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Book Review: Educational Leadership in Pakistan- Ideals and Realities
Reviewed by Munir Moosa Sewani
and Salima Moosa Sewani
is one of the most famous, prominent and creative names in the
field of Education in the past 9 years. He is a Master Trainer In
Special Education, Post Graduate, Teacher Educator and a Teacher.
He is a Freelance Writer and Photographer, in addition to his role
as a featured writer for StarTeaching's newsletter for nearly four
years now. He is an author of the famous self-published storybook
for children titled "The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN" and
has also written a Biology book for Secondary Classes. He has
written more than 75 articles dealing with social, health,
educational and cultural issues, which are internationally
recognized and published in famous world wide websites,
newsletters, magazines and newspapers.
is also a Social worker, private tutor, career counselor,
musician, lyrics writer and has multi-dimensional talents. His
future plan is to write dozens of informative articles and to work
for education and media, in order to explore hidden creativity.
Educational Leadership in Pakistan- Ideals and Realities
Edited by: Jan-e-Alam Khaki and Qamar Safdar
Published in 2010 by Oxford University Press
Available with Oxford University Press No. 38, Sector 15
Korangi Industrial Area Karachi-74900 Pakistan
and Liberty Books, Next to Bar B.Q. Tonight, Shop No. G-1,
Plot # GP-5, Block 5, Clifton, Karachi
ISBN No. 9780199060108
It is wisely said that the quality of leadership makes a significant difference to
educational institutions. Effective leaders and managers can provide ample opportunities
to the learners to learn and to produce better learning outcomes. Educational leadership
and management empower individuals with new ways of providing guidance.
In western world, the need of effective leaders and managers is highlighted on many
platforms, because educationists of the western world consider leadership as an agent
of change. They feel that it is through the knowledge and creative ideas of the leaders,
education system can be improved.
During the last few decades, although the concept of leadership and management in
education virtually existed in Pakistan, but was neither appreciated nor implemented
practically. With the pace of time and through the efforts of educationists like Dr. Jan-e-Alam Khaki and Qamar Safdar, the concept is taking roots in transforming educational
practices in Pakistan. This book is significant because this is the first ever book on
educational leadership, published in Pakistan. The editors of the book, Dr. Jan e Alam
Khaki and Qamar Safdar are the intellectual assets of our countries, whose contribution to
the field of education is notable. Both distinguished scholars are currently working at Aga
Khan University, Institute of Education Development and have contributed their crucial
part in advocating policies of education.
There are varieties of insightful and thought provoking topics in the book, each
supplement our learning experiences. The learning experiences are shared by the
qualified education practitioners. The issues related to educational leadership are
The book is divided into four sections and fourteen chapters; each discusses issues and its
Section one deals with the development of education leadership in Pakistan. The second
section looks at the perceptions and practices of leadership in Pakistan. The third section
explores the role of leaders as an agent of change, while the fourth section investigates
the future prospects of educational leadership in Pakistan.
In the first chapter chapter, the issues and nature of governance during pre and post
independence and educational governance are highlighted. The comparative study about
the structure of education, during British and after the partition is the limelight of the
chapter, which tells us how the teaching and learning was done with a little involvement
of educational management during both the periods. The language barrier, limited role
of teacher, aim of education, narrow conception of education, and issues of policies
during British period is well elucidated. Moreover, the issues of education system of
Pakistan, clash over the medium of instruction in public and private schools, ineffective
management, vague teaching methodologies, etc., are highlighted in a unique manner.
The chapter concludes that with the least involvement of educational leadership during
both the periods, the system of education implemented was failed.
Today, our education system is neither competitive nor transparent. The only need of
time is to bring changes in the policies and to focus on the challenges of education, to
save our future generations, and that is only possible if we adopt leadership strategies
rather overshadowing the issues.
