Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Workshop Highlights: Beyond Fiction - Using Nonfiction in Language Arts

Today I attended Sunny and Heidi’s workshop called “Beyond Fiction: Using Nonfiction in Language Arts”. It was full of aha moments, stimulating conversation and great materials. Here are some of the best parts:

- Valuing and giving time for student (academic) conversation
o Turn and Talk (rec’ed every 15 minutes)
o Observing and being aware of when students need and want to discuss
o Accepting that sometimes students will get off topic – it’s okay! They’re human too.

- Realize that for every student that prefers fiction, there is one that prefers nonfiction.
o Just because I LOVE literature doesn’t make it okay to teach it more than nonfiction. There needs to be an equal balance.

- Teach a skill with non-print media first and then transfer it to text.
o Sunny and Heidi referenced Golden’s Reading in the Reel World and Campbell’s Less is More. This was a good reinforcement for me because one of our goals this year was to incorporate more film/media into the classroom. I think we made a valiant effort, but I definitely lacked on the last step: transfer it to text. And seeing it applied to nonfiction was eye-opening.

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