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Summer Reading about Writing

writingThe NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing were so well-received that NCTE published a series of books around them. Learn more about the Principles in Practice “Writing in Today’s Classrooms” Strand.

Writing in the Dialogical Classroom: Students and Teachers Responding to the Texts of Their Lives focuses on adolescent learners. The author, Bob Fecho, argues that teachers need to develop writing experiences that are reflective across time in order to foster even deeper explorations of subject matter. Therefore, in the dialogical classroom, students use writing to explore who they are becoming and how they relate to the larger culture around them. Fecho stresses the value of reading and writing as tools for learning and making meaning, not just things to be tested on. The book, with its inquiry-based focus, offers dialogical writing projects of various lengths, for different purposes, with students of varying ability levels.

In Becoming Writers in the Elementary Classroom: Visions and Decisions author Katie Van Sluys illustrates how teachers of elementary-age writers bring their beliefs about teaching and learning to life—through the visions they hold for writers, writing, and the world, as well as through the decisions they make every day in their classrooms. Through real classroom examples and teacher and student reflections, she helps us understand how the decisions that both we and our students make today can help them not only learn to write well but also to use writing to create the world they want to live in.

In Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom authors Maisha T. Winn and Latrise Johnson suggest that culturally relevant pedagogy can help reach all of our students—especially those who have been ignored and underserved in America’s classrooms. Although it certainly includes inviting in the voices of those who are generally overlooked in the texts and curricula of US schools, culturally relevant teaching also means recognizing and celebrating those students who show up to our classrooms daily, welcoming their voices, demanding their reflection, and encouraging them toward self-discovery.

Traci Gardner also lists the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing as an appendix in her text Designing Writing Assignments. This book practical tips, starting points, and a companion website to help secondary and college teachers design effective writing assignments.

How do you use the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing in your classroom?