Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Editing and Writer's Workshop

Since the Writing Institute at Columbia I have been reading several books. One of them is Jeff Anderson's Everyday Editing. Conventions, grammar, editing, you pick the label, as been an area of contention among our administrations and instructional staff. Jeff's book has helped me articulate my position and philosophy towards grammar instruction and how to build it into writer's workshop.

I feel it is time I clearly state my position on several areas of literacy instruction. It's time the administrators know the message I will share while coaching their teachers. I will be quoting several of Jeff's statements.

First, I learned that editing questions on the SAT and state assessments are not based on parts of speech and don't have multiple errors. Students are asked to make sentences clear and correct which connects to grammar and editing.

I am grateful that Jeff included quotes from Writing Next (Graham and Perin 2007). The reports tells educators what NOT to do and what research says does work. Students should spend their time focusing on function and practical application of grammar WITHIN the context of writing. Alternative procedures are more effective than traditional approaches. We need to teach function rather than the traditional method of memorization. Now I have research to quote while conversing with administrators.

I look forward to learning more from Jeff's Everyday Editing. Next, in chapter one, which makes me realize just how much I learned from Jeff's introduction alone, is the definition of everyday editing. Can you image what I will learn from the entire book? I love expanding my knowledge and understanding. Why? Because I will have so much more to offer my students.