A Note from Jill
November 24, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA
I have a confession: I didn’t want to write this book.
Why? Because I didn’t know how to write this book.
To be completely truthful, I was a terrible writing teacher. I vividly remember putting off the lesson planning for writing to the last possible minute on Sunday nights. I would frantically pull out each and every teacher book, magazine and professional development handout I owned.
Then I would sit on the floor of my tiny apartment and spread out the stack of resources in a fan-shape all around me with my lesson plan book in the center. I’d have my favorite mechanical pencils at the ready. I’d even have my ridiculously large set of multi-colored highlighters ready to highlight the brilliance about to happen. Then … nothing.
I would sit and stare at all these tools and resources and become more frustrated with every tick of the late night clock as the ideas simply wouldn’t come.
Why? Because I didn’t know how to teach writing.
I didn’t know how to teach kindergarteners to write. I didn’t know how to teach 6th graders to write. And I certainly didn’t have a clue as to how to teach high schoolers to write. Even worse, I was fairly certain that high schoolers knew more about writing than I did!
You’d think with all of those resources around me, I would simply need to pick out an activity or task that matched the writing objective for that day, slap it into my lesson plan book and then go back to watching whatever TV show I watched on Sunday nights back then.
But all of those resources, highlighters, mechanical pencils and lesson plan books didn’t work to my benefit – or, more importantly, to my students’ benefit.
Why? Because the teaching world did not need yet another clever activity that matched the objective.
What it needed was a detailed plan showing how to teach the fundamental steps of writing.
And so, I decided to figure out how to that very thing. I set out to master how to take the often complicated and over-dramatized process of teaching kids to write. I did this not only so that teachers like me could understand how to teach it, but more importantly to help students become efficient and effective writers who can respond to any writing task set before them.
SPOILER ALERT: There’s hope for all of us!
Whether you go “all in” with this exciting new resource and work through it sequentially with your students, or whether you pick and choose specific how-to topics that strengthen what you’re already doing, my hope is that you remember that simple, habitual instruction actually works. And it also sticks!
In keeping with my other books, I don’t just keep it real, I keep it really practical. It turns out that mastering the basics of writing was the magic pill I’d been looking for all along. I hope the same for you.
Question of the Day: Does the introduction make you want to read the book? I’d love to know what you think!