December 17

Rethinking how we teach writing

10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers

By John Spencer

A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was choosing to write for fun. It might not sound like much but it’s an example of the tiny miracles that happen in classrooms all the time. My son fell in love with writing in Ms. Reddiger’s class. He spent a whole year getting up early and finishing his chores fast so that he could write a blog post or do a story on Storybird. He viewed himself as an author because of his teacher. more

John Spencer

May 25

Creating Strong Writers

Creating strong writers doesn’t just happen, it takes practice . . . lot’s of it!! To create strong writers, we need to be sure to embed writing into our daily instruction. As Smekens indicates, there are different types of writing for different purposes. However, after asking students to write, we usually hear “Miss, how long does it have to be? How many sentences?” We must move students away from this. One way is by providing mentor texts that serve as models of good writing. Another way . . . create the model yourself by writing in front of your students! This is quite possibly the most powerful model because students get to actually see and hear the process as you think aloud; apprenticeship at its finest! Not comfortable with this practice? Reach out to your literacy coordinator who loves doing this with kids!

Check out Smeken’s ideas about writing for different purposes – http://www.smekenseducation.com/Build-Strong-Writing-Paragraph-.html

April 25

Revision vs. Editing

Writer’s Workshop is incredibly important because it helps students learn to process their thinking as they put their ideas into writing. I’ve decided to blog about this because I frequently find myself having discussions with teachers about the difference between revision and editing. They are NOT the same. Revision is the process of making the writing itself better! Editing is a completely separate process that looks at the writing conventions: spelling, capitalization and punctuation – some include grammar here. I personally have students look for grammar mistakes during revision.

Please reach out if you want to workshop writing and I can support.I have resources that I am happy to share. I’ve been pushing into classrooms frequently and working through revision with students. I love being able to dig in with students!

Want more about the difference between revision and editing? http://slc.berkeley.edu/editing-vs-revision