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Showing posts from May, 2009

How Teachers Can Raise Nonwriters

Did you have a journal? Were you a writer as a child? Did you lose that passion when you grew up? How long has it been since you, as an adult, have written for yourself -- not because you had to, or it was expected of you, or you were grading papers, but for the pure joy of writing?

Cathy Song, Hawaii's own "poet laureate" started writing at a young age. She says, "our family travels started my writing. I guess I was around nine years old when I decided I wanted to be the family chronicler." My own journey started with a Holly Hobie journal given to me when I was seven as a way for me to fill in the empty spaces left from my parents' divorce. My mother gave me a journal every year for the next 30 years.

Are we nurturing that passion for writing in our students? Or are we killing that passion with our focus on writing for testing, formulaic writing, and the unhealthy balance of reading first?

Choice Literacy, working off the text "Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirt…