Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Writing in the Classroom

Recently I have been working on what good writing looks like, and what the teaching of that looks like as well.  Last summer holidays,- overseas readers  its just going into Spring down here- as teachers do, I was searching around for new viewpoints on writing.  I came across the Northern Nevada Writing Project.  It has some wonderful pointers on the teaching of writing in the classroom.

It takes the six traits approach to writing, and I find this really helpful in teaching the skills of writing.  When I went to school, we didn't learn that much about writing.  Once when my mother went to a parent interview the teacher said, "You would think her writing would be better with all the reading she does".  My mother came home and repeated that to me, and it's a remark I've never forgotten. It wasn't that helpful, and if I was being myself now, I would say, "So teach me to write!"  Back then, we were expected to learn about writing by osmosis perhaps? The Northern Nevada writing project which you can link to from the picture below, features children's books that can be a model for writing.

I noted this site, but it is only recently that I have returned to it and started to really make use of it.

There is also a Ning linked to this site, which again I joined but did little about until now.  You can check it out through the picture link below.  At present I am grappling with developing the skills of sentence fluency with my class.  Another post on that later.  Let us say I am coming to terms with the participle phrase, hoping that my students are at the same time.

It is said that what we need to learn,  is best learned by teaching it.  You see, it is not only my class that are developing their writing knowledge and skills, count me in too.  At present I am preparing a guest post on books for another teacher.  I just need the time to revise and edit it first!  I want to put into practice what I am learning.  Hope my class does too.

Were you taught about writing when you went to school, or did you learn by osmosis?


  1. Kathryn,

    This past semester I took a class on writing and half of my capstone. Wow, did I learn lots of new concepts that I did not know. We used the 6 plus 1 traits in the writing class. I needed to write a paper on writing instruction and what makes a high quality writing classroom. For my writing instruction I looked at word choice and sentence fluency activities for my students. Those can be found at this post: http://berryart.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/word-choice-and-sentence-fluency-for-6-1-traits-of-writing/

    For the characteristics, I created a list of eight characteristics and gave support. Finally, I made a plan for one that I needed to work on. Here are the two posts: http://berryart.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/characteristics-of-a-high-quality-classroom-environment-part-ii/ and http://berryart.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/characteristics-of-a-high-quality-classroom-environment-for-writers/

    Mrs. Berry

  2. Mrs Berry
    Great to receive your comments, yes I find the six traits very helpful, I look forward to catching up on your posts in the next week or so.


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