What skills do we want our students to learn in school? Though many immediately come to mind, literacy remains at the top of my list. In fact, most parents and teachers point to literacy as a primary goal.
We must therefore be deliberate in how we teach our students to read and write. We know that high quality instruction is essential, yet so too is quantity. I recently stumbled upon quotations from two writers that reminded me of the necessity of extensive reading and writing. Hart Crane once said, “One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.” And Colin Channer, “A first draft for me is not a table that needs to be sanded a few times and then polished. It’s the tree chopped down in the woods.”
Do we set aside time for our students to read? Do we read to them daily despite the grade level? Do they write each and every day? Are they given the freedom, opportunity and skills to revise and polish their work? Are they reading and writing in every area of the curriculum?
This week, take stock of the quantity of reading and writing your students are doing… be sure they are drenched in words!