I learned the process for having the kids use the MacBooks on the 5th grade cart this week. So far, so good. We also are pushing the idea of keyboarding in both tech class and as homework. And Wed and Thur I offered to type for those who had trouble composing a story and getting their hands to find the letters on the keyboard. I now have all 80 (less a few that did not save correctly to their UBS drive but I'll get with them on Tuesday) fiction stories printed and I'm ready to give them feedback. I made a sheet to let them know where I noticed them using the technique of setting, action, dialogue and inner feeling scene-by-scene. Then they have this coming short week, due to the holiday on Monday and testing that takes place on Friday, to finish revisions and edit. Then we PUBLISH on the 21st!
I like having these deadlines. I like having a procedure. The kids like it too and really worked hard this week to get lots done. They came in and got right to typing. Then after 10 minutes or so, I called them to the rug for the quick mini-lesson on revision. I used the idea that Shana Frazin taught me this summer at TCRWP Writing Institute - Revision needs to be more like the TV show - Extreme Make-over and NOT just dusting or vacuuming. Since I currently am doing an Extreme Make-over of my own house, I shared that image and pushed them to reread, revisit, and make those BIG changes to their draft. (thanks to Lucy and her amazing staff, I love talking in metaphor! "How's your extreme-makeover going?")
Friday I emphasized how writers use precise words so the reader can tell it is a realistic fiction story and so the reader can see it and feel it. I then shared the video that Larry Ferlazzo shared on his blog (I recommend following him!!) that shows a blind man with a sign. Then a lady changes the sign and those around him react differently. At the end, it says: "Change your words. Change your World" !!
It's a great video to share during the fiction unit!!
http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2014/07/13/the-best-video-clips-on-the-benefits-of-writing-well-help-me-find-more/ It is the 2nd video listed!!
Now I need to get busy. I need to:
* reading the 80 printed out fiction stories and quickly giving feedback.
* plan out this coming week's lessons
* plan out the new unit of study - Argument Essay - starting Oct. 23rd
* start thinking about report cards
When I see a list like this, I know there is NOT enough hours in the day to do it all.
But I'll start and do the best I can.
And I know that reading the students' writing will motivate me to keep doing...their words CAN change the world and I can at least help them to write just the right words!
...still loving this job as a 5th grade writing teacher!!