"An inclusive, collaborative approach to developing a planned writing curriculum is of prime importance". I wholeheartedly agree with this statement from the Engel and Streich article. I was also impressed that each teacher was involved in creating the curriculum and was therefore in support of the new curriculum (though some were hesitant at first). I loved the idea that each teacher brought his/her favorite writing activity to the group who then decided which genre it fit best with and then created mini-lessons and found accompanying literature.
This article made me think of 2 things: 1) the amount of creativity hidden in our district and 2) the upcoming language arts review. I sometimes get frustrated that there are so many hidden gems in our district – actually so many hidden in my very school! One of the fun parts about teaching is the ability to tweak lessons so both my students and I find them interesting and motivating. I have particular lessons that I have put more energy into crafting. Can you image how wonderful my 4th grade classroom would be if I not only had my favorite lessons but if I also had those lessons from each 4th grade teacher in the district!?!
We are also approaching a language arts review. I hope that our review committee does not turn into a group of “star teachers” (who are excited about making improvements) that makes changes that others have a hard time supporting. I’m not sure exactly what the plan for this review is but I would love to see a collaborative and inclusive approach. To help strengthen our writing instruction we ALL need to share our ideas, be flexible but also be held accountable. I look forward to helping in the LA review!