Will using reflection logs as a revision tool improve student writing? Jeanine K. Summer Writing Institute 2006
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.
Even when they are given extra time and opportunity to reflect on their writing and/or work with other students, many students do not take the opportunity to do so.
“ Experienced writers spend at least as much time reading and rereading their texts as they do writing them.” From Nancie Atwell, In the Middle
“ Writing is thinking-made-visible. Thought, when written, can become itself the subject of further thought and reflection.” – Charles Moran, WMWP
My question is:
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.
My plan :
I am thinking of having all of my students write a piece in the first week of school.
Then, only one class would get the modeling and instruction on how to use a reflective log for the rest of the quarter.
At the end of the quarter, all students would re-write that same piece of writing.
Hopefully I will be able to compare and see if the treatment group’s writing improved over the ten weeks as a result of using reflective logs.
Atwell, N. (1998). In the middle: New understandings about writing, reading, and learning. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.
Denyer, J. & LaFleur, D. “The Eliot Conference: An analysis of a peer response group”, Voices From the Middle. Urbana: Sep.2001, Vol 9, Issue 1; p.29, 11 pgs.
Fletcher, R. (2000). How writers work: Finding a process that works for you . New York, NY: Harper Trophy.
Ray, K.W . (1999). Wondrous words: Writers and writing in the elementary classroom. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
Roundy, N. & Thralls, C. “Modeling the Communication Context: A procedure for revision and evaluation in business writing”, Journal of Business Communications , Summer 1983, Vol 20, Issue 3, p.27, 20p
Sebranck, P., Meyer, V., & Kemper, D. (1995). Write Source 2000: A guide to writing, thinking,& learning . Wilmington, MA: Great Source Education Group.
Summerfield, J.F. (1987). “Golden Notebooks, Blue Notebooks: Re-Readings”, The Journal Book . Editor: Fulwiler, T. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.