Writing is Hard: Blogging as a Teacher

Writing is Hard

I did not realize how little I wrote as a teacher, until I wrote the first post for this blog.  

I majored in History in university. This entailed two things: reading, and writing. Yeah, sometimes there was discussion and presentations, but if you were to make a pie chart of how I spent my time, that slice would be the size I should take during Thanksgiving, rather than the slice I actually do. Most of my time was spent pouring over primary and secondary sources at the library, and writing about what I read.

So, when I sat down to write that first post, I faced the uncomfortable realization that teaching entailed little writing, and that my writing skills had deteriorated as a result. It was far harder than I remembered.

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Pondering Peer Feedback

There are many benefits to peer feedback, just like there are benefits to using multiple choice questions. However, like for MCQ, my motive for using this more in my classroom was Grade 6. Four sections of Grade 6. Ninety-nine students. Which is a lot of rough drafts. Which is a good reason to delegate some of the feedback burden.

But there are other bonuses to using peer feedback. The students can read the work of their peers, to give them ideas for their own writing. And, by leaving comments, they can reflect more on the characteristics of quality work. However, I was not going to operate under the assumption that my middle school students would know how to write good feedback. I was going to train them.

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