The purpose of this blog is to provide a space to share teaching ideas that deal with writing - K to 12.
Recently, I have been working in schools, implementing the Calkins' Units of Study that are aligned with the CCSS. This program and the rubrics that accompany it are often used as a framework to meet proficiency guidelines.
I will continue to post articles that support these processes.
Please join in.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Here are some great articles on revision - a topic all writing teachers need to teach. courtesy of Choice Literacy.
A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It's an undo-it-yourself project.
Abigail Van Buren
you live in Maine and spend any time outdoors, you’ve got to be
vigilant about looking out for ticks. These small, nasty critters lurk
in the grass and weeds, and a bite from one can be the source of a
debilitating disease. You don’t come through the door after any time
outdoors without a quick and careful search for ticks.
I’ve been thinking about a different kind of tic -- those idiosyncratic
features that show up, unconsciously and unbidden, in any writer’s
work. They are a different kind of blood sucker, draining the vitality
out of writing. We all have them, and whether you’re writing
newsletters for parents or memos to the school board, ferreting out your
writing tics can improve your
communication in subtle but potent ways. Here are three of the most
common tics found in writing from teachers and school leaders:
Relying on “the research says” to make a point.
Research matters, but you need to trust your own authority. And if you
don’t yet have authority with your audience, establish it with the
honest, unvarnished and funny stories from your classroom and school
that you share freely with others. Heck, your audience won’t even trust
the research you cite if they don’t
trust you first.
Overuse of just, really, and pretty. These
spare words and qualifiers minimize the value of your ideas. On one
level, they are throat-clearers -- the professional’s equivalent of a
teen’s like and you know. On another level, they take the oomph out of whatever word follows. Remove them from almost any sentence, and you’ll be
amazed at the new rhythm and clarity in your writing.
Too many exclamation points!!!
You may be using these to convey how excited you are!!! Instead, trust
that the ideas and experiences you are presenting can generate
excitement all by themselves.
As Dani Shapiro notes in Still Writing,
“Our [writing] tics are a road map to our most hidden and sensitive
wounds.” As I’ve looked at my own writing tics and those of the authors
I’ve edited, I realize they are all generated from a wellspring of fear.
We don’t trust our voice, or authority, or that
others will value the experiences we are recounting as much as we do.
Ridding writing of tics won’t take away that sense of vulnerability all
of us have in putting words out to the world, but it will make you a
This week we look at how to teach revision strategies. Plus more as always -- enjoy!