July 29, 2008

Northern Nevada Teacher In-service Courses Centered around WritingFix

The Northern Nevada Writing Program & Writing Fix (The best 6-traits website on the Internet) are offering in-service workshops. http://writingfix.com/about_us/inservice.htm

Here is a quick description of the workshops they offer:
  • Workshop: Using Picture Books as “Mentor Texts” for Writing Lessons
  • Workshop: Using Chapter Book Excerpts as “Mentor Texts” for Writing Lessons
  • Workshop: Using Literature Excerpts and Classic Poetry as “ Mentor Texts” for Writing Lessons
  • Workshop: Song Lyrics, Video, and Podcasts to Inspire Powerful Writing
  • Workshop: Writing Across the Curriculum Techniques: Wacky We-Search and Deeper Student ThinkingHere is the current listing for NNWP sponsored In-service Fall 2008:

Here are the Spring 2009 offerings:


Do yourself a favor: Attend one of these workshops and improve your craft!

Conferenceing for conventions

Be specific about what is working:

  • "You've used some lower case letters."
  • "I can see that you know that there are spaces between words."
  • "You remembered that I is always capitalized."
  • "Look at the capitals at the beginning of each sentence!
  • "You ended each sentence with a punctuation mark. That tells me how to read your writing."
  • "Wow! Quotation marks! Now I know when someone is speaking."
  • "Look at this word. You heard the beginning, middle and ending sound."
  • "These words are all spelled correctly."

As questions to extend meaning:
  • "What mark would you like to place at the end of this sentence?"
  • "How would this sentence change if you placed an exclamation mark here?"
  • "Do you know the marks we use to show that someone is speaking?"
  • "Which words do you think you spelled close to the dictionary spelling?"
  • "Listen as I say this word. What sounds do you hear?"

July 25, 2008

Jonathan Harris Collects Stories

This piece is about collecting stories and ideas from life and from the internet. Writer Jonathan Harris, in this TED Talk explains his unique vision of how stories can be found in the artifacts left on a street corner, harvested from blogs with with bots, or captured by camera while exploring Inuit whaling camps in Barrow Alaska.

The talk ends with a photo essay themed on happiness and wishes found in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Harris interviewed over a hundred folks found along the paths of Bhutan. He asked each to write one wish on a balloon. The imagery and ideas are good to think about.

This man creates technology generated mind-maps that go way beyond the solo clustering we sometimes teach as idea generation.

Harris is a traveler, thinker, and creator. Spend some time with his mind by watching this TED lecture and then exploring his unique site: We Feel Fine

video: http://ted.org/index.php/talks/jonathan_harris_collects_stories.html

Jonathan's website: http://www.wefeelfine.org/