Developing good writers is a process that is on a continuum. This is not something a first grader can grasp and automatically know how to do, and the process is not taught ever again within the next 11 years of school. Teaching the writing process is something that is taught every year a student is in school. Developing writing skills is a process that evolves over a child’s 12 to 16 years of school.
Read more; write better
Writing process activities could include learning new and innovative vocabulary, sentence structure and thought processes. Research indicates the more a student reads, the better their writing becomes. Teaching these skills throughout a child’s education helps them be better writers post-secondary.
Writing is still KING!
Regardless of whether a student is college bound or not, in our modern technical society, writing is still King! Students who are still struggling with the writing process should always follow the 5 steps. There are some students who do not need to physically follow these steps, for some students, writing is innate, just like breathing. They are still following these steps, as any good writer will, but they may be able to prewrite and draft during the same step. Ideas for helping students with writing prompts could include a writing journal list that is created at the beginning of the year. These prompts are ideas students can pull from when they have a writer’s block.
- What makes you happy?
- What makes you sad?
- What are you afraid of?
- What are things you like?
- What are things you don’t like?
When I taught elementary school, my team created this chart for our writer’s workshop. This allowed me to know where each student was in the writing process. I used clothespins. I’m sure if you have a magnetic board, using magnets would work as well. As the students moved from one step to the next in writing their essays, they moved their clips to the next step on the chart. I used teacher/student conferencing and peer conferencing to move the student through the process. Each student had a folder that contained all the steps stapled in their folder as well as all the actual drafts so I could look back at the progress of the essay as well as the student seeing how their writing has evolved to a published piece. Following these steps helped tremendously during the grading process.
GRAB THE DREAM!!
Dr. Genola Johnson has over 20 years in education. She is the Executive Director of Georgia Educational Learning Consultants, Inc.