Narrative of a Deficit Model Kevin English: Wayne Memorial High School - Wayne, Michigan Kirsten Melise LeBlanc: St. Paul Catholic School - Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan Beth Shaum: St. Frances Cabrini Middle School - Allen Park, Michigan Jessica Winck - University of Louisville, Kentucky
  2. 2. Students can’t write because… In the 1970s and 1980s: ...they’re spending too much time watching TV In the 1990s and 2000s: …. they’re spending too much time online In the 2000s and 2010s: … they’re texting and tweeting too much
  3. 3. Students can’t write. Says who? “The Media” Education “Reformers” Parents Teachers who don’t write
  4. 4. And who says what counts? Multiple choice assessments for writing do not show transfer or ability to write.
  5. 5. The Need for Data Students have to write a lot before we know what they can do. “Any one-shot assessment procedure cannot capture the depth and breadth of information teachers have available to them. Even when a widely used, commercial test is administered, teachers must draw upon the full range of their knowledge about content and individual students to make sense of the limited information such a test provides.” -NCTE’s Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing
  6. 6. What data can a student text give us?
  7. 7. This is Just to Say I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold - William Carlos Williams
  8. 8. Lonely With Many I sit in this laundry hamper all day. Trying to find my one true match. Searching through other lost souls Who can’t find their way either. I see white all around, And the smell of Clorox lingers in the air. Below me, the rolling hum of the tumble dryer Makes me feel anxious to see If my match will come out; The only way I can catch a ride, Is by a hand that reaches in. Everyday I see all of my friends Get pulled up by the hand and Never Come Back Down As I sleep in my smushy space, Suddenly I am swept off of my feet, I come up into the air by the hand and There She Is. -Margaret B.
  9. 9. Change our mindset… We can obsess over what our students are doing wrong, which is an exercise in futility because developing writers will ALWAYS make mistakes… … or we can focus on what our students do well as an entrypoint for helping them improve.
  10. 10. “...good sixth grade writing may have more errors per word than good third grade writing. In a Piagetian sense, children do not master things for once and for all. A child who may appear to have mastered sentence sense in the fourth grade may suddenly begin making what adults call sentence errors all over again as he attempts to accommodate his knowledge of sentences to more complicated constructions.” - Roger McCaig (1977) “... it is not unusual for people acquiring a skill to get ‘worse’ before they get better and for writers to err more as they venture more.” - Mina Shaughnessy (1977)
  11. 11. Errors are a sign your students are learning!
  12. 12. "But their grammar is so bad!" ● What exactly do we mean by this? ● What rules are we holding sacred? ○ Productive rules that help with clarity? ○ or arbitrary, prescriptive, archaic "rules"
  13. 13. A run-on/fragment in the first paragraph!
  14. 14. Oh really?
  15. 15. Are we encouraging risk-taking?
  16. 16. “But they have to know the rules before they can break them.” How do our beliefs about writing influence the work students complete? How we spend our time matters. If we only show students one genre of writing, i.e., the five-paragraph essay, then that’s all we can ever expect. There’s more to writing!
  17. 17. Subversion… it’s a Good Thing
  18. 18. Subversion… it’s a Good Thing
  19. 19. Subversion… it’s a Good Thing Dear Big Fish from This is Not My Hat, You are a mean-spirited and evil fish! The little fish did you a favor buddy. The hat you were wearing was way too small for you. How could you be so mean to Little Fish after you saw how cute he swam? He was adorable and you, I can't even talk to you right now... You ate Little Fish! Have you no soul man! All Little Fish wanted to do was to look snazzy with a hat (that fit properly). Yes, I'll admit it was wrong of Little Fish to steal it, but it was worse of you to eat him! Now Big Fish, you sit down and think about what you have done. Please don't get me started about that crab... - Zoe, 8th grader (2012-2013)
  20. 20. Same writing, different students “I’ve read the same thing 150 times.” I’ve yet to read a five-paragraph essay that gave me goosebumps.
  21. 21. Quantity Time Are we giving students: ● enough time to really commit to a piece of writing? ● a long enough leash to wrestle with their own decision-making?
  22. 22. Exposure matters! “I need more time to write because I often have multiple packets due in the same week.”
  23. 23. Nurturing an identity as writer “Some people listen to music. I write. I feel like there is always someone listening. I can be as blunt as I want to be.”
  24. 24. Sacred Writing Time “There must be time for the seed of the idea to be nurtured in the mind.” -Don Murray Three Rules: 1. Write the entire time. 2. Ignore your inner critic. 3. Have fun!
  25. 25. Writing for you, not for me
  26. 26. "I just need to write today." When a football player asks for time to write, you know you’re doing something right.
  27. 27. Community Building “I was never pushed out of my comfort zone in this class. It actually made me feel like I was a part of something. … Seeing others happy to read made me think that I could get excited and start to read on a normal basis.”
