How Should We Teach Writing?
There is so much more to writing then just the process of pencil to paper. Writing is also about verbalizing what is written and providing meaning as well as creating visuals. In “All Children can Write” by Graves, the writing-process approach takes on the steps needed to help children to learn to write without overpowering them with repetition and the need for all spelling and punctuation to be perfect. That process takes time to build.
Teachers need to use a variety of tools to help their students become writers and to help improve their writing skills.
- Allow student choice!
- Ask students to write about what interests them
- Be encouraging
- Ask students questions regarding their writing (make them feel as if they are teaching you)
- Peer interactions and discussions regarding personal writings and interest
- Allow students to verbalized their writing and use illustrations
- Give an ample amount of time for students to complete their writing
KNOW YOUR STUDENTS STENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES!
Building off of your student’s strengths and interests will help improve the areas in which they are struggling. It also allows them to showcase their strengths to their peers.
A quote that really stood out to me by Kress is “most children manage to find their way into and through the perceptual and conceptual maze of print, only for some to give up later for a variety of cultural and social reasons. Buy all of them might find the whole process much easier if the complexity of their task was understood by those whose job it is to know.” This means WE as future teachers need to know and understand our students. Let the students be the teachers and allow them to tell us about their personal interests.
By doing all of these steps and using the writing-process approach, the students will learn MEANING first; the skills and context of writing will follow.
I remember being in 6th grade and we were allowed to do a book report on a book we chose. I was so excited about this because I wanted to read a book about soccer because growing up, soccer was my life. We had to create a a 3D project to go along with our writing. I remember very little about my middle school years but this project always stayed with me. I was finally able to showcase my knowldge and interest in soccer and I was excited to complete and present my project to the class……which was something I normally dreaded!
This goes along with allowing students to choose topics that interests them which leads to them having fun while learning the writing process.
I found this blog post about student choice. I believe goes along with allowing students to choose what they want to write about to help engage them and improve their writing skills. I hope you find it intresting!
We want our students feel like this —>
Not this —>