As teachers we need to develop a deep sense of RAPTURE* within our students writing.
Rapture - state of deep satisfaction or enjoyment, may be the ideal response to engaging with art of the beautiful.
The last two days have been filled with incredible, inspiring professional learning experiences engaging with authors and teaching professionals that desire to bring the magic back into writing.
On Friday and Saturday I was fortunate enough to attend a professional learning intensive held by PETAA (Primary English Teaching Association Australia) on Writing the Future, and boy was it intensive! Two jam packed days with teaching professionals, authors and researchers sharing their expertise and knowledge on improving and engaging students in writing. From developing the free writing experience, through creativity outlets like Drama, to engaging in outdoor writing sessions in order to remove the stress of writing in the traditional classroom setting.
My mind is buzzing with writing activities that will bring the magic back into writing. From this intensive it has clarified to me the importance of developing students creativity in all aspects of their writing through activities that are diverse and rich in learning experience, allowing students to be empowered by their writing.
Dr Misty Adoniou was an inspiring presenter, she engaged the audience in setting the scene of life experiences through developing the pathos or the emotional connection within the writing. Misty reminds us the purpose of writing is to engage the hearts and minds of readers. As teachers it is our role to build the students knowledge of language, to ensure they are able to access a reservoir of language to include within their writing and this is achieved through engaging students in a range of quality texts.
“Make it a rule to never give a child a book if you’re not prepared to read it yourself’
PETAA showcased various schools who were granted the opportunity to work with a range of authors to engage students in purposeful writing. Two showcased schools were a stand out with how they integrated and brought the magic back into writing.
The Concordia College worked with Louise Park a children’s author to Read/Write like a writer. This concept was fascinating and I could see how this method of reading like a writer can assist with students improving their overall writing, but identifying and analysing the author intent and language choice by reading through the lense of a writer.
Louise Parks provided various writing activities to include within the classroom setting whilst preparing for students to unleash their creativity and imagination, which I believe will be valuable to including in future programming.
Guided Writing Meditation → taking yourself to a place where you are ready to write. Students meditate in order to imagine and develop character and scene descriptions, preparing them to begin their writing.
Go to the wall: generating ideas → Under headings students collaborate to place post it notes on the wall that reflect the the following: characters tricky situation (problem), setting, Minor characters. Therefore when students are stuck with what to write they “Go to the wall” and select the various elements of an imaginative story.
The Corpus Christi Primary School worked with Sue Whiting. This showcase school developed a choose your own adventure text, allowing students to again be empowered and responsible for their own writing. It is crucial that students are exposed to various CYOA texts in order to develop their language and ability to write in second person. The method of actually writing and publishing the CYOA is achievable through the use of google slides.
A notion that resonated with me from this professional learning experience is how do we expect our students to be creative in writing when we are not being creative ourselves in the way we teach writing?
What I had hoped to gain from this experience, developing my own repertoire of teaching and learning strategies to improve student engagement and purposeful writing, has been far outweighed by the inspiration to bring the magic back into writing.
Therefore through leading by example, I have set myself a goal to continuously write, purely to develop my own sense of RAPTURE within expanding and unleashing my own creativity through writing.