When asking students to write about topics that require a lot of context, we have to consider not only what THEY might not know, but what WE might not know when we give students freedom to write about their world.
An addition to a lesson that will create confident writers.
March Madness March is still two months away, but that didn’t stop my students from facing off March Madness style as we reviewed Lord of the Flies last week. One of the challenges students often face when writing literary analysis is that writing literary analysis asks students to demonstrate two important but distinctly different things: […]
Academic Gifting allows students to respond to authentic writing and to identify as authors.
I was reminded the other day of the work of Don Murray (who, with Don Graves, I affectionately refer to as “the Dons” in my head). “Prewriting usually takes about 85% of the writer’s time,” Murray wrote in his wonderful essay, “Teaching Writing as a Process Not Product.” As my students begin work on one […]
Committing to giving my students chances to move everyday has helped me rethink how my writers develop their ideas.
My word-of-the-year, the thought on which I want to focus my energies and instructional experimentation, is “talk”. James Britton famously wrote that “writing floats on a sea of talk.” I want my students’ writing to float … and then to fly. So, yes, I want them to write five times as much as I can […]
“Never a day without a line,” Brenda repeated. In the summer of 2011, I had the pleasure of participating in the PA Writing and Literature Project Summer Invitational Writing Institute. Although I’d been teaching for several years by then, my experience with the writing project that summer was the first time I started to think […]
My last post mentioned Pippin, and now I’m quoting Rodgers & Hammerstein; I had musical theater on my mind this summer because I knew my break would end with a “bucket list” vacation to Broadway, the four-plays-in-four-days kind of trip my Tony Awards-watching teenage self had always dreamed about. The trip was an absolute treat, […]
For a few years now, a debate has been simmering in my department about the college application essay: what’s our role? Some of my colleagues think we have an obligation to help the students with this very important piece of writing, and they’re not alone. Many of the school districts around us require all juniors […]