Tag Archives: #NCTEchat

Crafting a Guiding Philosophy of Teaching Writing using NCTE Position Statements

This post is written by member Peggy Semingson. 

peggysemingsonNCTE has so many excellent and readily available digitized resources for teachers and teacher educators via the main web page. In this blog post, I describe how teachers and teacher educators can make use of a specific resource: the 2016 NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing for educators to reflect on practice and foster dialogue, for instance within Professional Learning Communities or within literacy-focused teacher-education courses.

As a literacy teacher-educator, one of the graduate classes I teach for P–12 educators in our online master’s program in literacy studies is a class on teaching the writing process. For this course, I draw extensively on the 2016 NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing. This is a prominent and important document. Previously, Lisa Fink posted on this blog about the use of the belief statements and led a blog-based reflection across several posts. A 2015 NCTE Twitter chat focused specifically on the belief statements.

The first ten belief statements were designed by an NCTE subcommittee and updated and reposted most recently in February 2016. I have found the concise belief statements to be extremely beneficial for the practicing teachers in my class to read, reflect on, and use as a tool to craft/write their own guiding philosophy about teaching writing. The statements cover a broad array of topics relating to writing instruction. Each statement provides concrete connections to practice such as “What does this mean for teaching?” as well as related links to other connected NCTE position statements. What is especially useful about this position statement on writing, is it encompasses several areas that have been prone to debate such as automated grading and multimodal writing. Additionally, the statement is a quick read and definitely worth a read for all educators.

How I integrate the reading and evaluation of this specific position statement with educators is described here in a modified version.

Step 1: Read the 2016 NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing. Annotate the position statement with your own thoughts, analytics, critique, applications, connections, etc.

Step 2: Consider the position statement resource, as well as other resources you have come across: teacher blogs, your own experiences, books, conferences, podcasts, authors, and other sources of information and inspiration regarding the topics of writing instruction. Write a reflection on your own beliefs about the teaching of writing, drawing on the ideas from the 2016 NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing. This can be shared in a notebook, on a blog post, on a Google Doc, or in other public or private place to write.

Step 3: In addition to a digital written reflection (long-form blog post or essay), consider creating a short podcast (e.g., using VoiceThread on a mobile device) or video that is one to five minutes  long describing your beliefs about teaching of writing. Extension: Consider sharing a link to your beliefs via social media, a blog post, or other digital medium. If posting your short podcast or video to Twitter, consider using the hashtag #NCTEchat and @ncte to connect to the broader NCTE Twitter community.

It is my hope that educators can consider exploring and using the 2016 NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing as a tool to reflect, synthesize their thinking about writing, and share that knowledge with others in digital formats.

For more on other NCTE position statements, click here.

Peggy Semingson is an NCTE member and an associate professor of Literacy Studies at The University of Texas at Arlington. She is the Layered Literacies column editor for The ALAN Review for 2016. You can reach her at peggys@uta.edu.

June #nctechat preview: Books That Changed My Life

June #nctechat

We hope you’ll join us on Twitter Sunday June 19 at 8 PM ET for #nctechat: Books That Changed My Life.  Read more about the inspiration for the chat from this post earlier in June.

Here is a preview of the questions to guide the chat:

  • Tell us about the book(s) that changed your life.
  • How did you discover that life changing book?
  • Is there a book you can pinpoint that turned you into a reader?
  • Have you ever given someone else a book that changed them?
  • Was there ever a book you assigned as a teacher or read as a student that changed a whole class?
  • What are some life-changing books you’ve heard other people talk about that you haven’t had an opportunity to read yet? (Perhaps a summer reading goal?)

What Books Have Changed Your Life?

June #nctechatLast year during Independent Bookstore Day, a local bookstore in Ann Arbor where I live set up a photo booth and asked patrons to take a picture with a “Book That Changed My Life.” I didn’t actually participate in this photo booth experience because I didn’t know about it until I read the store’s blog post about it afterwards, but even with the ephemeral nature of the Internet and social media, that idea has continued to stick with me all these months later. What books have changed my life? My colleagues’ lives? And more importantly, my students’ lives?

