#WritingRocks Summary: The Tidy House

This is the June’s #WritingRocks chat summary on the topic of The Tidy House by Carolyn Steedman. Enjoy!

Thank you to Nicola at the @TheWritingWeb as always for her great work and commitment to organising and sharing these #WritingRocks chats.

To find out more about #WritingRocks, you can read more about our schedule -> here.

The Tidy House first came out in 1982. The book The Tidy House was written as a group effort by Carla, Lindie and Melissa, three 8 year old schoolgirls in East London who their teacher, Carolyn Steedman taped. In her book Carolyn discusses the children’s writing processes and motivations for writing what they wrote.

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50 Ways Children Can Improve Their Writing

I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while.

My understanding of pupil conferencing (the process of talking and giving advice to children whilst they are undertaking their writing) has got much better, sharper and focused since I first wrote about it here. The list below takes in the most common  and valuable advice I give to my apprentice writers. Some of the advice here comes too from Gary Provost’s book 100 Ways To Improve Your Writing.  Like any good writer-teacher, everything below is advice I try and enact for myself too.

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Building A Community Of Writers: Creating Enabling Writing Environments

The quality of writing in our classrooms grows more from the tone, values, and relationships of our classroom communities than from anything else. – Lucy Calkins

As part of our ongoing work on building a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy, we have been reflecting on the first principle of our Writing For Pleasure manifesto:

Creating A Community Of Writers (1)

When writers see their teachers as positive, caring and interested in pupils’ lives, they are more likely to engage in writing at a high level of achievement. The aim is to create a community of writers, in which teachers write alongside children and share their own writing practices, and children are shown how to talk about their own and their peers’ writing in a positive and constructive way.

What needs attention when trying to build a community of writers in your class or school? This obviously means creating an environment where writers can flourish.

Below, we have offered some questions that might be worth reflecting on. If you’ve written about writing environments yourself or would like to contribute, you’re welcome to use the comments section below.

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