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FOR EDUCATORS - WRITING

Getting Started Teaching Poetry in Primary Classrooms

Robyn Ewing AM   2021


In this short article Robyn provides useful information about what poetry is and why we should be teaching it. Robyn provides classroom examples as well as a list of resources to help teachers get started with the fun and joy of reading and writing poetry in the primary classroom.
 
Keywords:  Poetry  Teaching poetry  Responding to poetry  Writing poetry
 
 

Berry Book Club: Engaging readers and writers

Jan Turbill, Susan McAuliffe and Brett Sutton 2015

in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp 181-197 published by ALEA

This chapter reports on how three educators set up a successful Book Club, that involved students in Grades 4, 5, 6. The Book Club is a one hour highly structured session held each week and engages students in reading novels, poetry, play writing and exploring picture books. Students learn to ‘read like writers’ as they focus on how published authors use language to engage their readers. Each hour involves students reading, exploring language and writing. Book Club principles are based on sound research evidence and clearly made explicit to students as they begin to learn the many language devices effective writers use. Each session provides time for students to try these devices in their writing. Over the year students’ evaluations demonstrate their growth in confidence and skills as readers and writers.

This chapter is one of 20 excellent chapters on the teaching of writing in the book published by ALEA. The book is available from ALEA at

https://www.alea.edu.au/public-resources/alea-shop 

Keywords: Teaching writing  Book clubs  Literature  Poetry  Student writing  Picture books
 

A Conversation with Ralph Fletcher:  writer and teacher of writing

Ralph Fletcher with Jan Turbill, 2015

in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp 4-50 published by ALEA

Ralph Fletcher is a well-known American writer of children’s books and teachers’ books on teaching of writing. In 2014 Ralph came to the ALEA/AATE national conference in Darwin to present the Donald Graves address. It was an inspiring one hour full of gems about the teaching of writing. To write up the address would be a book-in-itself. Thus, it was decided that Ralph and Jan would engage in a conversation about the teaching of writing, Ralph in his home in Portsmouth in the USA and Jan in Australia. This chapter is a result of the recorded conversation, written by Jan and edited by Ralph. It is full of excellent information, and teaching strategies from a writer and a man who spends endless hours with teachers and students in their classrooms teaching writing. In particular, Ralph focuses on the use of mentor texts and boy writers. 

This chapter is one of 20 excellent chapters on the teaching of writing in the book published by ALEA. The book is available from ALEA at

https://www.alea.edu.au/public-resources/alea-shop

We thank ALEA’s Publications Director, for granting permission for the Foundation for Learning and Literacy to include this article here.
Keywords: Teaching writing  Mentor texts  Boy writers  Writer’s craft  Writing conferences
 

Mindful Actions to Engage Inexperienced Writers

Alan J Wright

Alan J. Wright is a very experienced teacher and literacy consultant with a passion for writing and the teaching of writing. He has worked in many classrooms in Australia and the USA, modelling exemplary ways to teach students to write and to develop their own passions for writing. In this document Alan shares some of his ideas about how to do this. Something that Alan values greatly about teaching students to write is that teachers should be writers too and he has devoted one of his books (Igniting Writing: When a Teacher Writes, published by Hawker Brownlow Education, 2011) to this topic and shares more ideas in his blog, Living Life Twice. Teachers might like to subscribe to Alan’s blog.

Key words:  Writing  Mentors  Writer's notebook

Principles for Working with Struggling Readers and Writers - Advice for teachers across primary and secondary schools

August 2020

This Foundation for Learning and Literacy published article is one of two partner articles on supporting struggling readers and writers and expands on Touchstone 6. The partner article is Meeting the needs of struggling readers and writers, particularly in the later primary years and secondary years.

This article outlines principles aimed to assist teachers in adjusting their literacy teaching for individual students who are experiencing some difficulty with reading and writing. They are based on what research tells us about struggling readers and writers.

