Sunday, May 15, 2011

Summer Typing

There is no holiday for the typewriter!
As the regular school year winds to a close, the Classroom Typewriter Project winds to a close too. I've started dusting typewriters, taking out ribbons, and packing up the typewriters in their cases. All of this work was going fine until I found out that I was hired for summer school. This means that the machines will get some use in the month of June.

Summer school in our district is credit-recovery, so the class will be filled with Juniors and Seniors who happened to fail the first semester of Junior English. Right now, I have 18 registered and that means we will be nearly 1:1 in terms of typewriters. With this kind of typewriter to student ratio I can start to really construct an idea of how low-performing students can benefit from using a typewriter in class.

There is a type of writing instruction called Writer's Workshop. The idea of this pedagogical approach is to give the students greater freedom in selecting the subjects for their own writing. Academic and creative writing are given equal weight. I think that this is how we will approach writing this summer, but I am going to add the typewriter twist. Workshop does contain a reading component, however when it comes to literature, we will keep it traditional.

The summer might be time off for some, but in my little classroom you will still hear the clack of typebars. I guess I better start unpacking those typewriters.

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad the machines will continue enhancing students' experiences.

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  2. I am inspired to consider something regarding low-performing students, and low-income ones, too. Hand-written papers are just not acceptible at the college level, but some people can't afford the latest technology. A usable typewriter cost substantially less than a computer. What you are doing, there, is teaching kids needed skills that they can't live without, no matter what their career potential.

    And, there is always the innate coolness that comes with being non-conformist, which ought to make typewriters attractive to teenagers.

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