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Students can write nerdcampmi 2015, day 1

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Students can write nerdcampmi 2015, day 1

  1. 1. Students CAN Write Changing the Narrative of a Deficit Model Kevin English: Wayne Memorial High School - Wayne, MI Kirsten LeBlanc: St. Paul Catholic School - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI Beth Shaum: St. Frances Cabrini Middle School - Allen Park, MI
  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. The “need” for data is trumping our need to nurture writers and readers 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
  5. 5. Students need writing mentors
  6. 6. This is Just to SayI 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
  7. 7. The Weave of Music (Excerpt) Each instrument makes a different color percussion’s heavy rhythm are shades of red strings’ plucked tune are shades of blue winds’ fluent call are shades of yellow voices are shades of purple generated noises’ awkward frequencies are shades of green Some prefer more of a color Some prefer a heavy red count Some like some purple and maybe the occasional shade of green -Griffin A, 8th grader
  8. 8. When you ask them to look for mentors, students can do great things
  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. Look for more than what you asked for or you might miss moments of brilliance
  11. 11. “...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)
  12. 12. Errors are a sign your students are learning!
  13. 13. "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" Do our students feel this way about their own writing?
  14. 14. A run-on/fragment in the first paragraph!
  15. 15. Oh, really?
  16. 16. “Well that’s all well and good, but certainly this text messaging business is ruining the English language as we know it.”
  17. 17. "[Adolescence] is characterized by its own language, both as a traditional defense against outsiders (i.e., adults) and as a group identity sharing. The latter is something in which most adolescents have historically engaged although the shape of it is varied in different generations." - Handbook of Adolescent Literacy Research
  18. 18. So in the words of my 8th graders: “Chillax, bruh.”
  19. 19. Are we encouraging risk-taking?
  20. 20. “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!
  21. 21. 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.
  22. 22. Subversion… it’s a Good Thing
  23. 23. How would you respond to this student? Do you give him a high five? Or a detention?
  24. 24. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the student who perpetually turns in work late.
  25. 25. Ask yourself: What’s more important - that the assignment is turned in on time, or that it’s done with passion and conviction?
  26. 26. 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?
  27. 27. 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!
  28. 28. “I just need to write today.”
  29. 29. Anyone? Anyone? “I write all these comments and my students just ignore them!”
  30. 30. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
  31. 31. It’s not just what feedback you give, but how you give it that matters ● Are their papers bleeding red? ○ Give them no more than 2 conventional issues to work on ● Don’t forget to tell students what they did well ● Ask them questions rather than giving demands ○ Have you thought about...? ○ I wonder what it would look like if...?
  32. 32. Have you thought about why students don’t write? ●
  33. 33. Think about WHEN you give feedback, not just what that feedback is
  34. 34. If students can’t write, some of that’s on you.
  35. 35. Caldecott Essay Criteria Point Value Points Earned Mentions title, author, and illustrator of the book at the beginning of the essay 5 Summary of the story 5 Description of the artwork 5 References the Caldecott criteria 5 Answers why you think it is the “most distinguished” picture book of 2014 5 Effective reasoning and evidence as to why you think it is the “most distinguished” 10 Written in multiple, indented paragraphs (preferably double-spaced) 5 Written in a formal yet conversational style (i.e., it has voice and personality, yet still adheres to the proper conventions of Standard English) 10 Total 50
  36. 36. Are we celebrating all kinds of authors and books in our classrooms... ...or only a select and privileged few?
  37. 37. Repositioning Students Students are writers in the room, too!
  38. 38. 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?”
  39. 39. 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.”
  40. 40. 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.
  41. 41. 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
  42. 42. “Mrs. Shaum, remember when you said at the beginning of the year to call you out if you’re not writing with us? Well, did you do the article of the week?”
  43. 43. How do you write beside your students?
  44. 44. “Writing is how we think our way into a subject and make it our own.” ~ William Zinsser
  45. 45. 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.
  46. 46. Are We Sure About That?!
  47. 47. “If I can think about it, I can talk about it. If I can talk about it, I can write about it.” ~ Lucy Calkins
  48. 48. 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.
  49. 49. Let Me Think About That Thoughtful reflection is an integral part of the math classroom.
  50. 50. Let’s Talk Math! A meaningful discussion leads to in-depth writing.
  51. 51. Write Now...A Window to their Thoughts Wrap up discussion with written responses. Allow students to apply, analyze, evaluate and create!
  52. 52. Students’ Surprising Thoughts! Are fact families always inverse operations? There are 4 children, 2 parents and 2 grandparents at a birthday party. What fraction are children? ... “No, if you do 3 divided by zero the answer is undefined because you can’t do 0 x 0 and get 3.” 3 x 0 = 0 0 x 3 = 0 0 / 3 = 0 3 / 0 = undefined “Well, the parents are children of the grandparents so that means there are 6 children (4 children and 2 grandparents.) The fraction that are children is 6/8.”
  53. 53. Writing Samples…Direct from a 3rd Grade Math Class
  54. 54. 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…!”
  55. 55. 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.
  56. 56. “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 Ayres
  57. 57. Contact us Find this presentation on Slideshare Kevin English - (@KevinMEnglish) Kirsten LeBlanc - (@thewolverinekel) Beth Shaum - (@BethShaum) Slideshare link:
  58. 58. Bibliography Ayres, R., & Overman, C. (2013). Celebrating writers: from possibilities through publication. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse. Christenbury, L., Bomer, R., & Smagorinsky, P. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of adolescent literacy research. New York: Guilford Press. 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.
  59. 59. 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.
  60. 60. 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.