Sunday, June 23, 2013

Best Practices in Writing

After reading the chapter on Best Practices in Writing, I found several areas in my writing instruction and classroom environment that I’d like to change/modify. First, I really want to create a daily time in my schedule for writer’s workshop.  I want to learn how to teach using mini lessons.  I loved the ideas and suggestions of reading the picture book What Real Authors Do by Eileen Christelow and using the punctuation poem “Call the Periods, Call the Commas,” by Kallie Dakos. Second, I want to do individually conferencing with students on their writing.  I want to lessen the amount of critiques I give students and focus more on the feedback and increase the questions I ask students about their writing engaging them in higher level thinking.  Also, I thought it interesting that the article stated that students actually learn conventions without direct teaching if they are in an environment that allows ample time to write and read. This made me wonder when students actually begin changing over to the conventional way.  I would have to say that most of my students struggle with conventions and I feel like I repeat several ideas such as spaces between words, start with a capital and end with punctuation.  I’d like to know more about best practices in writing specifically with kindergarten. Are they ready for these conventions? Or can I take some of the pressure off myself (and my students) if I know that it will come in time with practice and time.  Third, I want to continue to build a strong community and provide opportunities for peers to work together and support one another on/with their writing. It is often through the team efforts that I see students excel and take risks.  It’s a great way to scaffold their learning and is beneficial for all learners.  Fourth, I want to create student folders that have their topic list for writing and skill lists on their writing progress to start with.  In addition, I’d also like to incorporate technology with writing and have students use puppet pals to increase motivation and put their “writing” into a performance that they can record and share with family members. Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde (2005) stated that students write better when they have an audience.  Students will be more purposeful and I believe willing to do the revisions and edits when they can see their production in a video that they can share with the people who matter the most to them.

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