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Focus on writing building the conversation


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In this presentation teachers are reminded of the importance of conversation in exciting children to write. Keith Pruitt shares three child-tested strategies for engagement. The video clips used in this presentation are from a DVD included in Children Want to Write by Thomas Newkirk and Penny Kittle.

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Focus on writing building the conversation

  1. 1. Focus on Writing: Building the Conversation Keith Pruitt, Ed.S
  2. 2. Brain Gym • We are going to play a quick 1 minute round of boggle. • The object is to write as many words as possible in 1 minute. • The letters may only be used once and must touch in some direction. • The word must contain at least three letters.
  3. 3. X W S N L G A E A M E Y W M S J
  4. 4. We want students to write, but have difficulty getting them excited about the activities of writing. What can I do as a teacher to motivate my students to write?
  5. 5. Some teachers seem to invite children’s conversation. Children speak to them constantly; they try something and almost immediately tell their teachers about it. I’ve tried to observe what these teachers do that makes their students such good informants. I used to think it was their methodology. Now I realize that it is a kind of philosophical stance, which children intuit in the teacher, that inspires their confidence and invites their reactions to their work. --Donald Graves, Children Want to Write, p 72 …Build the Conversation!
  6. 6. The greatest missing tool from most classrooms is the pleasure of talk.
  7. 7. “Float the learning on a sea of talk” --James Britton, Language and Learning (1970)
  8. 8. Here are Three strategies for Engaging Talk in the Classroom for Writing 1. Visual story starter 2. What Do You Know? What Can you Ask? (Going into Character) 3. Student Conversation
  9. 9. 1. Visual Story Starter • The teacher shows a picture to students for just a few seconds. • Students are asked to grab as many details as possible • They then discuss with each other what they have seen as the teacher asks specific questions Let’s Practice!
  10. 10. Let’s look now at a conversation between a student and Donald Graves as he works one-on-one. Look for how he gives her visual cues and how visual she becomes. from Children Want to Write, video Chapter 5, An Interested Audience
  11. 11. 2. Going into Character
  12. 12. Abraham Lincoln What you Know? What did you learn?
  13. 13. Abraham Lincoln Comes Home What I Know About Lincoln What I Learned Questions? 1. He was President Which one? 2. 16th What else? 3. President during Civil War 4. From Illinois 5. Had a beard 6. Assassinated By whom? Don’t know— John Wilkes Booth He was an actor and southern sympathizer 7. Buried in Springfield, Il. 1. 16th President of United States 2. President During Civil War 3. Assassinated by Booth who was a Southern Sympathizer 1. How Did he come to be President? 2. Why did Booth Kill the President? 3. Where did this happen? Concept from Harvey and Goudvis, Comprehension Toolkit
  14. 14. Now instead of reading this story to you, I’m going to step into character and tell you the story of Luke O’Brien.
  15. 15. Connect With Talk and Writing • Have students tell their elbow partners what aspect of the story impacted them the greatest and why? • Have the students write a paragraph about one of these two ideas: • According to the author, what emotions did the funeral train solicit in Luke? • Describe how the people along the tracks felt about Lincoln.
  16. 16. 3. Student Conversations
  17. 17. The Common Core State Standards for English ELA and Mathematics emphasize improving the quality of student-to-student discourse as a major feature of instruction. The new standards specifically describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using evidence for claims. --Stanford University Online Course, 2014
  18. 18. But whatdoes this have to do withwriting? Video clip from Children Want to Write, chapter 6, What the Story is About
  19. 19. Tell a friend one learning observation you made in reference to this video.
  20. 20. Student conversation allows students to: 1. Clearer understandings 2. Question the author 3. Make suggestions (but remember, it is my story) 4. Politely correct something that might be incorrect 5. Offer critique than can then extend the learning for the author
  21. 21. So in this session we have learned three strategies for getting students conversing and writing. Engaging students is much more enriching when we turn them loose in the power of talk. I challenge you to take away from this one idea that will excite your students.
  22. 22. Thank You Keith Pruitt