#DigiLit Sunday #Chalkabration Poetry

sundaydiglitIt’s Sunday!

 

DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, Aug 31, 2014.

 

chalk-button-14

We also join Betsy Hubbard’s Chalkabration.

 

 

To be digitally literate means that you communicate with the tool that fits best. Betsy asks us to share poetry in chalk, on chalkboard, on black paper, or on the sidewalk. Some people may even want to play with neon writing in apps as an adaptation. If you write or draw your poem, you’ll need a tool to snap the image and upload it to your computer to place in your blog: that could be a digital camera or phone. And perhaps your poem is fits with a video format, using an app like Vine.

 

The important idea is to choose the tools – digital or analog – that fit your audience and purpose.

summer_chalkabration

What about the poem? Of course, you’ll need to write your poem, using powerful words and chalk that colors that make your idea pop. Don’t have an idea? Read others’ poems to for a spark of an idea. Then use your powerful writing strategies to write your idea, to create an image in the reader’s mind. Snapshot. Figurative Language.

Writers don’t just prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish. Writers are always thinking about the end — what the words look like and sound like, and how to best get those word ideas across – with color, image, video, illustration, etc. It’s a recursive process, moving back and forth into drafts to make the words, and the accompanying media, work together.

If you look at my poem in the image or Vine, you won’t see how I thought about the end of summer and moving into fall. I didn’t use “Fall” or “Autumn.” But I inserted the word “slip” as another word for fall to complete the alliteration of “Summer slips slowly.”  I then thought of “falling” to bring “Fall/Autumn” in with “slip,” adding “with leaves” to complete the connection. My colors start with spring green, summer great, yellow, and two shades of orange to move the words through the seasons. The small leaf added the final touch, the end of summer. Since the breeze kept blowing away my leaf, I added the vine, a perfect tool to accentuate the poem.

So, the writing process started with the spark of the end of summer, and through thoughtful give and take of ideas and words, my poem came alive — using the tools needed to share with other #chalkabration writers.

How about you? How do you show your digital literacy? How is your process?

 

 


Common Core State Standards

Anchor Standards

Writing

5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

6.3E Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.

Reading

6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

DigiLit Sunday #clmooc Writing

sundaydiglit

 

DigiLit Sunday

DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom.

This week I’m rethinking the writing process and tools.

Prior to digital tools, students would prewrite, draft, revise, review, revise, find feedback, and publish on paper. I’m not sure how many writers actually write this way. I know for fiction, I just start writing in Google Docs and let my characters start their journey. How would I help students experience this? How would it help develop word choice and plot?

Digital Tool

I’ve discovered a new tool I love, tackk.com . Be sure to sign up at the Education version if you chose to use this. It shares to Edmodo, and can be assigned through Edmodo so students can login with their Edmodo credentials. The Global Read Aloud is even using Tackk this year.  Public, or private, designing with Tackk is super easy. I like to know these things up front before I get excited about a new tool.

How can I help students experience the on-demand and online strategies of writing and revising?

Digital Prompt and Model

I designed a Tackk: FindWay as a story prompt and model to share with students. The prompt starts with the story and ends with directions and revision questions for peer collaboration.

Prompt and Model: Finding My Way

I created this story online, starting with a quest to find relief from the heat in a favorite swimming spot with friends. Tackk allows you to find glyphs, images, and videos to augment your own text using their built-in search for each. In addition, you can upload your own images and video.  It’s easy to move sections up and down and revise as needed.

During the story writing, I composed as a I wrote [see Directions at end], to fit the images that I could find. I prefer stills; I like the that I put myself into the image, instead of having action of a video clip take over my and my readers’ imaginations. It’s my choice; each writer must choose their own. I noticed many animations in the ‘gliphy’ search, which could work well for student stories.

During the story writing, I edited/revised as I wrote — descriptions, dialogue, imagery, action, etc.

During the story writing, I found the repetitive phrase to bring the good luck/bad luck of the story together: I sighed; I smiled.

When I present this, these are discussions for our class, including asking students for feedback on my work, which I ask them to do as they finish their stories. Of course, they could opt to create a story, revising together as I did.

Tackk, as you see, illustrates beautifully, including sound. The right sidebar offers choice in design, easy to discover, and a custom URL can be created.

