Judith C. Hochman and Natalie Wexler, The Writing Revolution

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Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler get to the heart of the difficulty schools have with writing within their first couple of pages – teachers assign writing ‘but they haven’t actually taught it in a careful sequence of logical steps, beginning at the sentence level.’  Part of the problem, as Hochman and Wexler are quick to acknowledge, is that most teachers are given no training in how to teach students to write. And, of course, most teachers, especially at secondary level, don’t have huge amounts of time to devote to literacy instruction.  In the absence of both time and the knowledge of how to do things better, we have fallen into certain habits – we set writing homeworks, we correct errors in grammar, punctuation and syntax, and we try to encourage students to read more in the hope that that will help their writing.  Then we fret when students make the…

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