Karen Filewych

Karen has more than twenty years of educational experience as an elementary teacher and school administrator. She enjoys sharing her love of literacy with both teachers and students in her current role as language arts consultant with Edmonton Catholic Schools.

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Words Change Worlds

"When teaching grade one I noticed how language — specifically learning to read and write — empowered students. This idea has captivated me since. Join me in my quest to change the world through words."
-Karen Filewych

Check back weekly to find new book reviews and ideas for both teachers and parents.


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Freewriting
with Purpose

Simple classroom techniques to help students make connections, think critically, and construct meaning. Freewriting with Purpose provides writing ideas across the curriculum helping students make meaning in all disciplines of study.



This week on the Words Change Worlds blog

Revision: A Mindset

Have you ever noticed what students do when they finish writing?

Typically, they close their books, or hand in their papers, and announce, “I’m done.” Not only have they not revised their work, often they have not even read it!

Revision is a mindset. I teach students to get their ideas on paper first and then work to revise and improve their writing afterwards.

This mindset is not a one time lesson but an ongoing conversation throughout the year. I begin the conversation by showing them the early drafts of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White included in the book Some Writer: The Story of E.B. White. We discuss the types of changes White made to his early drafts. Students have the opportunity to observe the revision process of an effective writer.

But that’s only lesson one and not enough to change the behaviour of most student writers. It’s simply the beginning of an eventual change in thinking.

Once, while I was teaching a grade five class about the process (and the power) of revision, a student said to me, “It’s like my Rubik’s Cube. I try something and if it doesn’t work, I try something else.”

Exactly, Lloyd. Exactly.

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