Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daniel Pink says

Daniel Pink is on my mind because I just started reading his newest book Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. Here are his 7 rules of writing (for himself) - from his blog.

Reading my friend's recent blog post reminded me to set writing goals, especially for extended vacations. But the truth is that I want to write every day (just maybe not 500 words like Dan Pink).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March is the insane month

Small wonder I've only managed 2 posts in March: My daughter's 9th birthday 3 weeks ago and various related festivities, her first ever piano recital 2 weeks ago, her many rehearsals leading up to this weekend's school talent show hula hoop performance, my mom's visit last weekend from NYC/Taiwan, and my annual professional performance review on March 31st to wrap it all up!

Top pic - Sabres game for daughter and husband's birthdays - and both caught on the jumbotron twice and live TV once (right after overtime winning goal)!

Bottom pic - Buffalo Museum of Science during my mom's visit. Rooftop was open with telescopes to see the SUN!

WAIT! I read a few GREAT books!!! My friend Sonya Chung (from our college years) published her first novel Long for This World on March 2, and I LOVED it!!!  Intense Korean American family drama, reminded me of the novels of Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, Alice Hoffman.

I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - super interesting! I especially appreciated the connections to education/learning/motivation.

Currently, I'm reading The Birth Order Book - why you are the way you are by Dr. Kevin Leman. IT'S SOOOOO GOOD! Really!!! I don't know why it's taken me so long to find it.  Dr. Leman explains everyone, including you and your crazy family. You'll love it, unless you're a middle child and don't like to explained, like my husband.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

genre study

Literary genres are important to me as a teacher because they help students to understand and guide their reading choices. I know some folks might think of genres as labels and therefore limiting and contrived. But they're useful guides for reading!

My 7th grade classes are in the middle of a genre mini-unit. I use my new books (yay!) to give examples and then assess their knowledge of different genres.  Tomorrow I'm giving an open notes test in "science lab" style, i.e. each desk has one book labeled with a number. Students rotate around the room in number order and must identify the genre of the book at that desk and explain what information led them to their conclusion. Today they practiced this "lab" as review.

Here's a "flash card" style review game on Quizlet.com of literary genres (created by some teacher I know, ahem).

I also teach writing by genre. Teaching reading and writing by genre just is very natural and fun!