Sunday, April 25, 2010

Convention Update: Day Two (Part One)

Exhaustion prevailed and I did not write up the Day Two Update on Day Two.  I'm sure those who have been to a convention understand!  Here I am with about 20 minutes to spare before checking out of the hotel, we'll see how much I can run at the fingertips in that limited amount of time. 

Saturday was workshop day.  This is actually a new way of approaching the convention for me and it just happened to work that way due to the scheduling of the workshops.  After so many conventions, I typically only attend a couple of workshops and am known to sneak out if it becomes clear that there is no new information or encouragement to be gathered.  Surprisingly, I ended up attending a total of six workshops throughout the weekend (including Friday's Spelling and the Brain) and only walked out of one (I needed a break!).

First on the agenda was Andrew Pudewa's Instant Improvement in Writing.  Once again his sharp wit prevailed and made even his biting comments about bloggers tolerable. ;-)  He taught us how to teach outlining through using key words and we all worked through a paragraph, identifying three key words in each sentence, and using them to outline.  There were a couple of quotes I found to be gems once again (although the slay/sleigh remains a favorite); "The skill of thinking is closely related to the skill of asking questions.", "Summarize should be spelled some-a-rize (it's not the sum, or all, but some.)", and "The Latin root of curriculum is 'race track', the root of instruct is 'to load upon'.  To educate is 'to draw out'".  He is quite adamant that curriculum is only as good as the teacher.  We don't need to load down our kids with more and more curricula, but use what we need to "draw them out" and help them learn.  I completely agree with this philosophy but need the reminder ( as I am still a curricula junkie).  Tweaking and adapting and using what fits your student is the best way to educate, in my opinion.

He then taught us various sentence openers; subject, prepositional, "ly", "ing", clausal, and VSS (Very Short Sentences) and we practiced changing one sentence using the various openers.  We were left with the challenge to write one paragraph using each of the openers.  This was a great exercise and one I will repeat with my kids.

I found him to be quite fond of his view of writing only with outlines and was left with the impression that he would not care for National Novel Writing Month.  I believe there is room for both types of writing and different processes and love that my children create without use of outlines.  However, I did find his workshop to be refreshing and helpful.  He remains my favorite speaker of the conference.

And I have run out of time!  I will post this as Part One and finish the update at some point today or tomorrow, for those interested. 




1 comment:

Mrs. White said...

Thanks so much! This has been wonderful to read. I look forward to part 2!

Blessings,
Mrs. White

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