June 30, 2015
Opening Moment (Julia)
This morning I began with the poem by Ashley Feton
Dining Fork to a Poem
Poems should be
Struck straight through the middle
Using the serving fork.
Yes, even the smallest poem.
They’re lengthy at times
and no one
truly knows what they mean.
Take that fork in your hand, my friend.
Do not be scared.
Make the poem squirm.
Make that thing bleed.
At the very least,
You’ll get a good story to write.
We then broke in too our writing groups and decides to Press, Bless, or Address one of our pieces. In my group. we discussed the importance of appearance maintenance and the importance of selecting ones nail polish.
We then broke into reading groups where we discussed the five novels that we choose to read from writing authors.
- determine books “ selling points”
- create a brief presentation- highlighting the best features of the book as far as techniques to instruct writing. What can you take away for your classroom or yourself as a writer.
"Down draft, get it down Up draft we get it up, dental draft where you check every tooth to see if its decayed, has some cavities or god help us, healthy.” Bird by Bird
Says, Does, So what— ways readers can analysis a text.
reword, whats is he doing, so what why is the technique they’re using important
Group did not love their book. Could have been said in less words, but had a few good one or two liners.
13 drops of wine. Gave permission to write badly, lends ability to tell the truth in your notebook, physical world has a great impact on your perspective. Writing down the little things you may not make sense of.
On Writing Stephen King
Usefulness of it, first half is his memior after his accident. High school students may read this book because its an easy read and may like Stephen King they also liked the tool box in the writing box and book list at the end. If you want to be a writer, you have to read a lot.
Bird by Bird
Told an accecdote about a boy giving blood to his sister.
If You Want to Write
Be true to yourself and we all have a value. Be true to your creative outlet and it will produce good writing. Choose because it was an inspirational book on writing. She was a modernest, the shock of the new. She felt it was about passion and the value of communication. Writing is not a performance, but a generosity. Highly recommended.
Book of Days
Split up by month, meant to be read during each of the months. When you are writing, you always write the date and the topic at the top of the prompt. You will also find out that you will write about similar themes, this could be you working through how to solve a personal issue. A lot of writers write by hand for their own reasons. The muscular movement of putting script on the paper allows you to feel the movement of pen against paper. They also shared unique habits of famous authors and their “ everyday, day jobs”
We then had a workshop to practice Inquiry to see if this is one of the paths that we may choose.
By Lori King an academic support specialist at Yarmouth High School
Action Research vs Workshop is a great professional development opportunity because at its center piece is student learning.
paint chip poetry— trying to give them a work bank. Does it produce better results.
Is there something you want to see in your classroom that you want to see if there are any benefits to it?
Something you are already doing or can be completely new.
- Share the burning issue with the audience “ How does peer editing increase editing in my classroom"
- Present the revenant background information - might be only a paragraph. How did you come to this point.
- Tell us your intervention strategy—> Share research based reasons behind it. Just pull out the bites
- What were the results, was it good or not so good for your students? You likely want baseline data, but this could be tough by the time that you present. But you want something to compare it to. Exit slips, prewriting vs. final product, how did it progress. Can use pie charts, can be verbal. This is what happened, and this is what I learned.
- Call to action, what are your next steps? Share your insights could be a narrative or could be bullets.
When you are framing your questions, don’t do it in a way that can produce “ yes” or “ no” responses.
- You need to write a short report outlining the basic parts. Data can be qualitative or quantitate.
Front loading activities to Scarlet Letters- Dear Abby letters, front loading and providing historical background. And do check in’s with them as they are progressing. Did you start only in one class, or did you do it in all your classes. You don’t need to have a control group.
No bibliography required, but you could site the source. Use a Powerpoint or an iMovie to engage your audience.
Time constraints- 45 mins or less.
Lunch with Mentors
Kate Kennedy introduces our guest writer Eleanor Morse, author of White Dog Fell From The Sky “The Real Deal”
Eleanor will talk about three things today:
- Reading from White Dog Fell From The Sky
This book is based in Botswana. Eleanor spoke about how she ended up in Botswana
and how this book came to be. She discusses the contrast of Botswana and South
Africa at this time. Then sets the stage for the book and reads a few pages.
- Shape of my journey as a writer
- Started with her parents-in different ways they taught her language is not to be taken lightly, words matter.
- Schooling did not support her as a writer much (exception-Mrs. Allen-1st grade teacher-read a lot)
- Moved around a lot as a child-she was on the outsider so became an observer
- Lots of “odd-balls” in her extended family. A lot of people who ask questions about the things they don’t know and are curious about. Unconventional people who push the boundaries.
- I’m drawn to things I don’t truly understand. Mysteries of the human heart as William Faulkner would say.
- It was not until my early 40’s that I really became a writer. Thought I could fit it all in, but it wasn’t possible with marriage, children, work. Writing fell to the side before this.
- Decided to do an MFA-to try to put writing at the center and talk with people about things I cared about.
- First book-threw out about 450 pages, published another book, went back to the first and finished it
- For many years I thought I had wasted those years between 20-40. But I feel differently now. I am a better writer for the years I wasn’t a writer. I was a better writer because of the years I lived fully.
- The process of writing
- I never quite know what is going to happen.
- It took me 3.5 years to write White Dog Fell From The Sky. Another year for edits.
- Some people don’t write until they know what the end is. I have never written like that. I would be too bored if I knew what was going to happen. I have a much more chaotic process.
- My process is like how a black and white photo with that vague image as it develops. It is shadowy. A shadowy idea about a character or a scene.
- I will write about this. Sometimes it doesn’t make it into the book.
- The characters are the vehicle for carrying a story. Plot is not enough for me as a reader. Characters are my partners as I write.
- Writing Exercise-characters. Sit with your slip of paper and imagine this person. Jot down a few things about him or her. Then put them in a scene-where do you see them? Sharing. What were you thinking about? How did you come to that?
- She uses the phonebook or names. There is also a website that puts names together.
- Characters emerge
- Snap judgements about people-we make our decisions quickly-even in real life.
- What you just experienced is a start. It comes out of nothing and you follow that string wherever it goes and you trust it will go somewhere.
- The engine of a fictional world is built on characters.
- Curiosity has driven every story I have ever written.
- Two places we write from-memory and experience AND imagination
- Sometimes you have to follow a character in a direction in which you do not want to go. Part of integrity as a writer is doing this even if it is uncomfortable.
4. Writing Challenges
- Finding time to write.
- Ability to hear and trust one’s own true voice. Without qualifications. To write well, one must speak the truth, and risk speaking the whole of it. No one has your voice, you need to honor it.
- Balancing writing and the other needs of one’s life.
- Internal tension between dreamy writing self and the practical self. Tension between what the world requires and what the writing life requires.
5. We ended with discussion and questions.
Be thoughtful about problem solving ways to build writing into your routine.
Ten Minute Tech
Julia shares Thinglink-Interactive Images
Works with iPads or Laptops
Kelli shares No Red Ink-Improve Grammar and Writing Skills
Diagnostics are here you can use to see what students need to work on
Also has grammar rules and practice activities that go along with these.
It is specialized for each student
Blog is rapidly getting updated-Lorrie’s materials are there in helpful links
Reminder to post and give feedback on Writer’s At Work
Afternoon Schedule has been modified-tomorrow Writing Outside Workshop is cancelled to make more room for Revision Workshop
Book Discussion-Teaching Writing
Closing Moment (Heidi)
"The universe is filled with magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow smarter" Eden Philpotts