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nonfiction. Specifically lacking are books written by authors about their reading and or writing lives. Academic Journals, notebooks students use to write about reading and experience are a centerpiece of the curriculum. Bolstering my nonfiction collection with autobiographical titles written by young adult authors will allow students to see real writers' lives and how the daily decisions and practice offered by an academic journal or writer's notebook transform thinking. “Writing Transforms” will enhance standard classroom learning because the grant will allow me to purchase a set of writers' memoirs written by young adult authors familiar to my high school freshmen. Students will be able to choose an author's memoir and participate in small group discussions and explorations of the work. The work will enrich reading AND writing instruction as academic journals (journals students keep about their own reading, writing and learning) are a centerpiece of our curriculum. The books will allow students to peek inside living writer's journals and lives--that type of experience not only motivates and inspires, but shows students real-world value in reading and writing. In additional to reading the books the grant will purchase, students will be able to read fiction works by these authors that currently in the classroom library. Nanci Atwell, a well respected teacher-writer, once said "genuine reading and writing are not the icing on the cake, they are the cake." Students must see practical, real-world examples of people who carea bout observing the world, thinking and writing about it. The best place to start is with life experience, thus, students will have an opportunity to read about living writers' lives in order to make sense of their own. Outcomes I expect include increased engagement in reading and writing. As a teacher and a parent the most important outcome I expect is that students will become literate members of our classroom and school community; I expect that they will engage in writing for authentic purposes and be lifted up by their own literary achievements as noted in their academic journals and writings done throughout the school year. I believe that by reading about real writers' lives, students will see creativity at work in our culture. They will observe the world around them and think differently, like writers. Students will connect over the writer's stories in a way that moves them to share their own. As they build these connections with their classmates, bullying or teasing will be unacceptable to the students--they will bond and see each other as individuals of unique value to our school. Of course, I also expect academic gains in reading and writing as measured by students FCAT reading scores.
August: write and submit grant September: organize students' academic journals and begin writing; October: order books, choose book groups read, meet in book groups November: wrap up book groups; use model passages from book groups to teach writing lessons (ongoing); writer letters to the authors, continue to write in academic journals (noting observations, shaping memories and writing about reading)
December: continue author study with fiction book groups (students will choose books by author of the memoir they read) January: fiction book groups meet; continue to write in academic journals (noting observations, shaping memories and writing about reading) February: continue to write in academic journals (noting observations, shaping memories and writing about reading); connect Skype March: continue to write in academic journals (noting observations, shaping memories and writing about reading); connect with the authors or another classroom via Skype; celebrate completion of project
Writing Transforms, the grant that will purchase writers' memoirs for my classroom library, relates to our School Improvement Plan because it directly addresses reading and writing needs of ninth grade students at Cypress Creek. Specifically, our school improvement plan looks to make gains in reading and writing achievement as measured by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. The work students will do as readers and writers with the materials I am able to purchase if awarding funding from the grant will directly contribute to students abilities to read and write well.
Gregory, Danny. An Illustrated Life $13.72 x 4 =54.80 Myers, Walter Dean. Bad Boy $8.63 x 4=34.52
Scieszka, Jon. Knucklehead
$9.35 x 4= 37.40 $9.99x 4= 39.60 7.91 x 4= 31.60 10.98 x 4 = 43.92
Crutcher, Cris. King of the Mild Frontier Spinelli, Jerry. Knots in My Yo-Yo String Rosenthal, Amy Krouse.
Encycopedia of an Ordinary Life
My students sit at tables in small groups in my classroom. They sit by interest or academic need. I am able to change the support or resources depending on their need as the groups are flexible. With four students in each group and an array of six nonfiction titles, I have chosen books with students' diverse needs and interests in mind. The budget will pay for the cost of the books.