Be Concise — Sometimes Less is More

In many situations, being concise is important.

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A long explanation can be frustrating.

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A short explanation is often better.

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More teaching (or presenting) tips here: (click on image to enlarge)

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Thanks to TeachThought and Sylvia Duckworth.

Today’s Assignment:

1. Sit in chair.

2. Write.

3. No surfing until you have written for at least two hours.

Creative Writing Assessment in 50 Words

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Write a 50 word story about a road trip.

This story can be about a physical or an emotional journey you’ve taken in your life.

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If this photo prompt doesn’t excite you, find another and include it with your 50 word short story.

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Even a very short story like this will exhibit many writing skills and can be used as a year-end assessment tool.

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*********************************************************************************************(Photo credit: Highway Tourism)

Good Communication in the Classroom is Vital

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Good Communication between instructor and students promotes successful learning.

A good RUBRIC informs the student of the instructor’s expectations.

Scholastic provides this very nice example:

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An EXIT TICKET is also very helpful in letting the instructor assess student comprehension. Using this tool immediately after the class is imperative.

This is Scholastic’s example:

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See more here:

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/who-am-i-0

Physical Exercise and Creativity

Some claim that sitting on a ball can aid concentration.

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You can read about Mrs. Mauldin’s Class here:

http://mrsmauldin.blogspot.com/2012/02/alternative-seating.html

Some experts like Dr. Charlie Seltzer, M.D. say that sitting on a ball at work is a bad idea.

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http://www.builtlean.com/2013/09/24/sitting-exercise-ball/

Nilofer Merchant says that “sitting is the smoking of our generation”

http://www.ted.com/talks/nilofer_merchant_got_a_meeting_take_a_walk

What it comes down to is that our bodies were created for activity. Stagnation of body results in stagnation of mind.

It seems obvious, doesn’t it?

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Watch this TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUEl8KrMz14

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Now you understand, don’t you?

Assignment today: Increase your creativity by doing something active. Perhaps go for a walk!

Steve Jobs was known for his walking meetings. It is also said that Charles Dickens often relied upon walks to help him with his writing.

Classroom Group Work is NOT the same as Classroom Interaction

Group work is bad. One student always ends up carrying the water. Grading can be unfair.

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Group work is not to be confused with intellectual interaction and discussion among students. There is something very depressing about a pre-class group of students assembled in a room texting rather than talking with each other. Classroom discussion should be encouraged, but assignments should be completed independently.

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All of this relates to Introversion and Extroversion. All humans exhibit both tendencies in various ways.

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Susan Cain has written an interesting book entitled: Quiet.

She has a teacher’s guide, too.

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Watch her great Ted talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

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She speaks of the importance of allowing, even encouraging, introverts to go off and contemplate their own thoughts, much as Buddha did. She warns of the over-use of group work and reminds us not to pay more attention to extroverts . . .

because Introverts often have the most profound things to say.

Today’s assignment: Do some solitary contemplation. Perhaps go for a solitary walk. Think great thoughts. Smile.

Words of Wisdom from Author-Agent Laura Rennert: “Write Beyond the Ending”

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Laura Rennert gives this advice to fiction writers:

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This is all really great advice!

Writing “beyond the ending” will give your story greater depth and complexity. It will allow the author to anticipate the questions that the reader will ask at the end of the story.

Check out Laura’s great site here: http://www.laurajoyrennert.com/writers-checklist-fiction.php

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See great teaching materials on Laura’s site, too!

Thanks Laura Rennert