Thursday, October 6, 2016

Growing Better Writers Through Blogging

Today, we picked up on a project that we started last year...blogging.  I am thrilled to say that as I watched the lesson unfold, I saw real learning happening for our sixth grade students.  According to last year's teacher, the hardest part of blogging for our young writers was providing quality comments.  So, where did we start today?  You guessed it, with commenting.

Our Grade 6 teacher, Mrs. Downs, created her own post using only a graphic image and invited the students to share their thoughts.  No guidelines were stipulated regarding the length of the post nor were reminders given about sentence structure.  The directions...look at the image and comment.

The students' writing began to flood the screen.  From short posts to creative rhymes, student personalities began to shine through with each entry made.

The most beautiful part however, was that students provided the material for the day's lesson on grammar, syntax, and quality writing.  Take, for example, these 3 comments to one student's response:

"Do the comments make sense grammatically?  Is punctuation missing?  Should sentences begin with a capital letter?"  As Mrs. Downs, asked probing questions while reviewing the students' first attempt, we could see light bulbs coming on across the room, as well as, the strong desire to correct mistakes made.  After Mrs. Downs invited the young writers to edit and revise, the students' comments became more thoughtful...more conversational...more grammatically correct!

Are they perfect?  No, but we are not looking for perfection; we are looking for growth.

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