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Showing posts from May, 2010

Teach Student Writers The Importance of Rehearsal

It represents a major breakthrough in the development of the student writer when they become conscious of rehearsing their writing ideas. As a classroom teacher it was cause for celebration when students entered the classroom some mornings and announced ‘I know what I’m going to write about today’ It was music to my ears to hear those words. It was telling me that they were conscious of their writing intentions well before the act of writing. They were rehearsing their writing ideas. These young writers were taking their writing beyond the four walls of the classroom and engaging in preparation and thinking about the writing that would eventually emerge on the blank page. I fully understand how important rehearsal is to the writer. I find myself continually in the grip of word storms. They bounce around in my head. Phrases and ideas form and reform continually as I go about this critical pre-writing phase. I am getting ready to write. I am sorting ideas. I am sounding myself out. How …

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What Goes In A Writer's Notebook? Article by Ruth Ayres

The following post comes from Ruth Ayres of Two Writing Teachers who posed the question- What Goes In A Writer's Notebook?
I was so impressed with the message that I wanted to share it with you...

Ruth writes:
'One of the things which took me a few years to really understand is what goes in a writer’s notebook. It was one of those thinking journeys which twisted and turned through many ideas, brainstorms, trials, and errors and eventually emerged on the other side with a basic understanding that seems simplistic.

Everything I put in my writer’s notebook is for me as a writer. When I’m ready to write for an audience, it goes outside of my writer’s notebook, on draft paper or in a Word document.
I teach this to students as well. When collecting ideas, ephemera, revision attempts to become a stronger writer, it goes in the writer’s notebook. When writing for an audience, it goes outside of the notebook. Now there are sometimes shady lines about what should go in a notebook, so I encou…

Good Quality Literature is needed for Reading/ Writing Connections

You would have to asleep on the job not to have read about the ‘reading –writing connection’ and how one aspect of literacy feeds the other. We know they co-exist in an effective literacy program. We also know how important it is to choose good quality literature for children to read. Such literature plays such a strong role in improving the quality of student writing. The writing workshop is the perfect opportunity for teachers to share their knowledge of children’s literature. It’s a chance to share the author’s deliberate use of craft- leads, endings, voice, style, vocabulary, format, sentence structure, vivid verbs and accurate adjectives. If you are attending to such aspects of the writer’s craft by reading and noting the author’s attention to such fine details, you are teaching so much about writing!

To do this we need to create time to read the available literature. This enables us to make informed choices about the texts we bring to the classroom- the authors with whom we share…