Archive for the 'write' Category



TeacherTube Not Grown Up

I had looked at TeacherTube.com many months ago. The premise of TeacherTube.com is that teachers and students will put up educational videos other educators and their students When I went to it recently, I found that it has not grown up very much.

When I searched for paragraph writing, I found 0 entries. When I used “essay writing, I found 9 entries of which 7 were commercial. When I widened the search to “writing”, I found 9 entries that actually dealt with the writing process (5 of them were commercial).

On the other hand, when I searched in YouTube.com for “paragraph writing”, I found 5 entries. When I searched for essay writing of the reported 300, about 50 actual deal with real writing (not making fun of it). I tried using “essay writing” -funny as a search term to get rid of some of the non-instructional ones. The search for writing revealed about 5,500 entries; I did not have the time to count those that actually were instructional.

I had great hopes for TeacherTube but they have not come true.

Where are Multiple Concept Maps For Paragraph Writing?

Maybe I am forgetting my good web research skills but I cannot find a website that lists the various types of writing and the concept maps that support each type of writing. I can find general concept map sites and I can find a lesson plan for a particular concept map for a specific type of writing. I’m trying to give my students two different concept maps for each type of writing. For example, for narrative writing I have a time line concept map and a  downward sequencing concept map.   For compare and contrast  I have similarities/differences boxes and  a point by point /topic analysis chart. My hope is that one of these two will appeal to my students so that they will be better able to organize their ideas and, therefore, write better.

What sites do you know that offering various concept maps for each type of paragraph writing?

Making learning about writing interactive

A colleague gave me access to a writing site. I was impressed that the site had a student’s written example for each paragraph pattern. Different sentences were in different colors  for topic sentence, example, and detail.  More importantly, when I moused over each sentence, the computer  identified each as topic sentence, example, and detail.  The website visually presents the information in an exciting way both with color and the interactive nature of the mousing. I felt that my students could easily learn how to the critical parts of each pattern through this website.

What website do you use to make your subject area learning interactive? Does it focus exclusively on the students’ learning

Non Formative Writing Checklists

I’ve been reading a textbook’s writing checklists for each paragraph pattern. Usually the checklists only differ by one or two sentences.  If the textbook  authors cannot better identify the critical parts of each paragraph pattern, how do they think that students will be able to write in that pattern?  Their checklists are not formative. They are vague such as   “Do all of my supporting sentences relate to the topic sentence?” If the students write a  poorly written paragraph, they may  think that all of their supporting sentences relate to the topic.  How do we transform writing from an art to more of science?

I know of a teacher who gives her students a precise very structured format to use in their writing. Her format may not be beautiful but it enables each of her students to score 5 or 6/6 on the writing rubric. How to we move from a super structured format to empowering the students to write on their own?

Writing Rubrics Too General To Be Helpful

I have been searching online for writing rubrics for the different types of writing such as classification and argument.  I am amazed to find out that most writing rubrics are generic.  Since these rubrics are so general, they do not specifically assess how well students can do a certain type of writing.  For example an argument paper is very different from a narrative.  Each type of writing has unique characteristics and therefore, the same rubric cannot be used to assess them both. I wonder if we understand the writing process enough or whether we have simply glossed over the unique differences.

What type of writing rubric do you use – a general one or one specific to that type of writing?  If it general, then you probably are not assessing that particular learning goal.  You certainly are not using formative assessment.

Diagnosis of Student Writing and Formative Feedback

As I prepare for my college writing courses, I am realizing more and more than I was not trained in giving formative feedback in students’ writing. Yes, I can mark up students’ papers but I do not think that I have given students useful information on how to improve. I’ve identified their problem (run on sentence; lack of vivid description) but have not helped them to translate that into an specific improvement action.  Certainly, phrases like “awkward sentence”,  “write better sentences”, “be more descriptive”  and  “use the same  tense” do not provide the learner with practical information to be able to improve; those statements are observation statements, not formative feedback.

I am trying to create checklists and success lists so that students know what is required and how they can do it. I am struggling to  find resources to help me.

Imagine if all English teachers worked together to identify students lapses in learning and suggested a specific way to improve for each lapse.  If each English teacher contributed one lapse and one practical suggestion for improving the students’ writing, we could create a powerful learning environment.

Powerful Learning Pictures from Flickr

I’ve been preparing some images to use in my Writing classes.  Flickr  has the biggest selection of high quality and of good vivid images.  There are many pictures that convey emotion as well as action and location. The advantage of being able to search helps to find the “right” image to use in the class for the particular purpose. I’ve made a word processing document of the picture URLs and the writing topics I’ll use the students for such as cause-and-effect and  process writing. I look forward to using exciting pictures in the classroom that will encourage the students to write.
How have you used Flickr images in your classroom?

Why write in an English course?

I believe in purposeful writing.  I have trouble when a course is just an exercise.  Often many writing courses have students do paragraph patterns such as narrative and description even when the students will probably never write in these literary styles.  When students are in a business specific college, they need writing that corresponds to the type writing they will do in their occupations. Reading great literature and copying its writing style probably is not a valuable life skill for these students.

What type writing do your students do? Is it real life writing or is literary exercises?  Do they ever send their writing to a person outside of the school to response to? Are they writing for the 21st century or for a traditional century old theory of writing?


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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