Two students each week write a 'Monday Journal' onto a google-site set up between our class and our e-buddy class in a different city. (This is their personal writing for the week, and I run workshops and use shared writing and reading as vehicles for teaching other writing, eg Report Writing). Those two students write directly onto the site, and on Friday they Skype each other and read their work and give feedback. We've completed one round and begun the second round where our focus has shifted to giving quality feedback. This is about the time where the wheels fell off.
Although the students are becoming great critics, thinking about what is good writing and what areas a writer needs to work on, they are not transferring the skills into their own writing.
I have tried giving the students a small tick-sheet, with all the things we've learnt about so far, to glue in their book and tick off as they add it to their writing. The written prompt hasn't worked for the majority of students.
At this stage, I'm wondering how do I get that tick sheet imprinted in thier mind. I'd love to be creative enough to create a poem or song that will stick in head - but I'm just not sure that will cut it.
Update Sept 2012:
It turns out I may have been a bit harsh! Most students are thinking about quality and, when compared to earlier writing, have improved greatly.
It was a very timely 'stumble-upon,' that the Core-ED email was sitting in my inbox when I got home. There, was a video featuring Jo Fothergill who I met at EduCamp Invers in 2011. As I chatted with her then, my philosophy of writing began to grow. She inspired me to make changes to make writing more appealing to reluctant writers. Watching this video has re-inspired me and reminded me that when things aren't working, they need to change.
I particulary like the quote she used, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
It's time for me to make a change. I might just have to put my poetry hat on(!) and try it.
For the full article click here.