Listen. Write. Laugh. One of the most unusual things occurred this year; it was incredible empowerment for all students.
While teaching how to write each genre, I attacked them extremely methodically and slowly. As I explained each piece, gave samples, had them re-explain processes to each other and practice peer interaction, their ability to create written pieces expanded to incredibly rich words on paper.
Voice became easy and they began to move seamlessly in genres.
Writing became the favorite part of the day for many of my students. (Is that even possible?)
Additionally, they asked if they could skip less significant activities to work on pieces of writing.
By simply empowering them, handing them the tools, and having them become responsible for all areas, their writing became stronger and more passionate than I ever imagined possible.
Factual writing became strongly articulate, word choice improved, and using tools (thesauruses and word walls) became the standard.
Writing moved out of the time block and was something that was comfortable at all times of the day.
So often as teachers we want to give our feedback and redirect. Listen, sit back, laugh with them at their voice, and encourage written and oral communication that enhances vocabulary and promotes knowledge. The results will astound you!