Why Is Writing So Difficult for Kids? Three Devastating Reasons
Spelling • Sentence-level composing • Organization and structure • Appropriate choices of language for a particular audience • Knowledge of the genre 1.Writing is about production, and requires coordination of multiple systems of meaning
Enuf said. 2. Teachers typically assign writing but don’t teach it
Enuf said ditto. 3. Assessment typically focuses on surface-level features rather than ideas and what’s WRONG rather than what’s RIGHT.
Writing looks to most kids like a scheme to catch them at their worst and expose what they don’t know, rather than an opportunity to show how smart they are. ERGO,
Give engaging, open-ended assignments that EVERY student can respond to • Do PREWRITING activities as a whole class • Do the writing IN CLASS • SHARE and CELEBRATE your students’ brilliance • HOLD ONTO what your students write—it can be the possible beginning of more formal and exciting writing processes (but that’s for next week) Writing to Learn
And then, ironically, students will learn to write. Focus on Writing to Learn, not Learning to Write.