The Teaching Writing Toolkit
The Teaching Writing Toolkit is a 5 hours NESA endorsed course for teachers from across the curriculum that want;
- To strengthen their knowledge and understanding of writing in their subject
- Practical tools to help them teach and respond to student writing
- To rethink their approach to writing instruction
- To build their confidence in teaching writing
The Teaching Writing Toolkit is an intensely practical course designed for high school teachers that is structured around a series of activities, teacher takeaways and tools to help you address issues that emerge in writing in your subject.
PART 1: Writing is choice
Samuel Coleridge called writing the ‘ordeal of deliberate choice.’ The first step in improving writing instruction is for teachers is to be confronted by a central fact of teaching: writing is an affective, self-regulatory and cognitive juggling act of choice.
PART 2: Writing can feel a bit like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey
Doesn’t it feel like we’ve done this all before? Unpack the question, include evaluative language, build a paragraph, embed a quote, use key terms and concepts and construct an argument? Provide scaffolds, lists and models? Then, why does our writing feel so wooden? Part 2 will show you why writing feels like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and what you can do about it.
PART 3: Writing is a response to text
All the correctness and structure in the world is not going to help students improve their writing if they have nothing to say. Part 3 will argue for broadening our definition of ‘teaching writing’ and to shift the weight of instruction back into the texts.
It will help teachers develop pre-writing activities that help students ‘do’ something with the text – whether it’s a rainfall chart, a science observation, a chapter in a novel or a set of economic stats.
PART 4: Writing is thinking
The basic unit in writing is not the sentence; it is the idea. If we reconceptualise writing as the outcome of thinking, we change our approach and shift our instruction to places where we get a bigger impact.
PART 5: Writing is better responded to than taught
Anyone can teach writing – but it takes a special set of skills to respond to student writing. In Part 5, we will look at why writing in the classroom is more akin to a busy airport than a clean, structured lesson. Get this part right, and watch students grow before your eyes.
About the Presenter
Brad Kelly (BA, Grad Dip. Ed, MEd Leadership) is an author and writing coach based in Wollongong. He has 15 years of experience in the classroom and in curriculum leadership. Brad has authored five modern history textbooks with Cengage Nelson including The Cold War 1945-1991 (2018), The World Order 1991-2011 (2018), Investigating Modern History (2018) and more. He has been a presenter at HTA NSW, TTA professional learning and consults schools on improving writing instruction. Brad is a tour leader with Academy Travel, and leads the Modern History teacher development tour to Germany and Russia.