Monday, June 27, 2016

Bringing Writing to Mathematics

I am involved in the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project #SJVWP this summer. I am looking forward to this course and implementing writing in my mathematics classroom. I have been including some chemistry and physics in my lessons. As a former homeschool parent/educator, I have discovered that including as many subjects together made the learning and teaching more interesting and applicable to real life as well as making the lessons more understandable and memorable.

Think about the process of writing a draft of your essay. What emotions do you feel? What attitudes do you have about writing? What do you believe about writing?

There are different emotions when writing. When I really get into the grove, I feel empowered. I love to write and have always loved the experience of playing with words. A part of me goes into the work and I am able to settle thoughts and come to conclusions. My attitude is difficult to really pinpoint. I guess if I were to lean one way or the other, it would be a little bit of uncertainty and a bit of physical release. I believe that writing has the power to make us better people and document history and reading is the same: it brings history to life and educates us as well.

  • Pre 1970s - rhetoric - composition studies were not yet a field.
  • 1970 study of cognition in relation to writing yielded rich information/ideas about the writing process (Donald Murray "Teach Writing as a Process not a Product")
  • Not isolated: reading and writing work together - and writing is a tool for learning and discovery (meaning that writing can support learning in any content area)
  • The writing process is an important component of composition pedagogy - but not when it is reduced to a formula or series of steps
  • Writing process cognitive acts successful writers make (Flower and Hayes)
  • Prewriting: making an outline, analyzing free-writing material, word wall, KWL chart, think-pair share, annotate a text for re-write, research, mind maps, story boards, use of journals, quick writes, reading a story relating to writing a story.
  • Draft: address a counter argument, write an introduction, red light/green light activity: circle the beginnings of sentences of a draft in green and the ending of sentences in red. Adjust punctuation if necessary.
  • Revision: Explode the moment - take a section and expand, engage in peer responses, cut and paste/rearrange sections, direct instruction on grammar, edit draft, cut up a paragraph into sentence strips and rearrange them.
  • Publication: submit story to writing competition, read a draft in the author's chair, blog, read aloud to class, create anthology of written work, read picture book to audience.
How do we help Ss transition from the draft process to the revision part.
Free-writing is not necessarily draft.
Teaching Ss to collaborate is preparing them for the work force.

Composition Theory - The study of writing
  • Read and annotate: underline, write questions, engage with the descriptions of different approaches to writing instruction
  • In a small group discuss what you noticed, liked, had questions about
  • individually which approach do you feel reflects how you feel writing should be taught
  • what would you need to do in your instruction to reflect this approach? What could you change and/or add to your teaching?
  • What questions do you have about teaching writing?
Writing and Cognition: 
  • Writing as a process: voice to their thinking
  • Expressionism: ideas, thoughts, lives through writing
  • Writing as Decision Making: arguments, time to reflect
  • Genre Theory:analysis of genre conventions in ways that develop deep understandings of how texts are constructed.
  • Critical Literacy/Social Constructivist: specific cultural and historical contexts
Help Ss to develop a tool kit for writing

Frank Curre - Tattooed on your soul
  • On December 7, 1941, thousands were killed when the Japanese bombed the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii.
  • Frank Curre was still a teenager then. He had enlisted just the year before and ended up at Pearl Harbor aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee.
  • At StoryCorps, Frank remembered how he got from his Texas hometown to an island in the Pacific Ocean.
It was early in the morning, just before 8 am on December 7, 1941. There was the sounds of Japanese fighter planes overhead. The pains of my stomach were becoming more unbearable. I could not stand it anymore. I could no longer walk and yet for two hours I heard the bombing. It was devastating. I was devastated. I did not know if I would survive to birth this child that was obviously on its way without concern of the bombing of our naval base in Honolulu. Soon the barrage was over and my child peaked her head out of the home she has resided in this past nine months. What did I bring her into? I later found out that there were 20 American vessels, eight battle ships and more than 300 planes as well as more than 2000 Americans died.

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