What Do I Stand For?

What Do I Stand For?

Choice and Voice in the ELA Classroom Book clubs, inquiry and authentic student writing http://manitobawritingproject.weebly.com/what-do-i-stand-for.html www.literacytakesflight.com [email protected] My shifting beliefs Literacy coach Support content area teachers in

developing student literacy skills Creative Arts Anthology advisor Learning from engaged writers/artists Masters student Thesis: What makes avid writers? Interviews with self-identified avid young writers to study their motivations and practices

ELA Teacher Move away from tradition whole class novel units to book clubs and writers workshop Transformative Education (Ada and Campoy) A concern for social justice begins in empathy

Knowing oneself is key to being able to understand others to help us understand ourselves, one another and the world in which we live recognizes the importance of voice and the need for education to foster the critical consciousness that leads to speaking ones personal and social truth Ada, A.F. & Campoy, F.I. (2004). Authors in the classroom: A transformative education process. Boston, MA: Pearson (Chapter one) Authenticity and choice (Behizadeh) students, not teachers, need to decide the authenticity of a writing task

authenticity comes from connections to the students life, rather than the teachers perception that a task connects to the world outside of school identifies choice of a valued topic, writing for impact and dominance of expression over convention as common qualities of authentic writing for student Behizadeh, N. (2014). Adolescent perceptions of authentic writing instruction. Journal of Language and Literacy, 10(1), 2744. Retrieved from http://jolle.coe.uga.edu. Avid writers

Develop writerly identities See writing as important for both themselves and their audiences Enjoy the craft of writing Have growth mindsets/ value feedback from trusted individuals Value the freedom to write what they want

Oresnik, C. (2016) What makes Avid Writers? An examination of students out of school writing practices. (Master's Thesis) Class Profile: Grade 11 ELA, Comprehensive Focus 27 students EAL Levels 1-5 Citizenship Fountas and

Pinnell A-Z Case Managers Level 3- 2 Level 4- 5 Level 5- 4 Cdn. Cit.: 15 (1 Indigenous) Perm. Res.: 2 Landed Immigrant: 4 ISP: 5 Refugee: 1

G- 1(2011) L- 1 P- 1 T- 1 U- 1 W-1 X- 1 Y- 3 Z- 3 Z+ 11 EAL: 7 Other: 6 (learning,anxiety, behavior, executive

functioning, written expression) Languages Spoken at home Arabic 1 Turkish 1 Chinese 6 Korean 1 Urdu 1 Gujarati 3 Punjabi 1 Vietnamese 1

My current path: readers/writers workshops The aim of this approach is to give students the opportunity to build identities as engaged readers and writers by reading widely through choice interacting with each other fostering self-awareness and open-mindedness Developing their confidence to share their ideas in ways that are meaningful to them Building skills needed to communicate effectively Implications for the classroom Help students discover their identities and processes as readers and writers

Provide choice in reading to increase student engagement Give them the freedom to write from authentic places Cultivate trusting communities Book Clubs built on choice Grade 11: What do I stand for?

Book selections on a variety of issues: mental health, consumerism, equal rights, activism Grade 12 Voices and Choices Book selections focused on decision-making and speaking out: internal and external conflict Writers workshops Book club inspired writing

Grade 11 book club projects Grade 12: open ended connections to books, considering writing choices Writers notebook for minilessons, genre study, drafting, reflecting Writing groups:

Creating communities of trust Multi-genre project Stitching together and showcasing their best work What does this look like in practice? How to plan for diverse groups? Consider: Reading levels Communication skills Prior knowledge

School experiences Introductory activities My goals for them: A love of reading and deeper engagement in learning Better critical and creative thinkers Development of their voices as a writers/speakers Deeper understanding of their identity and their place in the global community Setting the stage: Introductory activities with whole class text(s) Reading strategies: modelling Literary analysis/ writer's craft Structured group work Essay writing ELA Comprehensive Focus 30S Book Clubs

What Do I Stand For? Due to the wide range of students, and interests in our class, and the breadth of the topic we are inquiring into, we are setting up the reading portion of our course to provide some choice on your part. Rather than all of us reading the same book at the same time, you will select from a variety of books which all explore the ways in which people make decisions, come to define themselves, and what they stand for in life. There will be many books to choose from; you do not have to read all the books but should try to read as many as possible to broaden your understanding.

