Well, yesterday was the second day of the institute. I made my presentation. Since I was to get participants to discuss some of the issues involved in teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) in mainstream classes, I had asked Mr. McNamar over at The Daily Grind if I could use his summer school post in which he talks about his experiences with ELLs this summer. He graciously said that I could. I handed out copies of the post and read it aloud. I explained the conversational nature of blogging and then asked students to write "comments" for Mr. McNamar. Everyone was sympathetic, many having had a similar experience. They raised good questions (Does anyone else in the class speak the same language as the student in question? Could you find another book covering the same material that the student might understand better?). They were encouraging, telling him to try everything and anything and noting that the fact that he was asking the question was a good thing. In and around the reading of the comments, we had some great discussion. I encouraged them to actually post the comments to The Daily Grind, but I don't know that anyone will. (EXCITING UPDATE: One of them actually posted to The Daily Grind! Of course, she is a blogger herself, so itwas a natural thing for her to do!) All in all, though, I was quite happy with the way it went.
Today I only had to bring food and participate in the discussion and, of course, do some writing. I worked on a piece I had started the other day about integrating grammar instruction into the writing classroom. I have an idea for a piece on blogging as professional development. I hope to get at least a start on that one tomorrow.
It is so good to spend the whole day with writers!