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Adolescents on the Edge: stories and lessons

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Christina Purvis

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Adolescents on the Edge: stories and lessons

Adolescents on the Edge: stories and lessons to transform learning.
Who is this book for?
Anyone who teaches a diverse "challenging" group of students who need to be challenged.
What does it provide the teacher?
"a model for a new way of learning that includes providing texts that resonate with students and then using such texts to create communities that transcend the stereotypes and frustrations that dog many classrooms." (Intro, xii)
Challenge and Self Efficacy
Providing a challenge for students helps with engagement.
How to provide challenge?
Work needs to complement students' abilities
Student understand that they are accountable for their own growth and for the growth of the group.
If students think they can't, show them they can.
Writing & Learning
What Is Writing?

Building Community and Trust
School is a place to share ideas, participate in discussions, ask questions, respond to challenges and engage in countless other intellectual pursuits that flourish within a community of learners. (page 3)
Jimmy is a writer and a teacher. He is dedicated to helping others overcome hardship because he has prevailed over poverty, abandonment, incarceration, illiteracy, a life of crime.
Author: Jimmy Santiago Baca
Author and educational consultant who has devoted much of her career to studying and writing about collaborative learning communities.
Author: ReLeah Cossett Lent
To Build Trust
In the book Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools author Megan Tschannen-Moran identifies five facets essential for building trust.
Sometimes students struggle to build trust because of past experiences. Try to be patient and build positive experiences with trust.
To Build Community
The goal is to keep a strong community so that students grow together from their interpersonal experiences.
To do this...Invite students in and create a classroom that belongs to the students. Set expectations and common goals together so students feel safe to express themselves. Help students build strong relationships by modeling how good relationships work.
Community-Building Activities can help.
Examples of activities- Attend extracurricular events together, give students social time, create a class bulletin board for students to share, and bring in a camera to help capture special moments.
Engage and Motivate
Teachers are not expected to entertain students, however teacher need to foster engagement by providing relevant and meaningful text, assignments, and opportunities for learning.
Immersion: Help students experience flow; when students forget everything besides what is going on during an assignment. Do this by providing students with all different types of experiences that allow them to read, write, talk, and think.
Brian Cambourne's Conditions for Learning as a Model of Engagement
From his book Engaging Adolescent Learners: A guide for Content-Area Teachers
Demonstration: When students see, hear, witness, feel, study, and OBSERVE.
Do this by encouraging "think alouds". Show students by reading a text and then thinking aloud as you read.
Expectations: Create rules and expectations together. Do this by allowing students to come up with some of the rules as a group.
Create a zone of proximal development: tasks that are challenging but not so difficult that they are frustrating.
Celebrate successes and honor students for their talents.
Responsibility: Let students make decisions by offering multiple opportunities for student choice.
Approximation: Students need to feel like they can take risks and that mistakes are apart of the learning process.
Use: Literacy will be found when students find its purpose.
Create Beyond the Classroom" activities to help studetns see the usefulness of what they are learning.
Response: Try not to always grade work.. instead provide feedback. Give constructive feedback that conveys to students that you care about them and their progress.
Engagement and Motivation
Example: Challenge students to think about issues
from the perspective of others
Example: Challenge students to step out of their comfort zone. For example, have students write poetry if they usually write short stories.
Example: Have a student take on a new role during collaborative work.
Self efficacy is the way students view their own ability in accomplishing a goal or a task.
This is especially important for younger students because it impacts their growth in literacy.
Self Efficacy: Seeing themselves as capable
Foster Self-Efficacy
by giving students multiple
opportunities in reading and writing.
Foster Self-Efficacy by finding the small and big successes.
Foster Self-Efficacy by publishing
student work. Call home with good news.
Foster Self-Efficacy by digging into why a student or students have a lack of self-efficacy.
Foster Self-Efficacy by involving peers'. Have students complement each other.
The strategies in this book were tested on a group students in a juvenile detention center. Students aged 12-17 years old, were read Baca's short story "Saving the Tree".

Teacher lead a discussion of the meaning behind the story and discussed the way people make connections with objects and with other people. With special focus on friendship.

They also used the concepts in Chapter 5: "Writing and Learning":
- Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Peer & Group Editing"

The following are writing taken from that group:
Friends Don't Let You Give Up
Tired of living
Feeling down and out
Going through a lot
Tears of sadness
Rage of anger
Words of unhappiness
Actions of danger
My sister's face drowned with tears
Her tears continued
My best friend's face showed fears
Her fears showed clearly
Big and long with a wooden handle
The knife touched my skin
I began to cut as I trembled
Nothing happened
Screaming, yelling, and running
Tears, fears and begging
My best friend and sister were coming
They saved my life
I see someone cares
My life was important to someone
I see someone wants me around
My life means a lot to me
Friendship = Loyalty
All My Friendships Symbolize Loyalty

My People They Wathchin', Got Everyone Knowin' Me

We Moving Slow And We Chillin' Like Turtles Be

Parents On My Back, No Time For Laundering

We Just A Couple Real People You'd Like To Meet

Others, They Don't Understand, But Its No One On Top Of Me
What a Friend You Are
You pick me up when I Fall
You're always there when I call
You're the best of them all
What a friend you are

You've always been such a clown
You make me smile when I frown
You lift my spirit when it's down
I know you'll always be around

I wish that you could only see
That You mean the world to me
When I'm with you, I can touch the stars
What a friend you are

You're everything that I hope
I never thought you'd be this dope
When I am on the cliff you hold the rope
You're always there to help me cope

Doesn't matter if it is one year or ten
You'll always be my best friend
You said you'd be here 'til the end
What a friend you are
Writing is a process. Putting your thoughts to words and those words to paper. "The writing process itself is often a messy, challenging puzzle that fits together one day and refuses to snap into place the next" (Baca; Lent 2010).
Strong writers write in phases, producing multiple drafts that may not have "correct" pieces at first. They tap into their creativity bubbles and explore their "own magic rising up from the pages" (Baca; Lent 2010).

The Writing Process
Research supports the idea of writing with various phases of composition. The term "one and done" has no value in the writing process.

To produce quality pieces, strong writers use the following phases:

Writers need time to think, brainstorm, get those creative "juices flowing" (Baca; Lent 2010). During this portion of the process, the focus is for students to get thoughts down on paper. Anything that comes to mind is worthy of noting. It's all about generating ideas, emotions, feelings so they can begin to draft on their terms.
Components of Prewriting:
the stage of writing where writers take their ideas and begin composing the piece
determine the audience & purpose of the piece
experiment with: voice, word choice, organization,
grammar, spelling, punctuation and other conventions should not weigh heavily during this part of the process (this is the time to make mistakes!)
(Baca; Lent 2010)
most difficult aspect of writing process
students need to be shown how to revise
teachers need to model effective revision techniques
peer revision: a writing partner who students trust will give them quality and honest feedback

group revision: students are grouped together and take turns listening to one paper at a time read aloud. They all take notes on what they hear and share suggestions, strengths & weaknesses
The phase of the writing process where students focus on conventions and producing a polished piece, free of errors and mistakes. Close attention to spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Final changes and additions are made during editing.
What to Write: Practices, Performances & Projects
learning logs
writer's notebooks
writing prompts
digital writing
freeze frame
reader's theatre
radio theatre
poetry "coffee house"
"in the news"
community service projects
discussions & forums
(Baca; Lent 2010)
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