Yale National Seminars
Some Sentences I Admire
I want to use a more comprehensive knowledge of creative nonfiction to connect students to the projects and papers they are creating for this capstone.
But the goal is not to perfect their writing; the primary objective will be to take steps to further the readership of their texts; thinking always of their readers will mean that students make critical decisions about the construction and clarity of their writing (something that does not occur when students write research essays!).
Not only will I be using mentor texts to model writing, I will also be writing my own memoir along with the class, by doing this we can talk about the story, and they can see the different parts of my writing.
“What classifies where you call home?” I pose this question to all my biology courses when introducing the concepts of ecosystems and biomes.
Common Core Standards and the Common Application. Everything in education is geared toward making a uniform commonality among American youth.
Writing process posters are available for reference, and student writing is visible around the room. In this setting, students are encouraged to converse with each other about their writing, creating an active and energy-filled environment.
So, in a way, it could be reasoned that my propensity for organizing items and buying Lysol took root over 80 years ago when my grandmother turned my father’s outgrown school shirts into kitchen towels and insisted on keeping a kitchen pot with a hole in the bottom “because someone might need it.”
As a kindergarten teacher, I have personally found that teaching writing is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It can present itself as a daunting task and is often overwhelming for both teachers and students alike. Each “piece” of the writing process must be taught and modeled by teachers, connected to previous learning, and practiced repeatedly by students.
I want my students to become critical thinkers—to think for themselves, to feel confident about the choices they make as writers, to reflect on the work they’ve done. One of the ways I see this happening is through the problem-solving process that is journalism, which is full of problems to solve: who to interview; how to get someone to talk; how to come up with questions in advance as well as in the moment; what to keep; what to cut.
The culture of writing obviously includes the use of the writing process, but will also try to engage students in active reading and listening through discussions. Students will read, write, and discuss what they read and wrote every day in class.
Other Favorites [pdf]
The second draft of your full Curriculum Unit is due on Monday, December 18. Please email a copy to both Kathy and me. Attending the Writing Retreat on Saturday, December 9, will help you make sure your document is formatted according to specifications. Please also feel free to email me with any questions as you finish up your piece. I’ll try to respond to your drafts quickly—I’m hoping before Christmas. The final, to-be-published version of your Unit is then due on Monday, January 22. I will offer it a final review before to DTI for publication. Again, don’t hesitate to email me with questions between your second and third drafts.
More important, let’s keep in touch! I’ve really enjoyed working with all of you, and I am eager to learn about how all the work you’ve done plays out in your classroom. Please keep me posted. Indeed, if you’d like me to, and we can make it work in terms of scheduling, I’d be happy to visit your classroom one day while you’re teaching it. Let me know.
Have a terrific holiday! Thank you for sharing your work with me!