We tried everything. Newspaper articles, creative writing, poetry, literary review, journaling. As writing tasks, they were successful enough. But they were just not wildly successful.
We wondered how could we get our young students interested in editing? Editing? Blah! The tedious 99% perspiration of checking, correcting and condensing work over and over to polish that 1% inspiration. So mega-boring…but so mega-important!?
We definitely needed a carrot!
And then we presented blogging: publishing self directed work for the world to read. “On the internet? Cool! But wait… is my writing good enough?” Bingo! Suddenly the importance of editing was bought into sharp focus.
Welcome to the Mary-Kate English School blog. Our school is based on the philosophy of offering English language learning to students in a way that works best for them. For some classes interesting and motivating means growing, observing and journaling about plants growing . For others it means a self-directed research project culminating in a speech and a poster. And once a year we transform our rooms into a restaurant, hospital or airport, so students have a fun and practical way to practice their language skills.
Bolstered by experience in other school environments, for our 12+ students it meant opening a blog and dangling the carrot of publishing work for the world to read. So we look forward to publishing student work!
Introducing blogging into our writing classes gave us a powerful way to make writing real. It took us out of the abstract into the now, equipping students with skills they can take with them into careers: focused, interesting and well-written work.
Blogging also gave us an opportunity to discuss with students e-safety, why they should formulate their opinions thoughtfully and that google has a long memory. All published student work has been given parental consent and parents were delighted to see their children be given supported internet publishing experience.
Ticking all the right boxes makes for the best kind of learning. And so do carrots!
Submitted by Maura Hannon, May 2nd, 2018
Checked and posted by Maura