Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaching This Week Part I

Here's the goal for Monday night's class:

1. Try to get future teachers to know that there is more to writing than just literary analysis essays and looking at student work to correct it for grammatical errors.

I've already had one of those conversations this week with a student teacher. She's a great student teacher by the way, and she had two goals for her students. The first is to understand the writing process and the second to make sure that students write grammatically correct. I asked her what she meant, and she said they didn't understand grammar. She went on to say that students couldn't identify proper nouns and verbs. I was interested in her goals because the first goal would have included polishing or editing work as part of the writing process, but she didn't talk about grammar in terms of editing a paper. Not being able to label parts of speech was a huge concern to her. I know that if she were with a different cooperating teacher that she would not share this concern so deeply.

On to Monday night's class, the class I teach is about teaching literature. In the book we are using, The Reading-Writing Connection: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the Secondary Classroom by Carol Booth Olson, there is a chapter on teaching writing. My favorite topic. And the one I get to talk the least about.

I think there are newer statistics cited in Because Writing Matters, but it's always interesting to note Arthur Applebee's study (1981) [doesn't he have a newer one though?], 44% of all class time is used for writing activities, but less than 3% is used for writing of a paragraph in length or longer. Even in English, only 10% was spent on extensive writing tasks (Booth Olson, p. 201).

Research shows that writing helps us think ....

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