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FOR EDUCATORS - WRITING

Reading and Writing for Pleasure: A Framework for Practice

The Mercer’s Company 2023

Research reveals that the habit of reading in childhood is associated with academic, social and emotional outcomes and can mitigate educational disadvantages associated with gender and socio-economic status (OECD, 2021; Torppa et al., 2020). Writing research also evidences strong associations between motivation, self-efficacy and writing performance (Graham, 2017). Additionally, reading and writing for pleasure play a pivotal role in supporting all children’s learning and development, particularly the less advantaged.
Reading and writing for pleasure urgently require a higher profile in education, both to raise attainment and achievement and to increase children’s engagement as motivated and socially engaged readers and writers.
The Reading and Writing for Pleasure: A Framework for Practice research was commissioned by the Mercers’ Company, developed by The Open University and draws together insights from the international research literature and data from six London-based literacy programmes. The research found multiple approaches that are effective in inspiring and encouraging children and young people to read and/or write for pleasure.
The Framework is presented as a visual diagram and is a powerful tool to guide policy and practice.

Key Words:  Reading for pleasure Writing for pleasure Volitional writing  Communities of readers and writers

Link to Touchstones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11

From drawing to writing: What happens when you shift teaching priorities in the first six months of school?

Most young children love to draw and they all need to learn to write. However, despite the research over the past 30 years which identifies a strong relationship between emergent writing and drawing, in some classrooms young children are being obliged to see drawing and writing separately rather than as a unified system of meaning making. In this article Noella Mackenzie’s classroom research examines the relationship between children’s drawing and learning to write in the first six months of formal schooling in an era where visual literacy and linguistic literacy combine. This required a shift in teachers’ priorities. The result of the research is unambiguous: if teachers encourage emergent writers to see drawing and writing as a unified system for making meaning children create texts which are more complex than those they can create with words alone.
Article provided by ALEA and first published Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol. 34,  No. 3,  2011,  pp. 322–340
Key words: Writing  Drawing  Talk  Early years  Meaning making  Research
Link to Touchstones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10.

 

The 2023 Donald Graves Address presented by Libby Gleeson AM, The Joy and Power of Writing

The Donald Graves Address is presented annually at the ALEA National Conference. The invited presenter is asked to reflect on the research and practice of Donald Graves, seating it in current research and practice and their own practice related to writing and writing instruction.
The 2023 ALEA Donald Graves address made by eminent Australian children's author Libby Gleeson AM. In her address Libby shares relates some of her own ‘learning to write’ experiences and demonstrates how they resonate with Graves’ principles. She also reflects on the current discussions about AI and its potential impact on creative writing.
We thank Libby Gleeson and ALEA for providing a transcript of this address.
Key Words: Writing  Writing research  Writing process Conditions for effective writing classrooms
Links to Touchstones: 1, 2, 3 ,4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11

Watch the presentation by Libby Gleeson
Click on Learn More to read the transcript

Developing writing and writers - whole school approaches

Jo Padgham and Christine Topfer

in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp 198-217, 2015 published by ALEA

This chapter focuses on two Australian schools and how each one has approached improving and celebrating writing and writers along with developing teachers’ and students’ identities as writers.Two very different schools, Turner School in the ACT and Glenora District School in Tasmania, developed similar approaches to changing beliefs and practices in the teaching and learning of writing. At the time of publication Jo Padgham was principal of Turner School in ACT and Christine Topfer was a Network Lead Teacher, Tasmania, partnering with Glenora District School.These two stories are windows into how school leaders, academic partners, teachers, students and their communities have stayed the course with a focus on whole school improvement in writing.
 
Key words: Writing  Beliefs and practices   Authenticity   Reading and writing identities   Meaning-making   Conditions of Learning  Improvement

Link to Touchstones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
 

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

We read, we write: reconsidering reading– writing relationships in primary school children

Clarke, P and Taylor, L 2020
The extent to which children’s reading experiences influence their writing production is not often well understood. It is imperative that the connections between these literacy practices are elucidated to inform the development of stimulating curricula and to support children’s development. This paper presents new data and key findings from a project investigating relationships between children’s free choice reading and writing in children aged 9–10 years. The data were collected in two primary schools in northern England, using mixed methods. Through this research the authors demonstrate that the writing that children choose to do is influenced by the texts they encounter as readers in terms of content, text type and linguistic style. These findings highlight the importance of providing children with opportunities to freely choose and create texts and recognising the wide variety of text experiences that children bring to their classroom learning.

