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Rain, Steam, and Speed: Building Fluency in Adolescent Writers (Jossey-Bass Education Series)by Gerald Fleming and Meredith Pike-Baky
Synopses & Reviews
A proven, structured process for improving student writing
This book offers a program of timed writing exercises aimed at helping students of varied abilities and experience to write quickly, confidently, and thoughtfully on a range of topics. Featuring over 150 writing prompts, the book includes everything a teacher needs to know to inspire and engage students in systematic writing practice, including classroom protocols, grading, assessment, and feedback approaches. The program combines well with other writing instruction approaches and is easy to implement in any middle school or high school classroom.
Gerald Fleming (Marin County, CA) is an award-winning teacher and author who has taught in the San Francisco public schools for over 30 years. Meredith Pike-Baky (Marin County, CA) is a district curriculum and assessment specialist, a textbook author, and a teacher educator/trainer. Both authors are active participants in the Bay Area Writing Project.
Book News Annotation:
Fleming, a high school English teacher who also teaches curriculum and instruction at the University of San Francisco, and Pike-Baky, a curriculum and assessment coordinator and a teacher educator, describe a structured approach for helping students overcome writing blocks and provide 150 writing prompts for students. Advice on introducing the timed writing exercises and grading is also provided. The approach can be used with adolescent students at all skill levels, including English learners.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This book shows how adolescent students at all skill levels, including English learners, can be engaged in systematic writing practice, enabling them to communicate quickly, confidently, and thoughtfully on a variety of topics. In describing their innovative approach, the authors:
The approach has been extensively tested by a master teacher, takes about one hour of instructional time per week, and can be used over an entire school year.
About the Author
Gerald Fleming is an award-winning teacher who has taught the San Francisco Public Schools for over thirty years. He teaches English, social studies, and journalism, and also teaches curriculum and instruction at the University of San Francisco.
Meredith Pike-Baky is a curriculum and assessment coordinator, a teacher educator, and a teacher consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project.
Table of Contents
About the Authors.
ONE: Moving Journals Beyond the Banal.
An Admission: Early Errors.
Fluency Journals as Practice.
Inspiration for the Name.
TWO: Fluency: The Missing Ingredient in Writing Instruction.
What Is Writing Fluency?
Why Teach Fluency?
Supporting English Language Learners.
Correctness: Where Does It Fit in a Fluency Program?
The Importance of Prompts.
Music Promotes Fluency.
Journals and Gender.
PART ONE: Rain: Creating the Climate For Spontaneous Writing.
THREE: Introducing the Program to Students.
The Nitty-Gritty:Materials You’ll Need.
Setting Up for Success: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies.
Laying the Track: The First Days.
Choosing the Distributor of Journals: End of Day One.
Clarifying the Classroom Protocol (Day Two).
Addressing Privacy and Child Abuse Issues.
Explaining the Grading Criteria.
Introducing the Music Component.
Reviewing the Protocol.
Presenting the First Prompt.
FOUR: The Essential Role of Music.
Selection and Progression of Music.
Letting Students Know What’s Playing.
PART TWO: Steam: Prompts for Inspiration.
FIVE: Focusing on Topics That Matter.
Fluency Journals as “Safe Havens”.
Choosing a Prompt.
Crafting Prompts of Your Own.
SIX: Working with the Prompts in the Classroom.
Reinforcing the Prompts Before the Writing Begins.
Addressing Student Questions.
Choosing Skilled Prompt Readers.
PART THREE: Speed: The Writing Practice.
SEVEN: Motivation and Feedback.
Encouragement During Early Sessions.
The Teacher’s Role During Journal Time.
Reinforcing the Energy.
The Power of Volunteer Readers.
How to Listen and What to Say.
EIGHT: Addressing Problems During Journal Time.
Frozen Writers Counseling.
NINE: Assessment, Response, and Grading.
How to Read the Journals.
Commenting on the Written Entries.
The Inside Front Cover: The Grade and the Teacher’s Writing.
More on the Carrot and Stick.
Writing Summative Comments.
Grading for Special Situations.
Alternative Evaluation Practices.
TEN: Extending the Work.
Ways to Share Journals.
Exploring Other Content Areas.
Possible Modifications to the Program.
EPILOGUE: Au Revoir, Journals!
PART FOUR: The Prompts.
Sorting Out the World.
Goofy and Imaginative.
The Natural World.
Taking Risks; Aspirations.
Inventions, Innovations, and Pastimes.
Personal Habits and Self-Identification.
Deep Life Issues.
A. Selected and Annotated Discography.
B. Fifty Tips for Success from Students.
C. Taxonomy of Teacher Comments on Individual Entries.
D. Student Examples.
1. Pamela’s End-of-Year Entry.
2. Ya Ni’s End-of-Year Entry.
3. Tim’s Advice.
4. Angela’s Journal Strategies.
5. Jerry Xie’s Pre and Post Entries.
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