As I think back to my experience student teaching, which is when I did a majority of my writing instruction, I think about what I have learned about the writing process and what I did and didn't do. What felt comfortable for me was giving the students a day or two to work on their rough drafts while correcting their mistakes as they finished, because that's what was done with my writing instruction when I was in elementary school. I also took advice from my cooperating teacher and she had three stages: drafting, revising, and publishing.
I was very strict with grammar and spelling, especially with my fourth grade students, because at that point they were able to use larger words and could use reference materials to use synonyms for smaller words and I challenged them with that. They knew simple grammar and spelling rules and most did a really good job during the drafting stage but then once some of them started seeing a lot of their mistakes marked in red, they almost lost hope. It's like they just gave up and checked out.
Now, I realize that a core principle that I'd like to enact in my future classroom is a major emphasis on writing. Students need to be given an adequate amount of time for writing and they need to be shown each step in the writing process. Students also need to be given a choice of topics, whereas when I was teaching, they were told what to write, which hindered their creativity. I am a very creative person and I think that in my future classroom I will give my students a lot of opportunity to choose their own writing topics. I think that every day there needs to be time for writing, whether it's writing as a class or independently, students need to be writing every day so that they get practice, especially using the stages of writing.
I know that since I started using Microsoft Word and the internet everything has been so much easier. Microsoft Word fixes most of my mistakes automatically and capitalizes everything that needs to be capitalized, so I don't have to worry if I make a simple mistake, I know I won't have to take the time to go back and fix it. I think that my familiarity with Word will help with giving my students the opportunity to use that form of technology for all steps in the writing process, which will cut down the time dramatically. Unfortunately I'm not very familiar with digital audio or blogs/wikis so I'm hoping to become more familiar with those so that when I have my own classroom I can have a classroom blog and update it so that parents and students can see what is going on in the classroom.
Starting a blog was very new and foreign to me and it actually worried me a little, especially in class, I had so many questions, I thought for sure I'd never get it right. I think my main concern is whether or not my writing in the blog is going to be formal enough, or in some cases, will it be too formal. I'm not sure whether or not I have to site every single detail that I mention in my responses either. Another thing I'm worried about is APA formatting, I'm not really familiar with it, so it's something that I'm going to have to familiarize myself with.