Key words: Reading  Writing  Engagement  Support

Meeting the Needs of Struggling Readers and Writers 

August 2020

This Foundation for Learning and Literacy published article is one of two partner articles on supporting struggling readers and writers and expands on Touchstone 6. The partner article is Principles for working with struggling readers and writers- advice for teachers across primary and secondary schools.

This article draws on research and practice in order to provide teachers and school leaders with research evidence and informed instructional and organisational practices to meet the needs of those students who are struggling as readers and writers.

Key words: Reading  Writing intervention  Engagement  Support  Strategies  Expectations

Evidence of Agency Among Student Writers

Alan J Wright

In this short piece for his blog Living Life Twice, Alan J Wright; teacher, consultant and writer, writes about classroom environments where students love to write. He describes classrooms where a genuine sense of the writer's agency is apparent that is the natural consequence of a lot of mindful teaching on the part of teachers who display a commitment to building a classroom dynamic that values highly, student engagement.

Key words: Writing  Student agency  Writer's notebooks  Differentiation  Classroom environment

Writing Needs to be Taught and Practised

Claire Wyatt-Smith and Christine Jennifer Jackson

The Conversation October 19, 2020

A survey commissioned by the NSW Education Standards Authority completed by 4,306 NSW teachers, across all sectors, stages of schooling and curriculum areas is the basis for this report by Claire Wyatt-Smith and Christine Jennifer Jackson. The article outlines the findings from the survey and what the research says about the practices found in NSW classrooms. Wyatt-Smith and Jackson contend that teaching writing skills needs to be a baseline requirement for all students. The explicit teaching of these skills must be continuously revisited, building on student knowledge throughout their years of school.

Key words: literacy research, writing, effective strategies, early years writing, secondary writing, evidence for educators

The Writing Identity of Teachers

Alan J Wright

Alan J. Wright is a very experienced teacher and literacy consultant with a passion for writing and the teaching of writing. This short piece Alan argues, ‘Teachers’ writing identities tend to shape the delivery of their writing instruction. This in turn affects attitudes and values, ultimately passed to student writers.’ He strongly suggests teachers need to be writers as this changes the ways they teach writing. Teachers might like to subscribe to Alan’s blog - https://livinglifetwice-alwrite.blogspot.com

Key words: Teachers as writers  Teachers’ writing knowledge  Student engagement

Reading Like a Writer

Frank Smith, Language Arts, 1983 Vol 5, No 5 pp558-567

In this seminal article Frank Smith questions ‘the myth that one could learn to write to diligent attention and practice’ (p.558). Smith asks: ‘Where do people who write acquire all the knowledge they need?’ The conclusion Smith reaches is that it can only be through reading that writers learn all the ‘tangibles that they know’. He claims that ‘to learn to write, children must read in a special kind of way’ (p558). Smith clearly and logically shares his reasoning, discussing the complexities of writing, learning as a collaborative activity and how readers collaborate with the author whose writing they are reading. Finally, he outlines what this means for teaching writing.

Key words: Reading  Writing  Reading writing connection

The Rights of the Writer Poster

Jo Padgham  Principal, Turner School 2017

This poster provides ten compelling points to consider in order to inspire all students to be writers. It highlights the connection between reading and writing and the importance of providing authors with choice. 

Each point is accompanied by an inclusive illustration by Rachel Roberts. This poster would make a welcome addition to any classroom searching to engage readers and writers.

Key words: Writing  Early Childhood  Primary

Writing as A Process

R.D. Walshe 1981

This article was originally Chapter 2 in his book Every Child Can Write (1981, PETAA). In 1999 Bob edited original 40 pages into a stand-alone article. It is a clear succinct exploration of ‘writing as a process’: a concept that many today take for granted without fully understanding what it means for the learner of writing and its teaching. It is a must read for all teachers of writing.

Key words: Writing  Writing process  Conferring  Response  Evaluation

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