Please read this important post by Kim Douillard:
I’m thinking about these powerful words Kim wrote
“I worry about who in our schools gets the most formulaic writing. Why are our English learners, our students of color, our students who live below the poverty line most likely to get writing instruction that is pre-chewed, scaffolded to the point that no thinking is required? In the name of being helpful, we are robbing students of the opportunity to make sense of their thinking through writing.
And yet, letting go of the formulaic means inviting messiness, losing control, welcoming confusion in order to find clarity and coherence. What replaces the formula? That is a question that I am asked over and over again. The answers aren’t easy, they aren’t neat, and they mean teaching writers rather than writing.”
The answer is there:
“teaching writers rather than writing” so that they can “make sense of their thinking through writing.”
We offer many choices for authentic writing and teach the writer– the wordsmith.
We can accomplish this through student planned frames rather than formulas. I’ve written about it here:
I’m also remembering the work of James Moffett: Active Voices- Writing across the Curriculum and others books. http://www.amazon.com/Active-Voice-Writing-Program-Curriculum/dp/0867092890#
His work reflects much of the Connected Learning Principles as students write in genres they choose for their audience and purpose. Important is oral language, peer feedback, and and choice in a workshop approach to teach each writer.
Isn’t that what we’ve learned from technology as well? We teach writers what they need ‘just in time’ for their needs and purposes.
What do you think?