As we are soaking up the closing days of summer, many of us are thinking about the approaching year of teaching writing. Here are some interesting finds from around the web this week to help get you thinking:
We all know that mastering the rules of grammar is an important component to strong writing, but what is the best way to teach it? Recent research and best practices tell us that worksheets that teach grammar skills do not translate into the application of those skills when writing. Yet, many of us continue to use them. This post from Patricia A. Dunn will tell you why worksheets don't work and give you some alternative ideas for teaching grammar skills.
You may have seen this post floating around the Twittersphere, but in case you didn't please check it out. Our friend Kathleen Sokolowski who is a 3rd grade teacher, co-author at Two Writing Teachers, and a co-director of the Long Island Writing Project, talked with the NY Times about what writing looks like in classrooms today -- and why so many kids struggle with writing.
As you return to your classroom, it will be worth your time to stop and think about the stories about writing that run throughout your students' minds (and your mind too!). Certain beliefs, whether true or not, permeate our instruction and our students' engagement with writing. You may want to share this document from NCTE, 10 Myths About Learning to Write, with your students and colleagues so we can get those stories out of the way and do some real writing.