A friend of mine was observed the other day. Her students were creating mini-books about the selection they read in the anthology. Little stapled books, a square for the picture, and lines for the journal entry they were creating, based on the story they read. However, the principal left a note on her observation sheet,”When do you incorporate writing in your classroom?” Did I miss something?
I have a “writing block”, and sometimes my kids write during the block, and sometimes they don’t. But, my students write all day. A “writing block” is not required to teach writing, writing is required. I am one of those teachers who do not teach grammar separately, my son’s high school teacher is, to each his own. But, I am sure he and I would agree, our students have to write!
There are so many ways to incorporate writing into the curriculum, but my favorite tool is blogging. I use Kidblog because it is simple to set up, kid and teacher friendly, and safe. My students love the ability to have an audience on Kidblog. What better way to motivate students to write well, then to know other people, all over the world, will read what you have posted? (Quadblogging , Comments4Kids, and my TwitterPLN provide an excellent audience)
Of course, this doesn’t happen automatically. But as time goes on, and they receive more comments, they begin to take ownership of what they post on their page. I sent the link to their parents, hopefully some will write comments. I have a student who edits over the weekend, the weekend! She edited 5 of her posts this weekend. (“Go outside and play!”)
Every day, during at least one subject, my students write. They write in their notebooks first, this gives me a chance to have a conference, if necessary. It gives them a chance to edit and proofread. They might write to explain how to solve a Math problem, tell a story using their Word Sort words, research a topic, give their opinion on an article from Tweentribune, there are numerous opportunities.
But what I love the most, is the question, “Can I post this on my blog?” My blog. They can post wherever they have Internet access. Our Room82011-2012 Kidblog , is my writer’s motivator! Every student in my class has at least one post so far, but the school year has just begun. I’m looking forward to finding the author in all of them.
Write on, kids, write on! 🙂