‘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.
Continue reading “GUEST BLOG: When Teachers Are Writers … By Jonny Walker”
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!
Continue reading “GUEST BLOG: A writer-teacher’s reflection on her process and writer-identity by Lucy Fidler”
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).
Continue reading “GUEST BLOG: I think…that all teachers should do this so they can learn new stuff like us by Kat Vallely”
Do happy writers make better writers? Lucy Starbuck Braidley talks to two primary educators who believe so, and sees what leaders can learn from their findings…
If you’re looking to refresh, optimise or even radically change the approach to writing pedagogy within your school, the Writing For Pleasure movement can give you an interesting new perspective to consider.
The overall approach aims for children to make progress in their writing, alongside developing a genuine love and sense of satisfaction from the activity of writing itself – thus setting them up to be lifelong writers, as well as learners.
It’s an evidence-based pedagogy that places the child as an autonomous writer at the centre of decision-making about their writing. It enables children to write independently through explicit teaching of authorial skills, and its leading proponents say it’s getting results.
Continue reading “Writing For Pleasure: Primary School Management Interview”
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?
Continue reading “GUEST BLOG: Am I A Teacher-Writer? By Sadie Phillips”
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.
Continue reading “The Things That Matter: Writing Memoir”
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.
Continue reading ““All Children Can Write”: A Tribute To Donald Graves”