Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Possibly Getting Mind Boggled?!?

I don't really know where to start today. I thought today was great at #unccwp, just like everyday has been, but I think I am getting my mind pulled in thousands of directions. I think that I am learning so many great ideas! However, I worry about applying them in my classroom.

Here's what I'm thinking...I can definitely alter some of the demos that I have seen throughout our time together. I think they will definitely improve my students' writing. Specifically six-word memoirs from Jashonai, Body Paragraphs by Lil, writing choices and creativity from Erika, Jenny, and Tiffany, multi-media sources from Kim and Ashley, and Meredith's and Wendy's music inspiration. These were all super ideas and totally "tweakable" for my own classroom. I am so inspired and encouraged to get my kiddos this year and try some of these new strategies!
My huge DayBook as of today & some of my ideas for the tweakables :)
There are a couple demos that really got me thinking...and still thinking...and really wondering how, not only can I use it in my classroom, but just thinking and questioning the way to teach writing.

Kendra's good writing rules: Still thinking on this one! Kendra asked us what the "rules" are for good writing. It was mind blowing because my group made rules, but then didn't like where writing pieces fell into a ranking system due to the restrictions of our rules.

My group's good writing "rules."
Ben's bad writing: This one specifically relates to Kendra's demo because Ben had us write a "bad" paragraph. Therefore, in order for us to know bad writing...wouldn't that mean we know what constitutes "good" writing...and therefore, we would have to know what good writing "rules" to break in order to make it bad writing?
Now that is bad writing!
Tonya's and Mary Ellen's revision: Tonya's demo today really got me thinking about my wobbling yesterday between school writing and free writing. As I mentioned in my blog before, I thought revision was dumb. I change my mind. Tonya's explanation and demo today really showed me that revision can be enhancing writing and being deeper; not necessarily just looking for errors and mistakes. That really encourages me in the revision process, not only for me...but for my students. My thinking here though came from our discussion afterwards on the idea of transition sentences. Through the outlines, that we are instructed to use, we teach students how to write transitional sentences at the end and beginning of paragraphs. Therefore, with Tonya's demo today of cutting and pasting (done by partners) writing pieces back together...wouldn't the transition sentences "give it away?" Therefore, this wouldn't work to it's fullest potential?

My re-constructed letter by Jashonai
I think I am going to leave the #unccwp with more questions than I came with. Is that ok? Did I do this right? Not to mention I'm still bummed that I had to miss Sarah D.'s demo because of my classes Monday night. :(

Until tomorrow...I'll leave you with a peak into what my night (with reading materials, prezi fixing, and project instructions) looks like :)
Getting my homework on!


  1. I am SO thankful for your willingness to tackle Prezi! There's not enough thank yous.

    I'm in the same boat as you; I feel as though I'm leaving with more questions than when I started. That's so paradoxical, but, strangely, it feels right. I'm so curious to see how what you're soaking up now, during SI, fits into your math classroom. That means we must keep in touch. :)

  2. Agree with you. I think the overall intent of SI is for us to feel comfortable with questions and questioning...ourselves, theories, rules, etc, etc, etc. Read Kendra's post...don't fear it...embrace it! It's all the thinking that makes us better! Hooray us!

  3. Each year of the SI, I leave with a bunch of new ideas to try out and other questions that leave me in that wobbling space. It takes time to figure out how things translate to our classrooms, and it is always important to have more questions than you started with. Questions are a good thing. Your sixth graders are truly going to rock and roll as writers next year.

  4. I agree Sarah that it is a bit overwhelming how different the demos approach the subject of writing. I think if I have reconsidered one topic more than any other, it is revision. I think it is where real writing work takes place, not in the generating stage not in the polishing stage. I think the more time writers engage their writing and grapple with it the better they are for it.

  5. Sarah, This is awesome. I love how you are digesting this slowly, chewing and thinking. I look forward to hearing how this works for you.

  6. I'm right there with you, my new friend : ). Miss you already!