Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A working lunch

Today was the day everything started to come together; our videos were due and we did some heavy editing on our stories for our institute publication. Throughout this institute, one of the most important lesson I've learned is that all of the activities we have been doing can be tweaked for use in our own classroom.

This can definitely be said for our writing circles today over our lunch hour.

In the midst of a deadline I can get bogged down in the steps of writing a story. From idea to print there are so many steps that need to be worked through and I often find that I don't spend the time I should working with my students.

I learned earlier in the institute how important it is to spend time in the idea step of a story, and today I found a new way to work through editing with my students.

Over our working lunch I heard what all of the different groups were doing as they were editing each other's stories...and I felt like a cartoon character with a light bulb going on over my head. I always have students read their peers work, but why not make it a table discussion? I could very easily take time out of a class period to have students work through writing circles (I mean I did it when I taught English). Even if it may not have worked to perfection today, I have another tool in my teacher toolbox to use when working with my kids.

photo above left: During a lunch editing meeting, Kelly Camak, instructor at Gateway to College Early college High School in Riverside, Calif., and Jessica Kahlfeldt, adviser at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kan., receive editing advice from their mentor Kelly Carr (center). Institute fellows worked with mentors on stories for the institute publication. (photo/Laura Schwinn)

Laura Schwinn
Emporia High School
Emporia, Kan.


  1. Our writing mentor, Josh Coddington was the best. He brought us each an edited copy of our story and then went through his marks with us one by one. he gave me, and others too, some great ideas for sources, leads, and ends to our stories. Not to mention, he was just a great guy.

    Thanks, Josh.

    Michelle Evenson
    Eden Prairie HighSchool
    Minneapolis, Minn.

  2. The writing circle was really beneficial, and I appreciate the mentors giving of their time. Robin Phillips offered great tips.

    Jamie Ray
    Vista Ridge High School
    Cedar Park, Texas