Showing posts from January, 2014

The Many Roles of the Writer

It is important to firmly establish in the minds of student authors, that writers do a lot more than merely write stories. With this in mind, I began compiling a list detailing as many different roles a writer performs as I could recall. Clearly, my list is not exhausted. As you read it, you may think of other roles that could easily be added. I shared this list with a group of teachers yesterday as we reviewed the plans for their writing programs for the beginning term of the school year. We discussed the ways in which they could establish these writing roles in the minds of their students. Some decided to use it as a checklist, and to frame a series of lessons around each listed item across the year. Others wanted to make a copy available to each of their students to place in their notebooks as a reference for on-going discussion. Another idea was to enlarge the list and place it in a prominent area of the classroom as a reference point for their important work in establishing

Helping Student Writers Discover What's Worth Writing About

Another school year looms in Australian schools and for the young, inexperienced writer, learning to find suitable writing ideas; ideas that allow them to explore matters more deeply becomes an essential skill. For teachers, it remains important to teach student writers how to firstly, identify potential writing ideas. We must show them where ideas can be found, -which is basically all around them. We must let them in on this little secret. They frequently overlook possibilities purely because they are not practiced observers. Sharing how a more experienced writer determines what they will write about and how they will present their writing ideas, is an essential part of growing writers. It is an important step in developing self directed, confident and independent writers. So, where might we begin? A writer’s life experiences are an important starting point. Encourage each and every writer to TELL their own unique stories of their life. These special experiences hav

Reading and Writing and Living in Summer

As the New Year takes shape, I am refreshed. I am ready to share. However, I understand it is important to go away for a while. It makes you more fully appreciate the sweetness wrapped around coming back and reconnecting. I have been immersing myself fully in life and enjoying my work break while continuing to view life through the eyes and ears of a writer. I have been away from this location for over a month, but I have been idle- well, maybe a little.  During the Australian summer, my writing time has been spent collecting thoughts and ideas in my notebook. My notebook is my constant companion. It is where I detail what has caught my attention. -Things others may have overlooked. To quote Kevin Coyne, ‘ Writing happens everywhere and always, whenever your mind encounters a thought it wants to wrap words around.’ Well, that’s exactly what I’ve been attempting to do.    I have also taken the opportunity to indulge in some much needed summer reading. I know it is essentia