When Student Writers Become Fully Engaged.




When young writers are fully engaged in the writing they are doing, it carries with it the same habits of mind and heart one associates with the engaged reader.






They display sustained attention to a particular writing project in the same manner a reader invests time in making meaning from a text.

They remain focused. They accept that sometimes writing is quite challenging. It is this meaning making challenge these writers increasingly enjoy.

The engaged writer seeks real purposes for the writing they do. They develop a growing awareness of the need to attend to the needs of their readers (audience).

The engaged writer exudes a quiet confidence as they as they participate in the writing life.

The engaged writer willingly engages with language. They see potential in words.

They engaged writer is more likely to develop an appetite for reading. They appreciate the role reading plays in being a writer.

The engaged writer handles confusion with perspective. They view its occurrence as a natural outcome of writing. They understand that writing is essentially a problem solving exercise.

They display an increased willingness to be risk takers. They begin to think in more alternative ways about their writing and are more open to trying different approaches. They begin to open to the style influences of other writers.

The engaged writer will persevere. They begin to understand the recursive nature of writing. They will try a range of strategies in order to shape the writing into a form that is reader friendly. They are more likely to embrace the idea of revision.

The engaged writer develops increased metacognitive awareness. They are more reflective about the writing they produce. They are willing to articulate their writing intentions. They begin to identify what works for them as writers.

The engaged writers begins to look forward to the next writing challenge just as an engaged reader looks forward to opening the next book.


When a teacher becomes an engaged writer, it increases the likelihood students will follow that critical lead. Enthusiasm is infectious. When a teacher demonstrates how they find ideas for writing, how they respond to life events, when they record their questions and wonderings, when they share their own notebook gatherings, they shine a valuable light on the magic writing holds.



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