Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011. It's here.

So today is January the 1st. It's traditional to make resolutions! Well I don't do them well, however I have some intentions for the year related to teaching.

I intend:
To develop my teaching of writing further. I intend to document it in some way, perhaps by recording it on this blog. I want to explore using writer's workshop, but I won't actually call it that, nor will I adopt all its aspects immediately. Go slowly will be the motto. I have found some excellent writing websites.

The Two Writing Teachers. They also have a site here. They can also be found on Facebook. I must add them to my page.

The Northern Nevada Writing Project is another rich resource that I will use. Through it I also learned aboutThe Writing Fix is a website linked to the Nevada project, so I will give it its own link.

Corbett Harrison and Dena Harrison. Both of these are literary educators and have work on the above two other blogs that I will add in to explore.
Deb Renner has a site called Writing Every Day Works. She has co authored a book with P. Cunningham about Beyond Retelling that I would like to read.

I will also reread some of the books I have already read on writing and at present I have done a quick skim through of Day by Day. Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice. By the Two Writing Teachers. This book wasn't quite what I thought it would be. However its full of reflective discussion and I will use it through the year. However it is just that, a guide for reflecting on one's own teaching of writing, it's not a book I could use to teach lessons. However there are plenty of books and websites out there that do just that!
So that's just the writing side of things! I also want to build on the reading programme I ran last year. I want to introduce the whole class to reciprocal reading. The way one group worked with Jill Eggleton's Connectors was an indication to me that this can work! So at present I am reading Reciprocal Teaching at Work. This is by Lori Oczkus. I am finding it very helpful and interesting. Again I won't use it totally the way its presented. I will use what will work for me out of it. However its packed with great tips and ideas. I hope through beginning in Term 1 with reciprocal reading, that this will really help comprehension strategies be developed. Especially by those students whose comprehension puts them at risk. In term 2 then I hope to springboard from this into working with other strategies. (Reciprocal reading develops mainly 4 strategies).
I want to make some simple videos on reading to put on my class blog, mainly for parents at this stage, to let them know what we are doing. Maybe if that goes according to plan I may make some writing videos. Firstly I have to master a new camera! How to use it and how to use Vegas studio software. Up until now I have only used windows movie maker. However my new Canon 550d camera doesn't relate to that! So that is going to be a steep learning curve first!

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