National Writing Project

Celebrating Our Students' Good Writing

Publication: Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo, a blog on Education Week
Date: November 18, 2012

Summary: Larry Ferlazzo poses the question, "What advice can you give to help teachers be more effective in helping students become better writers?" In part one of this blog series, educators Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey, and Northern Virginia Writing Project Co-director Mary Tedrow share their advice on how teachers can encourage and celebrate writing in the classroom while adhering to the Common Core State Standards.


Excerpt from Article

Response from Mary Tedrow

After observing that even "poor" writers write better when choosing a topic they really know—for example, a dramatic bicycle crash vividly described by an otherwise reluctant student—my philosophy changed from "It's my job to assign writing" to "It's my job to help students discover what they know before they write, and celebrate good writing." Suddenly, every classroom activity is fodder for an opportunity to "write what you know."

Response from Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey

As the new school year begins, we're all given to making resolutions that will improve our practice. The 2012–13 school year is especially important, particularly if you work in one of the states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. In many places, including our home state of California, this is our "sandbox year." This is the year where we experiment with methods that we will fully put into practice when the new standards are implemented in 2013–14. We'll make sure they read more informational text, and engage in deep discussions that lead to the kind of critical thinking needed for argumentation. Most of all, we'll make sure they write more. But improving writing is more than simply causing it; we've got to teach it. But how? Here are our resolutions for improving writing abilities of our school students this year. . . .

Read the Full Article

Read "Response: Celebrating Our Students' Good Writing" in Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo , a blog on Education Week.

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