Finally, Tackk lets others collaborate or comment. It can be shared with many sites, like Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. And it can be embedded in a webpage or blog [see below].

Digital Writing

What do you think?

I can see this for sharing nonfiction ideas as well as fiction. I found it very easy to revise as I designed and composed with many options inserting media.  Students would be able to follow a creative process and share their efforts. This is a powerful tool for composing: thinking and revising with text, images, and video alone or in collaboration.

How could you use Tackk in your classroom?


 

Writing: Collaborative Learning #clmooc #makecomp

hardfun

“Writing is hard fun.” Donald Murray

Throughout the last century, writing instruction has evolved from basic handwriting to five-paragraph-essays to writing workshop to writing process to digital writing with media. Writing teachers build on the work of James Moffett, Jerome Bruner, Lucy Caulkins, Donald Graves, Donald Murray, Janet Emig, Peter Elbow, Judith Langer, Nancie Atwell, Ralph Fletcher, Robert Marzano, Ken Macrorie, Harvey Daniels, Will Richardson and Troy Hicks.

Their work in writing is rooted in social learning and educational psychology through the eyes of John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, R. C. Anderson, Jean Piaget, Paulo Freire, and Seymour Papert.

As the internet became interactive, social, and productive, David Warlick, Marc Prensky, Daniel Pink, Henry Jenkins, Pew Research Center, and the National Writing Project contributed to extending writing into a broader literacy: communication literacy through text, image, audio, visual, and social interaction.

What came before is now evolving. The Common Core State Standards embeds this communication literacy with online media throughout its document.

What does this mean?

 

Getting Started

Consider your own writing (and reading) in a normal day. Have you:

  • Checked and responded to email?
  • Texted?
  • Checked and responded to Facebook?
  • Check and responded to Twitter?
  • Checked and responded to a Google Plus community?
  • Googled?
  • Received a YouTube video link?

 

If so, you are “communication literate,” or at least passively. 

If you are a teacher, consider this: 95% of all  teens use the Internet. Students of lower income families have less opportunities to do so.  See Pew Internet Research on Teen Internet Use.

 

What does this mean?

If you are a teacher, this means your students expect to use the Internet, socially, interactively, creatively. If you teach in schools with students in lower income brackets, your teaching with technology helps them close the equity gap.

 

What does this mean for writing?

writingristablog

Another Framework

Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (2011). Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons) present a new paradigm for writing lessons that includes four frames, four lenses to view process writing and assignments.

Four Frames

  1. Inside Writing: investigating and discovering a topic by connecting with text, images, sounds, videos, etc.
  2. Responsive Writing: communicating face to face and online to collaborate through interactions and feedback to make sense of a topic by defining, labeling, questioning, challenging, and validating topic information
  3. Purposeful Writing: investigating and presenting one’s own interpretation of the topic for an audience to review
  4. Social Action Writing: exploring and collaborating to create a multimedia production to move others to action using persuasion with digital tools that emphasize the message

four_frames

A Comparative Visual

As a teacher of digital learners, I see how this paradigm for writing compares with previous writing strategies: writing process and six traits of writing. I also see how it fits with design theory and connected learning. How do these various “frames for writing” fit together?

comparative_strategies

Over the past two years I have noticed that I start with connecting students to topics — to engage their interests in the ideas about which we will write (inside writing). As we draft ideas and responses, we share ideas and compare information and vocabulary, adding or revising as necessary (responsive writing). With ideas in hand over different days and topics, students choose something of interest to explain to a chosen audience using elaborative strategies and precise vocabulary (purposeful writing). In seventh grade especially, we practice persuading others to take action on a topic, usually a prompt practice for our state test (an attempt at social action writing).

With this framework from Stephens and Ballast, I can now refine our lessons and choices and reflect on the process and results. I can continue the “connected learning” strategies from the #clmooc and further efforts to add to #makecomp.

clmooc Summary of Report

Have you experienced the four frames for writing in this way? What has been your experience?

Bibliography

Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (2011). Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons

Connected Learning

Design Process

PEW Research

Six Traits

Writing Process

 

Quality Blogging & Commenting Audit Meme

Our students were thrilled this year with an award nomination, and many chose to write thank you comments to our nominator. Most were thoughtful responses that conveyed their appreciation; they wrote from the heart, which gave their writing voice.

