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

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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.


Writing and Music August 18, 2007

Filed under: music,thoughts,writing,writing workshop,WTWP — hey2blondie @ 8:22 pm

percussionToday was a fascinating day at UT Martin. I attended a writing workshop that infused the methods of music. The Caixa Percussion Trio came and demonstrated some awesome percussion pieces for us to hear. Who knew that 3 women could make some fabulous noise!The whole day evolved around writing and music. As a group we got to experiment with the different instruments. Caixa showed us many techniques that we can incorporate in our everyday classrooms. You don’t have to have expensive instruments ( who knew that dog toys could be instruments!) to make music. Many teachers presented various lessons that all teachers could use in their classrooms. I am now ready to start the school year off to a musical start!