The Village Voice

January 29th, 2015 by Virtual Village Classroom

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Going Above and Beyond When Teaching Writing

What do you expect of your students when it comes to writing? Do you find yourself falling into the trap of allowing too much short answer, multiple choice and true or false? Does the thought of grading countless essays make you cringe so you let writing fall by the wayside? Let’s face it- all of us are busy professionals who balance work with our family lives. However, we are shortchanging our students if we are not making writing a priority in the classroom on a daily basis.

Elementary Writing ProgramTeaching writing does not have to be overwhelming, and visions of piles of paper do not need to take over your imagination. Writing can be simply constructing complete sentences in response to a question, constructing a paragraph together summarizing a video that was viewed during class or creating a journal entry that explains how to solve a math equation and sharing it in class.

Not every piece of writing needs to be graded. As a teacher, you can observe your students’ progress while walking around the room during a writing work time, listening to what they share during discussions, and giving them opportunities to give presentations about what they have written. Even more formal writing can be broken down into a manageable workload. First, concentrate on an introductory paragraph for an explanatory essay. After they have been revised and edited, move to the body paragraph(s), and keep moving forward until a piece is ready to be published. Don’t wait to look at an essay until the very end. Not only does this allow you as the teacher to not make writing a daunting grading process, you are also able to offer your students valuable feedback as they write. Their final pieces will be much more polished, and they will learn the process of writing, instead of being intimidated by the overall task of writing.

Encourage yourself to reach outside your comfort zone and find ways to give your students opportunities to write every day. Just as with any skill, they will improve with practice. Being able to write in a variety of modes and for different purposes will allow them to stretch their writing muscles and develop them. If you have great expectations for their writing, even those who struggle with it at first will rise to the occasion and learn to expect great writing from themselves.

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