“Why do I have to revise and edit my lab report? This is science class, not Language Arts!”
“Why do you give essay tests?” This isn’t an English class!”
“Journaling in Math? We do those in Language Arts; why are we doing them here?”
“You want me to write about an artist’s style? Why can’t I just show you with images?”
Most of us have experienced student complaints when writing-based tasks are assigned. Students often compartmentalize skills by subject area, and in their minds writing belongs in Language Arts class. However, writing is a skill that crosses all disciplines and is a requirement for most professional jobs. In fact, salaries often increase in proportion to one’s ability to write well. Look at the infographic below. It details the results of a study conducted by the folks at Grammarly.com, a popular web-based grammar checking service.
Over the next couple of blog posts, I will share several ideas for making the teaching of writing a team-based enterprise. Step 1 might be that the language arts teacher shares this infographic with his teammates and begins a conversation during common planning time by asking, “I wonder if it might not be worth our time to review how we reinforce good writing skills across our team classes, and then explore one or two additional ways to support our students as they work on becoming better writers?”
Next time: How Grammarly.com could be useful to students in all classes.