- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Heinemann (March 1, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0435082035
- ISBN-13: 978-0435082031
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing: Teachers & Children at Work
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Graves conducted an ethnographic study of first and third graders at Atkinson Academy in New Hampshire 1978-1980. Despite some criticism for not implementing experimental methods, Graves held that no meaningful knowledge about how children learn to write could be separated from the context and interaction (Smagorinsky, 1987). Graves organized this text with vignettes of particular students to highlight how teachers can successfully respond to various levels of development. Some of the issues include spelling and handwriting, self-confidence, task-avoidance, revision, skewed calibration, and student voice. The teacher should not try to focus on all aspects of writing at one time. Skills taught in the context of the child's own piece will last longer, especially if students are given frequent opportunities to write.
With each lesson, Graves stresses that students have 'funds of knowledge' (Moll et al, 1992) that teachers must tap into to further understand students' journeys as writers. The teacher must know the child and his/her process well enough to know which skill to select to help the child's intention in the piece (p. 314). With this awareness of their background knowledge and in a respectful, playful atmosphere that includes plenty of models of literature and tools for writing, teachers should allow students to choose their own topics. Graves repeatedly stresses both choice and time for writing.Read more ›