Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Authentic Audience

Why do we write? We write because someone, someday, is going to read it. In the classroom, there is a group of peers to appreciate student writing. We also post writing in hallways and invite the principal into the class to comment on writing.

Since I work with such a small group of students, I cannot rely on a peer audience in the class. I feel very strongly that I need to generate an authentic audience for my students. Mem Fox writes about getting students to “ache with caring” about their writing. The way to do this is when they have a real audience who will read their words. I want my students to ache with caring about their writing.

I am hoping I will be able to create an audience for my students by posting their work to a blog. I am going to have to do a little more thinking about it, though. One of my students posted a blog about a book that he was reading. Only one person commented on his blog – the only way for him to become aware of the audience. The comments came from a student in a colleague’s class in our school board. I spent two days checking with other teachers and begging for participation to get that student involved – not something I can do for every project.

It is one thing to tell the students that anyone can read their writing on the web. It is another for them to realize that real people are reading it. I don’t want to promise an audience that I cannot deliver. As noted by the postings below (0 comments total), I am not sure how to get people to read and comment on a blog. I guess that I will have to do some research.

If you are reading this and you have any advice, I would love to hear it.


Susan said...

I agree that having an audience is so important for kids. I worry that many people are blogging their kids writing now and not getting responses.

What about if you and another class from somewhere else shared a blog? This would ensure comments from other blgogers from another school.


The Virtual Teacher said...

Thanks for the input.

I have been working on exactly those kinds of connections for my students.