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Hi everyone,

Friendly reminder that you're posting the response to your partner's activity IN THE COMMENTS section under their activity prompt for Make 4. You can share a link to a Google Doc in the comments (again: CHECK SHARE SETTINGS and change to "anyone with link can view") or simply copy and paste your writing that you did in response to their activity in the comments. This will make it easier for the "teacher" to find your response.

You'll also write a reflection to the teacher: what worked for you as a writer using their activity and what was challenging? What suggestions would you make for your peer (the teacher) in terms of revising the activity? Also posted as a comment under their prompt.

Due tonight: Jan 16. And last Make Cycle is posted: Revise & Reflect!

I'm traveling back from Atlanta today, but should be able to check email along the way. Lines at security were over 3 hours due to the ongoing federal government shutdown, so wish me luck!

Chapter 8 & K
a) In chapter 8, the authors talk about ideas for conferencing with students. I can remember being in a 1st grade classroom a few years ago where I watched in awe as 7 year olds came up to the teacher and said things like “I’m ready for my ideas conference,” “I’m reading for my revision conference,” or “I’m ready for my editing conference.” I was struck by how articulate these young writers were: they could communicate easily about where they were in the writing process and what they needed to move forward, even when the actual writing was only a couple of sentences and a picture.

What do you notice about the author’s approach for conferencing? What might you want to try out? You could also talk about overall take-aways from this book. What do you want to remember when you create your writing plans? You could think of this as a draft that you can use for portions of your reflection assignment.
I noticed the approach for conferencing is showing interest in the students writing by asking about what they are writing, usually after a brief observation. I would like to try to observe then either ask about their writing or their illustrations. This will open many windows of opportunity for the students to talk and to see where they need help. Things I would like to remember for when I create my writing plans would be:
• Every interaction is a chanced to teach and learn.
• Variety of materials offers area for their imagination to show.
• Be positive.
• Encourage independence.
• Allow room for change of topics.
• Be supportive even if it means adding regulations.
b) In appendix K, the authors have great suggestions about how to approach revision with children. Notice how they think about extending a text with smaller kids, cutting and polishing in another grade level, and rewriting once writers have a more sophisticated understanding of revision. I’d like you to use the ideas in Appendix K to think about how you would revise one of your makes from this winter session. Explain to us which “make” you would revise and how you would revise it if you had time; then tell us how the chapter helped to inform that decision.
I would have to say that if I had to revise a “make” it would be my Make 3 because I could add a lot more to it. I could even make it into a short story. There are many options to add to it to make it more “believable” and creative. I could have added charts or graphs to express percentages and statistics, even though they are not real. I could have added quotes or comments from “teachers” and “students”. There are many things I could do to this topic in a short story to make it fun and use a variety of techniques as well.

Chapter 8:
I really love how the author of the book states, “Writing conferences follow a predictable pattern.” First, they asses on what the child is writing at the moment. They watch the student for a couple of minutes and ask them what they are writing about, they consider what the child know and don’t know. They then give the child advice on their writing that will help them in the process of becoming better writers. I like this because they do individual conferences. They know each student has different needs when it comes down to their own writing, and out of observation, they make the right moves to continue making that child a successful writer. Another reason why they also do individual conferences is that they don’t want to overwhelm a child with too much teaching. They will also ask another child for their input and I think that is totally neat, children get excited to teach other students and it benefits both students. I just really like how this entire book cam altogether. It teaches you why their writing techniques are and each of them benefits students. For example, mini-lessons are a great idea and I’m sure I will use in my future classroom. I also loved how they talked about the importance of materials, like the informational boards that are hung everywhere in the classroom. They really make you think of all the little details you didn’t think about at first.

Appendix K:
I really liked how the author goes over with the students about their revisions. It’s to show them how much of a better writer they have become. That was their goal, for them to become better writers. Revisions are just that, an opportunity to look at your past work and find a way to make it better. If I could back and revise a make I think it would be the one with DACA. It is something I am super passionate about and I know I can add so much more information about it to have people informed. I think I would’ve also added my personal story so people can witness an experience!

Chapter 8
A line that stood out to me on page 140, was that our goal is to teach the writer, not the writing. So many of us can get wrapped up in what we are teaching, and not step back and realize it’s who we are teaching. We need to focus more on the individual writer. This rule actually applies in many different aspects of teaching. I found it interesting. The section, Helping Children Imagine New Crafting Possibilities, also stood out to me. The text gave the example of Michael’s work, and how he was suggested to use a repetitive phrase to emphasize an idea or phrase. I like how small suggestions like that can really change a writer’s perspective and help them see their work from a different standpoint. This helps the “craft” become that much more unique to the artist.

