Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2013

Grade(s): 6 - 8

Delivery Method: Print

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Shelley Barker

The Confident Writing Teacher: Cultivating Meaningful Writing in Middle School

“If you are currently a member of the teaching profession, it is very likely that you were never taught to write. Shocked? Think about it. Certainly, we wrote, but what did writing instruction look like when you were a kid? Do you remember receiving any? I do not remember being taught to write. My language arts teachers focused on those things that could be measured and counted as right or wrong, like parsing sentences, identifying linking verbs, and making sure those darned participles didn’t dangle.”

If Shelley Barker’s description rings true, then you know that students need more than corrections to thrive as writers. In this practical and uplifting guideShelley invites you into her classroom and shares:

  • guidance for nurturing yourself as a writer
  • strategies for building a community of writers in your classroom
  • tools for building lessons and addressing areas of student need
  • models of feedback that motivates writers
  • rubrics that make assessment valuable to students.

“Take what you need from your writing past—the positive experiences, the times when you felt successful, the times when writing made sense to you—and leave the rest—the red ink, the negative or empty comments, the references to your spelling and penmanship,” Shelley says. “We need to produce confident writers who when faced with difficult writing tasks may not know how to begin, but trust that they have the skills and perseverance to find the way.”