Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Write in the Middle
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Write in the Middle
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Workshop 3: Teaching Poetry

Key Practices To Observe in Workshop 3

In this workshop, you will see a number of effective teaching practices intended to help students write poetry.

  • Teachers affirm the importance of writing poetry by modeling that they value poetry and by emphasizing that students are empowered as poets. Students are led to recognize how poetry allows them to express their own feelings and ideas creatively. The goal is not merely to know about poetry, nor is the goal merely to practice a poetic technique.
  • A sense of community is evident in the classes. Students collaborate, express themselves, and clearly feel comfortable and safe in conveying their ideas and feelings, as well as in responding to their classmates' work. Respect for learning and for learners is evident.
  • Reading and response to reading are demonstrated as key teaching practices in helping students develop as writers. Teachers provide models of poems so that students can develop a sense of how other poets work, and students apply what they learn in writing their own poems. Teachers use poems written by others as a stimulus for their students' own poems.
  • The teachers ensure that students are active. The children read and respond to models and to their own drafts. They engage in quick writes, share aloud, analyze poems, talk about techniques, respond to questions, and write notes to each other about what they have written. The teachers make sure that many students are involved in the conversations about writing. The classroom is not merely a forum for the teacher to talk about poetry.
  • Teachers are intentional and systematic in their practices, including focused and well organized mini-lessons on poetry. The lessons are sharply focused on important poetic techniques, the "tools" of a poet. The lessons include time for students to apply what they have learned.
  • Teachers arrange for students to have useful resources as writers: lists of criteria, models, quick writes, annotated samples, and "tips" on writing.
  • Teachers respond to students and provide a structure for students to respond to each other orally and in writing.



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