Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Complete Writer--Susan Wise Bauer

Today was the first day of the online Schoolhouse Expo.  It has been a blessing already.  I didn't listen to all of them today, but my payment gives me MP3 copies off all the meetings.

The first meeting was The Complete Writer by Susan Wise Bauer.  If you'd like your own copy of the notes, she has them available on the website at Teaching K-12 Writing.

I'm just going to share a few of the things that made an impression on me. 

Writing is not a subject; it's a tool, but it needs a subject on which to use it.

There is actually two steps in the writing process: taking inarticulate ideas and putting them into words AND taking an idea in words and putting it on paper.

We assume that children can do this automatically because we've learned to this, but they are two separate things that need to be taught.

Three Elements two work on in elementary: Grammar, Spelling, Writing.

There are two aspects of writing at the elementary level:
1.  Copywork: Putting Words on Paper
Initially copy and eventually create a visual memory by dictation.
2.  Narration across the curriculum: Putting Ideas into Words
Initially narrate to parent, then narrate to parent and take dictation, teaches student to identify central elements, initially guided narration and then move away from guided narration.

Of course, elementary was my main focus, but I'll share a few things from middle and high.

Middle: additional goals in grammar is expertise in diagramming and outlining

A purpose of diagramming is to develop a way of checking sentences to see if they are good. 

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