Springtime: The perfect time for a rebirth of writing goals

Crocus boke

Most folks think of January as a time of reflection and goal-setting. And while the New Year is certainly the most popular time for planning those resolutions, spring offers additional, thoughtful opportunities.

We view the Easter season as a time of rebirth and new growth. Why not use this time as an emergence into a new season of writing, as well?

A Writing Portfolio Conference

As a former classroom teacher, I kept writing portfolios for each of my students. With the turn of each season, I met individually with each student for a portfolio conference. As in the traditional classroom, portfolio conferences are also valuable in homeschool settings.

Assessing growth

In a portfolio conference, parent and child can face the child’s writing growth together. This is mutually informative for mom or dad, son or daughter alike. Not only do children learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, but parents learn how their children view their own work.

Parents also gain insight into the effectiveness of their teaching strategies! Children receive feedback on setting and achieving writing goals. Parents receive feedback on how to make writing activities more meaningful and useful to their children.

Discussion questions

As you prepare for a spring portfolio conference with your child, here is a list of questions to jumpstart discussion with you son or daughter:

  • What kinds of things do you like to write about?
  • What does your portfolio show about you as a writer?
  • How have you improved as a writer? What can you do well?
  • What else do you want to improve in your writing?
  • What new types of writing would you like to try this spring? Fantasy? Mystery? Poetry? Memoir pieces?

As the Lenten season prepares the pathway to Easter, may springtime lead to new avenues of writing and learning with your children.

. . . . .

Janet Wagner is a new contributor to In Our Write Minds. For over two decades, Janet was an elementary and middle school teacher in two Christian academies, a public district school, and a public charter school. She also had the honor of helping to homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband Dean live on the family farm in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina. Currently, she enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, writing, tutoring students and training dogs, and learning how to build websites. You can view her web work-in-progress at www.creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com.

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2 comments ↓

#1 Kim on 03.15.11 at 1:25 pm

I love the idea of a portfolio conference, Janet. This is a wonderful assessment tool. What a great way to approach the student’s writing, reflect on progress made and skills learned, and set important goals for future assignments.

#2 Janet on 03.15.11 at 6:40 pm

Thanks, Kim! Such conferences certainly improve one’s skills as a teacher! You find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, plus kids who are more invested in having a say in their own progress tend to take their progress more seriously. They are more active learners!

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