With the dawn of another school year, I thought I’d share some of my goals for the year. Writing them down here usually helps me articulate and refine just what it is I plan to do.
I took part in the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project over the summer. It kept me busier than I expected, but I took away so much from the experience, as an educator. The program is built around the philosophy that teachers should learn from each other. I had to deliver a presentation to my cohorts on some sort of writing instruction.
You can view the Prezi presentation I made here (seriously, check it out), but the gist is that students can learn a variety of writing styles by imitating sentences of established authors. The result would be but an original sentence crafted in the likeness of one already deemed good writing. It’s a tad like student artists sitting in The Louvre, copying the masters, honing their own style and techniques along the way.
I’ll be new to the idea. I think it can teach kids some style and, if we focus on some details, a good bit of grammar in a practical way.
I’m setting up Nicenet groups to get students discussing our literature in an online forum. These communities are everywhere in college courses, even traditional on-campus ones. If I can get my students comfortable with their conventions and ethics as high school freshmen, I see that as a big benefit. Furthermore, it’s a good way to get everyone involved in a conversation, even if they’re shy.
Also, I’ve set up a Facebook Group and Twitter feed to keep students updated on class news and assignments. Facebook groups allow me to invade their Facebook newsfeeds without actually being friends them. Perfect.
Well, those are the two biggest things, but they’re HUGE changes to way I’ve managed my classes in the past. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of potholes and hurdles and other proverbial obstacles along the way. I’ll let you know how things go. If you have any advice, I’m all ears (which, if literal, would be gross).