Google+ Badge

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wayland Literacy Institute 2016: Day Two

Matt Glover inspired us to teach writing well.
If I had to sum up day two at The Wayland Institutes, I'd use the word "depth." As Matt Glover shared multiple strategies for teaching writing well, all I could think of was that it takes deep teaching to inspire, coach, and lead young writers. The more an educator understands about what it means to write and write well, the better he/she will be able to coach students in this regard. Again and again Glover discussed the integration of rich mentor resources, immersion with quality published compositions, plenty of time to write every day, genre choice, and thoughtful teaching via conferring.

Truly if you want to teach writing well, you'll put aside a minimum of 60 minutes a day that includes an introductory mini lesson, thirty minutes of sustained writing//composing for every child, teacher-student conferences, and time for a wrap-up or share at the end of the lesson. Of course there will be times throughout the year when you add time in addition to the mini lessons to read and discuss mentor compositions more in order to notice what good authors do and then try to replicate those techniques on your own. There will be time for drafting and publishing final pieces, and time for writer's notebooks. Of course, in the mix, there will also be time put aside to celebrate and share writing too. And, it's likely that some of this writing will be integrated into subject areas as well.

Good teachers of writing will regularly read, write, collect mentor compositions, and share their teaching/learning strategies, questions, and resources with the learning team including students, families, colleagues, leaders, and community members. Similarly students will read and write regularly as well as share their questions and compositions too. When it comes to developing good writers, the bottom line is that students write daily and teachers continue to hone their teaching repertoire, knowledge of writing, and mentor resource collections so that they can coach students well.

From my own perspective as mainly a teacher of math, I thought a lot about how I'll foster a greater ability to read and write about math. I want to do this as I know that writing/composing and reading about math develops understanding for the reader/writer and those he/she shares with.

At one point, the presenter, Matt Glover, prompted us to write the start of our own nonfiction literary book. As I drafted my book on a Google slide, I was well aware of what a challenging job that was. I got a good start with a nonfiction text with my short book, Zero = Nothing. I've included the draft below, a draft that includes some direct notes from online sites--notes I'll need to rewrite in my own words later. Just having the chance to draft a book after looking at multiple nonfiction literary genre conventions, content, and text features was a great exercise that built respect for the work published writers do and the task at hand we have to promote students own writing.

I also included a Storify of some tweets from today's presentation. It was a great day of learning one I'll return once I've had some summer time to relax and make sense of this busy week of learning on top of last week's end of school work and reflection.