The Writing Process: something we as educators teach from the first day of school, up until the last day of school, and a valuable and necessary tool for all students to understand in order to learn, build upon, and develop their writing skills throughout their education.
THE SIGNS: I glue these signs together vertically, and hang them in the form of a long banner in my classroom, each part of the process shaded with colored pencil or printed with different colors. I then write each individual student's name on a clothespin and clip it to the Writing Process Banner (if you have more than one class, write each class' set of names in a different color!). This banner setup allows students to track their writing process throughout an assignment, whether it's over the course of days (short composition), weeks (essay), or months (research/term paper) - whatever you desire as the instructor!
THE HANDOUT: This handout can be distributed to students and kept in their reading or literary folders for the entire year as a learning and growth tool. It provides a clear description of each step in the Writing Process, and a thorough justification each step's significance. This way, if they ever feel overwhelmed, confused, or unclear about the process of any step, they can reach into their folder and problem solve their own questions. This is a wonderful tool for an interactive classroom, and also effective in helping students become independent learners and problem solvers.
The entire process takes some time to teach, but by January, the students love it and cannot live without it! They see the improvement and change in their writing skills, and most importantly, they trust this process.
I swear by this process - it has transformed endless students' writing into beautiful, detailed, organized compositions. Students will come back to me and tell me they've used this particular process to write for years to follow.