Friday, October 23, 2009

INTERDISCIPLINARY WRITING: A BEST PRACTICE

Extensive Writing:  We must use writing as a tool to enhance the quality of thinking.
What research says: 
  • Brings out a deeper and more abstract understanding of content.
  • Promotes learning, students remember more. 
#1:  Quick-writes:  Preparing for Learning.

While the teachers take attendance, organizes for the beginning of class.
  • Maximizes time.
  • Encourages students to develop, clarify and retain important concepts.
  • Encourages discipline-specific vocabulary development.
  • Provides opportunities for formative assessment, allowing teachers to gauge understanding and misunderstanding, 
Example of Quick-writes:
For Science

Message in Space: Prompt.  If you could send a message out to space, what message would it be or what kind of message would it be?
When you look up at the sky and view the moon, the stars.  You begin to wonder what is out there.  Are  there other planets?   Does other life exist?  Is there a God?  The message I would send out in space if I could would be the message of peace.  Peace brings use together, it promotes learning, sharing, understanding.  If there is others we want them to know that we are willing to accept them for their similarities and differences. We want them to know that we will work with them to understand the universe and how we can use it to live happy, healthy, peaceful lives.  My message would be peace, which means understanding, respect and the ability to work with each other.   PEACE be with you!

For Math: Prompt.  Write about a time when you had to make a decision based on probability, while playing a game, participating in sport, or performing some other task.
As a coach we deal with probability all the time. What play to call?  What player to use.  What I choose will effect the outcome of the game.  Should I go for two points after the touchdown or should I kick the extra point.  What percentage of time does my kicker make it through.  We have to understand the concept of probability, but also need to know the facts before making decisions.  How speedy is the runner? How powerful?

#2 More extensive writing across the curriculum.  Some suggestions.
  1. Model books for younger audiences.  Why? Powerful concepts  Problem solution, persuasion.
  2. Blogs and wiki's focusing on explanations and explorations of subject matter.  Collaboration. Authentic audience.
  3. Use Autobiographies.  Window to students thoughts.
  4. Explanation of previously learned concepts.  Blogs & Vlogs.
  5. 1st person explanation.  Take on the personality of the person and write a letter to and from an audience. Historical figure to today kids.  Animals to humans. etc.
  6. Weekly journals/blog entries focusing on what the students feel the are learning.
  7. Critique/compare essays focusing on artists, musicians, artifacts, periods. 
  8. Write screen plays. 
#3 Enhancing Debate, through online role playing. Pick a character and see what happens.

Notes to yourself about what you are teaching recently or what is coming up?

In my tech class students are learning to use the tools of a painting application.  How do you choose what the brush looks like, how to change the color.  The erase tool, how to make the tool bigger. Etc.

Quick-writes in my subject manner: Write some prompts for Quick-writes.

Why is facebook the most popular social site in the country?

What programs do you use to help you learn?

Student Writing Pompt -has to be a good one to get the quality that you expect in extensive writing.

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