- Homeschooling: Making Education Natural Again - October 28, 2016
- Six Reasons Why Tests Suck - October 20, 2016
- I Remember When Teachers Were Allowed to Teach Their Passions - October 14, 2016
- By Not Allowing Your Children to Fail You Are Making Their Brains Smaller - October 13, 2016
- Why Poetry Is So Great for Teaching Growth Mindset - October 7, 2016
- Deliberate Practice and Growth Mindset - October 5, 2016
- Seven Steps to a Fresh Start for your Class - September 23, 2016
- How to Integrate Literacy into the Non-ELA Classroom - September 21, 2016
- How To Do A Focused Writing Bootcamp - September 16, 2016
- You Probably Shouldn’t Be a Teacher If… - September 12, 2016
For many years of teaching, I would follow the same formula over and over throughout the year with my classes: teach a unit, finish unit, assign paper on that unit. Writing happened, but it was the thing that we did after we did the other stuff.
What this means is that writing mostly happened at home, that we didn’t do much practice writing in class, and that we were already moving on to the next unit when students were working on that paper. They saw the final paper as a test, but also as something that they handed in and never really thought about again. Rather than seeing writing as a process, or even as a priority in my class, they saw it as pure assessment and as something that was maybe even the last priority.
Over the years, I have worked to get writing to the top of the list. It’s no longer the thing we do after the other stuff—it’s the reason why we do the other stuff. Here is how I make writing a priority:
Do some write-to-learn every day. I do quick writes and freewrites daily. I really believe that the more students write, the more comfortable they are writing, and the more comfortable they are writing, the better they are at writing. So we write for at least five minutes every day, and usually more than that.