Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Not written feedback, but oral feedback; this is what I kept thinking about as I went through the articles for this week. As I read through Tess and Elizabeth's posts, I wondered about putting myself in their shoes, green pen in hand and having to go through the process of giving written feedback. I have since realized this is a perk (in my eyes) of teaching first graders. I guess what that perk comes down to is time. TIME! Don't we all need more of that?

In the beginning of the Ferris article she discusses what she tells beginning teachers: "I do try to seer trainees toward a selective, prioritized approach to responding rather than attempting to address every problem they see in every student paper" (170). I was then thinking about the book How's It Going (my book study book) and how Anderson also gives us permission to NOT address every problem you see in a paper. Ferris discusses how to be "selective and prioritizing" (170) when giving feedback. Thinking about a few things rather than fixing the whole paper is something I need to keep in mind when I read my first grader's writing with them. They have tried their best and have many grammatical errors along with structural pieces that are not in place. However I need to be sure to focus on one (maybe 2) things for that piece of writing. I can only imagine how they feel if I begin saying, "Well, this doesn't make sense, and you're making progress with punctuation, but..." I can think back to conferences that have been similar to that, but I continue to try and improve and learn!

I also thought the Adger article was interesting simply because I haven't really thought about writing from that angle before. Isn't is interesting, based on where you teach/have taught, how different experiences can be when looking at written work. I think back to a child I had 2 years ago, and his verbiage within his writing: I tried to change it to be "right." Using my schema and experiences, that's what I had to go from. My experiences with vernacular dialects was and still is limited. I loved reading through Elizabeth's post because it really brings this article to "real meaning." I also recalled our conversation in class about standardized tests and who the tests are really written for in connection to page 123 of the Adger article. Here he states, "There is also some possibility of cultural bias in the topics assigned by the test." This really made a connection to what we've discussed, and continues to remind me to look at things differently, rather than the "normal" way.

Bits and pieces...that's what these articles gave me. Bits and pieces of information about dialect, feedback and approach to conferencing in a written way, but also things I can take with me in an oral way. There are things to try and remember. It means I'm still learning!

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