Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ietherpad- "Night Sky" Revision

Picture 2

We have working on Trait #2 of the 6+ Traits of Writing, Organization. For this lesson, we've examined the idea of the "Wandering Spotlight", or getting off-track and adding details that take away from the main idea of the piece. Using a tool called ietherpad, you will collaborate with other students in the class to practice recognizing and revising texts in which the author has let the spotlight wander! The first piece which you will work on in small groups is the "Night Sky" activity which is found in the 6+ Traits Student Book. Work with your group and CROSS OUT (DO NOT delete any writing) the details which you think are not relevant to the topic, and which cause the piece to get off-topic and look poorly organized. BE SURE to discuss with your group members the changes that are being made and why you are making them. You will need this info for your reflection.

After you complete the revision task, you will complete the following tasks on your own blog:

1.) Take a screen shot of your finished revision (if you do not know how to do this, please ask me for help).
2.) Start a new blog post on your class blog.
3.) Up load the picture of the original text of "Night Sky" (you can get this from my blog)
4.) Then, upload the screenshot of the final version, after your group has finished revising it.
5.) Write an INDIVIDUAL reflection about the changes that your group made to the piece, why you made them, and how you think these changes made the piece sound better. Be detailed and descriptive in your answers. THEN, discuss whether or not it is easy to keep the spotlight on the topic when you are writing, and why or why not.

Please make sure that you are reading ALL of the directions carefully, and following them completely.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kids are amazing!!

Watch this video, featuring a 12-year-old who has all kinds of fascinating things to say!

Your task for this assignment is to watch the entire video, then write a post on your blog that gives a summary of what she says. Then, in a separate paragraph, DESCRIBE TWO THINGS that she says which you agree with, and explain why. THEN, write TWO things that you think adults can learn from kids (explain this well).

Obviously, you will have to read two other students' posts and write a meaningful comment for each one responding to what they say.

Have fun with this! I hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let's Learn Wordle!

Wordle is a fun little tool that you can use with any type of text. It takes text and creates a "word cloud" with it. Here is an example that I made using the poem "Homework Machine" by Shel Silverstein:

Picture 2

The Homework Machine, oh the Homework Machine,
Most perfect contraption that's ever been seen.
Just put in your homework, then drop in a dime,
Snap on the switch, and in ten seconds' time,
Your homework comes out, quick and clean as can be.
Here it is--"nine plus four?" and the answer is "three."
Oh me . . .
I guess it's not as perfect
As I thought it would be.

So, here is your class task:

1.) Find a poem that you really like. It has to be appropriate for class, and must be at least 10 lines long, but aside from that, you can choose any poem that you like.

2.) Go to Wordle.net and create a word cloud out of your poem by copying and pasting the text.

3.) Take a screen shot of your Wordle (apple + shift + 4, then be sure to select all of the image. When you are ready to take the picture, let go of the mouse).

4.) up load your Wordle into your post, then paste in the regular version of your poem. DO NOT forget to put the title and author of the poem first.

5.) Next, write a reflection about the poem. Describe the reasons why you like it, and what you think it is about. For example, I would not just say that "Homework Machine" is about a homework machine; I would say that it is about not doing things the easy way, because often when we try to get out of doing something (or when we try to do it as quickly and easily as possible), the outcome is not what we want or need. It's better to put in the time and effort in order to have a positive result.

This reflection should be in two separate paragraphs in the post.

6.) Post everything to your blog (Word cloud, poem, and reflection).

7.) Lastly, read the poems and reflections of two other people, and write a meaningful comment for each one.

Have fun!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poetry Month Continues!

Below are two pictures that create very different moods. Your task for today is to look closely at the two pictures, then write one poem for EACH picture that has the same mood. The poems do not need to rhyme, but they must each contain 10 OR MORE lines! Post the picture with each poem (the link for each is included).

Then, look at the blogs for two other students in the class. Read their poems, and comment on each one. So, in the end, you will need to have written FOUR comments total. Please make your comments meaningful.



Good luck, and have fun!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poetry Month Kickoff!

April is Poetry Month, so let's start a mini-unit on poetry in ESL class. As our starting assignment, we are going to write an illustrated poem. All students were given a list of 20 words, and told to choose 10. Now write a poem using these 10 words; the poems can be about anything and don't have to rhyme. Next, students will find a picture that they feel illustrates their poem, and add it to their blog post.

When everyone is finished, students will read the poems of all of their classmates, and comment on two.

Here is mine:

(The words that I chose were: Difficult, Educational, Love, Ridiculous, Strong, Peaceful, Knowledge, Crazy, Laughter, and Homework)


A peaceful class
can quickly turn
crazy and ridiculous
when something educational
leads to laughter,
such as asking students
if they love to do homework.
It can be difficult
to get back on track,
but in the end,
their strong desire for knowledge
will always win.