Friday, January 29, 2010

Chapter 4 Creating Characters
When creating characters, I have always let the students be one of the characters (personal narratives). Even when they created fantasy stories, they were always one of the characters. In reading this chapter, it would be fun to create two or three characters and look specifically at their personalities, then develop the story around this info. For young children it seems natural for them to be one of the characters. But maybe it would be fun to let the second character be created with some unique personality traits. ~ Vickie

Chapter 5 Voice: Connecting with the Reader
Bringing out the voice in my writers has always been a daunting task for me. Some children naturally have humor and wit, as do some adults. When children are writing stories, they are the narrators. I like the view of RF as he says "the narrator must have a compelling voice". I think this will be a challenge for me as I work on writing stories with students. I want to find ways to encourage them to have a "compelling voice" to keep the reader following along deep into the writing. Again, I still believe that the voice is the personality of the student coming out. It is important to teach kids to write to their audience. Sometimes a prompt will say write to a friend. This is important for students to understand audience. It is also a major component for the ADAW. ~Vickie

Chapter 6 Thoughts on Voice
More info on voice...again my challenge is to help student's understand their voice / style. I agree with the author that your 'voice' can be lost in writing just as your personality can be lost around certain people. When I think of myself, if I'm with friends, I'm naturally happy and full of fun. But if I'm in a crowd, I'm much more reserved. The same holds true in writing. If I'm writing with or for students, I'm naturally at ease and it comes easy for me. If I'm writing for an adult (like a research paper for a professor), I'm more tense and not my true self. I like to think when I'm writing a story that I'm telling it to my best friend. That way, I'm more relaxed and my true personality/voice comes out. I think about sharing at home with my family. It is easy to talk and be silly...let your true voice shine. We have to encourage that same "release" in writing and engage our students to let their voice come out in their writing. The next time I work on a story with students, I may do a "personality poll". I may ask them what kind of personality do they have? are you serious? silly? humorous? Maybe if they understand their personality they can explore it in their writing. ~Vickie

Friday, January 22, 2010

Live Writing (Book Study)

Third Grade Teachers @ LES are reading Live Writing by Ralph Fletcher and blogging together.

We are reading together to increase our awareness of writing instruction especially in the Narrative mode.

Ralph Fletcher: By "live writing" I mean the kind of writing that has a current running through it--energy, electricity, juice.

Chapter 1: The Writer's Toolbox
I personally am encouraged by the words of the author when he says there is "no way that your pen will pour out world class writing every day". It assures me that writing isn't perfect and that as a writer I'll grow daily. I love the tools for writing: words, imagination, love of books, etc. These are tools that we should encourage our students to use! ----Vickie

Chapter 2: Reading Like A Writer
This is me now. After reading and studying writing for the past eight years, I truly understand "reading like a writer". Now when I pick up a book, I instantly note something I can use to help others with word choice, figurative language, etc. When I go on vacation, I usually take a few picture books to read myself! Sometimes...I feel like a kid! -----Vickie

Chapter 3: Building Character
Creating a character isn't as easy as just picking a "who". But for young children just learning to write personal narratives, it is easy to pick someone they spend a lot of time with to be the other character. RF says to "start with what you know" and build from familiar people and animals. I usually suggest 2 or 3 characters for young writers because they have to engage those characters. It is easier to involve 2 or 3 in the action and conversation. -----Vickie