Friday, June 27, 2008

Literary Lunch

Grammar Absolutes

I think it was Joe, yesterday during my Image Grammar demo, who asked an excellent question about the term absolute in grammar.

The Oxford on-line dictionary says this:

9. Standing out of (the usual) grammatical relation or syntactic construction with other words, as in the ablative absolute. The absolute form of a word: that in which it is not inflected to indicate relation to other words in a sentence. Also absolute clause, comparative, construction, superlative. ¶The absolute case in English was formerly the Dative or Instrumental: it is now the Nominative.

I am sure this makes sense to all of you and this clears up Joe's question completely. :) Ha.
To me it is the "not inflected to indicate relation to other words in the sentence" that makes the most sense. I just can't articulate it. Any comments? Maybe you could explain it to me????

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jenner & Genesis Minutes for 6-24-08

Jason's Argonauts

I want to call attention to what I think is some truly amazing work being done by a fellow teacher. Jason Tutterrow is also a teacher consultant having attending the last two summer institutes. Jason and his band of eight rabble rousers have been involved in a six week elective course as part of the Miller High School summer school program.

Jason has taken his kids on a journey into the digital world through interactive blogging. If you want to know what's on these students' minds, take a hard look at their work.

The AMAZING thing is the proficiency and prolific nature of the posts. There are 372 posts divided among 9 participants. That is an amazing average of over 12 posts per day. But, even more amazing is how each student comments to almost all of each others posts. I have read a few of the posts/comments and they are definitely reading and viewing the contents of all of the posts.

Like I said, if you want to know what's on these kids' minds, it's all there in black, white, and living color. Take a look.

The Voices of an Ever Changing World

Kathy Scales_ Image Grammar

Read this document on Scribd: Image Grammar

Debra Jones _ Developing the Third Eye

Read this document on Scribd: Developing the Third Eye

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Josh -- ua's Minutes

Josh -- ua's Minutes for 6-24-08. Once again, I apologize for the gaps.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Denver Scoring Conference

Hello All,
I’ve recently made it home to New Orleans after a four day NWP Scoring Conference in Denver. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into, all I knew was that the hotel was really nice (the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in) and it was within walking distance of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. Catching live baseball and staying in a wonderful hotel on someone else’s dime were motivating factors enough for me to tell Keri that I would be up for representing the OWP.
It wasn’t all fun and games though; we did work diligently and hard. After being trained to use the scoring continuum that the national office developed (think 6+1 Writing Traits, but modified for specific evidenced based assessment), the middle school group that I was a part of scored approximately 1400 papers (there were 18 of us). Our role was that of scorers (duh) for a continued study that the Local Sites Research Initiative began four years ago (could be wrong there). I had no idea what this whole LSRI thing was, or that we were participating in any study – I just thought I was going to get taught how to score better (I was thinking quicker, more consistently) according to the NWP’s scoring rubric. Well, that is what happened, but I also learned of the reason behind it, and it really is an amazing one.
The results of this study put on by the LSRI have found that, pretty much across the board, programs developed by the NWP and implemented within writing classrooms foster better writing (now since I know the TCs from last year don’t like the word better for some reason, read the damn study yourself and then you can inform me what synonym you would use). This is an encouraging finding, especially for those currently in the SI right now wondering what you've got yourself into. *Implementation of the practices is key.
Well, after about day two I was asking myself, "what specific practices produce the significant difference?" I knew the go-to phrase for Keri and Casey last year was “research based,” much to the chagrin of Larry. I wanted to know specifically what I needed to be doing in my classroom to ensure that my students writing improved. In the previously linked article, the report Writing Next is referenced. This report describes eleven elements to improve writing achievement in grades 4-12, and includes several references to Writing Project work.
I’ll stop here, because after rereading, I realize this description has the potential to be extremely boring for those who weren’t there. I'll finished by saying that I'm encouraged by these findings, and look forward to working with future TCs to flex the OWP muscle in southwest Missouri.


Kim & Sarah Minutes from 6-23-08

I apologize for not getting the entire performance of the minutes. Enjoy what is there. :)