In a recent survey, over 80% of my students said that they hated writing more than anything about school. More than metal detectors and scanning, more than 8th period lunch, more than the dress code, writing was the great evil. Each year, I encounter this attitude, and I set out to change that.
Students at my school are new arrivals in the United States; most of my 11th graders have lived in the U.S.
for 2-6 years before I meet them. Language and culture from around the world are represented in our classroom. Writing is an even more daunting task for newcomers learning English than it was for my students born and raised in the U.S., but through daily writing, exploring their interests and lives, and regular read-alouds, my students have made great progress as writers. Most importantly, they don't hold onto that fear and aversion; many of my students come to like writing and feel proud of their work.
One of the most helpful teaching of writing strategies I've tried to use with my students has been real time modeling of writing. My students greatly benefited from hearing me talk through a piece of writing, because listening to me think out loud helped them understand that the "noise" in their heads was actually valuable thinking.
With a document camera, my students will be able to see as well as hear these models, further supporting all of my students and especially benefiting my visual learners. They can use the document camera to model their own processes to each other, a vital piece of writing workshop that can be enhanced with this technology.
Your donations can help my students see themselves as writers, value their voices, and express themselves to a larger audience.
So many students struggle with writing, because they feel a disconnect between what they want to say and how they can express it. Meaningful writing instruction that helps students listen to their writer voices, thinking through their own processes, and share their words and thoughts with others has helped so many of my students, not only in school but in the world!
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