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Write in the Middle
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Channel-Talk

[Teacher-talkwrite6to8] Write in the Middle Workshop 1

From: Lindsay Ball <brynnsmom21_at_gmail.com_at_learner.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2015 12:07:45 +0900

Teaching writing has always been a daunting task in my mind. I am excited
to learn techniques that can help me teach students how to strengthen their
writing skills. In workshop 1, the focus was on creating a community. I
find this very important because just like reading, the only way to become
better at writing is to practice and share.

The teachers who shared their strategies with us, had a similar theme in
their
classrooms--a community where students feel safe. They each explained what
they needed to do to make a writing community in which students felt safe.

1. Write. Teachers need to write. They need to go through the writing
process with their students. Their students need to see that writing is a
life-long activity. The students need to see that it is important enough
for their teacher to continue to write.

2. Share. Not only should the teacher be writing, but she should also be
sharing her writing. It is a scary thought to share something personal with
middle school students. I can only imagine the honest things they would
say. But we are asking them to share. When teacher share their own writing,
they show they are part of the classroom community.

3. Read. The best place to hear good writing is from good novels. Reading
out loud to students helps them hear what good writing sounds like. One
teacher in the video, asked his students to discuss the author's techniques
from the novel he was reading aloud. The students can discuss how a
published author writes and then apply that to their own writing.

4. Offer. Teachers need to offer students opportunities to share their
writing. When teachers do this, students start to think of themselves as
writers. They will be more willing to read their work aloud. Sharing
writing contributes to the classroom writing community. When students know
they have a voice, they are more motivated to share. When teachers ask them
to share their writing, the students learn they have a voice. They become
validated.

These strategies are awesome. They are things I have thought about, but I
have never been sure how to apply them to my classes. Is there enough time
in the day for all of this? How much writing time is allowed in the class
period? How are things adjusted for different learning levels? What about
students who goof around?

Lindsay Ball
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Received on Mon Dec 14 2015 - 09:58:44 EST
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