When I was tasked with the job of planning this month’s #nctechat to revolve around summer reading, I thought about how we could use this as an opportunity to remind educational stakeholders that reading can be more than just for learning and for leisure. The right book in the right hands at the right time can be a life-transforming experience.

But so often students are presented summer reading as a job. An assignment. A way to extend the school year and turn it into yet another dreaded task to carry out with as little joy as possible. And in our effort to prevent the “summer slide” we lose sight of those other reasons for which we read: not just to learn, but to find joy and be transformed.

On Sunday June 19 at 8 PM ET, we invite you to join our #nctechat on Twitter to discuss all those life-changing books and writers in your life. But let’s also extend this conversation to the people who matter the most: our students. Invite any and all stakeholders to be a part of the discussion: students, parents, colleagues, and even the authors of the life-changing books themselves. By the end of this month’s chat, we hope you will be reminded not just of those books that changed your life, but how you can help your students find their own path to life-changing reading experiences.

Questions for the chat:

  1. Let’s begin by introducing ourselves. Are you here to share your love of reading as a teacher, student, parent, author?
  2. Let’s get to what we’re here for: Tell us about the book(s) that changed your life.
  3. How did you discover that life changing book?
  4. Is there a book you can pinpoint that turned you into a reader?
  5. Have you ever given someone else a book that changed them?
  6. Was there ever a book you assigned as a teacher or read as a student that changed a whole class?
  7. What are some life-changing books you’ve heard other people talk about that you haven’t had an opportunity to read yet? (Perhaps a summer reading goal?)

 

Join us for #nctechat this Sunday

April #nctechat During a presidential election year, it’s always difficult to navigate productive class discussions when politics are involved. Though it can be a volatile topic where emotions run high, as teachers we must also recognize that a sense of civic engagement can and should be nurtured in the classroom. If we want the next generation of citizens to be critical thinkers, school can and should be a place where we have those tough, sometimes uncomfortable conversations with our students.

Join our hosts Frank Baker and Kaitlin Popielarz this Sunday at 8 PM ET on Twitter for #nctechat to discuss Politics and Language: Teaching Critical Literacy in an Election Year.

Here is a preview of the questions for the chat:

  • How do you plan to incorporate the election process & political issues in your subject area?
  • What standards are you hoping to meet by incorporating the election process/political issues in your classroom ?
  • How can you use media in the classroom to teach and discuss political issues?
  • How can we encourage students to critically examine media and political rhetoric?
  • How can you provide opportunities for students to be active in local issues and elections in their own communities?
  • In what ways can we empower our students to speak up on political issues that matter to them?
  • How do we prepare ourselves and our students for discussing important but sometimes volatile issues in the classroom?

Join us this Sunday for #nctechat: Everyday Advocacy

Everyday AdvocacyDoes the state of education policy today overwhelm you? Does the thought of contacting your congressman or senator intimidate you? In honor of Advocacy Month, join Dr. Cathy Flesicher and members of her teacher advocacy group on Twitter this Sunday at 8 PM ET for #‎nctechat‬ where our topic will be Everyday Advocacy. We will be discussing the small ways you can advocate for your students and your profession everyday. Don’t forget to check out our new Everyday Advocacy website in preparation for the chat.

Preview the questions we will be discussing throughout the hour-long chat:

  • What is one thing you wish the public understood about literacy learning today?
  • How could you share your understanding of literacy with a parent or community member?
  • How might you draw attention to your students’ great work through social media?
  • Where could you find a new ally in your school community?
  • How can you advocate in smaller, more local ways than just contacting your senator or tweeting your congressman?
  • What is a long term goal you would like to advocate for and what is a small step you can take to help make that happen?