| Warren Combs, Writer's Workshop
In Writer's Workshop for the Common Core: A Step-by-Step Guide
, Warren Combs
outlines vocabulary that teachers can use to help their students understand how to put their thoughts down on paper. These commonsense vocabulary words set the stage for in class writing and allow you to effectively talk about writing
with your students.
Students come to school capable of learning to write. It is up to teachers to talk about writing in ways that keep their minds active in their blossoming language and writing development. These three words will help you do precisely that - voice, pictures, and flow.
Help your students understand that their thoughts contain voice, pictures, and flow by using these words every time you talk writing with your students. These terms are designed to kindle students’ innate ability to write by moving students’ inside their heads, where authentic writing begins.
Voice: Students hear a voice inside their head as they write, which contains special words that let readers see a writer's full meaning, personality, and feelings. Have them identify this voice, and point out the phrases in the writing of others that show personality, emotion and attitude.
Pictures show the detail of a writer's thoughts. Have your students acknowledge these pictures as they read or listen to writing, and use these pictures to add vivid detail to their writing.
Flow: Makes a writer's thoughts easy for others to understand. Have students tell you when their writing flows and when it stops flowing. Eventually, they will instinctively react to writing that does not flow and point to the place where that flow stopped.Voice, pictures and flow are always the right words to use with all students, from the most to least experienced, from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
Push aside the pressure to talk about writing. Relax and enjoy yourself; invite your students to write with you. Don't be anxious about knowing what to teach about the writing genre you prompt. Students will learn more from watching you in the act of writing and watching your progress than they ever could learn from you in direct instruction about the writing process.