How to Teach Writing Effectively!

Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend an AMAZING conference. The conference was called "VAESP Improving Teacher Effectiveness: Supporting Effective Writing Instruction for Administrators and Literacy Leadership Teams." When I saw the flyer and read the first sentence, "Supporting effective instruction that will inspire your students as writers" I thought, "I NEED TO ATTEND!" Writing is something I struggle with teaching. Let's see if you can relate...
  • There is never enough time to do writing
  • My students aren't very imaginative and often say, "I don't know what to write about..."
  • When we do writing, the class is always on a different part of the writing process 
  • I have students write for 10 minutes then say, "I'm done!" and students who barely write one complete sentence in that same time.  
  • We do the same thing week after week... ::boring::
    • (Day 1:Brainstorm - Day 2: Rough Draft - Day 3:Editing - Day 4: Final Draft - Day 5: Sharing)
The workshop used the Developmental Studies Center's program, "Being a Writer." Please check it out and watch every video and blog post you can find about it. Actually, just attend the conference because it will be the BEST use of your time, trust me! It was life-changing! 

Here are some of the things that stood out to me the most...
  • You don't need to have a perfect piece of writing every time. You're teaching writing. It needs to be broken into smaller pieces. 
  • When students feel that they need to produce that perfect piece writing, it take the fun out of writing. They're not looking to see if you like their creativity, they're hoping you don't go for that red pen to edit everything away. 
  • Work on one thing at a time. Maybe the class, or just one student, needs to work on punctuation. Work on that skill and forget about their misspelled words or incorrect grammar. Baby steps people, baby steps. 

Check out my conference workbook! Since I wrote all over the pages, I needed to add post-its to have more room to write down information and ideas. All throughout the conference my mind was flooding with ideas. I was INSPIRED! My colleague and I want to give each of our students a binder to use as their writing log. We want to put dividers in it so they can keep it all organized. It would have a conference log, for when we meet with students 1-on-1 to discuss their writing, a spot for typed notes that go along with our grammar lessons, a place to keep their writing....yes, I'm very excited about this! I promise to share it once it has been perfected. 

We start putting into practice what we have learned tomorrow! I'll keep you posted! If you're feeling generous, you can go here to help purchase the supplies for our writing logs :) 

Now you tell me, what does writing look like in your classroom?

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