As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chapter Two--So Many Ideas

I loved this chapter. There were many new strategies that I can immediately use or slightly manipulate strategies I already use. This chapter made me very excited for the rest of the book!

I liked that there is a major emphasis on reading and writing being integrated, and that they should be integrated regularly (loc 586). My project that I would like to focus on is using mentor texts so this has been helping me build my case for our curriculum.

Peer revision I think is scary for many teachers because you have to trust your students to do it. Often the outcomes of student feedback ranges from pointless to repetitive or not descriptive. One trick they mentioned is giving short periods of time for feedback (loc 937). I always gave more time because I thought it would allow them to think about it more, but perhaps that would be better towards the end of the semester when they have done this more. They also gave ideas of how to frontload peer revision so that students know how to respond to what to respond:

     The trick is to teach them ahead of time what constitutes a helpful
     response. For this purpose, teachers often conduct an actual student 
     response group while other students look on, and then ask everyone to note 
     what they have seen. Another teaching tool is to play with the size of the 
     group. Starting with partners often simplifies the dynamics as students are 
     learning to talk about and analyze each other’s writing. Teachers can add to 
     the mix as students become more proficient and competent, from duets to 
     triads, to quartets, and so on. (loc 932)

One thing I had never thought about was the "progression of writing continuum" (loc 1244). Murphy and Smith talk about theorists are trying to figure out what genres should be taught at what grades, but I never realized that was an issue. I guess I had expected that students would be exposed to many genres continuously during their academic careers. I'm curious to know the different theories on this.

On a side note, if anyone wants to borrow Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen, I have it to lend out! She is a Michigan author and this book was the Great Michigan Read pick in 2009-2010.

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