Showing posts from December, 2018

Reviewing Student-Teacher Writing Conferences

Too often kids think a ‘writing conference’ is where the teacher ‘fixes’ your writing... 

The notion of a conference as a 'conversation between two writers' needs to be at the heart of a conference. 

If we want provide our writing lessons with authenticity then as teachers we must encourage students writers to request a conference when needed rather than foisting one upon them.

There's little to be gained interrupting the flow of a writer deep in the act of composing a piece, just to conduct a writing conference.

On the other hand, there's little point in making a writer wait when they desperately need your support to deal with a perceived roadblock in their writing. 

It therefore makes sense to set up a system where the needs of the writer are placed at the centre of the action. Better to implement a conferring system where the writer is encouraged to identify a need to confer and is able to initiate some discourse around their writing. 

The student writer is asked to write…

Further Jottings From A Writing Life

These random writing thoughts are gleaned from various sources connected to my writing life- my writer's notebooks, blogs, Twitter, Facebook. They represent some of my recent writing related activity in these places. Not all these observation as memorable, but they are mine. I collected them. I share them to demonstrate the broad and enduring influences upon those of us who choose to be, teachers who write: _______________________________________ I would hate to live a life so full of time pressures that I couldn't possibly expend the time to return a shopping trolley after visiting the supermarket.
You can choose to teach according to curriculum (or school based mandates), adopting a tick the box mentality, or you can teach according to what you know about the particular needs of learners. Without doubt, the difference is significant, the impact lingering! Blindly adhering to curriculum mandates does not make your pedagogy authentic. Let curriculum inform your work, but never le…

Revealing Author's Craft To Student Writers

When we read like writers we set about gathering information about writing that will form curriculum for our teaching. As teachers of writing, we must ask ourselves:
What do I see the writer doing here?
Why does the writer do this?
Have I seen this particular craft move in other writing
What can I call this craft move?
How could I try this in my own writing?
How could I help my student writers to try this in their writing?

The more we practice reading like writers, the easier it becomes to identify elements of writing craft present in the books with which we work. It is a skill that develops with practice. It takes time and regular practice. It requires us to engage in professional conversations with our colleagues regarding a text's potential.That is why such matters should be part of teacher planning sessions. Such texts should be our ticket in. Bring a trusted author with you...

In time it has the potential to change the way we read. When we learn to read like writers we are no longer …