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Greg McVerry

Read Lessons From Sociocultural Writing Research for Implementing the Common Core State Standards #EDU407Sum19

What we mean by “the role of context” is the recognition that writing is not just a cognitive process but a social and cultural one. Writing and writers develop through interactions with one an-other over time.

Such ideas about the role of context and culture in writing development underlie a sociocultural per-spective that pays particular attention to the ways that writers develop practices and identities over time and in interactions with others, recognizing that “conventional encoding is not arrived at in a uniform, linear path (Clay, 1998) and that composing involves much more than encoding” (Dyson, 2015, p. 201).

In many ways it is this identity as a reader and writer we need to build in the classroom, this has to go beyond a grade number or a box in a rubric

which positions teachers to draw on their local knowledge to contextualize learning offers insights into how to interpret and implement the Standards in more meaningful ways.

  • describ-ing what the Standards explicit-ly say
  • highlighting additional information from the Standards that may be missed without dig-ging deeper into the appendix-es
  • detailing important components that the Standards do not address.

A student could make this a write post, go through some standards or lesson plans using this as a lens

Writing Anchor Standards 1–4 identify three text forms for students to master: opinion/argument, in-formative/explanatory, and narrative. They also suggest an explicit focus on task, purpose, and audience (see Table 1)

Not much on exploring your world or focusing on writing for change

Privileging Argument as a Text Type Is Contested. “While all three text types are important, the Standards put particular emphasis on students’ abil-ity to write sound arguments on substantive topics and is-sues, as this ability is critical to college and career emphasis”

Why is argument considered the pinnacle of our education? What if we focused on civic and community ready before college ready.

Toulmin-style graphic organizer, which fo-cuses on warranting claims with evidence, for an essay assignment about whether schools should foster individuality or conformity. Olson, Scarcella, and Matuchniak (2015) similarly described why ar-gument is a linguistically and rhetorically difficult text type for English learners, suggesting that nar-rative forms should be taught first as a foundation before focusing on more complex text types.

Argumentation is a very western and very male way of looking at knowledge

. Sociocultural teachers pay attention to the kind of work and learning accomplished during the production of written genres, not just the surface fea-tures of the textual form. They move beyond asking if writing looks right to understanding what students are doing and accomplishing with their writing. As Bazerman and Prior (2005) put it, “learning genres in-volves learning to act—with other people, artifacts, and environments, all of which are themselves in on-going processes of change and development” (p. 147).

Writing as inquiry and examining multiple persepectives

By Rebecca Woodard, Sonia Kline

Greg McVerry

Read Children of the Sky

Vernor Vinge's third book in the Knowledge Zone series suffers problems of many third books in a trilogy but for those who love the tales s of Pham Nuwen, The Olisidot children, the group mind dog like creatures the tines the third book is worth the read.

Part of the let down of third tale has to be the the overwhelming perfection in the first two books, "A Fire Upon the Deep" and a "Deepness in the Sky" reached almost perfection level. Hitting three grand slams tough for any auhtor.

The third book takes place 10 years after the Olsindots fled the blight, a super intelligence gone wrong,  and takes place on Tines Woirld, the planet of the dog like creatures. The entire book is about the struggles of power between human and tinish factions. 

The central conflict of the series,  the blight, barely makes a bleep in the plot. In fact the only major plot advancement involving the Blighter fleet had zero impact on the story. 

Worse the central conflict of the tird book feels unresolved. Instead of wrapping up or building points in the larger story arc you felt like the entire book was "almost about to get to the main events"

Vinge is still a master at plot twists and his ability to create alternate realms also provides a fun ride. I would still read this book if you enjoyed the first two.


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