The purpose of this blog is to follow the literacy and technology pilot. Here we will follow the progress of the pilot as we explore resources, try them out in our classrooms, and share our reflections, successes, and questions.
We invite others in the community to share their thoughts and experiences with us as we craft recommendations to improve our students' use of technology to enhance literacy.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Here are some great ideas for the use of technology at the lower grades. Enjoy. Courtsy of Choice Literacy.
Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.
I have been thinking lately about what it is that makes
someone enjoy writing. I've
always loved it; I love getting the idea, capturing my thoughts, then
revisiting them and cleaning them up so I am sure they make sense. I enjoy removing myself from my own words as
I edit, stepping back and pretending to be a brand new reader. And then I love it when I think: There. Done.
But how does loving to write start? What is it that will make a student want to write--and write well?
Recently, I asked a high school AP
English student I know that question. He is a strong,
tough kid--he stars on his school's state-ranked football team and is known for
his aggressive play on the field. He's
also a voracious reader and an impassioned writer; he churns out his essays
with apparent ease and a natural instinct for how to reach his reader. And he likes it. He hopes to go to college and major in English,
heading on a career path in which he will, in some capacity, do some writing.
"How did you get to be such a fantastic writer?" I asked him.
"You're pretty young to have writing skills that are this refined; and,
quite frankly, it surprises me that you enjoy it so much."
He blushed. All 250
pounds of him seemed to be overcome with a sweet, overwhelming shyness.
"What is it?" I
asked, touched by the gentle little upturn of his lips as he smiled at me.
"I found out I liked writing when I would write letters to
my girlfriend," he confessed. "I know
that sounds dumb, but we write letters to each other every day in study
hall. I wanted to sound smart so she'd
really like me, so I worked really hard on each word I used." He paused.
"A lot of people don't expect me to like to write so much. They expect
me to just be some dumb
jock. But I like proving people wrong. When I first started dating my
she told me that she was surprised how intelligent and eloquent my
writing was. I liked that." That is sweet, I thought. And I realized I had a similar story. When I was a high school student, I had
a mad crush on the cute guy who sat a few rows away from me in science
class. I got his attention by writing a
few short notes--first about homework assignments, then about mutual friends. Each time, to my delight, he responded. As
the days passed, our correspondence got longer and more involved. Eventually, he was my first real
boyfriend. We wrote letters to each
other for the entire year we dated; I have those letters still. I also have the letters that led up to our
eventual breakup. The letters chronicle
the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship--each chapter played out with
white notebook paper and the written word.
So there it is, I thought: young writers are born and built
based on the connection between their words and people they care about. In these two examples, we see that writing
can be the way we fall in and out of love. Beyond that, it can be how we develop and build our friendships, how we
get out of relationships, how we fight, and how we care for one another. It's a powerful antecedent to grow a lifelong
writer when a young writer realizes how powerful his words can be on a friend
or a crush. Or a teacher.
All this proves what a good writing teacher knows: the writing we assign has to be authentic and
it has to connect to real life. The student
who is writing the words needs to know that the reader will pay attention and
will care what it says. That's important
to remember when we read through the words our students write for us.
This week we look at using Twitter in classrooms. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
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