Monday, March 21, 2011

Some new thinking about teaching writing

I'm very pleased to have heard that I've been accepted into the Summer Leadership Conference for the Illinois Writing Project. It's something I've had my eye on for some time, but I think this was finally the year where I'm in a position to really capitalize on this opportunity. I've always been most excited about (and probably best at) teaching writing, and this is a chance to really begin to develop as a leader in writing instruction in my school district and among my colleagues.

Here's a link to the Illinois Writing Project website if you're curious about what that is.

I want to spend a little extra time thinking about (and writing about) being a writer and a teacher. I want to get as much as I can out of this workshop, and I think that the first step is to really throw myself into reading about writing instruction, writing about writing instruction, and really trying some new ways of teaching writing.

Here are some of the books that I'm going to dust off and read (or re-read):
  • In the Middle by Nancie Atwell
  • Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher
  • After the End by Barry Lane
  • But How do you Teach Writing? by Barry Lane
  • The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins
  • Writing Essentials by Regie Routman
  • Digital Storytelling by Carolyn Handler Miller
There are also a couple of textbooks on teaching writing (like Teaching Writing: Balancing Process and Product by Gail Tompkins) that I would like to look through, and some general Language Arts or Reading textbooks that address writing instruction that I want to look through. I'm also going to take full advantage of my subscriptions to IRA publications like The Reading Teacher and JAAL, as well as take another look at the NCTE publications that I used to get.

The real goal here is to try to synthesize and model writing-as-thinking and writing-to-learn. I want to dig deeper here and really turn this proclivity into a resource that I can be proud of.
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