Our kids at school are learning to write, no matter whether they are using a blog o any social network as MySpace, for example, they may be still using in the wrong place words like "were/where" . This means, we teachers need to work deeper on how to teach parts of a sentence. Gilbert Halcrow, in a comment left on Beyond School Blog asks:
Why are English and Humanity teachers so concerned about writing and not enough about audience?
Let me share what happened today at home. I received a letter from Mrs Meigh saying "Your child knew that the 45 minute persuasive benchmark would be given in class today, and your child finished hi/her final copy done for us to review before the benchmark was assigned for final comments and suggestions". My son who is a sixth grader, was so happy to show me that letter and was way motivated. Now, let me tell you, he's no the one who loves to write but the single option that makes him look better, push him to work harder and avoid himself looking weak!
The theme of work was persuasive writing and he wrote about saving a Park for the kids enjoy. He was set to an audience first. That's how they feel more compelled to write or keep writing at school projects.
But let's hear Halcrow again, If I am engaged with my peers in developing my ideas (I think that is what you mean by writing to learn) then who cares if the spelling is wrong or OMG I use textese. For that audience it is understood and efficient. If the teacher (us old farts) are involved in the collaboration then students should adapt their writing appropriately. If the text being created has to meet a formal template or a wider designated audience then different standards of writing will need to be engaged in.
Extensive explanation of Blogging to Learn and a Dialogue can be read here.
If you want to receive my future posts regularly for FREE, please subscribe in a reader or by e-mail. If you have concerns, Contact Me at anytime.