Monday, March 22, 2010

Word Choice at Jay Middle School - Susan S.

Susan is a poet as well as a teacher, so it was not surprising when she turned to other authors as a source of information for her students - author to author.

Over the last two months, the young authors in her classroom have been working on word choice and revision.  Like all writers - at times - they do not look forward to  revising because they often assume it is due to their inability to write - equating revision with error.  However, being an author herself, Susan shared with them what the process is like for published authors - quoting from many of them.  The students concluded all authors say the same thing:  "I like my scissors a lot, they sometimes get more use than my pencil." - circa 1924 when cut and paste was the vogue pre-technology!  Moving past this point, students have begun to revise instantaneously - similar to readers who correct miscues as they make them.

Susan has supported her students' awareness of word choice in the following ways:
  1. creating a word wall with possible word choices for over used words, i.e. said, and, etc.
  2. teaching her students to use reference tools to find better choices
  3. reading mentor texts and discussing them (great authors of today read great authors of yesterday and get inspiration)
  4. sharing sections of student writing well done
  5. encouraging students to read stories out loud to themselves and then to their partner
  6. writing sentences with spelling sentences
  7. continuing to write because the more you write
Student has been monitoring student growth and observes first drafts have better word choice:)

BRAVO!  How exciting!

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1 comment:

Nancy said...

Sounds like you have a very busy classroom! Lots of exciting activities are going on in your classroom! The students will grow to enjoy writing more and more as their writing gets more exciting and fun to share!