Aileen Hower is our guest blogger this week for Goal 10, which is our final section of our book study.
Writing partnerships is a workshop tool to help lessen the "guilt" of not conferring with all writers in one's classroom every day. As Serravallo states, partnerships offer many benefits: "motivation and accountability, critical feedback in times of need, opportunities to get 'unstuck' when we can't figure out on our own what's next, more ideas for our topics, practice teaching or storytelling as oral rehearsal, a critical reader when we need it most, [and] an expert to compensate for our own weak spots" (p. 360). This list comes from Colleen Cruz's The Unstoppable Writing Teacher, which is a great book to help "solve" any writing issue a class or a student is having. Most importantly, writing is more "real" when the writer has a community to support his/her writing endeavors.
Partnerships are not easy. There are personalities, understanding how to give appropriate feedback, and times when we need our writers to be independent. However, there is a time and a place within writing where these collaborative relationships can support and enhance one's writing skills.
I am a fan of oral rehearsal strategies like 10.4 Talk around the Idea, Then Write. They help writers think before they write.
I love the concrete nature of some of the strategies - how they offer writers specific aspects of writing to look for, or give writers actual things to say during the partnership. What did you like best? How do you see partnerships working in your classroom to help writing time flow more smoothly?