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Letting Students Set Their Own Schedules - Previous Revision

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."

Listen to Carrie talk more about assessment and writing.

"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.

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. With innovative, teacher-tested strategies for creating a classroom in which students thrive as writers, Teaching Writing: Craft, Art, Genre is a must-have addition to every writing teacher’s library.

Lesson Plans for Teaching Writing.  Over the course of seven years, a group of middle, high school, college, and university teachers participated in a federally funded writing coalition project to implement innovative approaches to teaching writing. Together they developed this series of lesson plans, edited by Chris Jennings Dixon, designed to make writing both fun and an integral part of diverse curricula.


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