Guilty as charged. I can recall numerous times when I asked a student, “Are you ready to publish your writing?” I swiftly sent them off to rewrite, type, or illustrate their work. That writing was then retired to a class bulletin board, or even worse— my desk. Done. That was the end of that piece. It now belonged to me. Lee Heffernan has shown me the error of my ways.
Lee’s book speaks to the idea of student empowerment, accountability, meaningful writing, revision, and publishing. Her work essentially shows us how to move students from fake writing (writing that is just for the teacher) to writing that has purpose and passion. Lee manages to marry process and product in a way that will inevitably set a new standard for writing instruction for teachers everywhere. Her work breaks ground with tenets that shift our writing instructional norms and inspires students.
Kara Pranikoff is the literacy coach teachers and students all dream of. She’s a listener, an observer, and a thinker. It wasn’t long upon first meeting Kara that we were quickly drawn into discussions about pedagogy and practice. She asked insightful questions about our classrooms, and although we discussed curriculum and challenges, our students remained at the center of our conversation. A few minutes with Kara and you know you are speaking with a literacy expert. So it’s no surprise to us that she wrote a book about cultivating talk in the classroom.