Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Writing Instruction

Do you see it? How do you remember experiencing it? How do you envision teaching it yourself?

Writing instruction in my class is as my mom would say, "slim-pickings". We occasionally do "writers workshop" but the lesson structure is very slim. The CT tends to read a short story, then says , "see, writing with more _____ words is better. Go ahead, and write." This structure seems to allow the students a lot of time to write, but not very much direct instruction. The students also tend to experience more of the drafting portion of the workshop and not much of the revising/editing aspect. Many of the students create final drafts that still contain spelling errors and grammatical errors ( such as capitalizing). There does not tend to be very much writing in other subject areas, even in math the students struggle with word problems.

I remember doing many of the same procedures for writing, writing many short stories in class. I thought this was enjoyable, but that was because I enjoyed writing. I also feel that writing was incorporated into many more of my subjects throughout the day than in my field placement. It seems that in my field placement we essentially do bellwork, some abstract lesson in the morning, silent reading after lunch, math, recess and then sometimes a spelling lesson. The day does not have much academic content. I also do not remember having much direct instruction, especially on grammar and grammatical skills, which I think is a negative aspect of schools.

In seeing that my CT's day does not have much academic content makes me worried about my classroom and the time I will have for academic content. I like the idea of having a classroom blog, which my CT has but uses sparatically. I also hope to use writing and reading in all of the subject areas in my classroom, and helping students connect to content areas through writing and journaling. I hope to teach more about grammatical skills, such as verb tenses, punctuation and capitalization. I also want to work on spelling, but in a way that is not so much as a spelling test but more of a 'real world application'. I hope to incorporate writing into much of my academic day.

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