Sunday, March 11, 2007

Home from CLAS

I got home late yesterday after two days at the CLAS conference in Colorado Springs. Driving home on I-25 in the pouring rain was no fun, but the conference was wonderful. Highlights were Richard Peck and Naomi Shihab Nye's keynote addresses, and Jeff Anderson gave a very funny address about teaching grammar. I'm looking forward to reading his book, Mechanically Inclined.

I presented my workshop on using public speaking to assess student writing (and stop taking papers home to grade!) It was very well attended and I only came home with one of my sixty handouts. If I knew how to attach a file, I'd attach part of my packet here. (Bud?) In preparing for the workshop, I discovered that I have a twelve-step process to assess writing using public speaking, the first of which ought to be Admitting We Are Powerless Over Grading and that Our Lives Have Become Unmanageable. Keep It Simple...One Paper At A Time. In all seriousness, it's a great paradigm, as it makes it possible for papers to BE COMPLETELY GRADED by the time the student finishes presenting it orally to the class. Nothing left to do in prep period except, well, prep!

I'm so grateful to the CSUWP and to Bud for getting me up and running in the presentation game. It's really great fun and I made some nice connections with other passionate teachers. I saw lots of folks from the Denver Writing Project, the Rocky Mountain Writing Project and the Colorado Writing Project. Alas, no familiar CSUWP faces, though. Rumor has it that next year the conference is coming to Denver (at last!), so perhaps more of us can attend. I know more folks in my department will be inclined to come if they don't have to pay Broadmoor prices for lodging.

Best wishes for a relaxing and rejuvenating spring break!!

1 comment:

camdaram said...

Megan, the Mechanically Inclined is a great book. For my sixth graders, I've used copies on colored paper from parts of the appendix--it's helped set a purpose/direction, and also useful as a reference point--for free writing. My favorite part has been the Author's Palate, using one sentence each day as a jumping-off point for mini-lessons and conversations about writing.
I have a bunch of sentences I've typed up that I'm using in my class for the Author's Palate. Let me know if you want me to email these to you.