In reading content-area learning, I was disappointed about one thing, the arts are not mentioned. I understand that they are not considered a “core subject” but one can always hope. I feel that motivation and self-regulation, and language comprehension are items that I take into consideration when designing lesson plans. Having said that, the section of this chapter that intrigued me was the “writing to learn” idea mentioned on page 430. The book states that writing has been credited with improving student learning capacity and academic achievement. The language arts teachers at our school are firm believers of this theory. They require students to actively participate in the world that surrounds them, by commenting on events in the form of editorials. Some topics covered were, the border wall, the recycling ban and the Arizona law. The teacher then submitted the articles to the local paper’s “Letters to the Editor”. Over the past couple of months, a good portion of that classes’ letters were published. The students increase in self-efficacy in their potential to be published writers is quite evident. Students were in the computer lab researching literary magazines and online student sites for opportunities to publish more of their work. I couldn’t help but think, this is an excellent example of “writing to learn” and its benefits on student self-efficacy and academic achievement.
Do any of you, have any examples of instances similar to this, or other programs that exist out there?