In the second chapter, the writer has reflected upon the understanding of effective
leadership. She has particularly highlighted the importance of leadership in context
of the developing countries through philosophical approach of Katha. The chapter
revolves around the story of a head teacher, who imaginatively explores many things and
enlightened her thoughts by exploring ways. The writer believes that the method of story
telling is far more insightful and effective to learn and derive meanings from their actions
and attitudes and to understand the responsibilities of an effective education leader and
can be instrumental towards understanding the purpose of educational leadership in
Eastern context. All in all, it tells that it is our responsibility to bring changes through
leadership. We need to sharpen our reasoning skills through imaginative thinking. The
chapter is well written and provides good example for the amateur teachers to learn from
her rich experiences.
Reflecting upon teaching practices always helps a teacher to learn, improve and
overcome weaknesses. The third chapter, Journey of a Female Pedagogical Leader in a
Traditional Community Context in Pakistan, deals with the same context of reflective
practices. The writer has reflected upon her teaching experiences and the journey of
transformation and has also highlighted the role of head teachers in the developing
In the fourth chapter, Exploring effective leadership in early year’s education, Qamar
Safdar has elaborated two case studies to highlight the role of effective head teachers of
early years in school. The chapter clearly shares the role of head teachers of early years
and reflects upon their capacity and ability.
The next chapter is a case study of head teachers from the Northern area; challenges s/he
faced to improve school and how the teachers tackle the challenges.
The highlight of the book is chapter number 6, Effective School Leadership Practices, in
which, the editor of the book, Jan-e-Alam Khaki shared case studies based on his doctoral
research. The topic explores the role of head teachers, their beliefs and their influences on
the teaching and learning practices in schools. The chapter revolves round the struggle of
three head teachers, who tried to bring changes in their schools and played their part in
raising the quality of education. The chapter reminds me a quote of Alexander The Great,
there is nothing impossible to him who will try.”
In section number 3, each chapter highlights the role of different change agents in
improving the teaching practices and in bringing positive changes in their respective
In the last section, future prospects of educational leadership in Pakistan is stressed by the
scholars in the light of current estimates and future expectations
The overall book is in context to the topic of the book. This book serves as a pioneer
of exploring our thinking about leadership and serves as a driving force to modify
government policy and develop alternative approaches based on school-level values and
This book is a real treat for those, who are either veteran or amateur in the field of
education and wants to learn from the experiences of veteran scholars.
The book is not only suitable for teachers and educationists, but is the best resource
for the Ministry of Education, to bring changes in the education system of Pakistan by
rekindling their minds.
The book must be used as a course of Teacher Education at Bachelors, Masters level.
Wish this book all the very best!
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endorsed by Frank Holes Jr., editor of Starteaching
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Using Photography To Inspire
By Hank Kellner
A veteran of the Korean War, Hank Kellner is a retired educator
who has served as an English Department chairperson at the high
school level and an adjunct Associate Professor of English at
the community college level.
For several years he published "Kellner's
Moneygram", a newsletter for photographers. He also
owned and operated Simmer Pot Press, a small press specializing
in cookbooks, for several years.
Kellner is the creator of many photographs and articles that
appeared in publications nationwide; the author of extensive
reading comprehension materials for a publisher of educational
materials, and a former contributing editor to Darkroom
Photography magazine. His current publication is Write
What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing (Cottonwood
Press, due out January, 2009)
Born in New York City, Kellner now lives in Winston-Salem,
North Carolina. Visit his blog at hank-englisheducation.blogspot.com.
photographs of people show their subjects facing the camera. But
others capture their subjects from the opposite point of view.
When that happens, the thoughts that come to mind can initiate
many different kinds of written compositions.
these two photographs, for example, students can easily
perceive several similarities. Both photos show figures
looking into what appears to be a darkened store. Both
reveal signs that proclaim that the stores are open.
Both reveal their subjects from the rear rather than
from the front.
the same time, the photos reveal several differences. In one of
the photos, a man is the apparent subject. In the other photo,
the subject is a girl. What’s more, the man is looking into an
open window while the girl is looking through the glass on a
closed door. Finally,
the exteriors of the two stores into which the subjects are
peering are quite different.
student writers should be able to point out even more
similarities and differences between the two photos before they
develop papers based on comparisons and contrasts.
