Monday, September 14, 2015

Behind the Books: Wise Words from a Writing Teacher

When Cathy Mere, a first grade teacher I really respect from Ohio, posted this on twitter:

I decided to pop over to the Two Writing Teachers blog to take a peek.

Wow, was I blown away by the post.

I immediately tweeted Deb Frazier, the teacher who had written the post. (Like Cathy, Deb is a first grade teacher in Ohio. She is also the co-founder of Global Classroom, and she blogs about teaching at Primary Perspective.) And you can see the conversation that followed, with a few other folks chiming in:

Even now, two weeks later, I’m still thinking about that post. It really is one of the best descriptions I’ve seen of what it means to be a writer, what it means to approach the world as a writer. That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to blog about it here.

The other reason is that Deb touches on one aspect of Common Core, or at least its implementation in American classrooms, that really frosts my britches. I see so many anchor charts entitled Author Purpose with a pie neatly divided into three distinct pieces—entertain, inform, persuade—as if there were only three possible reasons to write. As if!

Since I write nonfiction, the creators of these charts say my purpose must be to inform. But frankly, that’s one of the last things on my mind when I sit down to write a book for kids. And as this post shows, the same is true for my fellow nonfiction authors.

I love the way Deb addresses this issue because she does so through a teacher’s lens. I strongly urge you to sit down with a cup of coffee to read and ponder Deb’s excellent post.

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