Thursday, November 30, 2006

What You Know by Heart

I just finished reading an excellent teacher book, What You Know by Heart, by Katie Wood Ray.

I've been reading a lot lately about how a writing teacher needs to be a writer, and so far this year I've done two of the assignments with my kids and shared the results with them. I have found this effective as a teaching tool, and I'm also writing more than I have in years. I think it's hard on us literature types to write a lot - I end up disgusted with so many of the results, largely, I think, because my expectations are unrealistically high due to all the wonderful books I've read.

This book goes into what it means to read like a writing teacher and to come up with curriculum from your own writing, and from professional writers who become your "co-teachers." There are plenty of useful examples and ideas.

Great book.


MissDe said...

Ruth, this is such an interesting topic. This afternoon I was searching my files for something, and came across some expository writing I did in college. It made me deeply miss writing, but I understand what you mean--my writing looks like crap compared to what I read.

I suppose we should really compare it to our students' writing. ;)

Jenny said...

Have you read "in the middle" by Nancie Atwell? I've used it a lot, though now that I've started working with Middle School kids after a 10 year hiatus, it's not helping me as much. Maybe because I'm doing a once-a-week after-school program - very different from classroom. I'll look at "What you Know."

Ruth said...

Yes, I LOVE Nancie Atwell and that book. In fact, a while ago I wrote a whole post about her and how I want to be just like her when I grow up.