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Writing Process / Workshop
Old 01-29-2009, 03:51 AM
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Since I am a veteran classroom teacher of 24 years and have for the last 5 years taught at university. Currently I am involved with the National Writing Project as a literacy consultant on the Middle School Initiative in Louisiana. I have really enjoyed these postings about the LC program.

Those of you who enjoy teaching writing process within a workshop setting may like the books by Marcia Freeman. She sells no materials, at least that I know of, just her extensive knowledge of children. She offers a book for early childhood and one for up to middle school.

My rule of thumb is to teach the skills and allow children room to grow into their writing with choice, file folder portfolios, and lots of monitoring/conferencing--both peer and teacher. It was successful for me, and I never had to buy a program. I taught many years for the Department of Defense Schools for Military Dependent Children. It was a fabulous system because at the time I was a part of it, there was much professional development for teachers and trust in our decision making powers.

Too often politicians--perhaps with the best of intentions--do jump on bandwagons, and of course have no clue about how to teach a diverse group of children. Worse, of course, are educators who ought to know by now that if you have to purchase expensive sets of materials, they probably aren't going to be worth the shelf space in the long run. Keep in mind that LC is only one way to do this--if it works for your kids and for you, then go for it. If not, keep looking.

Good luck to all of you, and don't give up. Kids do need to be taught how to write. Keep reading about the writing process and develop your own styles for doing it as you know best.

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