I am an advocate for authentic reading and writing instruction in all English classes– you might even call me an evangelist. I am a believer! We all like choice. We all benefit from communities where we feel validated, encouraged, safe, and compelled to grow. As educators, we want all students to enjoy learning. But sometimes it’s a drag-through-the-mud tug of war, right? A pedagogy based on the moves readers and writers do outside of school helps.
Many educators make the move to readers-writers workshop for their students who struggle because they know when children are readers they are usually better thinkers and better writers. But imagine the possibilities if we transform instruction by moving to this more student-centered teaching model for our proficient and advanced students, as well. An authentic literacy classroom engages students as they grow into their identities as readers, writers, and communicators who own their learning–and it works in ALL classrooms for all students, ELL, G/T, gen ed, honors, and AP. I know. I’ve done it.
This blog is a work of love and hope, especially hope. Young people today deserve to learn in ELA classrooms where they learn the authentic moves of readers and writers, not just people who read and write for school. My hope is that my team and I here at 3TT can help others who are shifting the paradigm, transforming their teaching, and stepping into vulnerable spaces as they share their own reading and writing journeys with their students. How can we help?
National Writing Project / North Star of Texas Writing Project/ National Council of Teachers of English, Chair Nominating Committee 2015-2016 / Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts/ North Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, President 2015-2016/ International Reading Association
Coming soon: Authentic Literacy Instruction: Empowering Secondary Students to Become Lifelong Readers, Writers, and Communicators by William Eastman and Amy Rasmussen. Published by Solution Tree. Available for pre-order April 2021.
Rasmussen, Amy, and William Eastman. “An Intervention Change-Up: Investing in Teacher Expertise to Transform Student Learning.” English Journal 107 (2018): 26-32.
Adams, M., Rasmussen, A., & Cato, H. (2011, Summer). An Educational Chop Shop (Nothing Illegal – Just a a Classroom Overhaul): Moving Learning for the Grade to Learning for Life. English in Texas, 41.1, 50-56.
All posts by Amy ©Amy Rasmussen, 2011 – 2021
Teachers are as diverse as our students. Every member of a classroom community–students AND teachers–has different backgrounds, goals, and hopes. I believe the value of the readers and writers workshop lies in the freedom allowed to both teachers and students in what, why, and how we read and write. Students and teachers in classrooms across the country and across the curriculum deserve to have choice in their literacy experiences, emphasizing trust, independence, and autonomy–traits which will produce outstanding citizens, readers, writers, and thinkers.
National Council of Teachers of English / West Virginia Council of Teachers of English / National Writing Project at West Virginia University
Literacy Coach — Cincinnati, OH
I am a nerd. I love books and words and fancy pens. I love talking and thinking and dreaming about literacy. I have been teaching for 16 years, first as a classroom teacher, then as a National Writing Project Fellow and currently as a Literacy Consultant at the Hamilton County Educational Service Center and as an adjunct instructor for pre-service teachers. I am privileged to work with teachers in every stage of their careers and at multiple grade levels as we explore reading and writing workshop as a way to help students become lifelong readers and writers.
I have always believed that reading and writing exemplify the study of what it means to be human. When students are able to experience humanity in all its forms, perspectives, time periods, conflicts, and beauty, they grow as both scholars and empathetic human beings. My journey with the workshop model is transforming my career, my classroom, and my connection with kids. It’s been incredible to see that with the freedom workshop affords, students are not only empowered in their study and use of language, but enthusiastic about it as well.
National Council of Teachers of English / Conference on English Leadership / Wisconsin Education Association
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