Don’t Always Have To Be Directive
One of the nice things about using photographs in the classroom,
however, is that teachers don’t always have to be directive
when they use them to inspire writing.
Many times, simply asking a few leading questions can
stimulate students’ imaginations.
this street scene why is the woman standing with her
back to the man? What is she carrying in the white bag?
What is she looking at? Is she waiting for someone? Is
she aware of the man standing behind her?
can you tell about the man by the expression on his
face? Where is he coming from? Where is he going? Why is
he standing where he is? Is he waiting for someone? What
is he looking for?
and other questions will usually help even the most hesitant
writer overcome his or her reluctance to write.
When students work in groups to share ideas and
responses, they can often develop interesting and even exciting
ideas. One way to
accomplish this is to divide a class into groups of four or five
students, distribute copies of the same photograph to
each group, and then assign a different task to each
could, for example, ask one group to describe the woman
in terms of her physical and emotional makeup. A second
group could describe her in terms of her family. A third
group could offer ideas as to where the woman is coming
from and where she’s going. A fourth group could
brainstorm about her dreams and aspirations. A fifth
group could discuss what she must have been like as a
younger person or child. A sixth group could exchange
ideas as to the meaning
of the cryptic statement painted on the background.
you sense that the members of the groups have exhausted their
ideas, you could ask a representative of each group to report to
the class as a whole before you direct the students to write
either creative or expository pieces based on the information
Can Be Confusing
As you stroll
in the East Village of New York City, you find yourself
. Only in New York you think as you continue on your way.
But after you take a few more steps, you see that you’re
really approaching Essex Street.
“If that’s true,” you ask, “why did the sign
seem to read
?” Then you realize that the DON’T HONK sign blocks
the first two letters of the
If you show this photo to a group of students, you’re
sure to initiate more than a few chuckles. At the same
time, however, you can point out that one can find
literally thousands of misleading, confusing, humorous,
quirky, and even ominous signs almost anywhere.
good example of an interesting sign is the one that appears
outside the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium. “Watch Out
For All Flying Objects Not Limited To Baseball Bats” it
proclaims. Using this statement as a springboard, you could
initiate class discussion based on violence as it occurs in
hockey, football, soccer, and other sports before you assign
Create Powerful Responses
of the images shown here has the ability to initiate
powerful responses in the minds of viewers.
the first image, for example, a viewer might sense
apprehension. In the image that shows the old lady with
flowers, loneliness might come to mind. The third photo
might generate feelings of mystery or danger.
You can capitalize on this ability by showing your
students three or more carefully selected photos and
asking them to record, in one word, the first thought or
emotion that comes to mind when they view each photo.
they’ve recorded their impressions, you can ask the
students to share them with their classmates, while at
the same time telling what there is about the photos
that made them feel as they do.
Finally, you can direct the students to write
stories or poems based on one or more of the ideas
Photos and Campus Marathons
“Now that we’re in the digital age,” writes Pat
West, an instructor at
, “I have my students in my college freshman composition class
take photographs to support an observational writing exercise.
Then we conduct campus writing marathons to get the students
familiar with the process.” West also uses family photos to
help generate writings about heritage. In another exercise, she
sparks critical thinking by showing students Henry O. Tanner’s
painting The Banjo Lesson and asking the question, “Who
is teaching whom?”
2009 Hank Kellner
Photos and Poem by the author
Kellner is the author of
Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing. Published by Cottonwood Press ( I-800-864-4297)
and distributed by Independent
Publishers Group, Write What You See includes a supplementary CD with photos. 8 ½ x11,
120 pages, perfect binding, ISBN 978-1-877-673-83-2, LCCN
2008938630. $24.95. Available at bookstores, from the publisher,
and on the Internet at www.amazon.com and
your school or local librarian to order it.Visit the author’s
blog at http://hank-englisheducation.com.
The author will contribute a portion of the royalties earned
from the sale of this book to The Wounded Warriors Project.
Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:
are six modules designed to test the basic ability of an
individual in terms of Memory & Concentration. Needless to
say this is the most important basic skill for not just to
survive but also to thrive in this competitive environment.
