Thursday, July 4, 2013

Are We Teaching Kids to Dislike Writing?

We were away from the house all day today, so I gave my son a day off from writing. I thought that I should write anyways.

I wonder why some kids who can write don't like to.

I am talking about students who don't have fine motor issues, have a decent vocabulary, don't struggle with expressive language, and who have reasonable enough phonemic awareness to sound out readable text. There is no impediment to these kids writing, and yet, they don't like to.

I worry that this mainly has do do with the opportunities and experiences that we give these students to write at school. Have we stifled their willingness to write about interesting things with interesting language by requiring that every word be correctly spelled? Have we killed their imagination for what could be written by always giving prescribed topics and prompts? How about forcing them to write in a particular genre (when was the last time you wrote a fictional piece?)?Are we teaching kids to dislike writing?

Most importantly, I wonder how to reverse this situation. Each year, I begin grade 4 with a big focus on draft writing that does not emphasize spelling, and personal choice of topic. This usually helps several students unstick and open up to writing as an enjoyable activity. Never-the-less, some students find this very difficult.

I will be searching this summer for more ideas to motivate reluctant writers, including my son.


Post a Comment

Copyright © Meacher's Meanderings