This is your EMWP Summer Institute Book Group blog. You are asked to post at least once a week before and during the Institute. Your group leader will post additional assignments and post topics. Check back often. If you have any questions or concerns contact your leader, Cynthia.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chapter 7

First of all, let me shout a "Hallelujah!" Because I finished the book!  Now I can cruise some of that YA fiction that has been touted.

     I feel like the timing of teaching career has placed me in the middle of a tidal wave of new methods.  Writing workshop was the big idea when I began in the late 90's, followed by the 6+1 Traits.  I still have a copy of the old Silver-Burdett English book, which sits on my "resource" shelf.  I digress:  6+1 Traits seemed like a great tool to me, with one exception -voice.  I had a sense of what that was, but absolutely no idea how to go about teaching it.  I even wondered if it was appropriate to expect it from my 6-year old students at the time.  So what a relief to read on p. 189 that I had been doing it right!  Again, I called it modelling, but Dorfman and Capelli call it "Oral Writing."  It sounds  a little like D&C recommend using the mentor texts as rehearsal pieces for the students to actually say out loud a bit of text and then try their own version of the phrasing in their own writing.  My technique had been to exclaim, "Wow!  What a great example of voice!   Let's hear that again!"  I liked the focus of what D&C do because it brings the students attention more fully to the good example. I could see using the idea of "Found poetry" on p. 198 as an extension of their technique.
    On another note:  p. 195 discusses the parenthetical whisper in your ear technique.  I loved it, and I would use it as an example on the conventions craft/chart on p. 212.  I have just the place in my room for that chart!  I have always taken the old school practice approach to grammar because too many kids just write the way the talk.  Yes, I know that is "voice," but you have to know that there are rules and what they are before you can intentionally break them!  Too many of my little guys don't know where one sentence ends and another one begins for me to give them the freedom to write fragments, for example.  "Uses standard English" was actually ON THE REPORT CARD!  Having written all that, I still love the idea of finding good examples of language and charting them.  I can see the students having fun making contributions to that chart.

1 comment:

  1. I agree Julie! Voice in writing is that weird sort of thing that is hard to define but you know when a piece has it. I also agree that grammar needs to be directly taught. Kids need opportunities to learn how language works in written form. Great post, Julie!