By Lynne R. Dorfman
Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery.
– Henry Miller
We all want our students to think deeply about their writing and reading, learn how to assimilate information, and in some way take the new learning and make it their own. In writing workshop, the teacher becomes the facilitator of creative options and the students become innovators, applying knowledge in new ways.
by Rose Cappelli
Have you ever had the experience of discovering a new word or a new idea and then, as if by magic, you start to hear or see it everywhere? Sometimes it’s not necessarily something new, but something you have just been thinking quite a bit about. That is what it was like for me recently with the idea of reflection.
Before I sit down to write something, it is usually part of my process to think through what I want to say, perhaps engage in some internal oral rehearsal, maybe do a little research, and then start to write. So for the past few days essentially what I have been doing is reflecting on reflecting. It wasn’t long before I started to see or hear “reflect” or “reflection” everywhere. Read more
By Lynne R. Dorfman
We can’t just hunt for errors; we need to celebrate what we are doing right.
– Jeff Anderson
After reading both of Jeff Anderson’s books, Everyday Editing and Mechanically Inclined, I started to think deeply about the concept of showing students what is right instead of asking them to correct what is wrong. Jeff focuses on correctness, asking students to look at mentor sentences and passages in the books they are reading including textbooks and independent reads. His “Express-Lane” editing system is inviting for students and provides a meaning-based process to help students proofread their writing and shape their own writing. As Jeff cautions us, checklists aren’t always meaningful – students simply check off the items on the list.
So how do you get students to engage in editing to reinforce the habit of becoming the first and last editor of their own work in order to communicate clearly and effectively? Read more
By Dr. Mary Buckelew
The colleague who observed my Writing Research 200 course this past spring was “shocked” that students arrived early and were animatedly discussing the class texts and their own writing even before class started. She observed, “students seemed genuinely interested in each other’s perspectives on the assigned chapter from A Whole New Mind, and they were also sharing grammar tips with each other.”
Before teaching this particular introductory college writing research course, I polled several colleagues regarding methods for encouraging reading and discussion. I was surprised when they told me they gave multiple choice and short answer quizzes in their writing classes. Their rationale, if they didn’t quiz — students wouldn’t read the materials, and thus miss out on important information. Read more