Last weekend, a dedicated group of educators gathered at Camp Spring Creek to learn about teaching writing from pioneering educator, Diana King. Liane Measell (on far right), one of our trainees and tutors from last summer, gave us a wonderful report on the workshop, which you can read here.
It is alarming that the National Assessment of Education Process results state that students were below grade level for basic writing competency by 20 percent in 2011 for grade 8. Students not writing at or above proficient goals were at 50 percent in 2011 for grade 8. To hear that 50 percent of high school graduates are not prepared for college level writing is shocking.
Students must begin simply by making lists which turn into supporting sentences before writing paragraphs. The next step is to have students develop topic sentences from the lists. Finally, students learn to write conclusion sentences. These sentences create the formation of the five-sentence paragraph.
There are ten types of writing; example, process, classification, reason, persuasion, definition, comparison and contrast, description, narration and research. Diana King had all participants of the workshop engage in writing various types of paragraphs to be critiqued. It was an eye-opening experience to write paragraphs as this writer and co-founder of the Kildonan School reviewed each piece of writing. Ms. King has a wealth of knowledge with over sixty years of experience. Her passion for dyslexic students is revealed through her writing and enlightening workshops.
Diana King states, “Students should learn grammatical concepts, then apply them to their writing. This type of grammar instruction should be ongoing, integrated with writing challenges throughout the grades.” She believes that concentration should be on expository writing rather than creative writing. Diana King made it clear that no student can succeed without being able to organize, support and present their ideas in writing.
Thank you, Liane for this report. And thank you to Diana King for sharing her wealth of knowledge with our trainees.