Students need more writing support than we can possibly offer them, writes literacy consultant Lynne R. Dorfman. Peer conferences are a safe, supportive structure that will help writers grow in their problem-solving capacity while experiencing the joy of collaboration.
The narrow “alphabetic” definition of writing found in many school classrooms actively disengages youth, says literacy author Shawna Coppola. Students simply prefer to compose using forms that incorporate visual, aural, and multimodal texts as a way to make or enhance meaning.
Why is NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s “never-fail” Character Sketch activity so effective? Because it asks students to use the people in their own lives as inspiration – a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. Pryle provides the teacher’s script, complete with student prompts.
Writing for authentic audiences motivates students to do their best work, says English department chair Kasey Short. Public audiences offer a practical reason to revise and edit and allow students’ ideas to have real impact. See her tips to transform routine assignments.
Being a teacher who writes is the secret to being a successful teacher of writers! To help up your game, consultant and author Stacey Shubitz suggests ways to share your own writing in class with students and offers hints on how to develop and stimulate a personal writing habit.
By blending social emotional learning into writing workshop, we can spark student confidence and commitment. Author and ELA educator Lynne Dorfman describes a class where students feel safe to express themselves, celebrate writing achievements, and self-identify as writers.
Umpires focus on the correctness of the game. Coaches concentrate on the growth of their players. Teacher Courtney Rejent and consultant Patty McGee show how to shift the focus from correcting writing to helping students develop good writing strategies through coaching.
K-6 literacy coach and NBCT Paula Bourque brings an extra spark to quick-write activities, expanding the concept to include brief low-pressure assignments designed to ignite passion, creativity, and awareness in students and encourage them to become lifelong writers.
Recently Sarah Tantillo worked with 8th grade teacher Bianca Licata to analyze students’ difficulty in effectively explaining how evidence supports arguments in their writing. After they identified causes and potential solutions, Licata tested their ideas in class.
Grading student writing in the traditional manner takes too much time and yields too little learning. Literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo offers three better ways to give students effective feedback – with all the tips and how-to teachers need to make the switch. Act now. Save your weekends.