Monday, January 3, 2011

Reading, ????? and Arithmetic

When one thinks of schooling, the subject matters that first cross our minds are reading, ????? and arithmetic. What is missing from our subjects you ask (and represented by the ?????'s)? WRITING. We leave writing out of our subject matters as it seems that writing is the forgotten subject matter at MVRCS. We applaud them for much of their curriculum, the focus on reading, the on-going math practice and reinforcement, Core Knowledge, the science and history (which we'd like to see more of but at least it is there). Which brings us to writing. It seems as though little attention or effort is  spent on the craft of writing. We're not speaking about handwriting or answering questions in (hopefully expected) complete sentences. We're referring to the art of writing, the creative, background linking, personalized practice of writing that incorporates sentences that are descriptive and detailed. Yes, MVRCS scatters writing assignments here and there, has teachers using 'Writing Connections' (or something like that), and has students writing answers to all of the questions on the numerous worksheets they complete. That isn't developing the craft of writing that we feel should be an essential part of any complete curriculum. Yes, some teachers may do a bit of writing here and there, journal writing and the like but few provide the opportunity for editing or sharing of writing.We know that when the students reach the higher grades they are required to do more writing but we have to question the quality and depth of their writing. If they don't get the practice in the lower grades, we're curious as to how they become 'writers' or learn to enjoy writing for the sake of writing.
Just a thought we felt worth sharing

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