If you stumbled across my Saturday Sayings post from last week, you know what Regie Routman says about the "I do" and the "We do." (If you'd like to know more, click on the Saturday Sayings graphic and you'll see what I mean.) Today's quote is all about the "I do."
Once upon a time, before I discovered the importance of consistent modeled writing, my students probably thought that good, quality writing just magically appeared on the page in its final form. What a disservice to give them such an impression. They never saw or heard a writer struggle, cross out words, or think aloud. Yep, not good.
Then I can remember back in the day when I first began using modeled writing. I'd write my piece on a little post-it note before the lesson and cheat off of it, basically pretending that I was coming up with the words right then and there. Wait a minute. Nice try, but seriously? That was not modeled writing. There's just no cheating when it comes to modeling the writing process.
I must admit, even though my audience members are only six or seven, it's a little disconcerting writing off the cuff in front of them. What if I mess up? What if I don't know exactly what to say? What if I get stuck? Exactly! This is what I should hope will happen, so that when it happens to them, they'll know that this is what real writers do.
"You are in good company if writing is hard for you and you don't know what you're going to say till you "mess around" with thinking on the page. That is how writers work. Let your students in on that secret." Regie Routman, Writing Essentials 43
(I'd like to thank Lori from Conversations in Literacy, Julie from Lighting a Fire in Third Grade, and Sandi from Literacy Minute for joining me on Saturdays during the month of April. I absolutely enjoyed their company, and their reflections got my juices flowing. I love that kind of professional development. If you haven't met them yet, you're missing out. You should go introduce yourself and tell them I sent you.)