Distilling a Belief about Writing

A personal goal this summer is to create a friendly website for parents and families and students to provide an overview and an insight into my writing/reading/technology classroom. I have had handouts and I even have an html document that I link off our classroom blog. But it was so darn ugly and just text that I could barely look at it.

So, I am in the process of creating a website that will provide links to handouts and showcase student examples from the past. It’s pretty cool. I’ll write more about how I am doing it at another time and my thoughts on trying to keep a design in mind as I do it.

On the homepage, I want to provide a philosophical rationale for writing and what I believe. I am trying to distill it away from jargon. Here is my first draft and any comments on editing, deleting or adding to it is most appreciated.

Mr. Hodgson believes:

  • Writing is an important and critical way for students to learn by processing their ideas into coherent form;
  • Writing should be done across various curriculum areas and not taught in isolation;
  • Students should write for various audiences, including just for themselves, just for the classroom and sometimes, for the world;
  • Technology can be a useful tool for composing various forms of writing and media;
  • Writing should be authentic and have meaning for students so that they can make connections between school and the world outside of school;
  • Group projects not only draw on the strengths of all students but also allow students to learn to work cooperatively;
  • Art elements and the concept of design play a role in the way that young people compose writing and other media;
  • Reading quality books  and storiesof various genres provide an insight into the writing process and allow students to reflect, connect and utilize critical thinking skills;
  • All students can succeed and improve as writers if they are willing to put in the time, creativity and effort.

Peace (in the sharing),


  1. Kevin,
    Based on everything I’ve seen on your blog about the variety of reading and writing your students do in your classroom (and YOU do in your life — which goes back to your Charlie Parker quote up in your banner), I would say that your beliefs definitely come alive in the work you do! Bravo!

    The first point might need a little tweaking to get your true meaning to shine through. Do you need both “important” and “critical”? And is that first statement about writing to learn or learning to write coherently?

    My two cents.

    Now, what am I going to do about the urge to follow your lead and see if my beliefs can so clearly be found in my teaching and my life work…

  2. Great post–more than worthy of further personal exploration!

    #4 is so important today: I wonder what percentage of authors work with paper and pencil anymore?

    I try to instill in my students the idea that writing is how we communicate to a distant (non-present) audience. As they revise their work I ask them to do so with the question “Is this really what I’m trying to say/convey to my reader?”

    Thanks for your work!

    • Hi Tim
      You may be right about number four or we may be optimistic about the convergence of teaching in the classroom and learning outside the classroom.

  3. I like this idea a lot, Kevin, putting it right out there what you believe about writing and learning in your class. I’m interested to find out what you’re using to build this website. Anything fairly easy? Is it a Google webpage?
    Thanks, Tina

  4. Kia ora e Kevin!

    “All students can succeed and improve as writers if they are willing to put in the time, creativity and effort.” You can repeat that line. The thing is that what’s really needed is ‘desire’.

    I remember a friend once approached me and lent me a book by Napoleon Hill. It was called “Think and Grow Rich”. The friend who desperately wanted me to join his business organisation in order to make lots of money urged me to read the book. He said that there was a message for me on just about every page, if only you can decipher it.

    I could. It was all to do with desire. It explained why I am not rich today, for I didn’t have the desire to grow rich. But I write a lot and always have, for I have a burning passion to do that, as most bloggers, authors, journalists, call-them-what-you-will have. They are all writers who want to write and who are invariably emancipated through that practice. “Nuff said?

    Catchya later

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