Monday, April 6, 2009

Workshop Highlights- Jeff Anderson & Everday Editing: The Power of Process

I was very excited to hear Jeff Anderson speak in person. I haven't read all of Mechanically Inclined cover-to-cover, but I definitely liked what I skimmed. So when I heard he was giving a Saturday morning workshop, I signed up right away.

Don't flood kids with wrongness.
  • Anderson spoke against the use of DOLs or having students correct pieces of writing with mistakes. His excellent line of reasoning included, you wouldn't show math students problems solved incorrectly and then have them correct it. We should show students good models of writing because that is what they will remember.

Invitational Learning

  • Anderson suggests showing students a good piece of text (he used the first sentence of Flush by Carl Hiaasen) and then asking them, "What do you notice?". After some response, ask them, "What else?" because there is so much to talk about. This method allows for students to notice more than just conventions, but also such great things as word choice, author's purpose and so much more.
  • When students do notice punctuation, Anderson suggests asking, "What's that ____ doing?". This question forces students to pay attention to function. He furthers this inquiry by asking, "What's that ____ doing when I read it aloud or when I read it with my eyes?".

I'm really excited to try this today in my classroom. It reminds me so much of Don Killgallon's Sentence Composing, which I have tried on and off during the last couple of years. I'll post about how it goes!

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