I love writing. Could you tell? Spend even a few minutes around here and hopefully you’ll figure that out. I love everything I teach, but I’d have to say writing is my baby. Check out my post about why I write and things you should know about me as a writer. Please? 🙂
Just like I mentioned on the reading page about reading, while we write each day during Writer’s Workshop, we also write in every other subject. It’s important as a student–and as a person in general–to be able to communicate effectively and get your point across well. That’s one of the mail goals I have for the writers in my class every year, but maybe more importantly, I want the students in my class to like to write. I hate how so many times kids come in and writing to them is a 4-letter-word (for a variety of reasons this can happen even to 6-year-olds). With some classes, I say the word “writing” and many wince and groan and try to run out the door. And from that moment I know it’s my job to help them like writing, to see it as a chance to express themselves and have some fun, not as a chore or a curse. Eventually they’ll learn how to see it as their “play clothes” where they can try new things and experiment. Oh, and for those who come in already loving it–they will be challenged and pushed as well to try out new things and see how much farther they can go. 🙂
This year we have the added excitement of connecting reading and writing with the #classroombookaday challenge that is inspiring many Rm. 202 kiddos to write so that we can read their book and put it on our door! Readers read books that writers write, and so the more I can help kiddos see how these things work together, the better.
One thing that I do in my classes to help kiddos understand the mechanics of writing is facilitate a punctuation study. Through investigation and exploration, kiddos discover how writers use punctuation to enhance meaning and show their reader how they want their text to be read. Rather than seeing punctuation as something they have to do (because the adults in their lives say so!) or as just a set of rules to check off and follow, I want writers to understand how they can use punctuation like other tools in their toolbox to enhance the message they want to send to the reader. Every year I am amazed by what kiddos find and how they figure out the function of each mark. Can’t wait to see what this year brings! (And then yes, I’ll write about it here!)