My school district has been focusing on writing the last couple years. We have gone to a writing conference and have been sharing our classroom writing activities every week. The school wants more though.
The other day, we were given a goal that we must write online with our students once a month. That includes all regular teachers as well as PE and music. And absolutely no one is thrilled. At first, when I heard about the new goal, I thought that meant having the students write blogs. That was the only online writing I could think of and I was not happy. My third and fourth graders have a hard time using a username and password. I knew that if I created a school safe blog for my students, they would need a lot of help. Plus, I really am not comfortable with young kids writing blogs.
However, one of the teachers in charge said that online writing could be as simple as having the students type their spelling words. That I could probably handle. I am still not pleased though. What is wrong with writing their spelling words by hand? That is how they are going to take the test. Besides, it takes forever for my students to type. We do type our formal writing projects and even though they get typing instruction once a week, they still have to hunt and peck. Sure, I know typing is what students will eventually strive for. They have years to practice though.
And, what about kindergarten? The kindergarten teacher was told that she could have her students put pictures from stories in order but that is not writing. And what about music and PE? If the kids have to start writing instead of moving in PE, they will not want to go. And that is not the purpose of PE. The purpose is to get kids moving.
I have trouble seeing how writing online is going to benefit the students and help them become better writers. Especially if all they are going to be doing is typing their spelling words.