Today is the last day for my Writing Lab students to work on their blogs. During this last blog cycle they worked at adding details to their writing. One of my students, who is typically behind the rest of the class, had not turned her work in for editing on turnitin.com so I was getting worried. I sat down next to her to see what was happening for her and she said, “I’m trying to find more ways to describe the place I’m talking about in my blog. I really want my reader to understand what a special place it is.”
If that’s not taking audience and purpose into consideration, I don’t know what is.
To hear this student talk about audience and purpose and having a specific reason to add details other than the fact it’s a requirement is music to my ears. Oftentimes with students who struggle with writing, it can be difficult to know where to even begin. There’s so much to teach.
I really feel that giving them time and space just to write and think about the effect their writing might have on their reader can be one of the best tools we can give our students. I really think that sometimes we overcomplicate things so much that it keeps kids from diving in. That’s what I think has worked so well with having my students who struggle blog. They can dive in to writing in an authentic way each day.
After all, how do WE become better writers, better bloggers? We write and we get feedback from our audience. Why should we expect anything different from our students?