Each of the six modules tests the six variants of Memory &
Concentration in an individual, namely:
of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to
At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as
A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18
levels depending on the marks one scores during the
Each individual can assess his/her performance any time by
clicking on "history", which gives complete details
of date and time of taking the tests, marks scored each time
and even time taken to do the test. This builds the confidence
level and encourages more participation to eventually
culminate in improvement and enhancement of memory and
Essentially, this software is a SELF AWARENESS tool that
surely motivates the individual to realize one's capability
and seek or be receptive for improvement. Also, if repeatedly
done over a period of time works as Training tool to enhance
software package is specifically designed to help young
children to learn basic skills that will help them in
school. Continued follow-up will give these young
learners success as they mature.
Three versions of the software exist:
Individual Software on either CD or Online, Family
Version Software, and an Institutional Software package.
StarTeaching wholeheartedly supports
and endorses this software. It will make a difference
with your child or student.
HERE to order your own copy today:
the Administrator's Desk:
Leadership for Today's Administrators
Meet or Exceed Expectations
Judge, Educational Consultant
is a Affiliate Professor with Grand Valley State
University. Prior to this he was a High School principal at L'Anse ,
Kalkaska and Royal Oak for a total of 25 years. During his tenure in education
he has observed many changes and has had the opportunity to work with many outstanding teachers in Northern Michigan.
His position with Grand Valley is to work with educators on
leadership and writing articles on leadership for all educators.
Today in school districts there are many opportunities to illustrate leadership. There are
school improvement committees, curriculum committees, building faculty committees, and
North Central Association committees just to name a few.
As a building principal I have had the opportunity to observe many teachers as members
and leaders of committees. What has stood out are those individuals who have used these
opportunities to meet and exceed expectations. They meet all deadlines, keep everyone
informed, and have a clear vision of what the finished project should look like. Unfortunately,
there are those who serve on committees just to fulfill a responsibility instead of an
opportunity to improve their personal leadership abilities.
I have also observed this in many graduate courses I have instructed. Many
of our students are presently employed as administrators. Not only did they complete the
course work on time but the quality of the work completed was exceptional.
One example of a teacher that I had in several classes was Karen Sherwood. Karen was
a teacher in Boyne City who always excelled in assignments and
projects. Once she completed her Masters in Educational Leadership she became principal of Boyne City Middle
School. After two years as principal she has just been selected as Superintendent of Boyne Falls Public
Schools. With her ambition and high expectations and ability to exceed in her duties I can only
guess what lies ahead.
| Grand Valley offers a Masters in Educational Leadership in Boyne City and Cadillac. If you would like to find out more about our program feel free to contact me
or call me at 231-258-2935.
Many of the topics we will present will be for teachers seeking and administration position and for recently appointed administration. I will also receive comments from those who have just completed their first year as administrators. Since the program in Northern began eleven years ago we have placed over 60 GVSU graduates in administration positions.
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College
Maximizing Your Study Time
By Roger Seip
Memory Training For Students
The daily schedule for many young students
today could rival that of several top-level executives. With
soccer practice, dance, scouts and clarinet lessons taking up
much of the evening, when do students get to focus on their
Too often students get overwhelmed
with the amount of work left over at the end of the day. They look at
study time in one big sum and get distracted and exhausted before they
even begin. To solve this problem, you may not be able to adjust your
child’s schedule, but they can change their study techniques. Here are
3 study techniques that will help any student maximize their study time.
They should start by separating and
segmenting their study time. Break it up into smaller bits. No matter
how brilliant you are a concentrated attention span lasts only about 20
minutes. So break your 2 or 4 hours study sessions into groups of 15 or
20 minutes. During the break, stand-up, walk around, grab a bit to eat
or something to drink and then get back to the grind for another 15 or
20 minutes. This not only helps create spaced repetition, which is
crucial for retention, but helps make study sessions less stressful and
Another tool to help in maximizing
study time is to use random practice. When reviewing lists or concepts
don’t go in order. Skip around to force your brain to pull from an
entire group of information. This aids in understanding the purpose or
meaning behind a concept instead of merely its place in line. The
simplest way to implement random practice is through the use of a study
Use a Study Partner. When at all
possible, it is very beneficial to study with another student who shares
the same educational goals and motivation. A study partner can help
identify areas of weakness and ensure that topics don’t get skipped.
