Revision Strategy #1: Clouds

Posted November 7, 2013 & filed under Lesson Plan, Notebook.

Revision is not easy. Even for the professionals among us, revision can be tricky. And teaching revision to young writer can be a real doozy! At WITS we practice stealth revision. That means that we break complex process of revision into parts and introduce those parts one by one. Here’s one example.

Clouds

After a student finishes her story, ask her about the different emotions in the piece.  How would she describe the feeling that goes with each part?  Does she need to add any clarification?  If so, get her to mark the place in her draft with a cloud symbol.

Then, on a separate piece of paper, the student can draw a cloud symbol and write inside it what the character was feeling at that moment.  The “cloud” is for those times when you just might need to tell (rather than show).

It helps students to have a list of synonyms (cheerful, dejected, fuming, distraught, unruffled) for common feelings (happy, sad, angry, frustrated, calm).  If they keep this list in their writing folder, they can refer to it throughout the year, and you will notice richer language in their revisions.

Here is a second grader’s revision using the cloud technique:

cloud rev ex wits

-Marcia Chamberlain, WITS Houston

Calling All Writers!

Posted July 8, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

yayWriters in the Schools (WITS) is now hiring part-time writers and educators who can share their passion for creative writing during the 2013-2014 school year. If you are interested, please complete our online applicationIn addition to the application, we ask that you include a cover letter, résumé with 3 references, and 10-page writing sample. Read more about the position hereApplications are due Monday, August 5, 2013

“Thank you, Writers in the Schools, for giving me the best job I ever had.”   -Katherine Center, former WITS writer and best-selling author

WITS is Hiring Creative Writing Teachers

Posted July 19, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Photo by Yvonne Feece

WITS is looking for 10-12 writers who can teach the joy of creative writing to young people. Employment is part-time, typically 2-6 hours of teaching one day a week from September – May. A yearlong commitment is required; however, writers who are selected to be on the WITS roster are not guaranteed immediate teaching opportunities.

The pay is $55 per teaching hour. In addition to teaching, the job duties include preparing lessons, responding to student work, and compiling anthologies of student writing at the end of the school year.

We are looking for writers and educators with teaching or mentoring experience who can convey their passion for the written word in ways that are relevant for Houston-area children. In particular, we are seeking bilingual writers, but others are encouraged to apply as well.

Visit our website for the full job description.

If you are interested in teaching with WITS, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and 10-page writing sample to [email protected] or mail to:

Jack McBride, Program Director
1523 West Main
Houston, TX 77006

To be considered for the 2011-2012 school year, applications must be received by August 5, 2011.  Applicants who are selected to teach with WITS must attend mandatory WITS orientation and training on Friday, August 26, and Saturday, August 27, 2011.

Please feel free to e-mail or call 713-523-3877 with any questions.

WITS is Hiring Creative Writing Teachers

Posted July 12, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

Instructor Kent Shaw invites campers to consider a Cy Twombly painting during a Writers In The Schools Summer Camp trip to the Menil Collection. The children used artworks on display as a startin

Photo by Dave Rossman of The Houston Chronicle

Writers in the Schools (WITS) is looking for writers and educators who can teach the joy of creative writing to young people.  Employment is part-time, typically 2-6 hours of teaching, one day a week from September – May.  A yearlong commitment is required.

The pay is $55 per teaching hour.  In addition to teaching, the job duties include preparing lessons, responding to student work, and compiling anthologies of student writing at the end of the school year.

We are looking for writers and educators with teaching or mentoring experience who can convey their passion for the written word in ways that are relevant for Houston-area children.  In particular, we are seeking bilingual writers, but others are encouraged to apply as well.

Visit our website for the full job description.

If you are interested in teaching with WITS, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and 10-page writing sample to [email protected] or mail to:

Jack McBride, Program Manager
1523 West Main
Houston, TX 77006

To be considered for the 2010-2011 school year, applications must be received by August 2, 2010.  Applicants who are selected to teach with WITS must attend mandatory WITS orientation and training on Friday, August 27, and Saturday, August 28, 2010.

Please feel free to e-mail or call 713-523-3877 with any questions.

Top Poems and Posts for February 2008

Posted February 27, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

childrens-art-by-girl-hula-via-flickr.jpg

During the month of February, these poems by students received the greatest number of hits on A Poem a Day.

Cloud
The Color Pink by Sarah
Yellow
Skateboarding
Ode to Poetry

And these posts on teaching creative writing were the most popular ones from this blog for the same period.

Tell Me About Your Heart
The Poetry Monster
Among the Antiquities
My First Book
Running for President

Your feedback is always welcome. If you have questions about teaching writing, feel free to leave them as comments below. We will make sure to keep them in mind in future posts.

(photograph by girlhula via flickr)