Thursday, February 26, 2015
You know, I meet teachers who have looked over the lessons I have personally posted online over the years, most of which I admittedly designed for my own 6th-8th graders, and the teachers say, "But that's not the grade I teach. Do you have a lesson I can use with my third graders?"
Fact #1--Adaptation is useful for writing teachers: Good writing teachers know that a thoughtful writing lesson is adaptable! The link shared above demonstrates this, and WritingFix is proud to feature many lessons that share many samples from many different grade levels. Adapting a lesson's big idea to meet the needs of your own students? I am confident you'll become an even better writing teacher if you go through that process on a regular basis. You learn by adapting. You just do. I did. And I continue to. I posted this "Goofus & Gallant Parody" lesson, which I assigned my 8th graders, and I had first grade teachers tell me how much they loved the idea and would adapt and use it.
The "Three Meal Weather" lesson at WritingFix (which, by the way, remains one of the most visited and used lessons at the site since we first posted it ten years ago!) was written by a wonderful 3rd grade teacher (Kaycee Goman) from Northern Nevada. Is it intended just for third graders then? Nope! It--like most of WritingFix's lessons--was posted because it can be easily adapted, and that diverse set of student samples at the link above is a great tribute to teachers who don't mind adapting an idea they like even if it's not designed by a teacher who teaches the same grade as them.
Fact #2--Polished student samples shared (and discussed) before, during, and after a writing assignment ups the level of quality writing you'll receive from your own students: My kids love reading (and, to be honest, critiquing too) the samples of other students at all steps of our writing process when we're working on lessons. They compliment the published student writers. They discuss small things they might do to make the writing better. They then go back to their own piece of writing, and they find other ways to improve it beyond checking their spelling and writing it neater. Student exemplars improve other writers' drafts!
Fact #3--With your support, we plan to start publishing student samples at WritingFix again! If we save WritingFix (https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/save-writingfix-until-2020) by having it earn funding from its users, which we are trying to do right now, I will devote personal time so that new student samples start getting posted at WritingFix again. I receive a lot of emails from teachers asking if this is still possible, and I have had to tell them no in the past; however, if we make our fund-raising goal (and perhaps even go beyond it!), I will start accepting high-quality student samples from teachers users of WritingFix, and we will begin posting them (with the kids' pictures) at WritingFix again. I kind of had to stop doing this when the NNWP stopped funding the WritingFix website in 2011, but in exchange for your generous donations, I will make time to bring that practice back to teachers from all over the globe.
Thanks in advance for considering helping the website become a community-funded website. Thanks especially to those of you who already donated!
--Corbett HarrisonVisit Writing Lesson of the Month Network at: http://writinglesson.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network