It’s also beneficial to witness how another student takes in and
stores information. For this reason and others, it is better for the
study partner to be another student, but parent don’t be afraid to
fill this position. The progress gained from working with a partner is
general is worth it.
Proper and efficient study techniques
will follow a student through all levels of education and learning.
Establishing good habits and skill sets, no matter how small or
insignificant they may seem at the time, will prove to reap massive
rewards in the long run. So while little Johnny and Suzy might need
their first day planners before the third grade, don’t let it stop
them from becoming the best students they can.
author: Roger Seip is a nationally known memory trainer. His
new program, The Student’s Winning Edge - Memory Training,
teaches students how to train their memory to study more
effectively and get better grades. For more information on how
your student can have a more powerful memory visit http://www.memorytrainingforstudents.com
Interested in FREE writing activities you can print out and use
immediately in your classroom? Simply click the following link to our
writing page: http://www.starteaching.com/writing.htm
Be sure to check out our website for the FREE teacher Who-I-Want-To- Be
plan and other great Freebies for new teachers. Simply click the
following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm
21st Century Learning?
This is the Answer!
By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher
a great vocabulary set to begin talking about computer literacy
to your students.
you read all the articles and blogs, view the videos, and sort through
what everybody is saying about the change so badly needed in education,
you find this concept has so many parts it's hard to nail it all down.
But then I read the article called "30 Strategies for Education
Reform" by Prakash Nair located at http://fieldingnair.com/edreformnair1.pdf.
Prakash is not an educationalist. He's an architect who's part of
a global award winning company that designs and builds schools. As he
worked on schools, he realized that he needed to focus on how students
learn in coming up with how to build a school building. As he looked at
all the research, he brought together these 30 strategies for today's
begins this online guidebook with this thought and I quote: "In
education, there is widespread support for the idea that every student
is important and yet, in practice, systems are set up to favor a few at
the expense of the many." After giving supports for why reform is
needed, he gives individual guidance for superintendents and board
members, principals, parents, teachers, and students on how to use the
guidebook. He then lists the 30 strategies while linking them to three
categories (pedagogy, organization, and non-academic). After that he
gives an overview of each of the strategies. He concludes the guidebook
with a survey to get you to put into action what you have just read.
highly recommend this as a great read. It brings together what everyone
is saying and puts wheels on how to get going with 21st century learning
and being a world class classroom and school.
Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western
Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from
Northern Michigan University. He is a 21 year teaching
veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle
School in Indian River, MI. He is currently working on
Masters of Integration of Technology from Walden University.
Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as Department Manager for
Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with emerging technologies.
He has been married to his wife Bonnietta for 32 years with one
daughter and two sons. In the summers, Mark works for
Mackinac State Historic Parks in the as a historical
|StarTeaching Featured Writer
|Mark Benn is a leading expert in using technology
in the classroom.
You can feel free to contact him on email
or at his blogsite: http://www.furtrader.blogspot.com/
Learners, Learning, and Curriculum: The '5 E
By Rozina Jumani & Yasmeen
We would like to illustrate few examples to help teachers understand the 5 E model for
effective implementation of taught curriculum.
Learners are inspired to read, reflect and review the main theme of the unit. They are
encouraged to dig out the main ideas of the text, reflect on scientific anecdote shared,
and later link it with the current inventions to mark the differences between old and
new age of discoveries and inventions. Thus, throughout the discussion, learners will
be able to interact with the text, their main ideas, the historical records etc and they
will be able to link the past with present to understand and create their meaning.
Though exploration is a continuous process which allows learners to engage
in thinking both back and forth and vice versa, but here in this particular stage,
learners explore the kind of life people lived in past as compare to present; hence
their comparative ability be enhanced, this will further foster in them reasoning of
choosing old times over current time with all its challenges and benefits. They will
further explore that if they go back in time, will they be able to live like old people
live without ease as science has provided to us now a day? What would happen if we
invent those old people into our new world? What be their adjustment issues etc?
