Thinking about literacy in regards to reading and writing, what mainly comes to my mind are words.
The words that fill up novels, newspapers, and magazines.
The words that are carefully selected in poems and speeches.
The words that now serve as hashtags and status updates.
Words are the foundation of reading and writing skills. There are letters that make up every word, and each letter is composed of certain sounds. Reading and writing work in harmony together and what grabbed my attention was the writing-process approach and writing about reading. This made me think about the way I personally read and write and how understanding the process that I go through might help future students that struggle.
Take these blog entries, for example. We are reading the assigned articles and chapters in order to learn something and discuss what we have read by writing our own responses. As writers, we are constructing the text and we are communicating some sort of meaning we have made and want to convey. When the members of every blog group read each other’s post, they are the readers and bring their own understandings to recognizing the written language (Pinell & Fountas, p. 293). It helps that we’re all reading the same information because this makes it easier for the reader to recognize what the writer is saying.
This is similar to how the writing-process approach works. Writing about reading helps develop struggling readers and writers because it helps them understand how print works. It’s a process that goes back and forth constantly. For struggling readers, it might not be the easiest task to construct their own though, but by asking them to write based on a recent story that has been read, then he or she has something to focus on.
As a future educator, it is extremely powerful to help struggling writers through the writing-process approach. By focusing on a student’s ideas and interests to engage them into writing what they know and what they want to communicate, this will truly help them understand that writing makes sense of things for oneself, and then for others.
I must admit, it was difficult for me to go through the illustrations and examples of children struggling to articulate their thoughts through writing and stay the course with the writing-process approach. If I saw a poorly written paragraph with many misspellings, my first thought would be to teach the student how to correctly spell every word. But in the Graves article, it is shown that Billy’s teacher responded to his writing based on the content, not the imperfections in his spelling. This has its great benefit to keep the student’s attention to how writing is about communicating meaning from something you know.
One takeaway from the readings is how to help students with their quality of writing, they must write at least four days a week. Here is a quote I found that talks directly to what the articles were saying about how children should be writing a lot more than they are.
This made me question, was this the real reason why some teachers made us write journal entries every day? Also, how did writing everyday help with my writing development?
I want to leave this post with a video from Joe Thompson and Philip Landefeld discussing writing vs. typing. In higher education, this is a debate in classrooms in regards to what is better for students’ to learn and keep notes. In early education, the discussion leans towards how writing engages motor skills and letter recognition. Enjoy!