  28. 28. Feedback Matters ● Have you thought about...? ● I wonder what it would look like if...? ● Think about WHEN you give feedback, not just what that feedback is ○ is a final draft really the best time?
  29. 29. Find out their pasts
  30. 30. The role of feedback I wrote all those comments, and students just ignored them!
  31. 31. The role of feedback Recently a student wrote, “I know I should read your feedback because that’s another thing that can help me, but I’m too scared to do it.”
  32. 32. Mockery is a type of feedback. “How many students would be thick-skinned enough to laugh along as an instructor and colleagues used his or her mistakes as a pretext to lament the state of Western civilization?” -Phoebe Maltz Bovy, “When Teachers Talk about Their Students on Facebook”
  33. 33. Repositioning Students Students are writers in the room, too!
  34. 34. They know what they need! “I need to know what other words I could use except ‘he said’ and ‘she said.’ I need more descriptive words.” “I’m not sure how to end it, or even how to lead to the end. Does it need dialogue?”
  35. 35. And they know how to help! “Other people like my work, but they said I needed more details about Chuck and if he got in trouble by the store.” “My peers wanted me to explain more about Danny. I only mentioned his name.” “People seemed to like how I played with colors… but they also said I need to go deeper into her goals and hopes.”
  36. 36. Write Beside Them So… What we discover when we write with our students is that this writing thing is HARD... … and we begin to show a little empathy toward our students’ plight.
  37. 37. Write Beside Them "For years I had expected my students to go on swimming without me while I barked orders from my chaise lounge." - Penny Kittle
  38. 38. Visit the EMWP website: A place to start writing beside them
  39. 39. “Writing is how we think our way into a subject and make it our own.” ~ William Zinsser
  40. 40. Students Can’t Write in Math... ● Writing has no place in the math curriculum. ● Elementary students are too young to express their thoughts in writing. ● It’s too hard.
  41. 41. Are We Sure About That?!
  42. 42. “If I can think about it, I can talk about it. If I can talk about it, I can write about it.” ~ Lucy Calkins
  43. 43. In Order to Own the Concept... Students need to be given time to: REFLECT DISCUSS WRITE about the concept at hand, in their own words.
  44. 44. Let Me Think About That Thoughtful reflection is an integral part of the math classroom.
  45. 45. Let’s Talk Math! A meaningful discussion leads to in-depth writing.
  46. 46. Write Now...A Window to their Thoughts Wrap up discussion with written responses. Allow students to apply, analyze, evaluate and create!
  47. 47. Writing Samples…Direct from a 3rd Grade Math Class
  48. 48. The Progression of Learning “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin “I don’t know.” “I don’t get this.” “Do you mean…? “No, wait...I got this…!”
  49. 49. I Got This! ● Created a multistep story problem. ● Identified strategies needed to solve it. ● Broke it down into manageable diagrams. ● Solved with detailed explanation of thought process. ● Presented final answer in a sentence.
  50. 50. Portfolio Assessments
  51. 51. Collegial Conversations The LAST (Looking at Students’ Thinking) Protocol you’ll ever need…
  52. 52. “There will always be an error, a refusal, an inadequate paragraph. Student writing will never be perfect. We live among the mess. We can choose to wallow in the doom. Or we can choose joy.” - Ruth Ayers
  53. 53. Contact us Find this presentation on Slideshare Kevin English - Kirsten Melise LeBlanc - Beth Shaum - Jessica Winck -
  54. 54. Bibliography Ayres, R., & Overman, C. (2013). Celebrating writers: from possibilities through publication. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse. Bovy, Phoebe Maltz. “When Teachers Talk about Their Students on Facebook.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Magazine, 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. Kittle, P. (2008). Write beside them: risk, voice, and clarity in high school writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. McCaig, R.A. (1977). What research and evaluation tell us about teaching written expression in the elementary school. In C. Weaver and R. Douma (Eds.), The language arts teacher in action (pp. 46-56). Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University. Distributed by the National Council of Teachers of English. Shaughnessy, M.P. (1977). Errors and expectations: A guide for the teacher of basic writing. New York: Oxford University Press. Sheils, M. (1975, December 8). Why johnny can't write. Newsweek, p. 58. Weaver, C. (1996). Teaching grammar in context. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.
  55. 55. Bibliography - Math References Chapin, S., O’Connor, C. & Anderson, N. (2009). Classroom Discussions Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions. Smith, M. & Stein, M. (2011). 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions. Reston, VA: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Van de Walle, J. & Lovin, L. (2006). Teaching Student Centered Mathematics Grades 3-5. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.
  56. 56. Trade Books Referenced Gaiman, N., & Young, S. (2013). Fortunately, the milk. New York: Harper. Levine, G. C. (2012). Forgive me, I meant to do it: false apology poems. New York: Harper. Lloyd, N. (2014). A snicker of magic. New York: Scholastic. Winter, J. (2011). The watcher: Jane Goodall's life with the chimps. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.