Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Classroom Writers

I was listening to the A.T.Tipscast recently and Chris talked about his experiences at the Naren Conference. One idea that he really touched on was, and I quote:

"Let's put students to work doing the jobs that schools need done"

I thought that was a great quote, because I have always felt this was a great way to incorporate authentic activities into students school days. Whether it be heavy work by cutting out letters on the Elison Machine, or cleaning the room at the end of the day. I've also started having my kids write stories for me. I like to use Caroline Musselwhites Stories in a New York Minute to supplement my science and social science lessons.

Usually I will place pictures in a Powerpoint template, then have the students identify the subject, and, depending on what kind of book (noun, verb, adjective, preposition), finish the sentence. I will print out pictures of the items from Boardmaker and let them create the sentences. Most of the books that the students write are something they can read themselves, so have an advantage of being a great addition to the classroom. Recently we've also been using Tar Heel Reader to write these books (then I don't have to record the audio!). Here are some examples of some of the books the kids have written!

Ocean - Preposition
(this was one of our first, the kids picked the noun & where the animal was)

Transportation - Noun
(entirely student written)

Farm Animal - Verb
(again entirely student written)

These are just a few examples of student work that can be created. As part of the Desert Animal Project we also wrote books about the desert that fell into this type of story too. You can read them here at Tar Heel Reader

How Do They Move?

Thanks to Chris for suggesting this post! I'd love to hear stories of how everyone has made their students or children "work" to help out!


Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: M.Bob

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