It was only a few summers ago during Abydos Training that I met the famed Gretchen Bernabei. I was totally blown away by her presentation (read my notes on it here). I am thrilled that Gretchen Bernabei will be visiting my school district later this month (next week, in fact) to facilitate professional learning. I hope I can sit in the audience and make connections between writing and technology. In the meantime, if you’re familiar with Gretchen Bernabei’s work, you may want to attend this free San Antonio Writing Project conference taking place in early February, 2013 in San Antonio, Tx. I am making plans to attend!
“Our schools should be accountable, but do they have to become joyless halls of drudgery? I’m not against measuring student achievement and learning. But can’t we develop lessons that use the best of what we know about learning and about children, lessons informed by research and results, lessons that include color, life, conversation and laughter?” —Gretchen Bernabei
The Story of My Thinking…the goal in The Story of My Thinking is to help teachers take their kids through the various stages of the writing process (from generating ideas to publication) in a way that breaks down the barrier between “academic” writing and “creative” writing and helps kids produce vibrant nonfiction with voice and conviction.The Story of My Thinking provides 13 writing activities for familiar teaching situations, with step-by-step lessons that help you bridge the gap between narrative and informative writing. Using the same classroom-tested strategies that made Crunchtime a bestseller, the authors give the flexibility of dipping in and out of the lessons as you need them. For example, “If you want them to explore topics for deep development and systemic growth,” use Gretchen’s “Inner Streams/Gritty Life” activity along with the tools that help students plan their thinking. Choose the lesson that matches your teaching situation today, and then another one tomorrow.When authentic, personal experiences replace canned, pre-written topics, and students are provided with structures that reflect how readers read, their writing transforms from formulaic to passionate. And when students have plenty of chances to write about topics that are meaningful to them, in a variety of ways, for a variety of situations, then they will be ready for any writing assignment.