This week, I invited CV’s K-12 Supervisor of Communications and ESL, Michelle Trasborg, to use this space to talk a little bit about the National Day on Writing. Every year on Oct. 20, the National Council of Teachers of English join with schools, families and the greater community to focus on the importance of writing.

When people think about reading and writing, separate feelings often come to mind. With reading, we may recall childhood memories of snuggling under the covers, listening to stories with a caring adult, or sitting in a comfy classroom chair during free reading time with a favorite Magic Treehouse or Nate the Great book. These feelings are often positive and may even evoke a sense of togetherness and warmth.

Memories of writing are often different. It can be an isolating and frustrating experience. We often think of writers alone and secluded, with piles of crumpled papers overflowing a trash can. Others may remember writer’s block and dreaded red pen correction marks on a first draft. Writing can bring on anxiety, stress, and confusion as people are asked to create original and thought-provoking work.  Let’s be honest—it’s hard.  We may forget the reward and satisfaction that can come from creating and sharing ideas.  It’s no surprise that writing gets a bit of a bad rap compared to its warm and cuddly reading counterpart.

Times, however, are changing. The 21st Century is an exciting time for writing. No longer is writing a primarily isolating experience. As a matter of fact, thanks to emerging technologies, writing is more collaborative and collegial than ever before. Online tools provide opportunities for people to brainstorm, write, edit, and publish together. Today, people write constantly using social media, email, reporting tools, and Google Apps. Millions of pieces of written information flow between us every day.  Being able to express ideas in written form has become a critical part of our world.

At CV, we are committed to providing students a rich and engaging writing experience.  On Oct. 20, teachers and students will be celebrating the National Day on Writing in a variety of ways:

  • Brownstown RtII Coordinator Laura Gingrich will be working with student “families” to write stories across grade levels.
  • Jason Zimmerman’s fourth grade students at Fritz will be picking the five words they can’t live without and completing interactive Mad Libs (who doesn’t love some Mad Lib fun?!).
  • Carol Whitaker’s Leola ESL students will be designing and writing embossed thank you cards to a person of their choice.
  • At Smoketown, Gina Georgallis’s students will be designing original graphic organizers to use when creating their stories.
  • At the middle school, Gold Team Math Teacher Jill Stoltzfoos and her students will be answering math discussion reflections in Schoology, choosing from three different writing prompts.
  • At the high school, Dara Slater and her tenth-grade students will be creating a collaborative arts integration project through writing original Readers Theatre scripts – complete with gestures and sound effects – to help build background knowledge before starting Macbeth.

Though these are just a few of the focused lessons happening on Oct. 20, I think it’s important to note that our classrooms focus on the importance of writing EVERY day. I hope that you can join us in celebrating the National Day on Writing. Writing provides us the opportunity to synthesize and create something new. We process and frame information through writing to communicate with others, and it’s been identified as one of the most important skills needed for the workforce.  Let’s celebrate our expression of ideas together and WRITE!

You can contact Michelle Trasborg at michelle_trasborg@conestogavalley.org.

 

 

 

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