The PEG Writing team is always excited to hear from our users and learn more about how they are using PEG Writing in the classroom. We share those examples of student and teacher work in our PEG Writing in the Classroom posts. In these posts, we will recognize teachers who have shown an active engagement with PEG Writing and who have encouraged their students to go above and beyond with the program.
Holly Distefano is our Texas Teacher of the Month for February. Ms. Distefano is a 7th grade English teacher at Vela Middle School in Brownsville, Texas. We asked her to share more about her time using PEG Writing and what types of changes she's seeing in her students. Her response is below:
First of all, thank you for the opportunity to talk about my students’ writing experiences.
I know that much of our students' academic and career success depends on their ability to effectively communicate with others. From a more personal standpoint, I also believe that writing serves as an outlet, a way for us to work out our thoughts. First and foremost, I want my students to know that their words have meaning, and their words can literally change the world. I want them to breathe fire with their writing!
With the many features in PEG Writing, including writing with technology, automatic scoring, immediate feedback, peer reviews, online portfolios, numerous reporting options, the one I value most is how it has motivated my student writers to write better.
My aim in writing instruction has never been perfection; however, I do expect progress in my students’ writing. One of the struggles I have had in the past is students skipping the step of revision. Student writers are often reluctant to take the time out to reflect on their writing and make changes to improve the quality. In fact, I recall countless discussions with students about the importance of revision, practically begging them to revisit and improve their pieces. However, PEG has tapped into their motivation to improve. Now, as students begin drafting in PEG, quite frequently they’ll ask, “Are we going to be able to revise?” What a change in mindset!
While I will be the first to admit that a writing program cannot take the place of solid writing instruction, it most certainly has enriched the writing opportunities I provide to my students.
Onward, Fire-Breathing Writers!
Thank you for sharing, Ms. Distefano! Your students are definitely lucky to have you as their English teacher. We look forward to working with you throughout the rest of the school year and beyond.
Do you have a PEG Writing success story that you would like us to share on the blog? Let us know!