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

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Peer Responding October 21, 2010

Last weekend I attended our writing project’s writing retreat called WOW (Writing On Water). It’s a time for us to get together and write. This year we wrote teaching stories and one point during the retreat we had a peer response session. Each person read some part of their piece while the rest of the group listened and responded on post-it-notes. After the read aloud, we placed our post-its on a sheet of paper with the person’s name on them. I enjoyed reading all of the comments my fellow teacher consultants wrote.

I decided that I wanted to bring this to my classroom, so today my seventh graders peer responded in this manner. Instead of the whole class reading, I placed students into groups of 6. Before the students responded, I asked them to write a praise and write in question form something that may be confusing or need of revising. As my students read and responded, I traveled around the room and responded to those students I heard read. After the read aloud, I passed out a colored sheet of paper so they could place their post-its on it. Tomorrow my students will be turning in their writing of choice piece with those post-its.

I look forward to reading how they responded to each other. I am curious to see what they wrote. I did poll my classes to see if they liked this way of responding. Some did like it and others did not. One student said that she didn’t like sharing in front of everyone.

 

 

 

 

Peer Revision June 30, 2010

Last week my coworker had our writing campers peer revise. She had each student paste their writing on a large sheet of construction paper. Students were then advised to go around the room and revise each others’ papers by writing comments on the construction paper next to their work. The students enjoyed reading what everyone had written on their papers.

This week I have been facilitating a writing camp at my school. I have 6 lucky students to be involved with writing. Each day they have left with smiles on their faces. We have written several pieces. Today I taught my students the STAR strategy I blogged about last week. I also used Nancie Atwell’s spider leg technique; however, I changed it up a little. I first had each individual find 2 places (2 legs) where they could use STAR in their writing. After each student added 2 legs, I passed out 2 lime green “legs” to each student. They were to go around the room and add “legs” to their peers’ papers. I heard the comment that I should use this technique in school this year, and I will!

 

Graffiti Walls June 24, 2010

I learned about graffiti walls from my student teacher. It is a simple way to help students understand concepts. To create a graffiti wall you will need a piece of paper. In the center of the paper, draw a circle or any shape. I like to do a squiggly cloud shape. Write the concept in the center of the shape and everything that has to do with that concept. On the outside of the shape, have the students write everything that the concept is NOT.

My students and I created a graffiti wall bulletin board on vivid verbs. We added as many vivid verbs to the center. Some verbs we came up with are scampered, casting, stroll, animate, devoured. On the outside of our wall we placed helping verbs, conjunctions, linking verbs, nouns, adverbs, adjectives. Students were then allowed and encouraged to add to the graffiti wall whenever they heard of an excellent vivid verb.

I also tweaked this idea by creating a huge idea wall for my students at writing camp this week. I used a huge piece of butcher paper and across the top I placed the headings onomatopoeia, instead of said, adjectives, adverbs, and vivid verbs. I wrote words  under each category to start the brainstorming process. When I introduced the wall to my group on Monday, I had them brainstorm aloud and I added words under the category. Throughout this week my students have added words to the wall and have used the words in their writing, which was the goal!

 

ABC’s of brainstorming

My co-worker had my writing camp students choose a topic that they knew a lot about. After choosing their topic, she had them brainstorm any and all words pertaining to that topic with the ABC’s. They had to try to write at least 2 words per letter within 5 minutes. I thought this was a great idea to get their minds thinking. They didn’t have to use all of their words, but would have a spring board of ideas. I plan to use this technique during the next school year. You could use this idea to brainstorm a list of topics or use it on a interactive bulletin board for student ideas.