Creating a time and space for writers to be self-evaluative and reflective, as well as, being supportive of others will only add another layer to the authentic writing community you are creating in your classroom.
In a previous September 9th blog post, Conferring With Writers, I touched on using Writing Reflections as one data source when researching a writer for a conference. I stated that it is a good idea to have student writers reflect on their writing after each published piece because it provides a glimpse into the writers’ thinking while they are working on their writing. The writer will examine how he/she used the writing process and will reflect upon the writing product that was produced.
Being reflective about writing work helps students to become self-evaluative. Writing reflections ask students to reflect upon their own work. They dig deeper into how they processed the writing minilessons given by the teacher and how they applied that work to their own writing piece. When we ask students to reflect on their use of the writing process as well as their published piece of writing, we are asking them to develop their self-evaluative processing. I know this is a hard task for many of our little people, but if we nudge them forward after each published piece, imagine all the critical thinking that will be blooming during Writer’s Workshop!
Another aspect of being reflective and self-evaluative is finding strength in others’ writing also. Students need to recognize others’ successes by complimenting their classmates’ writing. When we ask students to study their classmates’ writing for strengths, we are not only teaching them to give constructive feedback but we are nudging them towards finding new ways to improve their own writing. It’s a win-win situation! Providing a space for students to read and compliment their classmates’ work is a powerful way in which you can create an authentic audience for your growing and developing writers.
Try having your budding writers be reflective and evaluative. It’s amazing how students will rise to the occasion and show us things we never knew they had. Let’s just reflect on that for a while…
If you are interested in writing reflections, check this out, Writing Reflections and Kind Compliments.