Showing posts from June, 2011

Identifying Your Writing HEROES

Who were your writing champions as you went through the formative years of learning? Who do you recall as a writing hero; a teacher who promoted writing through their own actions? Sadly, it wasn’t until I reached my tertiary education that I actually encountered such a person. The late Tom McCabe encouraged me to become editor of the college newspaper. He talked about writing in a way that previous teachers had conspicuously failed to do. He re-ignited my passion for writing poetry. He talked with passion and authority about the joy of writing.   He was a stand out champion for writing! I certainly had teachers who stood out as beacons for literature and reading. I recall my teacher in Grade 3, reading Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi, an adventurous tale of a mongoose and his adversary, the cobra. People such as John Harris, my Grade 6 teacher,   who read the poetry of Henry Lawson and A B Paterson with great enthusiasm. He also introduced us to the work of Mark Twain and

Developing A Writing Kind of Life

This post first appeared on Two Writing Teachers as part of the Summer Guest Blogger Series. I really like the journey the writer, Ruth Metcalfe, has embarked upon. I felt it was worthy of sharing. I encourage those of you who have made the important step of developing your own writing life to read about Ruth's discoveries. It may instil greater confidence to continue... *Follow the links to discover more. GUEST BLOG POST: My (Wanna Be) Writing Life–and How It Changed My Work with Kids Posted on Friday June 10, 2011 by guestteacher Ruth Metcalfe infuses her classroom with joyful and purposeful teaching. She is passionate about teaching and learning, and loves thinking about how theory looks when put into practice in the classroom—the place where theory and practice meet. In her 20 years as an educator, Ruth has taught first, second, and fourth grades and provided professional development and coaching at both the building and district level. She has also served as a l

Stone Poetry- Assisting Writers to Build Vocabulary and Text Structure Knowledge

I recently read a newspaper account of an approach to poetry using Lego blocks used by Daniel Donahoo that was highlighted at the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne . Donahoo glued words to individual Lego pieces and then constructed shapes that served as 3D poetry. The poetry created is both a literate and visual art form. Donahoo photographs each word sculpture and then posts to various internet sites and venues around town. Donahoo’s first experiment with Lego poetry was to print out the words to Lewis Carroll’s ‘ Jabberwocky’ and stick them on Lego blocks assembled into the shape of a large dragon like creature. As I read this, I wondered where I could take the idea of three-dimensional poetry… I settled on using washed stones and combining them with the deconstruction of original poetry pieces. Because I chose to work with stones, I decided to choose short pieces of verse. Imagine working with John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost,’ you would need a truck load of gravel! A s