Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet a fabulous group of seventh grade writers. Joe Cena teaches at Depew Middle School, and he invited me in to work with his students around word choice. These kids are embarking on a performance task which began with wordless picture books, is evolving into short story writing, and will eventually result in the publication of final products that challenge their use of FlickR and Moviemaker. This is the group’s first classroom exposure to these tools, and I believe it’s Joe’s first go at this as well. If it all unfolds as smoothly as we expect it to, we will be experimenting with Voicethread soon.

Our first hurdle was linking the work to the literacy skills that we both hope to provide better support around this year. We’re very excited about using technology in engaging ways, but defining what Joe hopes to measure through this project was clarifying, and it will ensure that he is able to address and formatively assess all of the skills that he has prioritized as his kids move through this project. I’m looking forward to working with Joe and his class in the lab next month, and if yesterday’s work was any indication of what these kids can do, the final products are going to be awesome. Check out some of the six word memoirs they wrote in their efforts to practice precision:

Lost: friendship. Please return if found.

I heard the pitter-patter of feet.

Walmart: the high cost of low price.

He came. He left. Friends stayed.

Lost: Friendship. Call if found. Reward.

My world: smaller than you think.

Thanks for having me in guys! See you next month!


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