Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tornado of Thoughts

Writing teachers, slice with me. Go to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/

A tornado descends,
the whirlwind
of to dos--
strewn about,
the cyclone of 
what's lost,

The tornado chasers grow weary
from the futility of the pursuit
of these tornado thoughts
Off the scale--
impossible to stop,
all around--
the "to dos"
the must dos,
the crucial,
the undone,

Suddenly the storm stops,
the debris of dendrites
strewn about--
a wandering mind,
driven to distraction,
creative bursts,
a spirit of inquiry
impulsive answering,
the havoc wrought
by the tornado of her mind.

The recovery effort--
where to begin?
What to tackle first?
One thing begun,
interrupted by another
Two things begun,
both undone.

Needing redirection,
forgetting the essentials,
leaving out what's important
caught up in distractions,
never getting it quite right,
encumbered by her own whirlwind,
missing moments and losing sleep
lost in the violence of her own storm,
a self-created vortex of despair
her tornado of thoughts.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finding Space, Making Time


Ah...it's Tuesday, almost Wednesday--
Time for
finding space
making time
to write.
to write, again.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Common Core--You're a bore!

Common core,
you're a bore.
Appendix C,
the writing I abhor.

I'm venting here...

I just printed out an "exemplar" text from the Common Core site. This 8th grade informative/explanatory text does not even have a lead. Really?  Are you kidding me? This is a model text. My units are given to me to modify, the exemplars meet the standards, but they are boring. Boring. This formal academic style of writing with so little voice is scaring me tonight.

Tomorrow my students and I will evaluate this writing piece according to the standards and the rubric and discuss what makes it good and discuss where it can improve. I am wondering if my students will notice how boring the writing is and how it does little to engage the reader.

Of course, engaging the reader is no longer a part of my standards. Here are my standards:

W.6.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  • Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Should I even focus on leads/grabbers? Do they even matter any longer?  

Here is the student sample texts in case you're interested:

There are parts of CC I am enjoying, but there are other parts that have me asking where am I, where will I go, how will I find myself in all of this?

Common Core,
you're a bore.
I will not become you're whore.
I will swim until I find the shore.
I will find a way to do more,
than just achieve the score.