One of the most useful parts of this course has been Tompkins’ (2012) book, Teaching Writing: Balancing Process and Product. As I spend much of time lesson planning trying to make writing not only purposeful but also engaging, Tompkins (2012) has really helped along during this process. After about 7 weeks, I have (hopefully) found a type of writing that my students will fully engage in. I have started teaching persuasive writing to my 9th graders. Well have started to introduce the writing at least. I wanted to start off with transitions first, in order to help them with their writing at a later time. My one student is really intrigued by this writing and the writings we will be creating to go with them. This great because what teacher does not want a student excited about a project. The only problem is, he has started to work on the writing already but I have not only yet to assign the writing assignment, I have not even started teaching the unit. The past three classes he has come into the room and started working on his writing. But he is first starting off with creating a persuasive PowerPoint. I love his excitement but I do not love how he started to ignore what he class was doing and not actively participate in class time. Especially when he put in his ear buds in when I was trying to go over notes. He has officially placed his priorities within that assignment. My decision to get around this was to hide the laptop in my friend’s room across the hall until we actually need it. I also think he is excited about this assignment because he has picked his topic on why marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes. He was so excited about this topic that he actually left class to go get permission from the principal; I thought he was going to the bathroom. I am just hoping that he pays enough attention to how to write a persuasive piece when I start going over it this week instead of focusing too much on creating the writing.
Last week I thought I had to go to advisement with Dr. Erdmann for the program. Turns out I did not actually have to go but it turns out that it was worth the drive as we talked briefly about the program and my job. We talked about the usefulness of using children’s books in the classroom at a secondary level. Until this program I would have never thought to use it. After the persuasive writings presentation, I plan on using the book I brought in, Click, Clack, Moo, as an example of persuasive writing to show my 9th graders. When I mentioned this to Dr. Erdmann, she gave me other books to use alongside Click, Clack, Moo. I might actually read the book to the kids and show them how it is a persuasive piece. Then give them other books and have them practice it on their own. This will highlight the features of a persuasive piece.
So far we only have had two groups present their genre to the class. Between reading the chapter about persuasive writing and watching the presentation about it in class, I have learned a great deal about teaching the genre to my students. I am looking forward to watching all the other genre presentations and learning the groups input on how to teach them in the classroom. Just from the research I have done so far on descriptive writing, I have learned many useful ways to incorporate it in the classroom. Now that I know what it is I have been noticing more and more that my students’ writing lack descriptive words. Descriptive writing may be its own chapter in the book, but it serves just as much importance in being incorporated in other genres of writing.