In this stage, learners are encouraged to reason out their thinking, become scientist
of past and share their difficulties that they undergone due to lack of scientific
apparatus etc. We could further inspire them to enhance their reasoning by sharing
their individual explanations of why it happened as it happened in past or what would
happen if we have to face similar situations etc.
Here at this stage, learners are encouraged to share their reasoning to their peers and
teachers as they must have reflected on it for long, there share their arguments with
logic so other could get convinced. At this stage teacher facilitate in clarifying the
misconception if prevails in learners’ mind, as the rule of this stage is ‘convince or
get convinced’. For example, learners would talk about the disadvantages or harm
caused to animals and humans by scientific experiments; also they present their
suggestion as how to moderate the process in current time.
The last date would lead to construction of new knowledge that has formed based on
research and reasoning by following the 5 E model. At this stage, learners will present
their understanding about the good and evil of scientific inventions. They will further
reason out and predict the future inventions and its effect on human kind. They will
also present their arguments whether or not the investments and scholarships to be
devoted on scientific inventions. Thus, they all will be able to critically reflect on
scientific invention and its effect on human lives.
for more about the '5 E Model' in the upcoming Part 3 of this series.
Educational Therapy is a method of working with troubled children who
struggle with learning. It is a technique that combines psychoanalytic
and educational insight and techniques.
Children in school can experience difficulties, which may prevent
them from accessing the curriculum and managing in class. A better
understanding of the complex issues underlying these problems helps
teachers to find new ways of thinking about children and strategies for
helping them both therapeutically and by preventing difficulties from
It benefits children and young people with:-
Learning and communication difficulties
Poor social behavior in school
Poor social relationships
The threat of school exclusion
Children who have experienced separations, accidents, bereavement,
mental or physical illness in the family, violence, sexual abuse or
emotional deprivation and are unable to concentrate and learn in school.
These pupils are often identified early in their school career and
given additional support to which they do not fully respond. Educational
therapy can be offered as a preventive intervention at this stage.
The child or young person meets with the therapist, usually for one
session a week for 50 minutes. Treatment takes place during school term
time and may last for four terms or more. The use of stories, drawings,
educational activities, games and play provide experiences which help
the child make sense of their difficulties and gain the confidence
necessary to become a learner. Regular interviews are held
parents/careers and with teachers. Educational therapy can also take
place in groups.
The purpose of Educational Therapy is:
To develop a relationship which enables the child or young person to
feel more settled in the classroom
To explore and resolve the emotional difficulties which are holding
To encourage the child to make emotional and social progress.
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.
The legends of the Michigan Dogman come alive in six haunting
tales by folklore author, Frank Holes, Jr.
Based upon both mythology and alleged real stories of the
beast, this collection is sure to fire the imagination!
Spanning the decades and the geography of the
, Frank weaves:
A mysterious police report of an unsolvable death in
terrifying encounter in the U.P.’s remote
begun as one man’s therapy, becomes a chronicle of sightings
governmental agent investigates the grisly aftermath of Sigma
family meets more than they expected on the trail north
campfire tale of ancient betrayal handed down through the Omeena
to Dogman Country!
Here For The
Tales From Dogman Country Website
of the Dogman Website
of Sigma Website
Nagual: Dawn of the
The Longquist Adventures, written for
elementary students, is excellent for teaching mythology and
classic stories to young children.
We now have special offers on Classroom Sets of our Novel.
Click here for more information:
A CLASS SET
A Place for Teachers New To The Craft
Writing Every Day in Class
This is the
seventh article in a series on using the writing process in class.
For your students to be good at
any skill, they must practice it on a daily basis. This is true for any
skill, and writing is an excellent example. Regardless of whether your
goal is to improve your students abilities, or to raise test scores, you
need to structure and designate specific time to practice this skill
every day. As the classroom instructor, it must be YOUR goal to have
your students practice the skill daily.
Now, you don't have to spend your entire class period
on writing. There are many activities you can use that take anywhere
from five to ten minutes and will accomplish this goal of writing daily.
