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Five Myths About Teaching Writing


The rules of education always seem to be changing. Just when we learn how to do things, the way we are supposed to do them changes due to new research and methodology.

It’s hard to keep up.

This is especially true about writing instruction. Given that there is not much information about how to teach writing that is readily available (compared to reading and math instruction), it’s easy to get stuck in a rut that we may not even realize that we’re in. The result is that we keep teaching the same way we've always taught, even if there is a better way.

With that in mind, we wanted to share five myths about teaching writing -- ideas that may once have been true, but no longer are -- that you should be aware of:

1: Everything my students write has to be graded. Kelly Gallagher, high school teacher, researcher, and author of Write Like This, reminds us, “Students should be writing way more than a teacher can grade. When teachers grade everything, the writing pace of the classroom slows down. Volume suffers. It is only when students begin writing more than the teacher can grade that they approach the volume necessary to spur significant growth.” How much writing is this? Gallagher suggests students should write FOUR times more than teachers can grade.