Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka
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?