We should briefly describe the parts of the writing
process, so we can then develop activities to improve each step. There
are many different terms educators will use to name the parts of the
writing process. Undoubtedly you have seen several different ways to
name each step. Your school may even have a specific set of terminology
you need to use. That's fine, especially if your students are hearing
the same terms through different classes and grade levels. However you
decide to designate each step of the writing process, there are several
The first is brainstorming and organizing information.
This is the 'prewriting', thinking of topics and ideas about which the
students will write. The second is drafting, writing out a first copy
which we know will not be perfect but will need more work. The third is
revising, adding in more information, changing information around, or
removing information not pertinent to the topic. The fourth step is to
proofread and edit for surface errors and mistakes. The last step is to
rewrite the draft making the corrections from steps three and four. This
last step may be another draft, or it may be a finished, published
piece. Now, you may want to add more steps to these basic five, and
that's up to you. You'll get no resistance from me. The important thing
is to fully understand what you're teaching and to make sure your
students understand it!
Before we get into activities, you will want to create
a special, specific place for the students to keep their work. I choose
to keep this work in class so I know it will ALWAYS be there. No more
losing it in folders, at home, or in lockers. Each student is provided a
hanging file in a cabinet drawer (each class gets its own drawer). If
you do not have an extra file cabinet, you can pick up plastic storage
crates or boxes fairy cheaply. When I want the students to work with
previous writes, they simply need to grab one out of their file. And
best of all, the work is already in class.
Ok, so lets examine a few exercises to practice at
each step. First for brainstorming and organizing. This is one of the
most important steps, and it can be practiced in any subject area. You
are going to want to have your students practice this two to three times
each week. Have your students brainstorm in lists, in graphic
organizers, in webs/maps, and by freewriting. Give them topics and a
time limit and turn them loose. Use ideas from your text, from reading
activities, and from real life situations that involve your students.
You can create games and contests to encourage them to generate long
There are many ways to draft. We've covered several in
past newsletters (see the links below for more information on each)
including FREEWRITES, JOURNAL WRITES, and PARAGRAPHS. You will probably
have other forms and styles to use too. Drafting does not have to take a
long time, either. Give your students a specific time limit and the
minimums you want them to write. Be very clear about your expectations
and rules so the students will have clear understanding of what you're
looking for. Feel free to impose minimums such as a time period, length
of paper, or number of words. Remind yourself you are working with
activities with shorter time slots. You want your students to really
push themselves, and you may have to push them at the beginning to get
them up to the speed you want!
Editing activities work well when your students
already have several pieces finished to look over. You can have students
edit their own, or peer edit by trading writings. I usually hold off for
a month to collect enough drafts so students can choose their own
writing to edit. Normally students like this step the least, and try to
resist editing. So you will want to make this a fun activity, and be
sure to give it a grade. I also try to give out extra credit so they
will want to do these activities. We practice question writing with our
SQ3R reading techniques, and we apply this to editing too. Some of the
best editing is done by students posing questions, looking for more
information, or needing clarification of ideas. This is not
proofreading, remember! We use overheads (again so they can be re-used)
with guiding questions and thoughts that will help students generate
questions of the writing in front of them.
Undoubtedly you'll have a handful of students who
think their first draft is perfect and needs no additional work. And you
may even agree that some of these students are very good writers. But
don't fall into the trap of letting them avoid editing. Even
professional writers go through many stages of editing (as of this time,
I've already edited this article four times!). Keep your kids following
the writing process - no short cuts! Allowing one or more students to
cut corners will lead to more asking, and then hard feelings among
classmates ("Why doesnt so-and-so have to edit?") None of your
students will be experts, none are perfect, even if you have seniors.
There are always things you can adjust, clarify, or add to writings. And
all of the students will benefit from good editing activities, whether
they like it or not.
Another issue you will deal with at this step is a
fragile student ego. Some students will fear having criticism of their
work. And there will also be students who fear writing criticism on
their classmates' papers. You will have to have some heart-to-heart
talks with your students and convince them (or persuade them) that they
are helping their classmates and themselves when editing. They're not
there to rip on each other, just make everyone better writers.
