Bunthorne's Blog

Stewart McGowan's blog

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Countdown 2015! The Improving Writing presentation

Jasper m beastI’m presenting tomorrow at the English Teachers’ Association’s Annual Conference. The presentation is an update of my work as a literacy consultant. For those who’ve seen it before, my presentation is based on a course I developed for an across KLA audience but I have adapted it several times for different KLA’s, student audiences, different contexts and different delivery timeframes.
Previously with English teachers I’ve used John Foulcher’s ‘Summer Rain’ as a related text but I’ve moved to The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, which is better suited to discovery.
The presentation’s meant to cover a number of bases. It’s meant to in the first case provide information and strategies for teachers who are less familiar with grammar and literacy within English. It’s also meant to give teachers in schools who have to work as part of literacy committees some information that will help them move their schools away from narrow, NAPLAN-based approaches to literacy. Finally it’s designed to continue the conversation. I’ve suggested a range of practical strategies designed to improve students’ writing and outlined a framework that structures the process. But I know that others will take this in their own directions; I encourage you to do so.
The PowerPoint for Friday’s presentation is here: Improving Writing ETA Nov 14 v4
The handout I prepared included my article from last year’s mETAphor, Issue 3. Members can download this from the ETA’s website.
I also included some sample paragraphs to start the conversation. These are here: jasper morello paragraphs v5
Elsewhere on the blog you’ll find previous versions of this course should you wish. Or you can just get in touch. I’ll see a large group of you at conference tomorrow, I’m sure.

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Discovery, The Speaking Task

I’ve written a few other times about speaking tasks we’ve tried with different years. This is really a follow-up. My faculty has written its new Discovery task. Here it is: HSC_AoS_Asst_Notification_2015
As you’ll see, it’s following the pattern we’ve used before. Students begin by reading 300 words of their own writing, usually an excerpt from a story. This is a story they’ve written in controlled conditions so that there’s a minimalisation of the chances for plagiarism. They are then required to link this back to their prescribed and related texts in a six minute talk with (if they wish) a visual presentation to support their work. Nearly all of them do this, of course.
I’ve left this as a word file so that others can take it and use it if they wish. As usual, please acknowledge the source of this activity in any public forum.
Enjoy!

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