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First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England

Audience means everything

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Audience means everything when writing and it can really help motivate students. Last year my second and third grade students were studying bears. We shared several current events about bears getting into trouble through interactions with humans in NH. We wrote several letters to the editor which were printed in many newspapers throughout the state of NH. The students wrote about the bear safety tips they had learned about in school. We wrote the letters collaboratively using the Smart Board. We started by using Kidspiration to get our thoughts organized. Then using the outline mode students took turns suggesting sentences, editing previously written sentences, and revising and reorganizing the letters. The interactive white board proved to be a great tool for the collaborative writing. While we were writing on the next to last day of school, the students knew it was recess but didn't want to go until the letter was complete and had included everything they knew about bear safety. I believe they were very determined to write such a finished piece because they knew the community was going to read it.

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I think finding a real

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I think finding a real audience for writing is key. So many times, writing becomes a rather restrictive and dull conversation between a teacher and student- even having them imagine a larger audience, and even a very specific audience helps students find that voice they need.

I think the common core standards are trying to make sure kids have key skills that are built on year after year, and there are many ways to approach them. While I have heard many people are upset because they require more of teachers and students, my response there is basically that life expects more as well, and no one ever said this was going to be easy. What we have to do is find a way to let kids practice skills nd get real feedback- like from a blog- so they can see the work they do has a life beyond the page.

K-5 Instructional Technology Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

We love finding ways to

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We love finding ways to provide our students with a real-world audience. Blogging is an excellent one, as our first graders love to show off their blogs to parents and grandparents. It can also be powerful to convert writing into other formats such as video. My kids will always step it up when they know they're making videos that will be posted to our school's YouTube channel.

Education Consultant

I love the idea of the

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I love the idea of the "audience" being different. It really opens up students to a world of possibility. It also invites opportunity to teach about digital citizenship, because as digital citizens, students will need to know how to write for different audiences.

Blogs are a great way to practice writing for a public audience. It also teaches great discipline and is a fun way for students to share their work with others.

It's great to embrace these new aspects as an opportunity to create new assignments, especially for a digital age!

Agreed, Common Core is so

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Agreed, Common Core is so wishy-washy that it says nothing. Even the example given supra, well duh! As you say, we did this as an elementary student, and never could enter jr high if not competent. No one would be in HS without being able to. CC is about weak teachers, expensive equipment, and mediocre standards.

Community Manager at Edutopia

I want to second Lisa Mims'

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I want to second Lisa Mims' suggestion about blogging. Not only do students get practice writing for an audience, but they get to develop digital citizenship skills at the same time.

Instructional Coach/Mentor from Springfield, Oregon

Nonsense

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Nonsense

chemistry

It escapes me what this has

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It escapes me what this has to do with the Common Core writing prompts. I did it in elementary school, and I'm 64.

For the Common Core, we can say, "You will be told to pretend you have a target audience, but this essay will be scored by a computer algorithm. No human eyes will see it, and no human mind or heart will respond. ".

Former teacher, reformed administrator, and now digital developer.

I think the focus on more

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I think the focus on more rigorous writing in K12 is long overdue. States that are backtracking away from the CCSS also seem to shying away from the complex writing that is expected. I worry that the result will be the reliance on the same old state test of short, constructed response items being the performance measure. Writing helps teachers understand thinking - how students got to the conclusion - more than any other process. It is through that act that teachers can better understand the way a child thinks as much as what they think. Understanding an individual student's process is the key for differentiation and individualized learning. We need to have tools that support that mission. Thanks for raising this issue and please keep it at the forefront.

5th grade teacher in Delaware

Blogging is an excellent way

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Blogging is an excellent way to give students an authentic audience! I use Kidblog, it's extremely safe!

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