Sunday, January 31, 2010

Murray Gadd

I was lucky enough to sit in on Murray Gadd's workshops when he took College Street School on their journey to become better reader teachers. So when I saw his name on the conference speakers list I jumped at it!

Murray had 3 'work shops' (seminars); one specifically about writing, another specifically about reading, and the final about the links between reading and writing. I did not choose all three but after going to the first workshop, I was so amazed that I needed to go to all! Here is my thinking:
What is quality writing and how do we know if students are producing it?
Oh, you’ve got to be passionate about the writing. Murray uses strong feelings towards all writing samples his energy is infectious and I want to transfer this into my own practise.
Quality writing, as written by students, is generally writing that:
  • Has clear authentic purpose
  • Meets its purpose clearly
  • Is written in a voice/register that is appropriate to its purpose and audience
  • Is rich in ideas, infer thoughts or feelings. Including details that directly related to the purpose
  • Is precise in its meaning
  • Is sincere in tone
  • Is structured or organized well to meet it’s purpose
  • Flows well and has a satisfying cohesion or coherence. Often means an engaging beginning and a satisfying conclusion. “An engaging beginning and a conclusion that makes me go wow”
  • Makes use of appropriate vocabulary and language features
  • Suggests evidence of thoughtful reflection and re-crafting
  • Is presented thoughtfully and meaningfully in terms of surface or technical features (grammar,/syntax, spelling, punctuation)
  • Is planned and written to have an impact on the audience
  • Stimulates the reader’s interest, ideas or imagination.
What is needed for students to produce quality writing?
  • Personally significant for intended audience
  • Topic-specific knowledge
  • Literacy knowledge
  • What achievement or success looks like
  • Organise yourself and plan
  • Using the best vocabulary for that specific time
  • Reflect on and make changes
  • Makes goals has feedback
  • Takes risks
  • Faith in their ability (self-effacacy)
Develop readers who can understand and make use of what they read and who are motivated …

  • Decode
  • Understand vocab (Gadd thinks this is super important)
  • Comprehension stratigies
Requiring students to re-tell or discuss text is a good way to check understanding.
The man who walked between the towers - Monrbical Gersteim; Man on wire – DVD; To the clouds – Philippe Petite
What feat did Philippe Petit performs how he does it and why he does it?
· Self-fulfilling
· For the challenge
· To be the first to be famous
· Rebellious
· He wanted to be free
Writing after he did when you put their selves into his shoes/police shoes/ spectators shoes?
To do this we will need to:
Infer: you had to put yourself in his shoes make connections to find out what’s going on
Make connections how hard would this be to do in 1970?
Prior knowledge: balance, twin towers, street performer
1. Making connections between prior real world and literacy related knowledge and the text
2. Forming and testing hypotheses about texts (predicting in comprehension)
a. Use clues to make links to prior knowledge
b. Read to check hypotheses
c. Reflect on hypotheses and revise new thoughts or learning.
3. Asking Questions of themselves, others and text
a. Focus on selected part
b. Form a questions that relates
c. Keep question in your mind as they read so that they recognize and bring together clues as they arise
d. Reflecting on what they have found out and how this has changed their thinking or helped their comprehension
e. Asking new questions in light of what they have found out
4. Creating mental images or visualizing from the text
5. Inferring meaning from sections of the texts
a. Draw awerness that real meanings isn’t just in the word
b. We find clues in pictures
c. Make lnks with their own knowledge experience in relation to the clues
d. Deciding what is really meant based on the clues
i. “Stormed into the room with a face like thunder – how was I feeling?”
6. Identifying the authors purpose and point of view in the text
a. Who is writing is for
b. How does this stance affect the position of the writer
c. Search specific indicators
7. Summarising the main ideas of the text
a. Think about organization of the text identify main points main/subsidiary points
b. Stating each main point succinctly
c. Ordering mainpoint in a way that makes sense to the reader.
i. Background
ii. Getting ready
iii. Tight rope
iv. Arrested
v. Tight rope in park
8. Identifying the theme of the text
a. Thin of themselves as a writer who has a main idea to convey
b. Look for evidence
9. Analysing and synthesing ideas and information
a. Take things apart then put them together what do they tell us?
10. Evaluating ideas and information from the text
How do we teach comp strategies?
Give feedback about use of the strategy. Need to do more of this!!!

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