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The paper provides a descriptive account constructed from four years of anecdotal data and student feedback on course evaluations, with the intent of providing the reader as vicarious of an experience as possible in order to generate discussion, inform instruction, or derive personal meanings from my classroom experience. The theoretical premise upon which this case is built is that writing is an inherently recursive and creative process that is facilitated by a meaning- centered learning environment that more often results in students making meaningful knowledge constructions. It was not long into the term before several writing monsters reared their fuzzy heads. In collaboration with my teacher candidates, we cleverly named them for effect, and even feature them in a digital story that could be used as an instructional tool. Meet Bashful Bandit, Hairy Houdini, Vincent Van Troll, Frankenline, Edgar Allen Go, and the infamous Blanche Page (See Table 1). The writing monster profiles were crafted from my classroom observations and represent the writing challenges and fears that my students encountered and had to conquer in writing their stories. Over the course of the last four years, I repeatedly encountered reluctant writers who essay writing service online manifested their struggle with these writing monsters in both overt and subtle ways. For instance, these are writers who approach the project grudgingly, frequently express self-criticism, and lament that they have nothing to write about.
They are also averse to peer editing, respond to the first constructive critique of their work by wanting to change their story, or claim that they simply do not enjoy writing. Collectively, struggling writers exhibited a form of learned helplessness (Seligman, 1975), a lack of motivation resulting largely from self-doubt. Ladson-Billings describes this practice as allowing a pattern of avoidance, rather than demanding success.
In the following excerpt Ladson-Billings (2002) provides a representative example of a teacher who she concludes is ultimately shortchanging Shannon, a young learner who has been given a prompt to write a sentence describing something special that happened over a weekend, but refuses: After a few minutes one of the teachers comes by this table and notices that Shannon is just sitting while others are working at constructing the sentence.
I was allowing students essay writing service online to evade assignments and disrupt the process I wanted them to trust. I was letting them off the hook instead of encouraging them to work through their uncertainty.
An escape artist who is always trying to get out of writing by disappearing to somewhere else, tending to seemingly inconsequential business (e.
Thinks he does not enjoy writing and makes a mad dash to the finish line, unable to trust the process and take the time to explore the craft of writing. Thinks that all his lines are ugly and is reluctant to share his writing fearing custom research paper services that an angry mob of torch-bearing classmates will chase him down the halls. Furthermore, I needed to tailor instruction to better meet the needs of all writers so that they may realize their full creative potential.
That meant a learner-centered environment in which active learning and inductive essay writing service online instructional methods are primary characteristics.
In my experience, the writing workshop is the most effective instructional approach in preparing teacher candidates to develop a repertoire of skills to teach writing.
Scaffolding, or the gradauted but temporary support given to students during the learning task and then removed as the learner becomes more independent, is another characteristic of a constructivist approach to assessment. Scaffolding theory was first introduced by cognitive psychologist, Jerome Bruner (1960), and is often erroneously attributed to psychologist Lev Vygotsky who did not lay claim to the term scaffolding , but conceptualized learning much in the same way. To date, few empirical studies offering a thick description of scaffolding can be found in the extant literature. In my interactions with students, the process of essay writing services legal the writing conference - is in itself - a form of scaffolding and expanded in the forthcoming section. A constructivist approach to assessment likewise involves a collaborative and bi-directional learning relationship in which the ongoing assessment practices inform instruction (Popham, 2013). For me, a contructivist approach to assessment requires entering a classroom as both ethnographer and cultural anthropologist and learning about my students as though they are a new culture, from one semester to the next. Through observation, anecdotal notes, a running record, an analysis of the artifacts that students produce, and critical self-reflection, I continue to inform my understanding of learners and refine my instructional practices to support them. In the following section I draw the reader into my classroom to unpack the writing process. Gair Slaying the Writing Monsters 446 help on college essay The Writing Process I implemented the writing workshop method of instruction pioneered by Donald H. The writing workshop is organized according to Figure 1. Each class session begins with whole group instruction in the form of a mini lesson during which I focus on one teaching point at a time.
With respect to the narrative genre, mini lessons focus on the craft of writing regularly modeled through the use of mentor texts as instructional support tools to help writers hone their craft. Each mini lesson is followed by independent essay writing service online writing, to which a substantial portion of class time is dedicated. During independent writing students brainstorm, write, edit, and confer with writing partners or with me. As noted above, the writing workshop is intended to be learner-centered, an environment in which active learning and inductive instructional methods are fundamental characteristics. To that end, I use the metaphor of the maleta, a Spanish term for suitcase, to reinforce the idea of meaning-centeredness in the learning process. A maleta represents a reservoir of the cultural and social experiences that students bring to school. As a primer to the narrative genre, I have students construct a maleta and fill it with clippings and other symbolic representations of their experiences that can be used as story seeds.