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Lesson Plan

Weekly Writer’s Blogs: Building a Reflective Community of Support

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Weekly Writer’s Blogs: Building a Reflective Community of Support

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions and 15-20 minutes weekly
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

In this digital rethinking of the traditional weekly writer's logs, students analyze example writer's blog entries then begin the habit of writing their own weekly entries, which focus on the writing that they have done over the past seven days. These reflective assignments ask students to think about their progress on writing activities and to project how they will continue their work in the future, while communicating with classmates about the same.

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FEATURED RESOURCES

  • Writer's Blog Assignment: Use this resource to help students build community and develop as writers by using blog entries to both reflect on their writing progress and respond to peers' similar reflections.
  • Blog Entry Checklist: Provide students with these guidelines to help them focus both their entries and their comments on others' blog postings.

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Writer's logs, or in the case of this lesson, online writer's blogs, ask students to reflect on the writing they complete over the course of a week, thinking more deeply about their writing and how they work as writers. This process of deep reflection helps students improve as writers. Dawn Swartzendruber-Putnam, whose article this lesson was adapted from, explains:

"Reflection is a form of metacognition-thinking about thinking. It means looking back with new eyes in order to discover-in this case, looking back on writing. As Pianko states, "˜The ability to reflect on what is being written seems to be the essence of the difference between able and not so able writers from their initial writing experience onward (qtd. in Yancey 4)" (88).

Beyond the importance of critical thinking, active learning allows students to take ownership of their work while increasing their engagement with the activities at hand. Activities such as writer's logs encourage students, rather than teachers, to "direct...every action and decision about their writing" (88).

Further Reading

Swartzendruber-Putnam, Dawn. "Written Reflection: Creating Better Thinkers, Better Writers." English Journal 90.1 (September 2000): 88-93.

 

Gardner, Traci. 2008. Designing Writing Assignments. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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