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Publish Writing on the Bulletin Board
jun 11, 2008
For some reason, posting writing on a hallway bulletin board frequently elicits conversation. Some folks think that if it’s in the hallway it should be error-free and perfect. Others feel that this is a celebration of learning and the current level of achievement (which is not yet perfect, but excellent nonetheless).
The key is to promote realistic expectations for student writing. Those realistic expectations are that young writing will contain errors. If every piece is written to perfection, a couple things happen— 1) Teachers take on the task of correcting everything, and students lose control and ownership of their writing; 2) It takes days and weeks to finish a writing, and students begin to dislike writing. It takes too long to get it right. It’s too hard.
To send the message that you are not ignoring editing and conventions, but that “perfect” writing isn’t necessarily the primary goal, consider identifying a set of Publishing Standards appropriate for your grade level. Think of the editing or convention skills that are challenging for your students but not impossible to achieve. You might have a set of standards for the beginning of the school year and then increase those expectations later in the year.
After drafting grade-level Publishing Standards, post them in the corner of the hallway bulletin board for all viewers so they understand that the writing “mistakes” aren’t being ignored. You are announcing the convention errors that you are currently focusing on. If the standards on that list are achieved, then the student writing is worthy of posting on a bulletin board.