March 19, 2012

Primary Conventions:

In answer to the quesiton: Is correcting a student's conventions errors effective teaching? Primary teacher Mary had this to say:

I absolutely agree that correcting is not teaching. Before I began to learn about the 6 Traits, I didn't realize that one of the only things that I evaluated in a child's writing was conventions. When a student would come up to me with a writing piece, I would automatically correct their grammar and spelling.

Little did I know that I was turning them off writing. I was focusing on what was wrong and not celebrating what was right (like great voice!). I didn't know any better. It was no wonder I would hear the grumbles as I would ask them to take our their writing notebooks.

It actually was very difficult for me to NOT focus on conventions at first. I had to get used to asking a child if they could read me their piece so that I would not be tempted to correct their mistakes.

I think that having a student edit their own piece it is not as discouraging to a child. Now, I might ask if they could read their piece and show me where there might be a good place to add some punctuation rather than me marking all over their paper.

(For more on editing vs. correcting check out this online lecture.

March 13, 2012

TED video Lesson: The Power of Simple Words

Long, fancy words designed to show off your intelligence and vocabulary are all very well, but they aren't always the best words. In this short, playful video Terin Izil explains why simple, punchy language is often the clearest way to convey a message. (Launching a series on Playing with Language