Teaching Writing in the Classroom
This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Teacher’s College Writing Institute in New York City. The Institute is an intensive 5-day conference focusing on how to successfully teach writing to our students. I believe it changed me as a teacher. I have always loved to teach writing but after my week in New York, my approach on how to teach it changed. Where I used to have students work on specific writing projects following specific steps, I now present various strategies in different genres of writing, and let the students choose how to exactly form their writing pieces.
While implementing this writing program, I have noticed a positive shift in the way my students create their writing pieces. They have a great deal of independence in what they write about and how long they want to spend on one piece. They are always asked to “just try” a new strategy to see how it feels for them and can choose what works best. I have seen hesitant writers become more confident and more excited to write every day.
It is important for children to feel like writers all day, every day and not just during “writing.” That being said, encouraging your children to write at home will only help them develop their writing skills and feel more like a writer. Encourage your child to look at the world in new and different ways and to perhaps write down their feelings and stories in a special notebook. My favorite times of the year are when my students beam with pride at what they have created with their use of language.