the dictation project

how’s this for a title: prefrontal cortexes, the 4th grade slump and writing

July 1, 2011

I can never resist a web link about creativity. Clicked on this one recently, about a creativity experiment with undergrads based on thinking like a kid. What interested me more than the experiment was this analysis of it: From The Frontal Cortex: Why does age make us less mature? Why accounts for the infamous 4th grade […]

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using dictation with older kids

September 30, 2010

Taking dictation isn’t a tool just for little kids. Read this recent comment from Caroline to see what I mean: “I just want to attest to the wonders of dictation for older students as well. I teach introductory college composition. Today in office hours, as I was laboring to explain to a student how to […]

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glitches along the way

September 27, 2010

Continuing with the dictation project, I’d like to try to answer some questions from readers. (You can access all posts in this series by clicking on the category the dictation project in the right column, or by clicking on the archives for September 2010.) Carrie recently left this comment: “I’ve been loving this series, but […]

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thinking like a writer

September 22, 2010

Yet another post in a month-long series. A cooperatively-transcribed story. He dictated part and wrote part himself. “You gotta hear this,” Mr. T said to me the other day. And then he proceeded to read, “The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car.” It was the first […]

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grammar as terror; grammar as tool

September 20, 2010

Taking dictation from kids is a great way to get them started with writing. It helps them leap over writing mechanics–the penmanship, the spelling, the grammar–so they can begin to see they have something to say. But if you keep at it a while, whole new benefits begin to reveal themselves. For one, kids begin […]

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they don’t all want to tell a story

September 16, 2010

Okay gang, I’m hoping to drum up some audience participation with this post. I’m posing a simple question at the end of this, the latest entry in a series, and I hope you’ll consider answering it with a comment. The other day I was talking to a mom about taking dictation from her son. As […]

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on dictation and self-expression

September 13, 2010

The next post in a series. Taking dictation is a technique that is often used in classrooms with young kids–say kindergarteners and first graders. It’s also a technique occasionally mentioned in books on writing for homeschoolers. However, dictation often seems to be treated as a temporary fix, as something you do for a short while, […]

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