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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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Content, Then Structure

And in the pecking order of what comes first—content or structure—let content be the front-runner and the determiner of structure. (loc 1679)

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saying this. As a new teacher, I do not yet have the experience to know always what I should stress. Our school has been pushing to write all essays in the SAT format, and without enough content, our students were struggling. All content that is taught or learned by students is not suitable to be in the SAT essay format. Here is where other genres and transitional assignments come in.
I loved the idea of transitional writing assignments. Often the kids and I are so done with a unit that we want that clean break, but I think that it would be helpful to scaffold for the next unit. This is also that time where the writing can be low risk and personal, which they always are happy to do.
Taking the approach of examining writing as what works or doesn't work, what makes it effective, what do you personally like about the writing would also be an easy transition assignment is another low risk but meaningful activity for them. As students grow as writers, finding good mentor writers and mentor texts are beneficial to them. Being able to pick out these qualities in the texts is the first step; the next is imitation. 
This chapter soothed me in that I was not an AWOL teacher doing what I wanted in my classroom. I am very happy to have read this chapter as support for how and what I teach!

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