First published 26 November 2020 https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12235

Key words: Free choice writing   Free choice reading  Primary school  Multiliteracy  Multimodal
Link to Touchstones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10.

Representing Identity: The Importance of Literature and the Translanguaging Space for EAL/D Early Years Literacy Learning

Dutton, J., & Rushton, K. (2023) Representing Identity: The Importance of Literature and the Translanguaging Space for EAL/D Early Years Literacy Learning. Education Sciences, 13(6), 569.
Dutton and Rushton present an interesting argument for the use of children’s literature to support children who are learning English as an additional language to write poetry. In the project reported upon, teachers were engaged in professional learning activities, where they were supported to select children’s texts and plan creative and drama-based literacy learning activities to engage the children in their classes. The focus, which drew on the work of Hilary Janks’ redesign cycle, foregrounded translanguaging, and children’s stories and backgrounds as positive pedagogical tools for learning oral language, reading and writing poetry. The paper puts forward a practical way of understanding translanguaging as a facilitator of literacy learning for English language learners. Important detail is provided about the importance of text selection to support language and literacy development for young children, including children who are learning English as they also learn school content. The article presents a series of very useful frameworks that teachers of children learning English as an additional language could find helpful as they plan and teach literacy, and the very practical examples of how these frameworks were utilised by teachers provide excellent detail.

Keywords:  Poetry   Literacy Tanslanguaging Early years  Writing

Finding out what children ‘know and can do’ with DTWS

Mackenzie Noella M. 2022

Draw, Talk, Write and Share (DTWS) is a pedagogical approach resulting from research conducted by the author Noella Mackenzie. In this article however, she describes how DTWS can also be used as a powerful observation process, allowing educators in preschool and early years classrooms to find out what children ‘know and can do’ (Mackenzie, 2011) in terms of drawing, talking and early writing. Used for this purpose, it becomes a systematic, formative assessment task.
Article provided by ALEA and first published Practical Literacy: The Early and Primary Years, 2022

Key words: Writing Drawing Talk Early years Formative assessment Observation protocol
Link to Touchstones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10.

Understanding Writing and Its Relationship to Reading

Brian Cambourne
in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp 26-40, 2015 published by ALEA
In this chapter Brian Cambourne shares key messages that focus on the nature of effective writing and its relationship with reading, language, and learning.

Key words: Effective writing  Teaching writing  Relationship between reading and writing
Link to Touchstones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning to write: Analysing writing samples as part of considering how children become writers

in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp138-153, 2015 published by ALEA
The author of this chapter discusses insights that can be gleaned about children as writers when schools regularly collect children’s writing samples from year to year and use a consistent approach to the assessment of these samples across time. While the assessment of children’s reading is a frequent occurrence in schools, this is not the case with children’s writing. Annette shares examples from a large research project that demonstrates the simple process of regularly collecting writing samples and having a consistent approach to assessment of these samples across the school allows for teachers to understand students’ needs as writers and teach accordingly.
Keywords: Assessment Children’s writing Writing analysis procedures
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
Copied with permission from ALEA.

Imaginative children’s literature, educational drama and creative writing

Robyn Ewing, Jackie Manuel and Amy Mortimer
in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp107-122, 2015 published by ALEA
This chapter presents two concrete examples of creative pedagogy illustrating how it can foster students’ creative writing and, in turn, enable them to explore their creative potential. Two examples are described in detail: the use of quality children’s and literature and the Sydney Story Factory. These examples embody a creative approach to writing pedagogy and have clear implications for the classroom.
Key words: Creativity  Creative writing  Drama  Quality children’s literature  Creative art
Link to Touchstones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
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
Copied with permission from ALEA.

