"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. "
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.
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