Daily Archives: March 4, 2015

From Random Spellings to Intentional Choices

So how did that trip to the Computer Lab go?

We wanted to continue our work with spelling so off to the computer lab we went with our biography cards all ready to be typed and published. I started to type up my biography card(with errors) up on the Eno Board for all the students to see, and had the children take a look and then comment of what they saw. Being naturally helpful, they were quick to Spelling Inotice the red lines on the screen and to point out all the mistakes that I made.

A conversation began connecting the digital writing to their own writing in the classroom with a focus on the importance of making it look right to the reader. It was their turn to try it and the typing began. It didn’t take long for them to start noticing and talking about the red lines that were appearing on their screen. We experimented with spell check and right clicking on the words for suggested spellings and alongside this we took out our word lists as a tool to help us make our work the best it could be. It was amazing to see how open to fixing their spelling they were when the activity was completed on the computer. They were fully engaged and focused on the task of fixing everything to get rid of the red lines. Again, we connected this process to the editing process in the classroom. Reflecting we wondered…

Why did children seem more motivated to do this work on the computer rather than on paper?
Spelling IIIs there a way to make editing on paper mirror the activity we did on the computer so the children will be more engaged in the editing process?

New Thinking & Try Try Again…
Maybe – we should try a spinner (like on the old board games) where children spin the spinner for different ways to engage a less appealing editing process like spelling – one could be: spell check, ask a friend, highlighter tag, or dictionary safe zone. Then keep a tally as to what kids find the most helpful.

What does the research say about spelling anyway? We’ll have to look into that for next time.

Everyone Needs A Deadline

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So, I was at Downtown Disney over the break and there were inspirational quotes all along the walls where construction deadlineswas being completed.  I took a number of pictures of them because I knew they would come in use at a later date either for me or with my students.  Of course, the first thing I did was send them to Jenn for us to talk about, confirm our beliefs/practices and for inspiration.  Well, I immediately thought of this quote yesterday when we were trying to get our post done by the deadline.  Personal items in our lives were making it difficult but “Everyone needs a deadline”.  This was so true for us.  We felt the pressure and it pushed us to finish the post and publish it on time not put it off for another day.

When I read the post this morning, I noticed that in our attempt to make our deadline, our editing suffered.  There were a few mistakes that got past us.  Again, I started to make connections; connections to my students and their editing in the classroom.  We have written posts about how we can improve and maintain spelling and editing with students.  During this experience, I felt like we were in the shoes of our students.  We were working so hard on putting our ideas together, making it interesting for our audience and trying to maneuver so many different things that editing took a back seat.  I could see how easy it is for our students to do the same thing especially with a deadline.  I think noticing the errors this morning was an important part of the process.  How can we mirror this with our students?  How can we make them aware of the importance of editing?