Position Statement on Writing Instruction in School

National Council for the Teaching of English (NCTE)
August 2022

This position paper is the latest update by NCTE. This position statement is directed primarily toward the audience of school executives and curriculum writers. It provides and overview of what constitutes writing and writing instruction then discusses the challenges to authentic and culturally sustaining writing instruction. It would be a useful professional learning discussion paper with teaching staff.

Keywords: Writing   Writing instruction   Challenges to writing instruction  Diversity

Sense and Sensibility in the Donald Graves Writing Curriculum: An exploration, a remembering, and a plea

Mem Fox
in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp 3-12 2015 published by ALEA

This chapter is an edited version of the inaugural Donald Graves Address given at the ALEA National Conference in Sydney in 2012, jointly sponsored by ALEA and the Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).
In this inspiring address, Mem shares her memories of a great researcher and writer of children’s writing, Donald Graves, and identifies five key principles of his for teachers of writing

Key words: Donald Graves Authenticity Teaching writing History of teaching writing
Link to Touchstones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Using the translanguaging space to facilitate poetic representation of language and identity


Dutton J, & Rushton K. (2021) Language Teaching Research 25(1): 105-133  doi10.1177/1362168820951215 


This research explores the use of the translanguaging space (Li Wei, 2017) in confirming identity and student agency and developing a creative pedagogy. It offers insights into how the translanguaging space can be used to support English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) students from low socio-economic backgrounds to develop and use all their linguistic and cultural resources in the production of Identity texts (Cummins & Early, 2011; Cummins, Hu, Markus & Montero, 2015). Ancan be an oral, written or multimodal text but it will be a text that connects to the students’ community and disrupts a transmission pedagogy that views the student as a blank slate (Freire,1975). By producing identity texts in the translanguaging space, students are able to choose which language or languages they will use.

Key Words: English  Literacy  Translanguaging  Cultural Identity

Touchstones 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10

Donald Graves Address: Reflecting Upon the Writing Revolution and the Need for Rejuvenation

Alan J Wright

Presentation given at the ALEA/AATE National Conference Darwin July 8 2022


The invitational plenary Donald Graves Address began shortly after the passing of Donald Graves in late 2010. ALEA decided that in honour of the legacy that Don left us, we would have a plenary address at each National council to keep that amazingly rich legacy alive. Don had visited Australia several times in the 1980s and built a special relationship with many educators and children across the country. The inaugural Donald Graves address was given at the ALEA National Conference in Sydney in 2012 by Mem Fox. Mem’s address can be found in the Research and Practice section in the Foundation for Learning and Literacy website
 
At the most recent ALEA/AATE National Conference Alan J Wright was invited to present the Donald Graves Address. Alan shares many gems about the teaching of writing from his own writing, his many workshops and from the words of Donald Graves. It is an engaging presentation, and one feels as if he is right here speaking to us. Enjoy and learn.
 
Keywords: Teaching   Writing  Donald Graves teachings  The writing process  How to write  Poetry

'I'm In Another World': writing without rules lets kids find their voice, just like professional authors

Conversation October 21, 2021 by Brett Healey

Brett begins this Conversation piece by suggesting that we ask  child why they write and you might receive a common response: .’ He suggests that we need to give our students opportunities to learn writing techniques but also equally important we need to give them ‘freedom over their writing with little teacher intervention’. Brett’s research explores Year 6 students views when they have been able to ‘write creatively’. While Brett agrees that students need to be taught explicit skills and techniques of writing, he argues we need to also teach them to ‘think more like authors’ and therefore they need to be given opportunities ‘’.

 Keywords: Learning to write  Creative writing  Explicit writing  Writing like an author

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

Drawing + Talk = Powerful insights for teachers of writing

Lisa Kervin and Jessica Mantei

in Turbill, J. Barton, G. & Brock, C. [eds] Teaching Writing in Today's Classrooms: Looking back to look forward, pp 87-103, 2015 published by ALEA
This chapter explores the ‘marks’ that children make in order to revisit the important relationship between drawing and emergent writing. It presents a case study of one child’s drawings and the surrounding talk in order to offer insights for teachers of writing

Key words: Emergent writing  Talk drawing and writing 
Link to Touchstones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 10

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