"Students can go a lifetime and never see another person write, much less show them how to write. Yet it would be unheard of for an artist not to show her students how to use oils by painting on her own canvas, or for a ceramist not to demonstrate how to throw clay on a wheel and shape the materials himself. Writing is a craft. It needs to be demonstrated to your students in your classroom, which is a studio, from choosing a topic to finishing a final draft. They need to see you struggle to match your intentions with the words that reach the page" (64).
Above is another great metaphor from Donald Graves. Writing in front of the students is also something Kelly Gallagher promotes.
I am always striving to "teach writing," not just "assign writing." I confess that in the past I haven't done much writing in front of students. I am not worried about struggling on the topic in front of them; I am nervous about it for a few other reasons.
Classroom management-wise, what are they doing while I'm struggling in front of them? Sitting quietly watching me? I'm not sure if they can sustain their attention that long. Maybe I should do it at the very beginning of class, when their attention is the best it can be? I am going to make a plan to demonstrate writing at least once this quarter. I have a projector, so it's a perfect set up, technology-wise.
If you have any suggestions for how you've done this, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!