This past week-end, I had a conversation with a CIO (Chief Information Officer) from a successful company explaining to me that it was difficult to find project managers. He told me that there was an endless supply of brilliant people, but he was having problems finding employees who could explain plans and coordinate with various professionals in different departments.
I think when teachers lesson plan, it is so important to give students opportunities to write and discuss their work. Writing can be extremely painful, and as long as we teach it seperately and not across different content areas, our students will not be considered by leaders like Mr. CIO above. In my teaching experience, I think more teachers fear teaching writing more than teaching science. Perhaps I was fortunate because I participated in the New Jersey Writing Project Institute, now Abydos Learning, early in my career. I don’t find the need to teach so many unrelated language lessons, and instead incorporate grammar, spelling, and organization into the process as we write.
Read often. Write often. Connect often.
Today I stumbled upon Pass the Blog. The blog member classroom signs up for 1 week over the school year and is responsible for posting blogs. Don’t expect your students to become instant bloggers. Teachers need to blog along with students to model writing just like any other writing assignment.
Read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Fifth graders learn about the differences of climate and weather and this book would be a fun way to describe how your weather food might arrive in Richmond, Texas. Would other climates welcome the same food?
In a literacy center, add the iPad app Blanks. Don’t worry that the words are too hard! Get your students investigating, sharing, and using new words to increase writing abilitites.
There are two other ways to get your students writing with blogs that will allow your students to collaborate and write in an enjoyable way. Check out Quad Blogging and write along with three other schools. Also try a 100 Word Challenge literacy station. Prompts are posted on the 100 Word Challenge site, and your students may connect their blogs with the site and receive comments.