Appendix K
This section really spells out how revision if often thought to be a negative thing, when really it’s not at all. In choosing a piece that has room for improvement instead of something that I loved, I picked my Make 1. I made a poem out of the origin of my name. I would have liked to make it a bulkier poem with more descriptive details. I think that the whole story could have flowed better and it would have ended more sophisticated, though I’m happy with the way it initially came out. It was short and abrupt, which is not always a bad thing in a poem.

Chapter 8 and appendix K

I was able to learn a lot of information on ideas of conferencing with students throughout this chapter. This chapter gave us an insight into how the author uses various ways to help their students improve their writing capabilities in the fields they needed. I noticed how there were different conferences to guide students that needed help with certain aspects of their writing. I realized the great role conferencing plays in students learning. These small checkups with students provide the teacher with an insight into what is the student doing while reading or writing. Being able to assess the student allows means to reinforce the skills the students have been working on to develop. It acts as an opportunity for individualized instruction for each student. I also liked how the author uses notes and agendas to keep a track of the student's progress and development to ensure they are able to grasp the concept as a whole.

I believe the revision is a very major part of writing, there is always room to improve and better your writing. I really enjoyed the lesson about the significance of revision in appendix K. Revision is a concept of writing that will be present throughout your whole life. It's very important for children, as its the stage of writing when they take into account the reader. I would revise the book I made “ can I have a dragon as my pet ?” I would work on different aspects of the book to make it more appealing for the reader. I would use the different elements that I learned throughout all the makes, and from “the book about the authors”.

Chapter 8:
I think there are thousands of ways a teacher can approach a conference with their young ones. I love the first one that the author goes over. "We're talking off it instead". (145) I feel that children and adults have many things to say that are on their minds, but when it comes to writing things down people sometimes get writers block and do not know how to articulate ideas or original thoughts. This style of conferencing I feel like would be the most beneficial to me once I start teaching. Communication with your students is also very crucial towards development. My overall take aways from this book is that it can serve as a great mentor text and would help me generate ideas if I were to ever see a flaw in my teaching style. It could also help prepare me of what is to come from students and how they develop. One major thing that is very important throughout this book is that children are authors who make books too!

Appendix K:
Revising any literature is important for children. I believe if they were to come back to their certain piece of literature later in the school year they would be able to see their mistakes more easily. I remember being a kid in elementary school and my teachers telling me to re read and re write my essays or stories. Yeah right.... I would make mistakes the first time on purpose in order to show the teacher that I was re reading and re writing my essays. If I were to in fact come back to revising my pieces later on then I feel like that would have been more productive. I do also think that letting children work together on their revisions this provides a learning moment for all the students. This strategy I feel like would work well with children willing to participate. (225) If I were to revise any of my makes it would probably be the walkthrough guide on Make 2 that I made. Although it was just for a homework assignment I always felt like there could always be something done better when it comes to producing something entertaining. There were many ideas I had after that assignment that I thought would have been better.

Chapter 8

Starting with the tips given in the box on page 146 about strategies for helping out a student with spelling a word. These are all techniques that I have witnessed in the classroom for example most of the first graders when trying to spell out a word I will stretch the word out for them and they will figure out sounds then look at the alphabet chart to match the sound to a letter. “Writing conferences are the perfect place to really initiate children into using the language of writers and writing.” This passage showed me that it’s important to carefully use language to guide a child through their writing after or during listening and observing them. The most powerful line from this chapter to me was “Sometimes we want to make the writing better with our teaching, but that’s not the point. The point is to make the writer better.” I think it’s important to remember that it’s about making the child as an individual a better writer who will produce individually great writing. That way we aren’t comparing kids based on their writing. When creating a writing plan I want to remember that explaining techniques to children give them a better understanding of how it makes them a better writer.

Appendix K

This passage showed me how important revising writing can be for children. It’s so interesting to me that when your younger usually you need to add things and when you get older normally your shredding things off, I think it creates a nice balance in your writing. When your young you have a lot of imagination but a harder time putting all your thoughts on paper. I think if I were to revise one of my makes it would be the first make that we did. I would go back and put more details in and tell it like a better story. I would add more pictures, and make the backgrounds better, even try to pull any pictures my family may have from my actual day of birth. Go deeper into the story of my name and why my parents picked it, how they came about it. I also could have come up with a different idea entirely but I enjoyed telling my birth story.

