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Teaching Kids to Write, Not Just Fill in the Bubbles

Teaching good writing is a topic that is getting renewed interest in schools nationwide. More schools are using multi-step writing processes, where students write, read and revise, and teachers are offering more writing seminars. Colleges are experimenting with writing requirements for graduation and some have writing advisors available on a 24 hours a day basis. Even New York City schools have changed some of their tests to include more writing.

"It's no longer good enough to have kids read and bubble in answers," said Professor Lucy Calkins, director of the Reading and Writing Center. "Students have to be able to write articulate and coherent essays."

"You can teach the process of writing like you teach tennis," said Calkins. "The role of the teacher is to demonstrate and to coach and to watch people as they do it. It requires a different image of teaching ... turning classes into workshops."

 

The article, entitled "Figuring Out How to Grade Writing Tests Adds Up to a Big Headache for Testmakers" appeared in the May 23rd edition of The Washington Post.

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