Sunday, July 31, 2016

Technology for Authentic Writing

I have been thinking a lot about what is lacking in the classroom when it comes to writing and for me it comes down to writing for a purpose and for a real reason. My students are gifted 5th and 6th graders who can create some of the most beautiful stories and poems when given freedom, choice, and time. With standardized tests has unfortunately come standardized writing. Rigid expectations and formulas to create essays about information, to argue points and to write about reading without a real audience aside from other students and me, the teacher. What is missing is the audience. Creative and authentic writing can be paired when the writing has real meaning and purpose. This year I am creating a blog for my students to share read aloud comments and feelings, to share news from our classroom and community with other classes, our parents, and more, and to share independent reading book talks, and projects. I have hooked up with pen pals in California and Arkansas to share writing with, as well. I am excited to see how this new authentic approach to writing benefits our morale and enjoyment of writing and benefits all of my students as writers! We are using Blogger to showcase our authentic writing. I hope to create a monthly newsletter using Smore and video-taped news using Ipads, a greenscreen, and written transcripts. Authentic writing is powerful for students and powerful for teachers. I look forward to writing for a purpose this year along with my students, sharing excellent writing through read alouds, and becoming authors who take risks and write for a reason!

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