Welcome Mr. Principal
We are learning to collaborate AND write here!
Process Writing and Why It Works
In class, students are using process writing. Process writing has five steps: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Because there are so many English Language Learners in my class, I am currently teaching them something that is normally taught to native speakers earlier on. Many students are familiar with correcting and editing their work but they have not been taught how to prewrite and get their ideas down on paper in their first draft. Prewriting teaches students how to organize ideas, find comparisons and contrasts in their writing, and how to place this information in an organized form in a written paper. This process teaches students "English grammar, punctuation, and spelling" (Peregoy & Boyle, 2013, p. 263). The process also teaches students how to use the language correctly and speak correctly. Lastly, the process teaches students "empathy" as Ms. Brown refers to in her video. Students learn about one another and are willing to help one another because they know each of their stories and what makes each students so great.
Process Writing Step #1: Prewriting
Gathering thoughts and ideas by arranging and organizing them in some form
Process Writing Step #2: Drafting
Taking the previously organized ideas and writing in paragraph form, should include purpose and audience
Process Writing Step #3: Revising
Placing ideas in the correct sequence; changing the structure of the paper so it makes more sense
Process Writing Step #4: Editing
Checking and correcting grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors
Process Writing Step #5: Publishing
Final version including all edits and revisions in order to be presented to families, used in portfolios, or sharing with other students
Response Groups and Why They Work
Once students have completed their prewriting and first drafts, students will be placed in groups. Because so many students are ELL, students will be grouped carefully based on levels analyzed in data prior by the teacher, not by student selection. Groups will vary throughout the year so students are able to work with different students than they would choose in the class. Groups will be composed of 3-5 students. There will be an advanced or intermediate student, as well as a beginning student in the group so the advanced and intermediate students are able to model good writing skills they've acquired previously to the beginner. Before students are ever in groups, the teacher has already modeled the appropriate way to peer edit and work in response groups. Each student must have the chance to read his or her paper aloud to the group for positive feedback first, followed by questions to clarify the ideas and topics of the paper, and then the class will be given another whole group paper as an example. Because an advanced or intermediate student has previously learned the entire process, the response groups allow for peer empathy by sharing what has been written prior on the specific topic.