Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meeting the Trait Lady

Today I went to a professional development day with Ruth Culham, the pioneering researcher of the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing model. I have been using this program for years, but it was great to finally meet the person who developed this writing model. Now I know that one-day workshops are the least effective way for us to really learn how to implement something into our classrooms, however since I already know how to use the system I was able to clarify and enhance what I already do. My school has been working hard to align our writing curriculum with the Common Core State Standards. Ruth shared a link that has the standards alignment with the trait writing program. This is an alignment for the the Scholastic Trait Program, but something is better than nothing and I thought it was a good resource. Currently only K-5 is completed, but she did say that 6-8 will be out in March.

A fantastic mentor text she shared for the trait of voice was Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O'Malley.
This is a hilarious book about a boy and a girl who had to tell a fairy tale to their class, but they couldn't agree on the story. There are two distinct voices in this book. The girl wants the story to be gentle and sweet, while he wants it to be adventurous and daring. I think this would be an awesome partner project for students to publish together. So I immediately stopped at the library after the workshop and check this book out. I am thinking that a digital story would be fun, however I have never done one before with my students so it will be a learning experience. Not sure how to really do it, but google is awesome and I am sure I will figure something out. This would make another great blog post! I also use  as a resource frequently and they have created a teacher guide for this book that has graphic organizers and lesson resources.

I ended the day renewed and excited to teach writing again. Something that is always needed since our jobs are so draining and sometimes we can get into a rut. This profession always needs inspiration!

Oh...and the last thing I did before I left the workshop
was get my book signed. I know, such a nerd.

Lastly, Lindsey from My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher is having a giveaway! She is the one who really got me   to decide to do this blog. She now has over 200 followers and to celebrate she is giving away a $20 Target gift card. Head over to her blog to enter.

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