Reflective writing and the revision process

Print to PDF Reflective Writing A great deal of your time at university will be spent thinking; thinking about what people have said, what you have read, what you yourself are thinking and how your thinking has changed.

Reflective writing and the revision process

Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Over 40 years ago, writer and teacher-educator Donald Murray suggested a radical, yet obvious challenge for teachers of writing: Study what real writers do in terms of process and craft, provide time in the classroom for students to engage in their own processes, create opportunities for teacher and peer response, and let student-writers choose their topics.

With this simple concept, and the innovations of a slew other groundbreaking writing teachers and teacher-educators, the workshop model flourished in classrooms across the country.

The writer's workshop continues to gain philosophical support in schools because teachers who give time and choice in their classrooms see their students engaged as writers Kissel, But threats have emerged in some writing classrooms in the form of state mandates, national standards, and high-stakes assessments that, when viewed narrowly, restrict the choices of writers and their teachers.

Here are some roadblocks to autonomy and freedom in the writing classroom, and ways to maneuver around these threats into a more creative, flexible, and autonomous learning environment. Lack of time and inflexible writing curricula.

It's probably no surprise that teachers often tell me the primary obstacle of writing instruction is lack of time. In a study, the National Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges noted that schools devoted very little time to writing instruction—and little has changed in 15 years.

A study of literacy undergraduate courses across three states found that colleges offer far more courses in preparing teachers to reflective writing and the revision process reading than courses do preparing teachers to teach writing Brenner, In fact, of the course titles examined, 61 referred only to reading, 75 course titles included both reading and writing, and only five courses focused entirely on writing instruction.

A looming gap exists in our teacher education programs that needs to be filled with more attention to teaching preservice teachers how to teach writing in their future classrooms Myers et al. Because of this lack of time, writing instruction is often pushed aside to prioritize the tested subjects of reading and mathematics.

And many districts mandate fidelity to a set curriculum for writing instruction. Teachers feel the need to rely heavily on the school districts' prescribed writing curriculum. Yet prescribed lessons written by outsiders often fail to acknowledge the unique, nuanced ways writers interact with content.

And while some students might absorb the lesson of the day and move forward with the content in their writing, others might need more time to let ideas marinate and play around with a craft, skill, or process before they are ready to move forward with something new.

This is why I suggest letting writers, not programs, guide instructional decision-making. If a pacing map or pre-made writing lessons guide instructional decision making, then our classrooms are led by programs rather than learners.

Teachers must allow room for student writers to reframe their curricular decisions. Prescribed curricula typically provide interesting lesson ideas to use in the classroom. However, as students craft text and teachers confer with them, future lessons should be adapted based on what writers need rather than the next prescribed lesson.

For example, a teacher teaching an 8-week unit on informational reports may find herself teaching editing strategies in the middle of the sixth week, but realize that a few students still need specific revision lessons on "showing, not telling" before they should begin editing.

A scripted program may tell her to move forward. But students may tell her, "Hold on. This does not mean teachers linger forever.

They still need to set deadlines for published products and, as much as possible, push students to meet those deadlines. But there has to be flexibility in what is taught between the initial lesson of a genre study and the publication celebration.

One teacher plans writing lessons for an entire grade-level team. I have been in schools where it's common practice for one grade-level teacher to plan math lessons, another to plan literacy lessons, a third to write social studies lessons, and a fourth to determine the science experiments.

Divvying up lesson planning in this way divorces the plans from student work. This practice prevents teachers from modifying and differentiating lessons based on their observations and conversations, especially when engaging with student writers.

Collaboration among teachers during lesson planning brings multiple voices and varied ideas into lesson possibilities—a practice we should continue to cultivate. But we cannot plan lessons for students we do not teach; doing so means student voices are stripped from our instructional decision-making.

reflective writing and the revision process

To remedy this, teachers should bring collections of student writing, along with conference notes, to grade-level planning discussions and talk about writers—their goals, habits, and processes—rather than discussing which prescribed lesson should be taught next.

Teachers who are most intimately engaged in students' work as writers should decide the next instructional moves for their students—with input and suggestions from a team of knowledgeable colleagues. Dictating the topics students should write about. To avoid students writing about uncomfortable topics for memoir or personal essays, teachers will sometimes prescribe topics.

When we assign topics, we are doing the important work the writer should do for herself. We also silence the stories our writers feel compelled to tell. The topic made Erin uncomfortable, but she didn't censor it. She thought he needed to use writing as a way to work through his feelings about this practice.

Because she didn't stop the boy from writing about his reality, the boy wrote frequently—sharing stories from his life. And, in turn, Erin learned important cultural practices of the community in which she taught. When we ask students to write about topics related to their lives or interests, we won't always share those same experiences or interests.Aug 28,  · Reading the article, Reflective Writing and the Revision Process: What Were You Thinking?

by Sandra L. Giles has given me a different view on reflective writing and the revision process. One thing I do want to bring up was the mention of a cover letter when a person is typing an essay.

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Reflection Essay: Reflective Essay: Matt's Writing Portfolio

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Tests Find information about each test, including when and where you can test. This essay explains to students that reflective writing involves their thinking about their own thinking.

They may be asked to reflect about their audience and purpose for a piece of writing. They may write about their invention, drafting, revision, and editing processes. You can be in charge of the writing process. Our company meets even the tightest deadlines as well as satisfies all customer requirements.

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