English Teacher Party: A Look into the Real Life of an English Teacher

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Peer Responding Thoughts October 26, 2010

Filed under: editing,modeling writing,thoughts,wn entry — hey2blondie @ 6:09 pm

Last week I had my students respond to their peers’ writing. I have been grading their writing of choice pieces, which have been great pieces. I took the time to read how my students responded to their classmates’ writing. I noticed a pattern of how they liked the writing, but when it came to responding to things that needed revising they didn’t know how to express that. How do I teach this to my students? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.


STAR: a way to revise June 22, 2010

This week I am teaching at a summer writing camp in Martin, TN, which is affiliated with the West Tennessee Writing Project. The students have been writing stories using the Harris Burdick poster series. One of my co-workers had the students answer questions to create a round and dynamic character. After creating their character,  the students were to choose a plot, which was a poster from the Harris Burdick series. We had the students write their story using the character questions and poster.

Today, for my mini-lesson on revision, I used Kelley Gallagher’s idea on revision. He uses the acronym STAR. Below is the meaning of star:


Take things out



As a group we brainstormed ways to use STAR in our writing. After brainstorming and discussing how to implement star, I brought in Nancie Atwell’s revision idea of spider legs. The main concept is to add “legs” (revisions) to your writing. We made a spider head and pasted it to the top of the writing. I modeled to my students where I would place each “leg” in my writing. Soon the students were revising. This was a good opportunity to share our revisions too.


The End for Now May 27, 2008

The 2007-2008 school year is over! Last Friday was the last day of school. It went by so fast this year, but I am glad it’s over. I am ready for some R & R. The only thing about the end of the year is the process of packing up everything. At my school we have to take everything off of the walls and store it. It’s a daunting task, but I guess it’s a good thing because you start the next year off fresh.

This summer I am looking forward to reading literature about writer’s notebooks and how to implement them better. I will be attending an advanced institute where I’ll be researching more of my inquiries. Right now I am thinking of the following questions:

How can I better implement a writer’s notebook into my writer’s workshop?

How can I use a writer’s notebook to model and teach revision and editing?

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear about them on either topic… 


Pure Comfort February 10, 2008

What better food to give you pure comfort—mac-n-cheese & a Coke.

mac coke 

I wrote a description of my pure comfort and tomorrow I plan on teaching a mini-lesson on editing. (PURE COMFORT DESCRIPTION) I have errors because I want my students to pick up on them. I notice they have problems indenting, so I am going to discuss that too. They will be given a rubric and we are going to discuss each component on the rubric to see if I met them. (of course I didn’t) My students don’t like to revise, so I am going to model revising as well. I hope it goes well.



Teachers must Write too September 24, 2007

Filed under: modeling writing,teachers who write,wn entry,writing — hey2blondie @ 8:58 pm

writeI am a firm believer that teachers need to write along with their students. YES, it’s easy to sit behind your desk and grade papers or play solitaire instead of actually write. Writing is hard for everyone, especially students. It takes practice. When teachers write in front of their students, they demonstrate that writing is hard for everyone. It shows them that you are human. Modeling writing also makes your students aware of thought processes and that authors actually do the same thing. In order for anyone to get better at writing, they need to write daily–even teachers. The article “Becoming Your Own Expert” has a lot to say about teachers writing themselves. Please take a look at it.