Amy’s grand title, Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres, names the promise of this book, and every ravishing word thereafter supports that thesis and never lets us down. Amy convinces us that devoting time to deep study and practice of the specific features and techniques of poetry will elevate any type of prose, and we should determine to make plenty of space for poem reading and writing in our classrooms.
Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we look closely at the creating opportunities for ourselves and our students to consider the power of the reading-writing connection.
“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”
By Katherine Bomer
The secret to teaching how to write is to read, but that doesn't mean standing in front of the How to Write section in Barnes & Noble and picking a book by an author you’ve never heard of. Instead read what you’re passionate about and then try to widen the scope of that passion, reading different genres, so that you can say you’re passionate about good writing with the confidence that you know what good writing is regardless of genre. Trust in your own responses as a reader—good writing excites you, moves you, gives you clarity, makes you laugh, and makes you realize how deliciously complicated life really is.
During the month of April, we will examine the place that assessment has in the lives of both educators and students. Keep this question in mind as you view, read, and share thoughts from this month's content: In what ways can we assess what we value? Today's post by Katherine Bomer is from Heinemann's Digital Library.
by Katherine Bomer
What About Grades?
Most of us can relate to the anxiety around this question. Unfortunately, we must confront required grading and testing even as we still try to open up possibilities of teaching writing. There is a disconnect between what we know to be powerful teaching and what the current politicized education system tells us to do to measure learning with rubrics, numbers, and letters in the name of holding teachers accountable for teaching and students accountable for learning.