According to today’s infographic, writing can serve as a calming, meditative tool. Stream of conscious writing exercises, in particular, have been identified as helpful stress coping methods. Keeping a journal, for example, or trying out free-writing exercises, can drastically reduce your levels of stress.
I don't think it's asking too much that students be able to write "a clear 5-sentence memo devoid of grammatical and spelling errors." Maybe we can continue to nudge the bar back up to where it should be.
The very kinds of lessons we teach in conjunction with the 6 traits (e.g., how to write a strong lead, how to use sensory detail) are perfect for helping students comply with the standards across genres.
Ann Kenady's insight:
Vicki Spandel and Jeff Hicks ARE the 6-Trait gurus!
6-Traits Resources. I'm always finding new 6-trait resources online. I'll include anything that will help writing instruction as well. Feel free to comment and suggest new resources! ~Den. February 23, 2013.
Creative writing is hard. Like, really, really hard. While I can bang out an academic paper in no time at all, I find myself agonizing over the keyboard for hours just to churn out a couple measly pages. Oftentimes, I find that the hardest part of creative writing is just starting the story.
In 2008, Fran Simmons, an English teacher at NewDorpHigh School in New York—at that time one of the lowest-performing secondary institutions in the nation— devised a simple test for her students in an effort to keep district officials from pulling the plug. First, she asked her freshman class to read Of Mice and Men. Then, using information from the novel, she asked them to answer the following prompt in a single sentence:
“Although George …”
She was looking for a sentence like: Although George worked very hard, he could not attain the American Dream.
What Simmons received was alarming in the truest sense of the word. Some students wrote passable sentences, but many could not manage to finish the line. More than a few wrote the following:
This article gives compelling evidence that the ability to write effectively is closely linked to the ability to think coherently. The author writes, "Students’ inability to write was contributing to their inability to think, severely impeding intellectual growth across many subjects."
Summary: In this conference presentation given at the Lehigh Valley Writing Project, Dr. Dorfman outlines what's possible in writing and instruction, for both students and teachers, using exemplary texts as a guide.
But when asked whether today's digital technologies are narrowing or widening the gap between the most and least academically successful students in an individual classroom, 44 percent of teachers said technology is narrowing the gap and 56 percent said it is widening the gap, suggesting that teachers are divided on the role technology can have on broadening or diminishing the digital divide among students.
Kathleen Sommers - Teaching and Assessing Writing with the Six Traits, Spring 2013. I responded to Kathleen's post: Your method of outlining after the first draft makes a great deal of sense. My Eureka Moment is that I (as a ...
Ann Kenady's insight:
Outlining can be a struggle for some. Dennis O'Connor's reflections on a student's approach are insightful.