Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 26, 1015

We returned to Bailey Hall for a day of presentations and a book discussion.  Here is the link to the video from S7 Airlines that I used on my opening moment on imagination and naivete.

Mary Lou started off the day with her presentation on Our Youngest Writers-Where Do We Start?
She walked us through the process of  how she  helps guide kindergarteners through the writing process by  generating their very own book.  First she helped us get into the mindset of  our youngest writers by providing us with props that helped us to understand the constraints, both cognitive and physical, of these very young writers.  With or without our props (Coke-bottle glasses, gloves of varying thickness, mittens and a giant pencil,) we were assigned the task of  copying the sentence, "I love my dad," writing with our non-dominant hand and with the wrong end of our crayons, reproducing the sentence using the opposite end of the alphabet.  We struggled, complained, discussed strategies and  downright shut down, just as might happen to kindergarteners in the classroom.  She then walked us through the process of writing a book.  She focused on 8 Kindergarten Mini-Lessons (see below Mary Lou's post) and by the end of her presentation we learned a lot more about our youngest learners and their challenges with a hands-on illustration of many of her mini-lessons and analysis of sample books.  Thank you, Mary Lou for a thought-provoking and fun presentation.  I understand you had been sick all week with bronchitis and this took some cognitive and physical effort on your part to present on this Saturday.

Ben followed with his presentation entitled, Wanna Argue About It?  Ben's presentation was on his instruction of rhetoric with multimedia in his high school classroom.  He began by helping us to understand our everyday use of arguments and why it is so important that all students-AP and otherwise, understand rhetoric.  He showed us Joliffe's Rhetorical Analysis Framework Design, as the basis for his instruction and how his students come to understand and recognize each component as they analyze rhetorical writing. He underscored and illustrated the meaning of syntax with his "I NEVER SAID HE HE HIT HIS WIFE, demo.  He then showed us Mary Ewald's letter and how his students learn that rhetorical writing can mean life and death.  We then were presented with various print media ads and in small groups, analyzed them for ethos, logos, etc.  Both print ads and video ads were shown and discussed and we were given a great basis of rhetoric and examples of projects on balanced letters, photo analysis (Ben's FaceBook page), the creation of PSA ad which the students produce before they ever write their first rhetorical analysis essay.  Thank you Ben for showing us the importance of rhetorical writing and your innovative and engaging multi-media approach.

Sue Van Wyck
Sept 26 Host

Friday, September 25, 2015

Kindergarten Writing Mini-Lessons

 Kindergarten Writing Mini-Lessons
 by Mary Lou Shuster
Here is the link for the individual mini-lessons presented during my workshop.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Welcome Back!  We began the day catching up with friends on summer fun, discussing the heat and humidity as we all headed back to school, and eating the variety of breakfast items and snacks provided by this weeks hosts, Diane and Ben.

Opening Moment: Meditation

Life in a Pond

You find yourself sitting in the middle of a huge lily pad.  It is early morning and the frogs are still singing.  There are dozens of water lily buds standing proudly.  As you look over the edge of your lily pad you see lots of small fishes swimming around.  When they see your shadow, they dive deep into the pond. The sun strikes the water and  you watch dozens of pink water lilies open and greet the day.

As you watch the petals unfold, you feel your heart open and fill with love.  You take a deep breath and watch as dragonflies drift by, just touching the surface of the water.  You watch water spiders dart around, seemingly walking on the water.  You are fascinate with all the different life forms that inhabit the pond.

As you watch in awe, you realize you are no longer sitting on the lily pad.  you are standing beside the pond and you smile at the gift you have just been given.

"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  Marianne Williamson

Team Building

Pass the bean bag Name Game
Rock Paper Scissors Shoot

Writing Time