Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Practicing Writing

Question: What teaching practice shuts students up when they are learning to write?

Answer: Marking every error. The author suggests that we adopt the classroom model of writing as practice rather than writing for perfection. Students can then feel free to think and write without the fear of not being perfect, i.e., fear of the red pen.

Comment: Sounds like a good idea until students are faced with the real world of criticism by people whom they respect. Nothing is wrong with encouraging students to write drafts in which they are not concerned about sentence structure, usage and punctuation. However, with the final draft, they must “clean up their act.”

I have an alternative suggestion. The ten-minute essay. In my next couple of blogs, I will share my idea of the ten-minute essay with my readers. The purpose of the ten-minute essay is to eliminate problems in sentence structure, usage and punctuation and to demonstrate to students how to write in standard English. RayS.

Title: “Practice Makes Perfect! Realizing Classrooms as ‘Landscapes of Learning,’ Not Places of Perfection.” Lance Ozier. “Innovative Writing Instruction.” Valerie Kinloch, ed. English Journal (January 2011), 97-101.

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