Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Jiading Writing Project

During the summer of 2006, I participated in a graduate writing class that profoundly changed me personally and professionally.  During the Lowcountry Writing Project, I spent four weeks learning how to enjoy writing and how to teach the love of writing.  Each day I wrote in my journal, learned new teaching techniques, practiced different forms of writing, and shared my pieces with my peers.  It was a creative teacher’s dream come true! 

When I was charged with teaching local High School English teachers how to teach English writing this summer, I desperately wanted to recreate as much of the LWP as I could.  I also wanted to infuse the class with Western Culture and best ESL practices. So, for ten days I taught Chinese teachers how to write, read, play, and connect with the English language. 

Every morning, we started class by responding to writing prompts in our journals. 

After journal time, we learned our idioms of the day.  In this picture, the idiom "let off steam" was illustrated.

As a part of this class, students took turns writing recaps of what had happened the previous day.  In this picture, Lisa shared her thoughts about day three.
During Qixi, Chinese Valentine's Day, teachers learned all about speed dating and how they could incorporate speed dating like activities in their classroom.  In this picture the class went speed dating!

After answering a grammar question correctly for her team, Bud pulled a Jenga tile to determine how many points they would receive.
Woods wrote a letter of complaint to the previous home owner after watching Walter's kitchen fall apart in a clip from The Money Pit.

Maggie shot a target on the blackboard to determine how many points her team would receive.  FYI, toy guns are permitted in Chinese schools. 

Lily Lee shared her shopping list poem during Writer's Workshop.  This class was the first time many of the teachers had heard of or participated in a Writer's Workshop.  They enjoyed the time to hone their writing skills.
Lily Lu illustrated her small group's fairy tale.

Many teachers mentioned they enjoyed surfing the internet, so I conducted a western social networking lesson.  Then the teachers taught me all about Chinese social networking.  After that, they learned some ways to incorporate Chinese social networking in the English writing classroom.  In this picture, teachers are connecting with me via WeChat, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook.
The teachers mentioned they love music, dancing, and singing so I taught them how to infuse music in the writing classroom.  We wrote songs, sang traditional American folk songs, and danced the Cha Cha Slide. 
One of the requirements of the course was each teacher had to submit a piece of writing to be included in the course anthology.  On the last day of the course, we held a book signing/ performance party!
I was so proud of my students!  They did an incredible amount of work over the two week course, and produced a wonderful anthology! 
I had a great time writing and learning with my Jiading teachers.  Many of them have vowed to keep me updated as to what they are doing in their class via WeChat.  I can’t wait to hear what they are up to!  Bring on the school year!