Monday, October 5, 2009

Chapter 8 Word Processing to Improve Writing

I really connected with the last paragraph of the chapter. It said that, "Teaching the writing process to students intimidates many teachers who don't consider themselves strong writers. Using technology to help students evaluate and improve their own writing has given Lenski teachers more confidence as they work with students of the writing process." (114) I know that I am not the strongest writer, and it really makes me more confident to see that other people have the same problem and that there is a tool that can help us out. Not only is it beneficial to us that we have something so wonderful to help us teach, but the book also pointed out that students need to have consistency when they learn to write. If everyone used this program, then all students would have the exact same information at hand. Our schools did not stress writing as much as other schools, and I feel like it has definitely effected me. I would feel a lot more confident if we had all learned the same things.

Another really good suggestion I got out of this reading is the use of color-coded writing. Having students use different colors to differentiate between opening, topic, and supporting sentences is a great idea. I'm a very visual person, and would have loved to see the colors when I was learning to write. This color-coding technique is also great because it teaches students to plan ahead when writing. Too often, students will just begin to write a paper without thinking about what they are going to say. Having to come up with a red opening sentence, then a green topic sentence will really help the young writer to visualize the paper.

Another aspect of writing that needs to be emphasized more clearly is the revision of the paper. Too many students just write the paper and are done. If the teacher makes them do revisions, they will simply correct the simple things like spelling. They need to be taught that revisions include adding more onto the paper, and making sure that there is enough support for each main idea.