Strategies for Struggling Writers

Strategies for Struggling Writers

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Unlike purely process-orientated approaches, which hold that skills are acquired intuitively through writing and revising, strategic writing instruction sees the acquisition of key skills as integrally related to effective self-expression. Based on extensive research, the book describes how teachers and students can work together to develop writing strategies - thinking procedures for solving problems ranging from spelling a word correctly to planning a whole project. Illustrative case studies demonstrate how the co-construction and implementation of writing strategies can help students formulate and achieve their own personal writing goals.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 235 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 157230300X
  • 9781572303003

Review quote

"This book provides the reader with a brilliant blend of research and practice. It is full of teaching ideas which are solidly grounded in current research on writing. Writing teachers who read this book will get lots of help explaining to parents and administrators why they make the classroom choices they do. James Collins demonstrates with extraordinary lucidity how writing research over the past few decades can be used to transform the teaching and learning of writing. Students exposed to Collins' ideas will benefit immeasurably. His poignant stories of how struggling writers gain confidence and improve their skills provide maps that can guide teachers as they teach their most difficult-to-reach students. Throughout, Collins argues cogently for blending skills instruction and process instruction and offers teachers many ideas for how to make the blend work in their classrooms." --Sarah Warshauer Freedman, PhD, School of Education, University of California, Berkeley "Why have we taken so long to see that struggling writers need both acculturation and strong strategies, both immersion in our 'natural' process and freedom to learn in ways that may seem 'natural' to them? James Collins' argument is framed by a lucid and generous account of the debate in composition research but grounded in his insightful grasp of the logic of real learners. He convinces you that teaching can make a difference--and his vivid stories of Jason, the saxophone, Shawna, and others reveal how." --Linda Flower, PhD, Professor of Rhetoric; Director, Center for University Outreach, Carnegie Mellon University "Based on extensive research with students who struggle with writing, Collins provides a cogent theoretical framework and concrete strategies for helping these students cope with their writing difficulties. He goes beyond both traditional cognitive-processing and process approaches to ground strategy instruction within supportive social contexts involving modeling of strategies, joint problem-solving, meta-cognitive awareness, and purposeful writing assignments. His writing activities consistently build on students' use of multiple intelligences by drawing on visual/spatial charts and diagrams and on relating oral and written discourse. And, he uses a series of vivid case-study profiles to illustrate how students coping with a range of difficulties, including outright resistance to writing, benefit from the use of strategic instruction." --Richard Beach, PhD, University of Minnesota "James Collins provides an exciting, research-based alternative to the extreme positions usually taken in the process-product debate. For at least two decades, teachers have felt compelled to emphasize either process or product in writing instruction. Both approaches have resulted in limited success for writers who struggle to express their ideas. In this book, Collins cogently argues for a more effective approach to teaching students in grades five through twelve. Teachers will appreciate the reconciliation between extreme positions that strategic writing instruction provides. They will also value the respect that Collins shows for the differences rather than the deficiencies of individual learners. This is a powerful approach to teaching and learning as demonstrated by transcripts of conferences with students and observations by teacher-researchers implementing this approach. Best of all, this book is rich with the voices of students achieving success and confidence in expressing their ideas. James Collins enlarges our understanding of the composing processes of struggling students. Inservice and pre-service teachers and teacher educators need to read this book." --Louann Reid, PhD, Assistant Professor of English Education, Colorado State University, Fort Collins "Reading this book I found myself nodding in affirmation. The theoretical framework Collins presents makes sense....Inexperienced teachers will come to understand what struggling writers go through and how they might intervene to help them find appropriate ways of learning. Experienced teachers, the ones who have spent and will continue to spend a great deal of time thinking about students and means for connecting with them, will benefit from this book as well by discovering additional ideas for tapping into how struggling writers see and understand language." --"The National Writing Project Quarterly" .,."[An] exceptional resource....offers necessary and well researched information about teaching, learning, and classroom practices for struggling writers. James Collins' proposal is promising and supported by extensive research that includes the voices and practices of the very students he discusses....English teachers at the secondary and postsecondary levels and graduate assistants who encounter struggling writers daily will find this book very helpful. They will walk away motivated by a refreshing understanding of the needs of struggling writers and with an approach to writing instruction designed to give such students control over their writing." --"English Journal" "Readers of Collin's text will appreciate the rich examples Collins offers and the enlightened approach he takes to teaching struggling writers....Collins has written a fine book connecting both teaching and learning that I would not hesitate to share with my colleagues and use in a graduate course focusing on the relationship between writing and learning." --"Contemporary Psychology APA Review of Books" "Taketime from your busy schedule and read" Strategies for Struggling Writers" by James L. Collins. A better idea would be to read it twice, then share it with a colleague. If you are a teacher, administrator, or college professor you will find the author's style of writing and the content informative and immediately useful....The author brings research and practice together in a readable blend....I suggest that the author's message be embraced by teacher training institutions as the teachers of tomorrow are readied to work with all emerging writers." --"Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy"
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About James L. Collins

James L. Collins, EdD, State University of New York at Buffalo
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Rating details

8 ratings
2.62 out of 5 stars
5 12% (1)
4 12% (1)
3 25% (2)
2 25% (2)
1 25% (2)
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