The Power of Pen: Placing Writing at the Heart of Literacy Instruction
When we talk about literacy block, we often use “reading time” synonymously for this part of our day. Imagine if that shifted and we called this time “writing block” instead, and folded in all skills toward building the final outcome of writing rather than primarily reading. What if we thought of writing as the center of literacy and the most critical instructional area we should address every day?
Writing empowers our students to do more than consume, but to explore, express, and excel in ways that build on and strengthen a focus on reading. Reading can transport us to new lands and ways of thinking. Writing sparks even further inspiration in students and supports them in uncovering what they think, fine tuning, and revising their understandings then sharing them with the world.
Writing offers so many benefits toward raising overall literacy and depth of knowledge. Students must think deeply, organize their thoughts, and sharpen their ideas. These skills aren't just for school; they prepare them for the demands of college, career, and every area of life. When students write about what they read, they are in charge of their learning. This newfound power prepares them to evaluate and then confidently express ideas in any situation.
Evidence-based practices can strengthen the pivotal role of writing in education. When we teach students to self-regulate how they approach a writing task and carry themselves through it, they master how they can use the tools they'll carry into the future, where words will be their greatest allies.
We can launch the magic of writing in our schools with simple, evidence-based practices, streamlining the writing process to make it more readily accessible and impactful. By giving students the kind of agency they develop when they understand the writing process and the features of effective writing, we'll inspire them to wield the pen not just as a tool, but as a wand of self and world transformation.
I hope you’ll join me next week for my EDVIEW360 webinar, Center Writing in Your Literacy Instruction to Move ALL Students Forward, during which I will discuss the practices and share strategies.