The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

More On The Writing Process

As promised, this quarter is going to see a big focus on developing our writing skills in our classroom. While I am not particularly planning on participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I am glad that this push has coincided with the start of November.

We have been going over the writing process quite frequently over the past couple of weeks. Today I decided it was time to crack open one of the writing resources I have in my classroom: the Write Source textbook. It is a fantastic text that provides an overview of the writing process and the six traits of writing (content, organisation, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions), and then provides detailed explanations of each phase of the writing process. (It is tempting to refer to them as steps, but this would be a mistake because writing is not a linear process. Rather, it is kind of a wibbly-wobbly ball of timey-wimey stuff.) Another great strength of the book is that it provides great exemplars for how students develop their own writing and also has quotes from well-known authors about how they have developed their craft.

Our main focus at the start of this writing unit is improving our prewriting (planning) and early drafting. I really want my students to get into the habit of producing quality writing that is of a sufficient quantity to really get their ideas. Writing just a couple of sentences and proclaiming the work to be finished just isn’t going to cut it these days. Using the textbook, I had the students work in small groups to read an example of how one student went through the writing process. When the groups finished reading, I challenged them to use what they learned and apply it to their own writing.

We worked on these literacy tasks through most of the morning. I was pleased to see students going over writing projects they started earlier and adding details, removing unnecessary sections, clarifying ideas, and seeking input from peers. I have great hopes for the growth of my students to become world-class writers! It will take time, dedication, and perseverance, but if they set their minds to it, I am confident they will be successful!


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