Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Writing 'Round the Web

I thought I would take the time to share what some other folks are doing with writing in the incredible blog world we live in. I have most of these folks in my Bloglines account - you might want to consider creating one yourself after you start reading!!

First, A Year of Reading tipped me off to a site that writes haiku for every New Yorker article. I'll admit it, at first I thought "This person has waaay too much time on their hands!" Then I thought,

For current events
We want kids to summarize
Why not a haiku?

Sorry - couldn't resist!

Bud the Teacher made some connections to what I am trying to do here when he shared a post from Kevin's Meandering Mind asking teachers to contribute to a book he is writing in collaboration with researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst:

Practically everyone agrees that writing is changing, as writers compose more on screen than in previous generations. But how has this change in what we consider “writing” affected teachers’ classroom practice? In the context of emerging multiliteracies, what are teachers’ goals for their students’ learning? How have teachers revised their definitions of writing in the age of digital literacy? How are these expressed as changes in their classroom practice? And what new writing do the students produce?

Consider reflecting on your own practice and contributing to this!

Finally, Coot Cat Teacher shares some powerful lessons about peer review. It seems that another great teacher is having their students conduct a peer review of the work Cool Cat's kids are doing on a wiki. The kids give some great feedback about writing/storytelling in this digital world. What a great exercise and way to get authentic feedback!!

Of course, reading and writing are closely connected so you may find these links interesting as well. David Warlick over at 2 Cents Worth hooked me up with a powerful article that I will be using a lot entitled "What is the worth of words?" The article talks about a the results of an adult literacy assessment which found that the reading proficiency of college graduates has declined in the past decade. The most powerful part of the article is an editorial predicting the rate of decline by 2025. (Hmmm....before you read the article, knowing that no child will be left behind by 2014, what do you think the state of reading might be?)

And of course, Will Richardson continues to push our thinking with his recent article at The Pulse on what reading means in this new Web 2.0 world. From that article, here are some final questions for you as you consider reading and writing in YOUR classroom:
Most importantly, as a school leader, are you thinking about how this newenvironment plays out for your students? Are these new literacies a part of your school's curriculum? Students are reading and writing (in manydifferent media) in these spaces already, but are we teaching them how to do it well? Are they learning to become editors as well as readers?


Diane said...

Welcome to blogging. Thanks for dropping by at my blog.

Shirley said...

Have just finished reading 2 Cents Worth "What is the worth of words?" and it is definitiely a fightening premise. If in the future only a small percentage of people are proficient readers and writers, does this mean that they are the decision makers and the powerful? What about the other members of society? Do they become second class citizens relegated to a life determined by a chosen few? Scary!

Melodee said...

I also read "What is the worth of words? and it is disheartening if we take this attitude and resign ourselves to the fact that only a few will be proficient readers in the future. Granted technology makes it easy for one to have this attitude. However, as an educator we are working hard to have children become proficient readers. We are trying to expose them to the vast genres and good books available to them. If we equip our students with the strategies and tools necessary, then reading will not be looked upon as a chore or cumbersome task, but as a recreational and enjoyable task. Just like that ipod or sega genesis tape, etc. Our future is in the hands of those we teach now. Let us take this article and make it motivate us to work smarter but not harder.

Camper said...

Being a new social studies teacher, I think I am going to try to have the students use this strategy(haiku news) for daily journals. I have students write about a prompt everyday. Correcting every week takes hours and is not effective. This seems like it would be a good way to bring ELA into the social studies classroom.

Theresa G said...

Good point on the haiku being a quick grade - let me know how it works!! In reading the examples on that blog - they are pretty creative and they certainly had to comprehend the article!!