As the year winds down, now is a perfect time to reflect on your Writing Workshop. Here are a few questions I’m mulling over this week.
- What did I do well this year as a writing teacher?
- What did I do differently this year in Writing Workshop? Why did I try this new idea? Will I use this idea again next year? Why/Why not?
- What do I want to focus on next year?
- I depended on my own writing life to help me be a better writing teacher. I often found teaching points emerging from the writing life I was leading. I had a deeper understanding of students who have a difficult time getting words on the page. For the first time in my life I experienced having a negative voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough as a writer. Although this was a miserable experience to live as a writer, it was an excellent experience to have as a teacher of writing. I understand kids who write, cross out, write, cross-out, write, cross-out, and stare into space much better now. I know what to say to them — as one writer to another. I also have a deeper understanding of my personal writing process and was able to help students personalize the writing process for themselves.
- In addition to rubrics, I tried to create summative assessments that mirrored standardized tests. I think it is important to embed “test-prep” within an ongoing Writing Workshop. I’m also developing a strong belief in the importance of stamina. I think students need to learn to write for long periods of time within a Writing Workshop, as well as learn to focus their energy and write a draft in a single-setting according to a prompt. I found myself teaching about stamina this year in a more intentional way than before. Next year I plan to continue deepening my understanding of assessment and creating experiences for students which provide teachers with a broad understanding of the student as a writer.
- Next year I plan to focus on three areas:
- Personalizing the writing process for all students.
- Developing meaningful assessments.
- Deepening my understanding of students who are reluctant to write.
I would love to know your answers to some (or all) of these questions. Will you take a few minutes to share your thoughts?
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.