writing

In the first month of school, I was wondering how to introduce connecting learning in my classroom. Do I start with informing them of the concept, or do I let them explore at their own risk? Our students need activities that mean something to them. Whether they relate to their experiences, interests, or simply their peer culture. I enjoy implementing activities that I feel that my students are...
As a first year teacher, still enthused about the idea of teaching language arts to a group of 100+ eighth grade students, I was quickly saddened by the lack of interest that the students seemingly shared with each other. At E.B. Aycock Middle in Greenville, North Carolina, we serve students who come from two completely different ends of the socioeconomic spectrum.  We certainly have our share of...
Which came first?  Visual Art or Literature?  I relate more to a cave man drawing on the walls than Shakespeare writing a sonnet.  But both tell a story.  Stories throughout history have inspired visual art (Ex. The Last Supper).  But how many times have I asked my students to create a visual art piece that is an interpretation of a piece of literature?  Not very often.  grimm7.jpg...
As you step through the doorway of a history classroom, the lights are off as the teacher drones on about the importance of certain Revolutionary War battles. A plain PowerPoint slide is plastered across the front of the room. A few students are awake, actively taking notes, but the majority of the class is dead asleep as the teacher drones on, unfazed by  this behavior. This is what many...
The kids are all excited, despite the copious amounts of tests we keep throwing at them. The teachers are on edge with anticipation, caught between being thrilled at the prospect of summer vacation and being nervous or annoyed about how the APPR post-assessment tests are being carried out. And me, I’m just trying to keep going and make it through while taking grad classes and struggling with the...
Today after school, one of my students approached me and reminded me that I was an English Teacher, not a Psychologist. This came up because the student is writing something very personal to her in the newly assigned personal narrative project. She is reluctant to get up in front of the class and share that part of herself when she can't even be sure the other students will take her seriously and...
I had been reading one of David Levithan's books, The Realm of Possibility, and it seemed like a pretty neat way to have each student create a story that was connected and yet written in different voices. In the book, there is one school, and twenty voices. Each chapter is in a different voice, and you don't really see all of the connections between the characters till you are a few chapters in....
What does it mean to be connected? An interesting question for educators to think about. Another one might be, "How can we show students the power behind community and connected learning?" One way might be to allow students to create a book together that celebrates the connections between people, one that displays beauty, subtlety, and thematic continuity through these connections. If being...
A Writing RetreatFeaturing Kim Stafford and the New Orleans Writing Marathon experienceJuly 14-18, 2014The French Quarter, New Orleans The Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project invites NWP sites and their writers to attend “Finding your Muse in New Orleans,” a Writing Retreat/Writing Marathon in the French Quarter featuring Writer in Residence Kim Stafford, Monday-Friday, July 14-18, 2014.  A...
I am researching research. I know, it all sounds very meta. But following my tenth grade English students' completion of our 20% time research projects, I wondered just how much of a difference, if any, this type of inquiry-based research writing assignment made for my practicing writers. And so I ended up undertaking a type of research that was quite similar to the research writing that I was...

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