National Council of Teachers of English Logo
Centennial Banner

Letting Students Set Their Own Schedules

Carrie Costello "Years ago while teaching eighth-grade language arts, I would collect 80 multi-page papers on Friday. I had a formula: assign a piece of writing on Monday, struggle through superficial conferences all week, and collect rough drafts on Friday for a completion grade. The following week I would ask students to revise (without instruction). I collected final drafts on Friday and wrote lavish comments on them in sparkling green ink."

"These days I let the students set their own schedules—writing comes in when they decide, and I spend the bulk of my time on rough drafts, doing everything from complimenting good word choice to asking about the “so what.” I model revision. By the time a final draft comes in, I know the writing well from having experienced all of its incarnations. My penciled comments at this point are brief and address the full life of the piece. "

         --Carrie Costello
 Kennett High School
Conway, New Hampshire
8 years of teaching

Related NCTE Resources . . .

NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing.  This NCTE Position Statement was created by the Writing Study Group of the NCTE Executive Committee in 2004.

Teaching Composition: A Position Statement.  In 1985, the NCTE Commission on Composition prepared this position paper to state essential principles in the teaching of writing.

ReadWriteThink offers hundreds of great ideas and lesson plans on how to teach writing to your students.

What Works in Writing InstructionWhat Works in Writing Instruction
Through teacher-friendly language and classroom examples, Deborah Dean takes a close look at effective, research-based practices for writing instruction.




Teaching Writing: Craft, Art, Genre
Drawing from sound theory and research as well as on many years of experience in the English classroom, Fran Claggett and colleagues Joan Brown, Nancy Patterson, and Louann Reid have created a writing teacher’s resource to help both new and experienced teachers sort through the often complex issues in the teaching of writing. 



Document and Site Resources

Share This On:

How do you teach writing in your classroom?

Anonymous commenting is not allowed. Please log in with an individual NCTE account to post comments to this page.

Most Recent Comments (0 Total Posts)

There are no comment postings on this page yet.

Page Tools:

Join NCTE Today

Related Search Terms


Copyright © 1998-2019 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Visit us on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Document URL

Document Owner

Organization Name

NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts