Monday, September 27, 2010


Today, I had my first opportunity to meet with students - all from the school newspaper staff. My task was to get them to think around the article they wanted to write.  Two of the three had a rough draft. I met with them individually and asked questions to get them thinking about whether their articles said what they really wanted them to say. I think each one decided to include new ideas or change their article based on thoughts that came up in the process of discussion.
Cha decided that she would talk about  the poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay,"  by Frost in relation to Ponyboy's (The Outsiders) interpretation, then give her own interpretation of the poem relating to innocense and how fleeting it is. We talked a little about the meaning of the poem and then decided that beginnings (dawn, new leaves) are gold and that she could relate that idea to the new site of her school. I'm wondering if I should have suggested dropping the first two interpretations and just had her focus on how the poem relates to the present context new students and a new school? I think I need to see her next draft...

Cody was fun to talk to...His article is based on one of his passions - street art (making it and appreciating it). He starts out with talking about the cost of removing graffiti (which, he emphasizes, is not the same as street art). He is very concerned about cities removing street art and graffitti without distinguishing between the two. He has done some street art of his own and I am encouraging him to add his own story to his article. I was trying to remember a recent movie I had just seen on street artists but couldn' I know it was the film, "Exit Through the Gift Shop," directed by Banksy and about the culture of street artists. Next time.

Emily started out talking about doing an article on the Swine Flu but at the end of our conversation, it was clear that her real interest is home remedies for common ailments so she is going to relate her article to common ailments that fellow students have, like headaches and colds. Her article will give students sensible (possibly archaic) approaches to illness. Seems like students might be interested in reading about this.

Since these were just drafts, we didn't get into editing and I'm thinking the students need to look at effective beginnings and endings for news articles. They have some way to go before they'll have finished drafts.

For myself, I was reminded that while I know a lot about writing, I'm rusty on giving feedback and thinking about next steps...

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