Writing Passport Program
"One writer's treasure chest of writing tips
and creativity boosters" The writing passport program is a
treasure box for staff and students alike
I would like to acknowledge and thank you
once again for the input you have given to our writing program and
the self esteem of our children at Haig Street Primary School during
Your involvement over the whole year and
your obvious love and gift for teaching writing resulted in a much
imroved program at our school. Most of your ideas and techniques
have been followed by our own teachers. I am particularly keen to
implement your process for linking writing to our Internet and computer
facilities and will personally follow that up this year.
I know of children in our two grade5/6 classrooms
who had little success with or enthusiasm for writing before your
sessions. They can now produce work of which they are proud and
have a changed attitude towards themselves as a result. The work
of our more competent writers has also been taken to a new level.
Your regular sessions were looked forward
to by all concerned and work produced was of a high standard. As
principal I am naturally delighted by your input for the children
involved, but also for the effect it has had on teaching strategies
at Haig Steet Primary.
Once again thanks, Heather from all at Haig
The writing sessions have been conducted
for half an hour weekly since the beginning of 1999.
At first the children would make the comment
"I don't know what to write". It wasn't long before they
were sitting at the table writing furiously, not wanting to stop
when they were asked to put their pens down. Often there would be
children who would quietly pick up their pen to write that last
idea quickly down in their books.
The children have enjoyed the variety of
topics which they have been exposed to. As each session begins with
an introduction, creating the scene for their next piece of writing,
it has been most rewarding to see those children who often struggled
with getting words down on paper beginning to write without hesitation.
I feel that the strong emphasis that 'It
doesn't matter what you write, it cannot be wrong' has allowed the
childeren to feel free and easy with their writing. The importance
of these sessions is getting words on paper and I can safely say
that all children do this now with a lot of enthusiasm.
The capable students will always write and
do not seem to have trouble getting their thoughts on paper and
naturally these sessions have given them the opportunity to write
some great pieces of work.
But it is the the struggling children, I
have noticed, who get the greatest benefit. These children were
always the ones who approached writing with a negative, defeated
attitude most of the time. Now they write without thinking about
not being able to do it and the most pleasing aspect is that they
want to share their thoughts with everyone else. Before these sessions
they would be the ones hiding, not wanting to share any written
work at all.
A great benefit from these writing sessions
has been experienced by all in Room 21. This includes me as well.
As a teacher you often spend your time instructing and never really
completing any writing pieces as such. I have thoroughly enjoyed
these session as it has given me the opportunity to express myself
freely. I feel that the children have gained by watching me participate.
They often wanted to hear what I had written and it was great for
them to see me writing and doing exactly the same as what they were
expected to do.
I have nothing but high praise for these
most beneficial sessions.
Grade Six Staff Member
Keon Park Primary School
I have been a part
of Heather Blakey's writing program for eighteen months and in that
time the children and myself have experienced a wide range of motivational
techniques. Heather's love of writing and her ability to engage
the children in these experiences has enabled many children to view
themselves as writers, and have a desire to write. Many are no longer
hesitant when beginning to write and are able to create detailed
and varied pieces. They are thrilled at their own success and keen
to share their responses with others
breaking down of these barriers has enabled children to be in control
of what and how they write.
children look forward to Heather's visits and the new ideas she
has to share. The children are also very keen to show what they
have done or written since their last meeting
Grade Six Staff Member
Keon Park Primary School
22 June 1999
I wish to thank you for your wonderful efforts
with grade five six children at this school over the past two years.
I must say, that when you first approached
me, I wondered what motive you had, and what there was really in
it for our children.
I now realise that your motive was one of
love of seeing children use the English language in ways that creatively
outstrip anything that they (or their teachers) thought possible.
The work that you have done has been enjoyed
by the children and appreciated by the staff. You would be pleased
to know that it is not unusual to see teachers using methods and
ideas taken from your sessions. It has, as a result been useful
professional development for the teaching staff, as well as enormously
beneficial to the children.
You have a unique style that motivates people
to want to involve themselves in their writing. Your commitment
to your methods of teaching is commendable.
I have been most impressed with the work
produced by the children.
I believe that you have a gift in how you
are able to inspire. I thank you for sharing with Haig Street Primary
Don Crowe (Principal)