Chapter 8 revision chat
I actually noticed something about the author’s approach to conferencing that I am not too fond of. Maybe, someone here reading this has a deeper sense of what the author’s intentions are…”
Beginning on page 139 and continued onto page 140, The author says, “It’s not uncommon for several writers to be engaged in the talk of one conference. Sometimes we invite input from other children, sometimes they offer it unsolicited, but often we just see that they are listening as we talk to another writer sitting near them.” With this suggestion I will speak my thoughts and concerns from a mother’s prospective. (From my children’s enormous dislike to this approach) Criticism isn’t really enjoyable for anyone to take, even when constructive, at any age. I have a hard time thinking that I will give this kind of feedback in the close proximity of other students. Children often feel embarrassed and shamed especially when they are the type of student (a lot of them are) that tend to really want to get things “right.” I see where the author is open to letting other student’s aide in this feedback and give their own suggestions, etc. I don’t know, I just have a hard time stomaching this one. I would prefer to pull each student in single intervals with a timer set for 5-10 minutes and allow them their own space to talk or not talk, and allow them the space to take my feedback with less shameful feelings. If we strike up emotional, self-protective feelings in our students, their rational (and listening ears) will not be as able to do their job… Just my thoughts.
Something (one of many) I will take with me to practice will be suggestions from the section labeled “The strategies we’re looking for are…” found on page 146. I think of my favorite things about this book was that it gave me appropriate and realistic expectations to expect from different age groups and abilities that I can take with me as I begin my teaching career. Having these realistic expectations in mind, makes for me to be a better teacher and a better resource for students and their families.
If I were to revise one of my makes it would have been our final make. After having seen some of my other peers final “makes” I felt like mine was less than my abilities. I would have spent more time on it’s presentation factor, specifically choosing a more modern look, and making a sort of cover page for my make. I would correct the incorrect word choice on the last sentence on the first page. I would also change the first page to be two pages instead of just one. It feels cluttered. I would add a little more detail to the “materials needed” slide as they would need more than simply access to a computer to complete such a task. The chapter helped me realize where I can add a little more, take away a couple things and or move things around to give my writing more potential for my readers.

Chapter 8
What I noticed about the author’s approach for conferencing is that they are used to engage the children into thinking more about adding to their writing details and also to get them more and more independent in their writing. Each child is in their own unique place in their writing, not just with grammar or punctuation marks. They typically start off writing about the same topics and the author points out ways to get them thinking beyond what they have been doing. I like the example on page 140 and the girl, Marissa’s book examples shown then on page 141. This is a great example of how Marissa kept writing about flowers, but the teacher encouraged her in saying she knows a lot about flowers that she could add to her story, or to take on a flower investigation and look for more flower information to write about. This direction helps the child feel confident that they are doing a fantastic job already, but that we could learn more of what they know if they add more details to tell us what they already know.

I want to try this same example out on my students to keep them excited and confident, but at the same time it’s expanding their thinking. I really liked this idea of redirecting a child towards an idea they then really own with more solid thinking going on. This is a great approach, because a child would be discouraged if we simply told them they need to choose writing ideas that give more detail or along those lines. The child would feel like they are doing a poor job and usually would give up and not enjoy writing assignments very much. Another thing the author points out doing is showing children how to move their fingers under words while they are reading. I’ve witnessed children doing this and I know it helps keep their focus and flow going. I already do this when I help kids with reading if I see them getting lost or stuck on words. I want to remember that reading conferences are important opportunities when it makes sense, to show children how to use their own thinking and how to show them how to use punctuation marks or anything they could do better with.
This appendix K really shows how important revision is in order for improvements. If it’s not happening, then it holds us back individually. There is always room for improvement, not only with children, but adults as well. If I were to go back and revise one of my makes, it would be Make 1 when I did a poem about my middle name. I would make it shorter, more interesting vocabulary words and used more catchy texts. I don’t have much experience with poems, but it would be good for me to learn more about them and the process of how they form.

Chapter 8 was all about tips and tricks for writing conferences. I found this chapter extremely cool and interesting, because as a elementary school student, I only remember having one teacher who would take the time to meet with each student and see where we are at or how we are doing. I love the idea of this, because I know as a child a lot of children are timid to express their ideas in fear of being wrong or embarrassing themselves. For children to learn mistakes have to be made, and they are so young they just don’t quite get that yet and they get very upset with themselves. Something else I really liked was the strategies to help your students spell out words on page 146. One of my favorites is taking the words letter by letter, sound by sound, and syllable by syllable. This helps the children know the sounds that letters make so they can use it to help the spell more than just that word, also other words with the similar sound. I love the idea of putting these two activities together, maybe introduce the idea of how to help them spell, whichever way you chose. Then work with the children individually and see how they are doing and have them express to you what they are still having trouble with rather than just being told what to fix.
Appendix K on the other hand was all about revision. I know personally when I was growing up I absolutely hated revision.I would try to make sure my writing was perfect the first time so I never had to go back over it and fix things. Now, growing up I have realized when I do this I am not able to get all of my full ideas it because I am so busy making sure it flows and is written correctly. I wish growing up I would have learned more about revisions and I wish my teachers wouldn’t have just made it sound like more work, I wish would have known the importance of it and how not doing revisions actually can hold back your writing and not let it get to its full potential. As weird as it sounds, now as a college student I love revisions and I love the idea of one on one conferences with your teacher because it is so much more rare as you get older. I would love to use all of these ideas in my classroom one day.
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