Two Things to Remember When Teaching Writing

What a great year it has been so far! YESD 1 has celebrated the hundredth day and are well into our second semester which is always when instruction and learning move at an incredible pace. It is easy to get focused on the goal and forget that, often, the process is as important as the end product. This is particularly true when teaching writing. Here are two articles to help remind us of some best practices to get the most of our student writing. In the article Getting Out of the Essay Rut, it says that while teaching strong essay writing is important, there are many different ways to get rigorous writing from your students that allows for creativity and builds relevancy for strong writing skills. Giving students real world writing tasks can motivate students while still giving them the practice they need to meet the standards. A second article, Transferring Ownership of Writing to Students, reminds us of the importance of think alouds, modeling, specific rubrics, and using strong student samples to help students identify what good writing is. This prepares the students to become their own compass for their writing rather than relying on the teacher deciding if writing is good or bad which can feel arbitrary. When teachers feel rushed to get through instruction, it is easy to forgo these practices but they are critical in building effective, autonomous writers.

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