Thanks Richonda for a thorough presentation of both Sommer’s article on “Responding to Student Writing”, and also Elbow’s piece on “Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries”. It seems we have covered the well trodden ground of the challenge of responding to student writing with many of our class readings thus far, and yet, as Richonda aptly pointed out, there isn’t a crystal clear pathway to ensure an overall improved strategy. One thing is clear though – that a lack of professional development or training in this area is widespread, and it is certainly an area in which teachers need further focused support (at all levels of education – from elementary school to higher education). When more and more teachers are given the chance to consider (and workshop) new strategies for responding to student writing, I believe we will also see a shift in the way students respond to writing instruction in general. The response from a teacher is a key determinant of how many student’s develop their overall disposition regarding writing. In addition to Sommer’s work, we also spoke about the concept of “voice” thanks to Elbow’s article. We thought together about the fine tuning of the “voice” as writers develop. “Voice” is framed by Elbow more as a rhetorical tool – a writing skill that needs to be considered (applied or withheld) depending on writing context. We also spoke of the effectiveness of “read-aloud” when learning how to edit/revise writing.
We are moving on to some new topics thanks to Sara’s selection of the next two readings: “Teaching Writing in the Multilingual World” by Paul Kei Matsuda and “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts“. Please read both texts and blog your response for next class.
We were also able to create a timeline for your final group project, so please check the course calendar to refer to the draft deadlines. Please take note that a rough draft of your individual “Why I Write” piece is now due on November 14th, in order to be able to have time for peer review and editing before final submission at the close of the semester. In the second half of class on 11/7 you will have time to work on your “Why I Write” drafts, and I am available for one-on-one consultation regarding your ongoing work and progress with that part of your course contribution.
I look forward to seeing you all soon. (It seems like it has been a long time ;)….