Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Life As a Writer

writingFrom the Fall Blog Challenge by Melanie Holtsman, this week’s topic is about my life as a writer.

Challenge: What is your life as a writer like? Do you write for work and or pleasure? What kind of things to you have to write as an adult? When you do write is it texting, computer, paper, journal or other?

I think I have loved writing ever since I was old enough to write. I remember having to go to a speech teacher because of a lisp that I had resulting from the loss of my two front teeth. She encouraged me to write stories with lots of “s” words. Then I had to read it aloud and when she would laugh and encourage me, I felt so good.

When I went to college, I wrote my parents a letter every day which my mother kept for me like a journal. After she passed away, I don’t know what ever happened to those letters.

Then I found out about blogging on the web and I was in heaven! I definitely like to write for pleasure. Of course the topics vary depending on the mood I’m in. I would much rather use a computer now instead of paper but if the computer is not available, I will use paper. When we go on our cruises, I won’t be blogging about the trip because my hubby worries that someone will rob our house when we are gone. Instead I will keep a paper journal and summarize the trip when I return home.

I hope that I have encouraged my students to write even after they have gone on to other grades. As an instructional tool, I would have them write in a journal the first five minutes they arrived in my classroom. I would suggest a topic or quote but they also were allowed to write about anything they wanted. I would look over their journals every Friday and they would get credit for writing at least 5 complete sentences in paragraph form. I would correct spelling and ask them to read it if I had trouble understanding it but they did not lose any credit for this because I focused on content, not grammar. It was interesting to see how their writing improved as the year progressed. When reading their entries, I also had great insight into their lives and what made them tick.

Do you make your students write? How often do you have them write? What criteria do you have them follow, if any? Please share.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'Be seeing you' by: Oliver Hammond


Nick James said...

Our students read on average two to three grade levels behind, which means their writing is at least that far behind. Because of that, writing is a major focus in our grade. Each of the four core teachers (Math, Science, History, ELA) uses the same paragraph structure and uses it very frequently- almost daily in ELA and History.

We also assign several major papers in ELA and history throughout the year.

Sioux said...

What a great idea for a post. Thanks for sharing. I will post on the same subject later today (tonight) and provide a link to your blog.

I was amazed to find one teacher-writer who only writes in fountain pens. For him, part of "writing" involves the audible sound of the pen scratching along on the paper.

I prefer writing on unlined paper---using not-fat pens---and relying on computers in the later drafts.

It's marvelous that two missing teeth began your journey as a writer...

Laurie said...

I enjoyed your post and I am going to be a better commenter on your blog as well!
You know, I don't make my students write in my undergraduate class much and maybe that would be a good thing. Now to figure out what to have them do. I do blogs with my grad classes and those are pretty good.