We are happy to announce the addition of two members to our editorial team. Lindsay and Amber will be working with us to develop our author coaching practices and to solicit and edit research briefs and talking points. Our blog is growing!
Here is what our editorial board has been reading these last few weeks. Perhaps one of these links will inspire you to respond via a post on Writers Who Care.
Kristen’s Virtual Shelf
This video is a powerful multimodal composition that brings together a message (captured here by the title), spoken word, and visual imagery. This piece by sulibreezy was sent to me by a family member who knows my passion for education. What do you think of the compositional choices? The message?
Even days after reading these posts, I cannot forget these parents, their words, and the fact that their experiences with schooling are not unique. Whose voices do you know that need to be heard? How can you help them speak loudly on behalf of their students?
Leah’s Picks to Click
Sometimes the life-changing power of writing is dramatic, as in this story on the InsideOut Writers project: “Writing Saved My Life”: Juvenile Offenders Find Redemption in Unlikely Place. And sometimes writing is simply part of our everyday routines, but new tools changes how we are able to think and what we are able to do….whether for better or for worse: How Have Tools Like Google and YouTube Changed the Way You Work? What needs to happen for the students in your life to write in life-changing ways? To take charge of their writing and learn to use the right tools and strategies at the right times?
Like educators in Seattle and elsewhere, a group of elementary teachers in Chicago Public Schools have refused to participate in a state-mandated standardized test–even in the face of significant pressure from administrators and state officials. This story serves as an ongoing reminder of teacher and parent agency, and evidence of the growing opt-out movement. How do parents and teachers in your area respond to testing in schools?
Amber’s Favorite Finds
Often the work of young writers is discounted or overlooked, but the writers of the Two Writing Teachers blog take an appreciative look at the resources and strengths their students bring to their work. In On Being a Writer, Dana Murphy, a literacy coach and former teacher, explains how her first-grade students are purposeful in their writing; they engage in meaningful work to communicate with audiences. How can we create more opportunities for our young writers do do that kind of work in schools?
This essay by Stan Karp, published in Rethinking Schools, takes a look at the history and politics surrounding the Common Core. Though we all hope for high standards in our schools, Karp explains how government-imposed standards are, “undermined by bad process, suspect political agendas, and commercial interests.” Karp’s essay is an intelligent explanation of why we oppose high stakes testing for our students. What are some methods for us to continue to advocate for what we know to be best for students despite government standards and high stakes testing?
What have you been reading? What has sparked your thinking? Write about it!