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Showing posts from February, 2016

Growing Self Directed, Independent Student Writers

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Last week I was privileged to witness for myself ample evidence of what happens when young writers are encouraged to become self -directed writers. I spent two days with teachers and students at Sorrento Primary School. As I moved between classrooms I was able to see student writers choosing not only their topics, but also the genre for their writing. These young writers were fully engaged in matching their words to the needs of their readers. They were exhibiting an authentic sense of purpose and genuine ownership of the writing tasks they had chosen.


They were writing productively, taking action and making decisions. Young writers do not achieve this state of being because teachers merely get out of their way. They achieve self-direction because teachers actively support and nurture student growth towards independence.
In one classroom (Grade 3/4) I visited the diversity of writing was clear evidence of self-direction and purpose. Let me present the following examples to illustrate t…

Motivating Student Writers

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I am frequently asked, How do you motivate kids to write? This has set me to thinking. What is it about certain classrooms that sets them apart? When you enter a classroom where there is a palpable energy around writing, and the teaching is mindful and purposeful, certain elements are apparent. Intrinsic reward is coming from experiencing all that writing has to offer and a sense of community and trust is thrives in such places. Brave writers exist here. To create such a high level of engagement the foundations have been securely set down. The motivation to write has been underpinned by the presence of the following:
Student know the WHAT and the WHY of WRITINGExplaining the purpose of writing to students is a necessity so young writers understand what it is they are doing and why. As the most proficient writer in the room, a teacher must provide avenues by which good writing can occur. The effective writing teacher willingly shares what they know about writing, so students gain insigh…