So, I’ve been thinking about student writing. I have assigned a lot of writing in my years teaching, and I am sorry to say that not enough of it has been for an andience beyond the classroom.
I moved to doing most responses to reading on a class blog a number of years ago. I’ve written about it several times. The blog was truly a class changing move. I got better work, more work, and we had better discussion in class once I moved to the blog. It served served us well in many ways.
I tried to have students do more writing for a wider audience. I have to admit in the several of years that I tried to have students writing for folks beyond our classroom, I did not master it. I did ok, but I’m not a big fan of Ok. It worked for some students, quite a few actually. It didn’t work for me. I found it overwhelming to keep track of everything and didn’t approve writing fast enough so that students had to wait too long to see their work published. I know I could have just let it all go, and that was the ultimate goal. I’m not a perfectionist at all when it comes to student work. Bu,t I am a fan of paragraphs and believe that punctuation is your friend. By 5th grade there are some things that I just can’t send out there looking all ugly.
Anyway, I am still thinking about students writing for an authentic audience. What is an authentic audience anyway? Is a teacher an authentic audience? I would say no. A teacher is an audience that you need to have sometimes, but a teacher is not a peer.
I recently saw this video on Edutopia. I think it pretty much covers it.
So now I’m thinking again about how to get at the public possibilities of writing in 9th grade.