Helping Children Become Better Writers

The New York Times interviewed  Steve Graham, a professor at Arizona State University’s Teachers College who has been researching how young people learn to write. They asked him whether a parent should correct a child’s writing, or just be encouraging. Here’s what he said:

Sometimes when kids come to you to share what they’re writing, they’re not coming for feedback. They are coming for affirmation. It’s really important we emphasize first and foremost what we really like about it. And if you’re going to give feedback, just pick one or two things. English teachers — and parents are guilty of this, too — sometimes overwhelm kids with more feedback than they can absorb all at once. The other thing that’s really important, particularly for parents, is to remember that they don’t own this piece. It’s their child’s. Asking questions, instead of saying “Do this,” can be a more effective approach. It gives the child the opportunity to make decisions about the text.

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