A Helpful Boost for Teaching the Writing Process

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“Through the years I’ve learned that the most successful writers are those who have learned to think about their process and reflect on their work.”  Louise DeSalvo

When I teach writing, I want my students to see the 5-step writing process as a necessary tool to guide, inform and improve their writing. I want them to know and understand the skills and strategies contained in each step.

But I also want them to know so much more.

I want them to know that the reality of writing isn’t usually neat and orderly the way it’s represented in the chart found on my classroom wall, but instead a nonlinear, backward and forward process, requiring different thinking to go with different tasks and looking different for every single project. Yes, I want my students to understand the different strategies or skills needed but also to know when, and when not, to apply them. And finally, I want them to be able to reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of their choices.

One way to help students gain a greater understanding of the writing process is to give them the opportunity to read what published authors have to say about their own approach to writing. As authors share their inevitable struggles, the decision-making and problem solving, the building of an idea and the difficulty of revision, students gain insight into the type of thinking and reflection that writing requires and from there, they can begin to transfer some of those strategies and some of that thinking to their own writing.

One effective and efficient resource to access this authorly wisdom is the blog of author Beth Anderson, Blog – Beth Anderson, Children’s Writer (bethandersonwriter.com)  where each week she shares a post by an author who discusses different aspects of his/her process when writing a specific book.  These posts give student writers a behind the scenes look at the reality of the writing process, the reality of creating.

            To get an idea of how I would take a bit of insight shared by an author and turn it into a teaching point check out my post here. Especially for Educators: “A Treasure Trove for Teaching Writing” by Julie Danneberg – Beth Anderson, Children’s Writer (bethandersonwriter.com)

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