Having your students write on a daily basis may seem
like a homework-checking nightmare waiting to happen. You will need to
create an administrative plan to make your life simple. In our class I
use the random choices technique (discussed in length in the September
issue.) A white chip indicates we don't grade it, just file it. A blue
chip is a peer check and immediate grade. And a red chip is a collection
of the papers so I can read and score them. This keeps me from having to
read and grade every paper every day. And for paragraph drafts, we use
FCAs (focal correction areas) for grades (look for more on FCAs in an
upcoming issue!) These administrative strategies help keep my sanity
while allowing my students to practice a lot of writing on a daily
Use this link to access this writing assignment on our
website for your own classroom use:
Part 6 of this series will discuss commonly asked
questions regarding the writing
process and paragraph/essay writing.
Interested in FREE writing activities you can print out and use
immediately in your classroom? Simply click the following link to our
writing page: http://www.starteaching.com/writing.htm
Be sure to check out our website for the FREE teacher Who-I-Want-To- Be
plan and other great Freebies for new teachers. Simply click the
following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm
Be sure to check out our website for more great
information, tips, and techniques for new teachers,
student-teachers, and interns in teacher prep programs. Also be
sure to check out our Who-I-Want-To-Be teacher plan for
preparing yourself to enter the educational profession. Simply
click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm
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out the articles in our Student-Teaching series? Check out our
special Student-Teaching page through the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/studentteachers.htm
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"How To Tell If You're
A Real Teacher"
constitutes a REAL teacher?
Real teachers grade
papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meetings, in
the bathroom, and (at the end of the six weeks) have been seen
grading in church.
Real teachers cheer when they hear April 1 does not fall on a
Real teachers clutch a pencil while thinking and make notes in
the margins of books.
Real teachers can't walk past a crowd of kids without
straightening up the line.
Real teachers never sit down without first checking the seat
of the chair.
Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards
without turning their backs on the class.
Real teachers are written up in medical journals for the size
and elasticity of kidneys and bladders.
Real teachers have been timed gulping down a full lunch in 2
minutes, 18 seconds. Master teachers can eat faster than that.
Real teachers can predict exactly which parents will show up
at Open House.
Read teachers volunteer for hall duty on days faculty meetings
Real teachers never teach the conjugations of lie and lay to
Real teachers know it is better to seek forgiveness than ask
Real teachers know the best end of semester lesson plans can
come from Blockbuster.
Real teachers never take grades after Wednesday of the last
week of the six weeks.
Real teachers never assign research papers on the last six
weeks or essays on final exams.
Real teachers know the shortest distance and the length of
travel time from their classroom to the office.
Read teachers can "sense" gum.
Real teachers know the difference among what must be graded,
what ought to be graded, and what probably should never again
see the light of day.
Real teachers are solely responsible for the destruction of
the rain forest.
Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.
Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.
Real teachers buy Excedrin and Advil at Sam's.
Real teachers will eat anything that is put in the
Real teachers have the assistant principals' and counselors'
home phone numbers.
Real teachers know secretaries and custodians run the school.
Real teachers know the rules don't really apply to them.
Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; always have time
to listen; know they teach students, not subjects; and they
are absolutely non-expendable.
What's New @
Hello readers! Welcome to your
second October issue of Features For Teachers for 2010. The fall season
is quickly passing us by and we are on the doorstep of winter.
month, we welcome articles from wonderful writing staff. Jerry Judge,
shares an article on exceeding expectations in School Leadership and
Administration, while Hank
Kellner is back with his tenth article from his book, Write What You See.
We also have a book review from Munir Moosa Sewani and Salima Moosa
Sewani, as well as a second part to Rozina & Yasmeen Jumani's series
on the 5-E Curriculum & Learning model.
Mark Benn provides us with great thoughts on 21st Century Learning. And as
always, we have free activities (from Helen de la Maza and Mary Ann
Graziani) and articles with practical ideas
and techniques to be applied directly into your classroom.
And be sure to check out our article archives on our website:
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