October 21, 2010

A Day of Writing

The National Day on Writing event in my classroom went just about as expected. Of course, there were students who did not see writing for a class period as remotely fun, but what can I do about those students, mostly boys, who seriously hate English?

Well, I let them "write" comics for one thing...

It was a joy to see students get excited over some of the prompts I had and then want to share with me and their classmates later on. I noticed, just at a glance, that many of my students are quite good at writing short stories and even have a handle on how to write dialogue.

The biggest ah-a moment I had throughout the day was that I have to figure out a way to foster such enthusiasm for expository writing. I'm feeling a lot of pressure this year because the 8th grade writing exam for the state suddenly mirrors the high school exam, and I am just not sure how ready the students will be. They've had a pretty steady diet of narrative writing in their lives, and that is no longer the focus of the assessment.

Maybe it wasn't really that big of an ah-a moment. I suspected that they enjoyed creative, personal writing and were much more successful in that mode of writing. I saw proof of it.

On a side note, I did write along with my students all day. Each period I tried a different prompt, and some periods I wrote some crapstastic stuff. I think it's pretty typical of a writer's life!


Melissa B. said...

It's a hard row we have to hoe, isn't it? Sounds, though, like you sowed some great ideas!

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