Friday, October 23, 2015

Laurie Hickey's Opening Volley

We start our school day together!
     Hi!  I'm Laurie Hickey and I teach at Hunt Middle School in Burlington.  My role on the WTS is to work with the two other (wonderful) middle school teachers as we get through this first year. 
     My experience of this project thus far has been wonderful, creative and occasionally qualm filled.  I love knowing that other Vermont teachers are "out there" spreading the  Bread Loaf vision for learning. For myself this fall I have wrestled with bringing BL's concepts back to Hunt; my students' work with poetry echoes the work I did this summer with Ruth Forman.  The qualms come from having made a distinct choice to put the WTS project together differently for my students than other members of the Network.  We will be doing all aspects of this project at school during the school day; I believe this will help us to reach a different  range of students who might not be available for all the independent work required. At the end of the school year we will have movies featuring student written poems about socially worthwhile projects, essays about socially worthwhile projects and a handful of WTS style videos about local issues written and produced by kids in a supportive literacy classroom (and perhaps from two students who are on our highly supported alternative team.)

Top Ah- Hahs!
  • When you ask middle schoolers to consider difficult issues that are worth social action, they are very serious about the task.
  • Poetry unlocks kids' writing.
  • It's important to be brave and to ask for help.  I have received a lot of support from people here at Hunt to put this project into place..
 I wonder. . .
  • How the filming of the poetry movies will go using the new iPads that our school is getting next week.
  • if I'll have enough time to work with the literacy teacher in coordinating the WTS style videos.  (We are thinking of devoting two weeks of class time to this.)
  • about the interface of writing and filmmaking and how it will boost students' communication skills.
See you soon!

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