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Writing and Learning


About Writing...


Writing is hard fun. ~ Donald Murray

Welcome our writing class.

Join us in puzzling through the process of writing well. Dare to delve into your thoughts and learning, and share those ideas with others.

Why is writing "hard fun?"

William Zinsser explains:

"Writing is thinking on paper."


"Writing and learning and thinking are the same process."



Our brains solve puzzles. Transferring ideas onto paper is a puzzle; it's a process that requires careful thought, and the puzzling, although hard, is fun --- we feel accomplished when we've done it right. And doing it right means, according to Zinsser,

"Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity."

So lets keep it clear, brief, and simple: engage your brain, enjoy the puzzle, and join in a collaborative effort to learn writing by writing.  Whether its how to organize, how to choose the right word, how to transition from one idea to the next, or how to spell and punctuate: we learn writing by writing.

Each day students will write.  Each day they will practice a skill in the
 writing process and in the six  traits of good writing (see also here).

Most parents are concerned with spelling errors in their child's writing. While we write, we circle any words we think we may have misspelled so we can look them up later for the final draft.  For spelling activities, here are some links:

Spelling Games and Activities

Our School Links:
Spelling City: http://www.spellingcity.com/
Go to "Find a List" and search by teacher for "Sheri Edwards"
Current List: i before e

Other Practice Activities

The Suffix/Prefix Word Maker: 
http://websites.ntl.com/~fixbyji/literacy/suffixprefix.htm 

Type words: 
Easy Suffixes 

Maggies Earth Adventure: Match prefix/suffix meanings: 
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/adventure/grammar3.htm# 

Fish Tank: 
http://www.sadlier-oxford.com/phonics/student.cfm#grade5 

Click on Grade 5-6 and then on Fish Tank or Try: 
http://www.sadlier-oxford.com/phonics/5_6/fishtanks1/fishtanks1.htm 

You may also want to try: Space Station which teaches syllabication (syllables: syl-la-bles) 

Make Words/Check Sense: 
http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/book_buddy/arthur/skill.html 

Note: If you go to the home page and conduct a search for a topic (like prefix or suffix), other activities appear. 

http://www.harcourtschool.com/index.html

 

If you have any questions, please contact me: ms_edwards@mac.com

Ms. Edwards 634 4541 x34

About Learning...

Students today need relevance in their learning more than ever in order to want to learn. Even though our computers are old, we are still able to work in ways that engage students who live in a technology infused world.  Their learning is personal, and  our task is to engage them as individuals. Please read here for information on Teaching the Whole Child. ..:whole child” practices—practices that challenge students academically, engage their interests and enthusiasm, and support them as learners and people." You may want to watch some of these videos on teaching and learning here at ASCD.

For videos and more information on 21st Century Learning, click 
here to my home site.

Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the National Middle School Association (NMSA) recommends that 
middle school student core studies include (and our middle school does):

  • Literacy instruction specifically addressing reading
skills to understand complex concepts in all
content areas
  • Language arts lessons emphasizing reading, writing,
and speaking skills in literature and practice


A way of thinking how kids learn can be found 
here: analytical, creative, practical. By planning for different ways in which students think, lessons can provide for the needs of all learners. 

You may also be interested in today's technology focus, much needed to prepare students for their future in this 
21st Century.

How do kids learn today?  What am I trying to implement in my classroom?  Watch this:



The Interview with Dylan is here.  

About Our Work


If you haven't seen these posters about our class work, please go 
here.

Where We Work


Click here:  
Where We Work
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