What is a recursive process of writing in terms of a elem/ middle school.Which one is the best way: 1. Inside the class, within 45 minitues of writing workshop timeframe, should i give student...
Which one is the best way:
1. Inside the class, within 45 minitues of writing workshop timeframe, should i give student time to brainstrom and finish writing or
2. Should i tell student that take your work at home think/research about it, finish some part at home and some part at school.
As a classroom teacher of English, I use a combination of the two parts you mentioned above. Class time for brainstorming is good because students can peer conference and help narrow down the topic. No two students write at the same speed; so some will finish quickly, and others could take hours. The recursive part as opposed to linear, allows students to go back within the writing process to previous steps at any time. A student may write a rough draft, then decide he approached the problem incorrectly. He could then need to re-choose a topic and begin again, or even add more topics to the brainstorming. If you assign some part of the process to be done at home, make it be something tangible that you can check in some way. Assigning thinking to a student often means to them "No homework".
If writing is taught as a linear process, some of my students felt they could not go back and make changes in earlier work on the content. Their writing had been committed to and had to follow the flow they had established earlier. That usually produces an inferior writing.
Teaching the recursive realities of a writing process can be difficult within the parameters of a single writing assignment. Because no two pieces of writing are ever composed following the exact same methods, it often takes a wealthy of writing opportunities for the recursive elements of the process to present themselves in the writer's mind.
I would argue, however, that recursive elements are at work in each of the approaches you mention. Regardless of whether students are writing an "on-demand" piece or whether they are following the steps of a writing process with time allowed between the stages, they are continually circling back over work they have already completed, revising and making changes to their work and ideas.
Which method is best? I'm not sure that is a question that even has an answer as writers need experience with both methods to become effective.
I think of the recursive process of writing as engaging students in creating a draft that they revisit over and over again across time. It has been demonstrated that students learn grammar and structure best when they use their own writing as text. This is the strongest argument I can think of for maintaining student drafts throughout a school year and even beyond.
When I was in the classroom, I had students keep their drafts on file for the entire year. As we encountered issues in writing, such as use of commas, I had students pull out "old" papers to highlight for comma usage, and they analyzed their own work for correctness. Because I used Focused Correction Areas in writing assignments, it was easy to find a paper that did not have commas already corrected.
I think the whole concept of "homework" is well worth thinking about at large. I must admit, sometimes I find homework incredibly counter-productive and I have toyed with the idea of not giving formal assessed homework altogether. I guess the key is ensuring that students understand the concepts taught in class and are able to apply it in their homework. However, often, with me, students get others to do their homework for them, either getting answers off the net or having parents or other students help them. A big re-think is needed, in my opinion.
While the writing process is fairly standard or formulaic, at least to some degree, how each individual goes about doing each step and how long it takes them, as mentioned above, will vary so much that doing all their writing in class is probably not the best use of your time with them. Getting a start is always a good thing, as it should eliminate anyone being too frozen or forgetful at home to get anything written.