We are writers.
Writing serves my creative mania. In my classroom, historically, we write more than we read. Do I love books? Of course! Am I passionate and excited about passages, excerpts, themes, patterns, characters, and juicy plots? Naturally! But in my experience, if you truly want to a student, a person– to engage, spill their guts, bare their soul and express themselves, writing is it.
Write-It-Right Wednesdays are mini-lesson moments and writing workshop days. Mini lessons are those quick, here is a “thing you need to know” thing. Writing Workshop is a very different animal, and all I’ve learned is from my mentors Holly Stein and Kim Norton through the PSWP (part of the National Writing Project). The Puget Sound Writing Project is no longer, unfortunately, but Holly and Kim began a new venture, PSW Consortium.
Here is Writing Workshop:
- You write.
- Your students write.
- What do you write about? Whatever is on folks’ minds, part of the content, etc. Or what my friend Holly calls “Rule #10: write what you want.”
- Use images, news stories, personal anecdotes, objects, postcards, whatever.
- Writing is sacred time.
- If someone comes in the room to observe during this, they are asked to write, too.
- In small groups, each person takes a turn to read their writing. Nothing is in the listeners’ hands. Nothing.
- Second read: the listeners give feedback. Never, ever hand your writing over to someone else to read. Yes, it can get noisy. This is not about spelling or editing.
- The listeners take a few minutes to verbally give feedback, and hand over the feedback slips to the writer.
- The writer says “thank you.” That’s it. They can choose to take the listeners’ advice or not. This is important to teach in terms of preparing writers for criticism and to understand their own craft.
Writing Partner Feedback Sheet I have a format in Publisher where I put these two up on a page, and double-side photocopy. This document contains the essential information.
For the grammar lessons, I may try to use Grammarly in the classroom.
Here is an example from a student from a memoir unit: