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Archive for the ‘Process Writing’ Category

We all tell stories in our classrooms. The best ones both entertain and illustrate a useful point. Last winter, I heard just such a story told by Dorothy Zemach who was one of the plenary speakers at a conference I attended. Dorothy is a freelance writer who often speaks at workshops for language teachers and she is a wonderful storyteller. On the afternoon of the conference, I went to her workshop on the writing process. One of the creative things she did was tell a delightful story about her young son’s experience with the writing process.

I returned to my writing classroom determined shore up my students’ committment to the writing process.  I also returned with Dorothy’s story. My students smiled and laughed when I retold it to them, and later I thought it would be even more enjoyable if they could hear it directly from the story teller’s mouth. And then I began to think that it would be even more wonderful if our students could benefit from hearing the stories of teachers from all over. They would not only benefit from the stories themselves, but they would also enjoy the simple sound of a fresh voice in their classrooms. My theory is that after hearing the same voices again and again, a new voice is sometimes all it takes to get students’ attention.

Podcasts are an excellent way for us to share our stories. I asked Dorothy if she would be willing to record her voice digitally so that I would be able to use it with my writing class. She very graciously agreed. To keep is simple, I asked Dorothy to call my office telephone number and leave a voicemail. At my school we have a telephone system that connects voicemail with email. Voicemail messages are turned into wave files and are attached to email messages. This way we are able to access our voicemail when we log into our email accounts.

I used Audacity to make one small edit and convert the file into an MP3. I am new at this, but I believe that an MP3 is smaller and therefore better for downloading than a wave file. My next step was to find a place to publish the podcast. Ideally I hoped to find something like a YouTube for audio files. I asked around and connected with Joe Dale who suggested trying PodOmatic, Podbean or Blip.t.v. and here it is on PodOmatic.

Happy listening and please let us know if you have a story that you would like to share. Thank you very much to Dorothy for sharing her story and to Joe Dale for helping me find a place to publish it.

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