The problem with research

Happy Sunday all!  Before you get on your high horse and remind me that I haven’t written anything in a few days I’m counting today as a win.  Why a win?  Because I’m actually writing something and a day of writing is better than a day of not writing, no matter how many days have passed.

Now onto explaining what I mean in today’s title.  Currently I am working on the reading section of my dissertation.  Chapter 2 for me consists of sections on visual perception, kindergarten readiness, readiness assessments, and emergent literacy.  One of the sub-sections under emergent literacy is reading achievement and that is section I’m stuck on right now.  Not that I do not have ideas about reading achievement, but they are my ideas.  There is an unspoken rule about dissertation writing: writers don’t have the authority to have  their own ideas until chapter 5.  This means I’m trying to find research articles explaining what reading achievement is, how it is measured, and why it is important.  If any of you out in reader land have thoughts or ideas of search terms, please let me know.  I would really like to be done with this section by the end of the month.  Thanks and talk with you later this week.

And as I wrote about earlier–let me know if you spot any grammar issues.

Two days in a row

It has been a while since I’ve written here and even longer since I’ve written two posts in two days.  I was just thinking through my day trying to come up with something to write about this evening.  There are many things I could write about such as why do kids keep asking adults the same question after they’ve been given an answer they don’t like?  It is the early version of seeking a second medical option?  Another thought was what lessons are our children learning when we have to have a school holiday party 2-days before the actual party because we share a PTA with another school and they’re doing their party on Friday?  I think I’ll write about those things later because tonight I’m going to write about writing.

One of my favorite subjects to teach is writing.  I don’t know if I do a great job at it but I do think my students’ writing improves greatly from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.  Okay, so a little reality check.  My students are in kindergarten.  Many of them start the year barely able to write their name and all the letters of the alphabet.  It would be hoped, and expected, that my students would be able to write more than just their name and the letters.  I am a bit of a black sheep in my grade-level when it comes to writing instruction and I blame myself for that.  Most of my other colleagues have students do fill in the sentence type of writing, or some prompt based writing lesson.  That is a system that works for them and they are happy with the results they are getting.  That is fine with me.  I, on the other hand, teach writing in a workshop style, similar to Calkins and Routman recommend.  So I have genre themes that last for about a month.  In that month I teach about the genre and the students write in that genre.  Currently we are working on song writing.  Actually it is more accurate to call it song parody writing.  We listen to a song, many times, on YouTube (I would share the song but I am currently trying to get an article about this writing published. I’ll add the link once my article has been picked up).  Once the students have a good grasp of the music structure of the song, we start having a little fun with the words.  Using music that students already know also helps free up their brain to focus on some skills, such as leaving space between words and -ing endings.  As a class they have been working on their own parodies for about 2 weeks and it amazes me the number of students who are not picking up on the pattern of the song–or are not interested in going back and checking their work.  This development is shocking to the reading specialist and I today.  We spent a good week working up to having the students write their own songs by working on leaving space between words and -ing ending.  These are the two things that are being left out of the samples we saw.  So here’s kind of a question to the larger (although not terribly huge) audience of this blog about how to help students slow down and understand the importance of going back and looking over your writing before publishing?

Now it is my turn to look over what I’ve written (I did a very poor job) before I press publish–I’m starting to type words with closed eyes.

It has been recommended…

It’s Wednesday which usually means I have time to run away for a few hours and do some reading/writing/working on my dissertation (HEY MOM! like the parallel structure there?!). If you haven’t noticed already, my grammar leaves a lot to be desired. I think my writing has good voice but I’m sure there are many people who read this and go “Oh my! This girl has a higher degree?”. See, like that punctuation right there. Without looking it up, I’m not even sure that’s right. It looks right-ish and sounds right-ish but I’m betting a Junior High student would be able to tell me if my punctuation is correct.

So where am I going with this entry? Good question. Like a doctor who has recommended a daily health regimen for a patient, it has been recommended that I make sure I have a daily writing regimen.

Currently I am in the process of doing a lot of reading for my dissertation therefore I am not doing a lot of writing. Because of this, my writing skills suffer (especially the grammar skills). This is where the blog, again, is the solution to this problem. By writing something here, in a more regular fashion, I am leaving myself open for comments. It is my hope that when some of you are reading this, you find some of my grammar mistakes and offer suggestions on how to fix them. I might take your suggests and revise posts or I might comment back asking for further explanation. Just beware, if you comment, you might be asked to help proof my writing.

I think that will do it for tonight. I have a limited amount of time and I should probably get some real work done before I can’t think straight.

Happy Grammar Hunting!