Our purpose in this is to help you gather ideas for your multi-genre project which will be completed in June as a major part of your evaluation for this course. This project will allow you to provide your own answers to our central question as you begin to discern what you stand for in your own lives. The following is an outline of the various ways we will explore these texts, share ideas with each other, and finally express our own understanding. More detailed handouts will follow. Holding Our Thinking: Journals (Thursdays) To help you prepare for your book club meetings, record your thinking about your book in your reader/writers notebook.

Use post-its while you are reading to mark places that caused you to stop and think, question, look up new words, etc. On Thursdays we will spend some time in class creating journal entries/ planning for book club meetings from these post-its. You can use double entry journals (one column for a reference to the text and one for your thoughts) or unified journals where you combine the two in paragraphs. Getting together: Book club

meetings You will meet weekly with other students reading the same book to discuss various elements of the book you are all reading. Unlike lit circles you may have been involved in previously though, you will read at your own pace and be a part of more than one book club as the semester progresses. Book club etiquette Everyone needs to come to the meeting having read some part of the book and ready to ask questions and enter into a discussion with others. Spoiler alert: be aware that some of you may have read further than others- try not to reveal details that will spoil the ending for your classmates.

Choose one member to be a time keeper/moderator. This person will keep the meeting in order. Respect the group: do not monopolize, take the conversation off topic, engage in other activities, etc. Listen actively and make notes in your readers/writers notebook.

Remember that good groups are not just about sharing information. You need to be able to ask questions, challenge others ideas, mediate disputes, keep the group focused, build on others ideas, and invite others to speak as well. Going Online: Edmodo We will also begin an online discussion group so you can respond and ask questions of each other as you are reading at home. Your participation in this discussion is an important outcome of our course and gives me a chance to participate and observe your contributions to the discussion. Celebrating our Reading: Book Club Projects

For each book you finish, you will create your own text (writing/visuals/multimodal) allowing you to share your learning with a public audience. Use the book as a springboard for your own thinking. Think about the themes in the book, your own connections to the story and the techniques the author used to inspire your choices. Digging deeper: Inquiry project In May, we will spend some time researching a topic of interest to you, or a group of you, that comes out of your readings. This will provide background knowledge for one or more of your multi-genre project pieces.

Showing off: Multi-genre Project What do I stand for? While this project will be completed in June, it will contain pieces that you will have worked on throughout the semester. It will allow you to provide for yourself some answers to our central inquiry question. It is a compilation of a minimum of 4-5 pieces of a variety of genres stemming from and exploring ideas generated by the books you have read and pieces we have looked at together in class. This is your opportunity to showcase your best skills in creating and communicating.

Sample multigenre project Time for Writing Monday to Wednesday 10 minutes independent reading Book talk Writers notebook work: Genre study (name, place, events, poetry, rants, editorials) Minilessons (show don't tell, dialogue, narrative voice) Playing with words (microfiction, collaborative writing, found poems, shovel poems) Reflecting on writing (voices of other writers) Workshopping Challenges Newness of this approach: lots of scaffolding needed for

group work, reading strategies, independent learning/ working with less structure For some: finding balance, time management Accomplishments Overall engagement improved: students were more visibly engaged in their reading as the semester continued Students read more/ less "fake" reading Time and scope to develop a more authentic writing program since writing assignments were not tied to the books Students experiences outside of school were valued Greater sense of community in the classroom And more enjoyable for the teacher! Thoughts on assessment/evaluation

Lots of conferencing and workshopping Assessment based on outcomes, not marks on assignments Marks based on most consistent and recent levels of achievement: looking across outcomes, not totals on assignments "The important thing is never to stop questioning." Albert Einstein

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