Monday, February 11, 2008

Session A - Mini-Lessons that Rule! (Revision)

This session said that it would explain different ways of teaching effective revision. The presenters had incorporated a program called Writing to Win, and most of the presentation came from that, although it wasn't specifically a sales schpiel.

One thing I noticed was that the program teaches students to use rubrics to self-evaluate, kind of like the Science Goddess has been teaching hers.

However, the program is not language arts, it's writing. As far as I could tell, it didn't teach reading skills or strategies AT ALL. And I'm guessing that you'd have to find a way, on your own, to incorporate character analysis, plot structure, dramatic and poetic techniques, and so on. They CAN be taught through writing, but I don't know that the program allows for time to read examples (beyond maybe a paragraph here or there). I doubt that public speaking would be included, either. Maybe research. Maybe.

Anyway, the presenters had the luxury of a writing class period in addition to language arts. Before incorporating Writing to Win, they'd had a period for Reading First (I think), so they just switched it out. But it didn't address my question of how such a program fit into the schedule in the first place. What got cut? Did the district take out a class? Or did all the other class periods get shortened a little bit to make room for one more?

The funny part was, they had us go through the process, writing a paragraph and exchanging it for revision. Then at the end of the session, I found out that one of my editing partners was actually Dr. Warren Combs, one of the program trainers! So that was kind of neat.


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