Writing is powerful. At Greenwood, our students learn that writing is a form of self-exploration and expression, a tool for learning and discovery, and ultimately a way to leave one’s mark on the world.
Writing is also highly demanding, drawing on more simultaneous cognitive processes than any other academic activity our students face. It combines the art of choosing the most precise words with the craft of shaping those words into meaningful, grammatically correct sentences that form well-developed paragraphs resulting in a unified, coherent whole.
At Greenwood, we provide our students with highly structured writing instruction that breaks down these demands into a manageable, predictable process. We teach the writing process by repeatedly working through the steps of prewriting, organizing, writing, editing, revising and publishing. With each new writing form introduced, students analyze and deconstruct model pieces. Teachers demonstrate the process before repeating the steps collaboratively with students. Finally, students use the strategies that work best for them to complete the process on their own.
Over time, our students gain stamina and develop a personal writing process that employs traditional methods along with technological strategies. We believe it is vital to teach our students how technology supports the writing process. With this instruction, our students change their minds about what writing entails.
Initially, many of our students believe putting their thoughts on paper is the final product. At Greenwood, students learn that working through a set of predictable steps often results in unpredicted ideas and outcomes which necessitate extensive rewriting. For students who struggle with the demands of writing, it takes time to build a firm trust in this process. However, with this trust, students at Greenwood not only gain confidence in writing, but they come to see themselves as writers.