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Writing Time Is Not Measured in 40-Minute Periods


Perhaps the most noteworthy insight about writing instruction we’ve drawn relates to the time during and across which we worked with youth to draft and revise their writing efforts. While our students often cannot write on demand in the way that school schedules require, this project revealed that if we engaged Cartier Pasha Replica(http://www.fashion-replica.com/GoodsSeries/Pasha-145.html) with young adults over longer periods of time they would find more writing success. Given the lack of writing achievement with which many students were familiar—as well as the number of out-of-school responsibilities with which they were bombarded— they often don’t have the mental space or actual time to consider our school writing activities.

When we provided youth with more one-on-one attention, more time to consider how and what they might write about a given photograph, and opportunities to interact with peers around their images and reflections, they were both more able and more motivated to write and make revisions. While many English teachers are cautious about group projects— considering these to be questionable uses of instructional time—youth are frequently more comfortable with these activities and regard them as supportive of both life skills and their engagement with our writing tasks.

Jon’s image of a school clock (Figure 4) and this written reflection suggest how primary the social qualities of youths’ lives must be if English teachers are to promote city students’ writing task success:

“School as Prison”
The clock on the wall ticks down the Cartier Replica Watches(http://www.fashion-replica.com/GoodsBrand/Cartier-26.html) sentence of the class. It’s a constant reminder that schools can act as prisons when teachers don’t teach, when students are forbidden to collaborate on what they are “taught.”… [T]o be completely restricted from speaking during a class defeats the purpose of school. In school you should be taught and able to collaborate on the things you are told by the teacher. Getting an education means that you get some time to learn what your peers comprehend and to compare notes.

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