Showing posts from August, 2019

Finding Stillpoints in Writing

POST UPDATED June 2021   A few years back I learnt the term ‘stillpoints’ upon reading a book titled   ‘ Write  Starts – Prompts, Quotes and Exercise to Jumpstart Your Creativity’ by Hal Zina Bennett. It’s Bennett’s word for those moments in our lives when we are totally at one with the  now ; we are so  with  whatever we are doing or feeling or thinking that everything else seems to stop. In writing, Bennett sees stillpoints as  aha!  moments created when our words strike a special chord, It occurs when we express something clearly, authentically and beautifully. It resonates as clearly as the ringing of a fine crystal bell. Sometimes teachers refer to this as writing about small moments in greater detail. The writer dwells on a moment to highlight it for the reader. The moment is expanded with deliberate intent. As we know, the writer doesn't lend equal time (or words) to every aspect of a story. The story would be quite boring to read if this was the case. The pace of the

A View of Editing Aiming To Empower Young Writers

How do we assist students to establish clear procedures for editing their writing? How do we help them to develop skills for proofreading? A basic idea: • Expect your students to be their own first editor. Build this into the routines in your class. • Model and demonstrate how you undertake such a routine. Reveal your process. • Notice student needs based on the edits your students make and teach accordingly. • During conferences teach one or two editing skills students might use. Avoid overloading the learner. Sample Editing Checklist. Suitable for Grade 2 (Adapted from Ralph Fletcher) SKILL I have written complete sentences I have used capital letters at the beginning of sentences   I have used correct ending punctuation   I have checked the spelling of key words *You could modify the list according to the age level or the need. When it comes to the issue of correction, I suggest teachers provide feedback that engages students in co

The World of the Visibly Literate Educator

This is a lengthy post... I have had requests to publish my recent keynote address from the Beyond The Bell, Literacy Challenge Day in Hamilton, Victoria. This is a slightly abridged version. I therefore ask, -should you choose to use any part of this address, that you duly acknowledge the source. The World of the Visibly Literate Educator 'Thank you for this special opportunity to speak today and share some observations gathered across a teaching life steeped in rich literate experiences. -A life that has nourished my passion and enthusiasm as a lifelong reader and writer and self-confessed, curious learner. The following words of American educator and writer, Regie Routman in her book, ‘Literacy At The Crossroads’ sing to me over and over again.   ‘If we want our students to be thinkers, researchers, collaborators, readers, writers, and evaluators, then they need to see us thinking, researching, collaborating, reading, writing and evaluating. We