Last week, I had the pleasure of teaching a struggling 8th grader how to classify a basic Pattern 1 sentence using the Shurley English Question & Answer Flow. After he silently reviewed the interesting process I lead him through and focused on the classified sentence, he proudly said, “It’s just like Math!” Yes indeed! Understanding sentence patterns and using the Q&A Flow as a way to create a grammatically correct sentence is similar to having a balanced equation in Mathematics. Many Math teachers have shared their appreciation and support for our unique methodology because they, too, see the connection.
“Grammar is to a writer what anatomy is to a sculptor, or the scales to a musician. You may loathe it, it may bore you, but nothing will replace it, and once mastered, it will support you like a rock.” – B.J. Chute
Wait! There’s more…
Let’s delve into the world of Art for a moment. You don’t have to be Monet or Picasso to realize a beautiful piece of artwork takes time to complete…maybe even copious amounts of time. Sources argue that it took Leonardo Da Vinci anywhere from 3-12 years just to paint the lips of the Mona Lisa! I’m not an artist, a mathematician, or a rocket scientist, but I don’t have to be to know that there is usually a process one goes through in creating any great piece of work, including the Three or Five Paragraph Essay you just assigned your school-aged child.
It takes knowledge, skill, and practice to become confident and competent at anything-especially writing! Writing is a process! Sadly, I don’t believe there is a Writing Fairy that will sprinkle pixie dust on your students to turn them into amazing writers-if there is, YOU ARE THE FAIRY, my friend! Your students will develop into proficient writers with the proper writing instruction and tools over time and not in one specific grade level.
Shurley English teaches 6-steps to follow in order to help students develop their writing skills and successfully create and share a written piece of work. This process is extremely valuable and vital to students’ academic success; I’d venture to say that it will benefit them in life, as well. I mean, many of us have been sucked into our fast-paced society where everything needs to be done quickly…quantity over quality. Is that the mentality and model that is sneaking into your classroom?
As teachers, what value do YOU see in teaching Writing through a process?
If the teacher doesn’t understand the value of the 6-Step Writing Process, neither will the student! Devoting time to each step is essential if the teacher wants to receive quality writing pieces from his/her students…that means teaching the requirements of each step with fidelity. Fortunately, Shurley English has the 6-Step Writing Process built-in to specific lessons for you; all you have to do is follow them! If you don’t feel that your own writing is up to par, it’s OK, this is your chance to learn right along with your students. When you teach from the Shurley English curriculum, feel confident knowing that YOU are ultimately teaching your students the tools they need to become competent, confident, communicators…for life!
“Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.” ― Walter Benjamin, One Way Street And Other Writings
Challenge: I invite you to give your students the opportunity to be inspired by something, work through the process of writing about it, and share their masterpiece so their voices can be heard.