Friday, October 18, 2013
Read, Respond, Relate: How Authentic Literacy Builds Relationships
Being responsible, in large part, for a child's developing literacy is no small thing.
The foundation of teaching is relationship. Teaching is, in itself, an ongoing conversation between teachers and students.
In the old days (not the "good old days") I was an advocate of the interactive journal. Students wrote. I read and responded. It took so much time. Every Friday I carried home a heavy box filled with spiral notebooks. I spent a good portion of my weekend learning about my students, understanding what they understood, learning about their hopes, their families, their pets.
At one point, in an attempt to lessen my workload, I offered that turning in journals for my response would be optional. I had not one student opt out. And, even though my workload remained hard, I was happy. I knew it was the right use of my time.
Blogs are, at least physically, a lighter load. No longer do I have to lug a box of notebooks home and back. Although the medium has changed, the task itself and the benefits it conveys, is basically the same. It is important to me to carve out regular time to visit each student's blog, to read and to respond.
It is hard to quantify the value in terms of building relationships, modeling quality writing and ongoing assessment of students' thinking and writing. (This is not a post about grades, but this is another reason that I find grades stifling. How does one grade an ongoing conversation? )
Posted by Andrea Hernandez at 9:43 AM