These are the main principles to keep in mind while writing. These can all be altered depending on grade level but are all constantly evolving. This is mainly due to technology and the fact that there are so many elements in the writing process.
1. Everyone has the capacity to write – even if some students are not born “natural writers” that does not mean that they are not capable of improving and having a better understanding of concepts.
2. People learn to write by writing
The only way to effectively improve on something is to practice it. Not listen or take notes, but actively practice. It does not matter how you engage your students, just as long as they are interested in what they are writing about and getting words down on the page. It will get easier each time and their writing will become more fluid and they will feel more comfortable.
3. Writing is a process
Students see a book or an article, that is all they see. Students must be reminded time and time again that even published authors make first, second, even third drafts. The more you revise and edit, the more it will show in your final draft. The first time you create a piece of writing is never the last time you will look at it. Students must remember patience during the writing process and know that even you as the teacher are still developing in your writing skills.
4. Writing is a tool for thinking
One of the best ways writing can be used is to brainstorm. Writing helps get all of your ideas out onto the paper and to organize them into full and complete thoughts. This is why I think journals are so helpful, in any setting they are a great tool for communication.
5. Writing grows out of many different purposes
Students must understand that whenever pen is put to paper is considered writing. A formal paper to a teacher is not the only writing that students complete. That is why writing is such a complicated and ongoing process because it can never be completely formally defined because everyone has their own definition. This means that teachers must make the purpose of students writing differ, This sparks creativity as well as helps students find their niche in writing.
6. Finished and edited texts are important to writers
A “correct text” is very tricky to pinpoint. A student could have all of the logistics right, but there could be no real ideas, creativity or flow. Ont he other hand, a students could have great ideas communicated clearly, however, a parent or principal would look at it as if the student is not learning. This is the fine line for teachers, how do we encompass all parts to cohesively work together as one. This is why practice is so important in writing.
7. Writing and reading are related
Writing and reading are not only related, they are completely codependent on each other. To excel in reading you must actively practice writing and vice-verse. As teachers we must remember that this is why variety is so important in writing; students must be accustomed to all different types of reading and writing in order to re-create it in the classroom.
8. Writing has a complex relationship to talk
The best way to revise and edit a paper is to read it aloud. Talking through what you have written on the page points out so many things that you mind didn’t catch but you ears do. This is a crucial thing to remind students of when they are writing. This is also where peer and teacher editing coming into place. Discussing your ideas out loud, not only with yourself but with others, is a great way to bounce ideas off of each other and create ideas that you would have never thought of yourself.
9. Literate practices are embedded in complicated social relationships
Students are always so concerned who they are writing for and the fact that it is going to be a grade, that they will not have as good of a final product because they are more concerned about their audience than the writing itself. In these situations, we must remember code switching, and to encourage our students to use the language that they feel comfortable with.
10. Composing occurs in different modalities and technologies
As teachers, we must try and fully embrace the technology that has impacted our world today. There are so many helpful resources that students can use to better their understanding of writing and their writing itself. However, we must not forget to include traditional modes of composing as well. It can also be helpful to students to get creative with posters, journals and sketchbooks.
11. Assessment of writing involves complex, informed, human judgement.
Teachers must be constantly assessing students work, both formative and summative. As teachers, we should let students how we are assessing them to help them better understand what the assignment is and what is expected of them. We should assess them in different ways, for some students might be graded differently depending on their strengths and what the assessment stresses, and also so it is able to equally assess all levels of students.