Our goal is to write our best, to learn from even our best to improve our writing choices so our ideas are clear and concise.

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano at Langwitches  invites us to evaluate our work to improve.

With that in mind, I reread several comments and wrote a sample one, a model to use with students. Using an anchor or model is a teaching strategy recommended to help improve writing.  With a model comment ready, I evaluated it based on a rubric. The rubric helps us to break down our writing so we can see the parts we did well and and the parts where we can improve.

The rubric (from Langwitches)

 

The model comment:

Dear Mrs. Nominator,

Thank you for nominating our blog. We are very proud and exited to be nominated for an award. Our class enjoys blogging because we can share ideas with other people. For instance, we can read and share with other students in the world. We learned to take notes and stuff and we learned strategies for ideas so we can write our own blog posts.  Finally, thank you again for nominating us!

Parts Done Well

Writing and Voice:

The paragraph was somewhat organized, adding voice by including feelings (very proud and excited [exited]) and details (“share ideas with other people”). The words chosen are an attempt to bring the content to life (“take notes and stuff” “can write our own blog posts”). Sentence fluency is mostly achieved (“For instance” “Finally”).

Content:

Connected to the post and added “simple” additions (“share ideas with other people” “we can read and share with other students in the world” “learned strategies for ideas” “own blog posts”), which shows the beginning evidence of knowledge/content.

Presentation:

Only a few spelling, sentence, and grammar errors restrict the flow of reading ( “exited” “take notes and stuff and we learned strategies”).

 

Therefore this comment flows between a 2 capable and 3 accomplished, which is a thoughtful response.

 

Parts to Improve:

To move to expert level on the rubric, the writer could:

Writing and Voice:

Write more than one paragraph which is organized into ideas, each followed by details of explanation. To add style, descriptions, imagery, or figurative language would add voice and interest. For instance — how proud were you? When I’m proud I feel light like a butterfly or warm like the sun. That would make the feeling “memorable, and bring the comment to life.”

Content:

Details were provided, and needed explanations; “stuff” could be explained with examples or experiences. For example, “take notes and summaries on our research to assist the composing of our posts” and “we learned strategies for ideas, such using our Google Docs organizer so we include details.” A link to those sample organizer, to sample notes/summaries would have added to the content, clarity, and relevant resources for the reader.

Summary

As indicated, the rubric helps us to break down our writing into parts, but good writing is not parts; it’s the meaning communicated to an audience for a purpose.

Donald Murray once said, “Writing is hard fun.” It’s hard to develop an idea thoroughly. It’s hard to add original ideas with a personal voice. It’s hard to go back and add details and voice. It’s hard to go back again and edit for spelling, grammar, and clarity. But when our writing is good— when a response is given back, that is fun, a feeling of satisfaction.

Even though students have the lessons and resources: figurative languageelaboration strategies, revision, and practice, writing is hard.

For this model, practicing the parts of writing brought it to capable  and almost through accomplished on the rubric. It was written to the audience for the purpose of expressing thanks. With more practice, this will improve to expert.

To continue this “audit meme,” I tag Denise KrebsAmy Cobb, and Tracy Watanabe to add to Silvia’s meme at Langwitches to help students and teachers improve the online blog and comment discourse.  Please use models (anchors) so we can all learn and practice from them.

For our class, we’re going to set one goal each, based on a self-assessment of our work. What one “part” would you recommend writers start practicing? What part of writing is hard for you, and what strategies do you use to overcome it? How do you know you’ve improved? How would you audit a post or comment?

Mentors Inspire Writing

Our class is so lucky this fall: Washington State University students will mentor our students in writing. We’ve started our Writers Workshop with a focus on memoir and the question: “How do writers move from what we know to what we share?”

How do we take what we know and share it in a way that our readers can imagine and connect?

On September 23rd, Jeff Peterson’s Intercultural Communication class arrive for interactive icebreakers and time to meet and help our students with writing.

Take a look:

Our students will draft memoirs on a private wiki, then remix the memoirs into fictional stories to publish on our public site, Coyote Talks. During this process, our mentors will guide our students into writing with passion, voice, and clarity.

We hope you join us in learning more about writing with our mentors.