Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Summarizing Books on Writing

There is a probably a better way of summarizing, but I'm afraid, I haven't mastered it yet. My own children have always had trouble summarizing. When I facilitated reciprocal teaching in my own classroom with adolescents, I discussed ways of summarizing, but those approaches have slipped away from me. In truth, I find summarizing a bit tough without engaging in some reflection about what I'm summarizing. Too much blogging?

Anyways, what follows over the next few blog entries are summaries I'm doing for my participation in Abydos Train the Trainer series. The process is quite fun:

  • You attend one day of introduction to Abydos Learning Expectations. Of course, you can only attend that day if you already completed 3 weeks of Abydos may recall that fun Summer Writing Academy I attended earlier this year that resulted in a few pieces of writing, mainly, 5 Steps to Digitizing the Writing Workshop to be published this Fall, 2010 by Jean Tower and MassCUE magazine. 
  • You agree to commit to a year long program that involves 30 readings, half of which appear to be books on writing (gee, what's there not to like of this? Great books! list follows) and write a summary for each.
  • Write a few reflections (ah, blogging in print).
  • Observe some Abydos teachers in action and then do a few model teaches. I'm looking forward to this since I'll be able to borrow someone's class.
  • Once you certify, you have to keep your certification up every few years, present at the Abydos Conference (which will take place in San Antonio). I'm looking forward to attending that.
Here's the list of readings I've been slowly working through:
  1. Selections from Carroll and Wilson's (who we met on Day of Introduction) book, Acts of Teaching.
  2. Atwell, Nancie. In the Middle. (2nd ed).
  3. Avery, Carol. And with a Light Touch.
  4. Caine and Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain.
  5. Calkins, Lucy. The Art of Teaching Writing. (2nd ed).
  6. Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows.
  7. Carroll, Joyce Armstrong. Dr. JAC’s Guide to Writing with Depth.
  8. Donaldson, Margaret. Children’s Minds (Include appendix of Piaget’s work).
  9. Healy, Jane M. Endangered Minds: Why Our Children Don’t Think.
  10. Newman, Judith. The Craft of Children’s Writing. (2nd ed).
  11. Rief, Linda. Seeking Diversity.
  12. Romano, Tom. Clearing the Way.
  13. Vygotsky, Lev. Thought and Language.
  14. Wilde, Sandra. You Kan Red This! Spelling and Punctuation, K-6.
  15. Wink, Joan and LeAnn Putney. A Vision of Vygotsky.
  16. Zinsser, William. On Writing Well.
As you might guess, I've read some of these already (in bold) and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to explore them again. Others, I'm reading for the first time.

Over the next few days, you'll see some of my summaries pop up from the books above. I hope they capture some of the exciting ideas that appear in the texts.

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