Welcome to Tyro Writing and Literacy with Mrs. Knies!
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I am so glad you landed on my page! My name is Mrs. Knies, and I am a seventh grade ELA teacher here at Northside. Before teaching here, I taught college composition at Louisiana Tech University where I also received both bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature. Outside of reading and writing, I love walking my adorable dog Olan.
About My Class
The most important component about my class is the emphasis on free choice reading. I have an ever-growing classroom library for students to choose from and regularly provide reading time in my class to meet personal reading goals. I also read to meet my own goals and can't help but share my favorite books with my students.
In addition to enjoying a good book, we write frequently in writing notebooks where we can explore different writing genres, styles, and analyze writing craft. My class is primarily a workshop class: time is spent working on drafts and conferencing with me for individualized feedback.
Unfortunately, many students leave elementary school and forget the magic of a good book. As a result, "the steepst decline in reading is in the youngest age groups; 18-24" (National Endowments for the Arts Reading). Yet, a student-chosen is often the best teacher, for "kids who score in the 90th percentile of reading tests read between 30-40 books a year." (Donalyn Miller, Pernille Ripp). My class, then, places a high focus on both the volume of reading and the quality of reading. The awesome thing about English is that reading and writing work with each other. A good writer must be a good reader, and a good reader knows what a good writer looks like. That's why in our class, we often replace exams and quizzes for authentic reading and writing opportunities.