Monday, July 30, 2007

Being a Stellaluna

I am really fortunate in that many of my colleagues are very open to new ideas and new techniques. I will be working with at least one brand new teacher, who has already requested my assistance, plus a teacher who will be new to our PreAP program. So, I think they will be easy to share with. I will also have a new neighbor in my portable, and he has always been quick to share new ideas with me, so I think he will be open to anything useful that I can share with him. The main difference in my class with be much more peer sharing of writing. I LOVE the writing followed by post-it responses. In the past, my students have mostly had only my reactions to their work, and I know that this will be much more helpful. They will have to make specific, positive comments about what is working in the piece, and writers can then go back and build upon the good. I'm hoping to teach them to make tactful comments and/or questions about what doesn't make sense or work, but to remain kind and helpful rather than become harsh and critical.

My technology people have also always been very cooperative and, as I mentioned before, I want to do a big powerpoint project with our Environmental Science wetlands area as we work through the Transcendental writers. I know that my technology guru will help. I hope that she can also find a way for me to use blogs with my classes. I don't think all of my students have computers at home, but most can gain access to them either at school in the library, or at the homes of friends. I think that blogging their homework and reactions to our reading would be very helpful in sharing and improving writing.

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