Hello participants & readers! Katie here. You might notice that a lot of our resources are posted on Padlets, which are essentially virtual bulletin boards and sticky notes. This is a great tool that we love to use with students to collaborate and hold thinking. A while back I started a collaborative Padlet in response to a video that I posted from the amazing site The Kid Should See This. I'd love for you to join in as well. Watch the clip on the Padlet by artist Andres Amador. Then create your own response. You might choose to do a bit of creative writing like others have or simply jot your questions, thoughts, and wonderings. All you need to do is double click and a new sticky pad will pop up! Feel free to contact me if you have questions.
The Padlet is embedded below or you can click here to go to the website.
As I write this post I’m listening to Steph speak about
close reading, listening and viewing at the All Write conference in Warsaw,
Indiana. Once again, she is blowing my
I’ve heard her speak dozens of times in the past few years, but her take
on close reading has really rocked my world.
I took six pages of notes during the morning talk and came back this
afternoon to hear the repeat of the session because there was so much to
process and absorb! Rest up, #RIT14
attendees—you’re going to need a fully charged brain when Steph shares about
close reading next Wednesday afternoon!
To get your brain going, here are a few ideas from Steph
that really got me thinking:
Whoever does the most talking and does the most work does the
MOST LEARNING! Let kids do the work!
We teach kids to be "thinking intensive learners."
One of the things that truly makes a text complex is
what is NOT written.
Close reading is strategic reading!
I can’t wait to discuss these ideas and more with all of you
next week!The countdown to #RIT14 has
begun! See you in 5 days!
To piggyback a bit on Sara's last post
- we can use poetry to write about our studies as well as make sense out of the
world around us to – as she put so well: write
from the outside in.
Sara and I were just chatting on the
phone as I was coming back from meeting with an aspiring poet. We talked about
showing without telling – about poetry being a snapshot- of it being about experience not emotion –
how we should be putting all the clues on a page without necessarily adding it
up for our reader - allowing our reader to discover the meaning by mixing the
words on the page with their own experience.
This is what we mean by writing from
the outside in as opposed to the inside out. Having the ability to respond to
and question the world around us will certainly help us make sense of the
dynamic sphere we inhabit.The idea that
we should unceasingly be mining our inner feelings and then putting them on the
page for others to read seems a bit selfish to me. It’s the me, me, me attitude
that we all hope our kids grow out of as they practice their first steps
whether they be literal transition from crawling to bipedal locomotion or in
It takes a mature self-awareness to
embrace the fact that one is not the center of the universe.
And with that grandiose declaration, I
give you a poem about tadpoles!
Think of the poems most dear to you. Aren't they about real events? Or perhaps imagined events that are detailed in such a way to make them seem real enough to touch, hear, smell and feel?
As long as we don't allow ourselves to be confined by that old-fashioned, sentimental view of poetry, "writing from the inside out," we can turn our eyes to the wonders of nature, the pyramids, child labor, photosynthesis, or tadpoles for ideas. This approach to writing Michael and I have dubbed, "writing from the outside in."
This is not just a clever turn of a phrase, it is really how we write. Let me give you an example. One night I was walking the dog past the middle school and I heard the clanking of the flagpole and went home to write the poem below. I didn't write it because I am the loneliest person on the planet, nor because I was rummaging around in my heart for a topic to write about. No. That night the image of that flagpole, the hollow clanking from its cement perch of isolation, made me think about loneliness.
Have I ever in my life felt lonely? Of course. But the true inspiration for the poem came from an outside event mixed with prior knowledge about what goes on in a typical middle school.
I am SO looking forward to learning and sharing ideas about writing to improve comprehension and how we can look outside of ourselves and at our studies as sources of inspiration in addition to using technology for research, collaboration, and taking our writing public. Writing need not be a lonely pursuit!