Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Additions to the RRVWP Library

There have been several new additions to the RRVWP's library in the past few months. Stop by and check them - and the rest of our collection - out!

Jennifer Jacobson - No More "I'm Done!"

Disregarding the false notion that writing instruction in the primary grades needs to be mostly teacher directed, Jennifer Jacobson shows teachers how to develop a primary writer's workshop that helps nurture independent, engaged writers. No More "I'm Done!" demonstrates how to create a more productive, engaging, and rewarding writer's workshop. Jennifer guides teachers from creating a supportive classroom environment through establishing effective routines; shows teachers how to set up a writer's workshop; and provides an entire year of developmentally appropriate mini-lessons that build confidence and, ultimately, independence.

Jeff Anderson & Deborah Dean - Revision Decisions

Revision is often a confusing and difficult process for students, but it’s also the most important part of the writing process. If students leave our classrooms not knowing how to move a piece of writing forward, we’ve failed them. Revision Decisions will help teachers develop the skills students need in an ever-evolving writing, language, and reading world. Jeff Anderson and Deborah Dean have written a book that engages writers in the tinkering, playing, and thinking that are essential to clarify and elevate writing.

Focusing on sentences, Jeff and Deborah use mentor texts to show the myriad possibilities that exist for revision. Essential to their process is the concept of classroom talk. Readers will be shown how revision lessons can be discussed in a generative way, and how each student can benefit from talking through the revision process as a group. Revision Decisions focuses on developing both the writing and the writer. The easy-to-follow lessons make clear and accessible the rigorous thinking and the challenging process of making writing work. Narratives, setup lessons, templates, and details about how to move students toward independence round out this essential book. Additionally, the authors weave the language, reading, and writing goals of the Common Core and other standards into an integrated and connected practice.

Jake Wizner - Worth Writing About

"Who am I?" This is the question that many adolescents ask during the turbulent middle and high school years. In Worth Writing About: Exploring Memoir with Adolescents, Jake Wizner addresses how searching for the answer to this question leads his students to reflection, to reading, and ultimately to deeper, more meaningful writing.
Based on his experience teaching eighth-grade English for nearly two decades, Jake believes that a well-designed memoir unit not only aligns with the Common Core State Standards but also forges community in the classroom, encourages kids to read nonfiction, and works wonders with students who struggle with their writing -- or with their lives.
Worth Writing About addresses the most common challenges teachers face when teaching memoir writing: How do you help students who say that nothing interesting has happened in their lives? How do you help students balance what is meaningful with what is too personal to share? How do you help students overcome the "I don't remember" syndrome?
Jake -- who has published a young-adult novel and often shares his own writing with his students -- also delves into the craft of writing, from using mentor texts to crafting leads and memorable endings. He uses student models from his own classroom to show the deep, important work his students produce during the memoir unit.
The memoir unit gets kids to write about real stuff -- the things that matter to them. In the process, Jake believes, they learn more about themselves, their relationships, the way they view the world, and how they want to move forward into the future.
On Twitter: #worthwriting


Kate Messner - 59 Reasons to Write

In order to teach writing effectively, teachers must be writers themselves. They must experience the same uncertainty of starting a new draft and then struggling to revise. As they learn to move past the fear of failure, they discover the nervous rush and exhilaration of sharing work with an audience, just as their students do. Only by engaging in the real work of writing can teachers become part of the writing community they dream of creating for their students.


Ralph Fletcher - Making Nonfiction From Scratch




Do you have students whose nonfiction writing is formulaic, devoid of energy and voice? In Making Nonfiction from Scratch bestselling PD and children’s book author Ralph Fletcher offers a candid critique of how nonfiction writing is often taught in schools and gives teachers the inspiration and strategies they need to help their students write authentic nonfiction.
Skilled nonfiction writers draw on strategies, techniques, and craft found in other genres: poetry, comedy, even mystery. Without those elements, nonfiction would be dry and dull. Making Nonfiction from Scratch helps bring all of those aspects together and shows how each genre can enrich nonfiction writing. Ralph emphasizes the power of choice, mentor texts, and nonfiction read-alouds in making nonfiction an everyday part of classrooms.
 “Classroom Connection” sections throughout the book suggest immediate, practical strategies for putting the ideas in the book to use. Two case studies and a chapter on the dos and don’ts of nonfiction writing instruction round out this short, practical book.
Any informational writing should be insightful, accurate, and well organized – but it doesn’t have to be boring. Ralph invites you to make your classroom a place where students can create delicious nonfiction full of passion, voice, and insight.

Karen V. Hansen - Encounter on the Great Plains


In 1904, the first Scandinavian settlers moved onto the Spirit Lake Dakota Indian Reservation. These land-hungry immigrants struggled against severe poverty, often becoming the sharecropping tenants of Dakota landowners. Yet the homesteaders' impoverishment did not impede their quest to acquire Indian land, and by 1929 Scandinavians owned more reservation acreage than their Dakota neighbors. Norwegian homesteader Helena Haugen Kanten put it plainly: "We stole the land from the Indians."

With this largely unknown story at its center, Encounter on the Great Plains brings together two dominant processes in American history: the unceasing migration of newcomers to North America, and the protracted dispossession of indigenous peoples who inhabited the continent.

Drawing on fifteen years of archival research and 130 oral histories, Karen V. Hansen explores the epic issues of co-existence between settlers and Indians and the effect of racial hierarchies, both legal and cultural, on marginalized peoples. Hansen offers a wealth of intimate detail about daily lives and community events, showing how both Dakotas and Scandinavians resisted assimilation and used their rights as new citizens to combat attacks on their cultures. In this flowing narrative, women emerge as resourceful agents of their own economic interests. Dakota women gained autonomy in the use of their allotments, while Scandinavian women staked and "proved up" their own claims.

Hansen chronicles the intertwined stories of Dakotas and immigrants-women and men, farmers, domestic servants, and day laborers. Their shared struggles reveal efforts to maintain a language, sustain a culture, and navigate their complex ties to more than one nation. The history of the American West cannot be told without these voices: their long connections, intermittent conflicts, and profound influence over one another defy easy categorization and provide a new perspective on the processes of immigration and land taking.