In my 6th grade Writing Lab classroom I am concerned about students wanting to finish their drafts and pass them in versus taking the time and opportunity to revisit, re-see or reflect on their writing.
If the students used reflective logs/journals after each draft and in concert with peer and teacher conferences as part of the writing workshop process, would student writing improve?
“ It seems to me that the matter at hand—using journals in the teaching of composition and literature—involves two frames of mind: From the research:
“… the near and the far; the close in and the move away, the raw and the cooked, the momentary heat and the reflective cool, the participant and the spectator. Our students, I believe, need both .” —Judith Fishman Summerfield in The Journal Book
--the benefits of journal writing, --metacognition--thinking about thinking, --thinking about texts in terms of intentions There was much written about:
--giving students occasions to meet together to talk with each other about their writing, --creating opportunities for students to engage in metacognitive activities that challenge them as writers to think about how they:
1. receive peer feedback 2. make sense of the feedback 3. use the feedback when revising text
Nancie Atwell talked about “having a writing conference with yourself.”
“… inexperienced writers “remain stuck at word level, rarely re-seeing their documents in major ways or reflecting on their texts in terms of their intentions and the results…. by requiring students to reflect critically on their writing… encourages substantive, purposeful revision…[and it] gives a means of teaching successful revision and provides successful evaluation.” --(Roundy, N. & Thralls, C)
“ 80% [of students] say that keeping the notebook taught them about themselves; about reading better; they could experiment and take risks; they could try out varied voices; they could ‘lay out’ all their thoughts in front of them for reading and re-reading, for re-considering, they could read their own writing as texts.” --Summerfield, J.F.