GUEST BLOG: When Teachers Are Writers … By Jonny Walker

Image result for jonny walker education‘Teaching writing is arguably an artistic event, involving creativity and artistry, but if few teachers see themselves as writers or write alongside their students then the teaching of writing may be constrained by a lack of awareness of the complexities of composition and the significance of writers’ identities.’ Teresa Cremin and Debra Myhill, 2012, ‘Writing Voice: Creating Communities of Writers’, p. 126

This piece is all about teachers as writers. Whilst there is now a solid and growing body of research that indicates the benefits of teachers developing and reflecting on themselves as writers, knowing about this and doing something about it are different things.

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GUEST BLOG: A writer-teacher’s reflection on her process and writer-identity by Lucy Fidler

Image result for writer-teacher

In this blog post, Lucy Fidler (@misslkfidler13) discusses her writing process and how it is influenced by her writer-identity. She then reflects on her writing process as a writer-teacher and how it affects how she teaches her young apprentice writers. Enjoy!

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GUEST BLOG: I think…that all teachers should do this so they can learn new stuff like us by Kat Vallely

 

Kat Vallely is a practitioner in Primary Teacher Education at the University of Greenwich

A classroom project creating a community of writers where the teacher writes alongside the children to foster writing as a meaningful, purposeful and enjoyable activity.

If nurtured and encouraged in a supportive way, writing can propel children to a world where they are able to explore, problem solve, express themselves and make sense of their lives.  However, the act of writing itself often evokes confusion and frustration and requires time, space, and a particular relationship between the teacher and the young writer.  Sadly, this relationship is often compromised as we find ourselves caught in an education system where excessive, extrinsic motivation and pressure to perform has the potential to drown a child’s intrinsic desire to write (Cremin et al. 2017).

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GUEST BLOG: Am I A Teacher-Writer? By Sadie Phillips

This is a guest blog by Sadie Phillips. You can read more by visiting her blog here.

If reading is the key to learning, then writing is the lock.

Or rather, writing is the medium through which we unlock potential and empower children (and adults). We still depend on writing as the largest indicator of success and progress in learning. Therefore, it should have just as much emphasis as reading in school. For example, if we are Reading for Pleasure daily, should we not also be Writing for Pleasure daily too? If we are explicitly teaching children how to read, are we explicitly modelling the writing process to them too?

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The Things That Matter: Writing Memoir

A few Saturdays ago, we were lucky enough to attend the Oxford Writing Spree, a day conference organised by teacher Ed Finch (@MrEFinch) in his own primary school, Larkrise, on the outskirts of the town. We were in the company of some excellent speakers and a large group of teachers, all interested in thinking and talking about children writing at home and in school.

We were there to run a workshop in which we would ask teachers to write a short memoir of an experience from their own lives. We had found in our Year 5 class that personal memoir was a much enjoyed and successful writing project, and we had decided to give participants the same kind of teaching and resources we had used with our pupils.

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“All Children Can Write”: A Tribute To Donald Graves

Donald Graves: 1930 – 2010

The following article by Donald Graves (written in 1985), considered by many to be the “father” of the process approach to writing, is a classic piece on the need for a change in the way writing has typically been taught in schools. This article helped spark the movement now known as ‘The Writer’s Workshop’ or ‘Process Writing’ approach and has influenced our modern interpretation called ‘Real-World Literacy‘.

This article is excellent because Graves discusses the challenges and needs of students, clearly lays out how teachers can establish a community of writers and the writing process, and provides examples of teachers and students working together.

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In Teaching Writing – How Important Is It That Teachers Be Writers Too?

When planning for this blog, I wrote down the following bullet points:

  • Do and should teachers write and share their own exemplars of texts they expect children to go on and write?
  • Do teachers take part in the writing process when they write; if so, do they share their process with their children? For example do they show children pages from their notebook? Their plans, their drafts, their revisions, their edits and their final publications?
  • Do teachers share hints and tips from their own writing process with children?

Continue reading “In Teaching Writing – How Important Is It That Teachers Be Writers Too?”