reThink ELA #005: Interview with Scott Bayer

reThink ELA Podcast
reThink ELA Podcast
reThink ELA #005: Interview with Scott Bayer
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RTE Podcast Scott Bayer

How much time do you allow your students to write in class? What is the appropriate amount of time you think kids need to write? Or are you so busy lecturing (Just say no!) that you send them home to do their writing?

While the appropriate amount of writing time may be arbitrary and subjective depending on your viewpoint and the makeup of your class, in today's episode our discussion is about how to implement more writing into your English class in as little as 10 minutes per day. My guest today uses mentor texts to get his students thinking critically about the topics and getting them excited about writing. This 10 minutes per class is a win-win for all involved because the students know 10 minutes is a short amount of time yet by year's end, they will have written hours and hours worth of work.

We also discuss how to encourage the kids to make their own choices relating to class lessons and writing subjects, as well as how to empower them to voice their own opinions about that week's particular topic. We also touch on the topic of giving feedback to students and the importance of adding that personal, conversational tone.

My guest today is Scott Bayer, a 6th-12th grade ELA instructional specialist and English 12 teacher at Montgomery County public schools in Rockville, Maryland. He blogs at “Seeing the Forest for the Trees” and can frequently be found at #aplitchat on twitter. He co-founded #apbkchat, which has recently changed to #thebookchat, which will debut on Twitter in March.

Resources mentioned in today's episode

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

  1. Are the mentor texts you use like an Article of the week or are they shorter ones? Thank you for the information, this podcast was extremely helpful to me!

    1. I have been using articles from The New York Times Learning Network. The articles in this section include writing prompts. I have also used pictures and am going to ask students to suggest articles they would like to read. Ultimately, I’d like to start finding articles that are written on the same topic, but with different biases for students to evaluate.

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