For me, the question 'what feels comfortable' when it comes to teaching writing is a concept that has grown throughout the year. Entering an inner city 2nd grade classroom in a failing school in Cleveland, Ohio I was forced to reach outside my comfort zone and find new and exciting ways to teach writing to students who were told they were going to fail. This was at first a very uncomfortable setting to be teaching in. Within the first few weeks of teaching, I incorporated journal time each and every morning. At first these entries were to see what foundations the students have and how I was going to successfully push each individual student to succeed. This proved to be a more difficult concept than expected. Some students were able to write in complete sentences whereas others did not know the alphabet.
I attended a number of 6 + 1 writing trait workshops and learned a number of different traits that I could use in the classroom. By attended these workshops I was forced to think outside of the box and to ultimately find a new way of teaching writing that was unfamiliar to me. I started by incorporating word choice into lessons, and incorporating different types of writing, and introduced writing folders. In these folders the students were responsible to pick three pieces of writing they are proud of. Over the course of the semester, I worked with the students on all of the stages of writing from the pre-read, to editing, to peer editing. These students were working with these pieces of writing for weeks at a time. I wanted to emphasize the importance of writing and how it is a long process. After trying this idea of writing folders with my students, I became more comfortable with teaching writing. I understand it is a process and not all students move at the same speed and that is okay. ... TO BE CONTINUED