Saturday, May 7, 2016

B.T.D. -- May 7

What a great way to start the institute!

We learned from famous people (Stephen King), we wrote (with the smellies prompt activity), we reflected on reading ("Because Writing Matters"), we listened to amazing writing (Leah and Anne's learning autobiographies), and we saw a model workshop (Denise's fiction writing workshop).

Throughout the day, I heard us saying how we were reminded of Stephen King thoughts on the writing process.  He talked about following the thin, red string under the baseboard to see what is revealed -- I feel like we are just grasping that string here at the beginning of the institute and we will follow it through the summer and fall and see what it reveals.

After introductions, we felt like we needed some follow-up questions answered:
Question: Dustin, where are you playing tonight and what do you play?
Answer:  The Depot in Gardner and playing drums.

If anyone is feeling share-y, please post a snippet (or more) of what you wrote during our "Smellies Prompt" writing activity as a comment .

We discussed the "Because Writing Matters" reading using the Save the Last Word for Me protocol.  If you would like to revise or tweak this for use in your classroom, feel free!  Here's the a link to the protocol.

I don't know about you, but two lines stick with me from the learning autobiographies.  I love imagining Anne's English teacher who "had a body built for grading" and I can imagine Leah's classroom after discussing their favorite books, where "the love of reading was so ripe, it was falling off the trees."

"I changed his name to Jack Delaney and he wouldn't shut up."
"Words can get in the way of what you're trying to say."  -- Joseph Conrad

Sample Learning Autobiographies

Here are some more examples of learning autobiographies to give you inspiration.  Remember, there are as many ways to treat this topic as there are participants in the institute.  Find the way that works for you!

Patricia Valley

Alberto Morales

Renee Rhoads

Sample Portfolios

Our mentors, Lorry Stillman and Sarah Bartlett Collins, were gracious enough to allow me to post links to their digital portfolios to serve as exemplars.  Hopefully, seeing these will give you a good sense of what you final portfolio might look like.

Lorry's Portfolio
Sarah's Portfolio

Contact Information

Please add to this document linked here a picture of yourself and your contact information.  The pictures can help those of us who are name-challenged remember each other between now and the start of summer.  Contact information can be helpful for coordinating carpooling or hosting.  You can find access to the google doc through your email.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Welcome to ISFI 16!

This blog will be the repository for all the ideas, resources, happenings, musings, inspirations, and information that need to be shared amongst us.  Each of you will get to post and even if you are a rookie blogger, this is a great, low-pressure way to be initiated into the blogosphere.  Don't worry if this feels overwhelming; we are here to help and happy to answer all your tech questions.

For a directional screencast on how to post on the blog, follow this