Kari has written a wonderful book on teaching writing... It is eleven chapters long and this is installment ten. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
In the process of writing this book there were times when I didn’t want to write. My ideas were there, but my enthusiasm gone.
Yet as I followed my own “Writing Traffic Light” steps, I just WROTE! WROTE! WROTE! My ideas were clumsy and unorganized. Still I wrote.
Then I walked away from it. I planted in the garden, added a stitch to a quilt, and fed the fish. I came back to it in the morning when I was fresh. I started to EDIT. Thank goodness for spell-check! I was able to look at my ideas. I added new and took away old. I read it to my family first, and then let others edit and critique it. They helped organize my ideas and helped them flow.
Then, when the ideas were in the right place and in order, we made it SPARKLE! We added illustrations and arranged it on the page.
The process is the same for me as it is for the 2nd grader who is writing a story, the 9th grader who is writing a report, or the college student who is preparing a thesis. I have used the process over and over with every chapter and article I have written and every activity in his book. With each, I used the “Writing Traffic Light” process.
This process is nothing new. We see it every day. When my oldest daughter started soccer for the first time she just got out there and ran and kicked the ball when it came to her. (KICK! KICK! KICK!)
Then her coach pulled her aside one day and said, “I can see that you are kicking the ball a lot. Let me teach you how to kick with the side of your foot. You can control it better. She listened and she practiced. (EDIT)
She practiced her kick until she was so good that she could kick it right where she wanted. (SPARKLE)
The process is nearly everywhere. It’s how we get better at anything. We try it, we stop and edit to make things better, and then we make it uniquely ours… we make it SPARKLE.
Two things I have learned about writing to have success:
- Stick to the “Writing Traffic Light” process, it works.
- Just begin.
Now that you have learned how to help yourself and your children become better writers, we can get on to all the fun stuff — the Activities!
Next week: "Begin with the End in Mind"
You can leave your thoughts, comments or suggestions here on my feedback page. Thanks!