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Showing posts from December, 2009

How Do We Provide Effective Writing Instruction?

I recently had the good fortune to work with a group of Graduate teachers about to embark on their initial teaching appointments in January 2010. They presented with that expected blend of enthusiasm and trepidation. Along with some fellow consultants we spent a week together at Victoria University examining how best to deliver literacy in the classroom. They watched keenly as classroom visitations to a variety of schools provided demonstrations of the literacy block and the reading, writing connection. They witnessed explicit teaching of literacy strategies, where students practiced authentic reading and writing. They had opportunities to observe how quality conversations enhance understanding for literacy learners. They came back with questions and wonderings…

I trust, as a result of this experience, these eager graduates will carry with them these important messages about the teaching of writing:

Effective Teachers Develop A Sense of Community for Student Writers!
This important eleme…

Lifting the Quality of Writing

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To lift the quality of writing among student writers there are some strategic things we need to do with our teaching.

Firstly, we need to expose them to quality writing! Encourage them to find mentors they admire. Once they have identified their personal mentor, we then challenge them to consciously write in the style of that particular writer.

To support the growth and awareness of quality writing we should use extracts from the work of trusted authors and have students identify just exactly what the author did with language; with ideas. Discussion should focus on identifying the writer’s purpose in relation to craft and how that affects the writing. Try to name what the mentor author has done.
To further support the concept of mentor authors, we need to model for them how we would utilize an aspect of the writing craft gleaned from a selected mentor. We need to do this in our very own writing. This is a critical step in the process. It provides powerful modelling how we, ourselves, rea…