Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Opening up worlds to writing

It is amazing to me, even though I already know this to be true...

Kids that read, write well.

They may not be the best spellers, and punctuation may still be a struggle, but MAN! They can tell a story.

Reading opens worlds, presents ideas, models what they themselves can do. And here's the other thing...now that my kids' stamina for reading is a minimum of 25 minutes, guess what? They can WRITE for that long too.

Today they worked for over 30, and yesterday about the same.

I have one student, A, who has always been a fabulous reader, but hated to write. Today he finished Chapter 3 of an AMAZING piece that I swear sounds like something that could be published. What happened?

I provided opportunity, time, and choice. I didn't limit him. I let him write. And I am so glad.

Sometimes teaching is too rigid - worksheets don't offer limitless responses. That stifles. But then again, it is more demanding for them to create without boundaries...it's scary, and risky.

So hand in hand with time, opportunity, and choice in BOTH reading and writing is SUPPORT. They need to know I am ok with them making mistakes, that I am there to guide, ask questions, and provide a safe place for them.

By the way, post 301 -- that's quite a bit of chat about reading!

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