As my students have worked on their state tests, I’ve found
my mind wandering due to a TOTAL state of mind numbing boredom myself reflecting on what I’ve done (or could have done) to help better prepare my students for these dreaded tests. Let’s face it. All the time “actively monitoring” gives you time to think about your teaching practices, right. Just imagine administering…TEN of them!! I believe that’s about the number I will reach by the end. In fact, I probably could have come up with a solution to world hunger and peace among men too in this amount of time, right?? Total time spent will be about 35 hours. (and we won’t do the math on how much tax money that took because it does not matter. The tests are here to stay).
So, let’s get on to my point…
As I have been monitoring, it became incredibly clear to me how important it is for students to write, write, and write some more about what they read as well as on topics that interest them…including fiction, information articles, persuasive writing, and even advertisements (flyers). You see, our students need to see how our writing matches our purposes for reading. How we structure (and we do teach text structure as a reading skill) our writing is the same way that real live famous authors do too, so by carrying that skill through both reading and writing experiences, we solidify it for our students. One great way to begin is to model all text structures (not just nonfiction) with literature. Read all or just what you need to demonstrate, but use the best examples from your library to show structures in action.