Sunday, October 2, 2011
Yesterday was the "Leap into Literacy" conference sponsored by Coastal Savannah Writing Project. Since I'm a Fellow, I presented at the conference. This was actually my first time presenting at a professional conference, and I really enjoyed it. My presentation was about the use of writer's notebook in the classroom (as a strategy for improving voice in student writing). I have a really pretty PowerPoint of which I am inordinately proud. We had a small turnout at the conference, but the people who came to my presentation were great, asking questions and interacting. I got positive feedback from teachers of all age levels. One of the attendees was a writing test evaluator from the Georgia State Department of Education (you know, those folks who write the prompts and assess the essays on the state test). He asked me a ton of questions, then requested an electronic copy of my PowerPoint. He even went to his car to get a flash drive. Afterwards I was like: "Uh-oh, what did I do?" I was so flattered that I didn't stop to think that the presentation on which I had worked so hard might become part of someone else's workshop or presentation. Since I've never even presented at a conference before, I didn't realize someone might make this request, and still have no idea whether this is commonplace. I definitely wish I hadn't just put my presentation on the guy's flash drive, but know I will be prepared for this request.
Here are the two books I highly recommended in my presentation:
This book is a wonderful resource for the teacher as writer, and for the teacher of writing. The first half of the book is for the teacher-writer, and focuses on how the begin to keep your own writer's notebook, and how to develop topics and complete a writing project. The second half of the book is about launching and using writer's notebooks in your classroom. This book can be used by teachers of all grade levels.
I will admit it: my love for the writer's notebook borders on idolatry. I never go anywhere without a notebook and a pen (and a book, of course). I would not know how to go through life without reflecting on my experiences in writing. This is something I try to share with my students, and I find that nearly every student has the desire to reflection on his or her experiences in writing.
So, gentle readers, do any of you share my mania for keeping a notebook? Do you have a particular size, color, shape notebook you use religiously? Are all devoted readers also writers?