Page 13 - FIS World May 2019
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  we’ll end up with a 60-page magazine. We look for- ward to sharing the printed copies with the FIS com- munity in June.”
FIS Writing Symposium
In May, the Writing Center will host its third annual Writing Symposium where a dozen FIS students, ac- companied by a small group of visiting students, will dedicate an entire week to writing short stories around a central theme that will culminate with a pub- lished book.“Three years ago, we worked with author Katrin McClean as well,”Grade 12 student Megan says.
“The first day she gave us a workshop to introduce us to the writing process. We brainstormed about our individual story planning and characters, and wrote our first paragraphs. The days after were filled with writing and editing, until at the end of the week our stories were more or less finished. Even though no previous experience with writing was required, I knew I had an enormous passion for it”
Sunny (Seueun), a Grade 11 student who partici- pated in the 2017 Writing Symposium says: “We re- viewed each other’s works as these were develop- ing. On the last day we invited feedback from a wider public including teachers. Ms. McClean gave addi- tional suggestions on how to improve getting our basic ideas on paper.”
Meanwhile, artwork for the cover and to accompany story pages was developed by another group of FIS students. “It was an amazing experience, and I was astonished about my own accomplishments at the end of the week,”Megan continues.“The freedom in writing allowed us all our own personal style, from novel to science fiction. My story ended up being dialogue-heavy, a new talent I discovered. Our in- dividual perspectives to the theme varied too, and I included quite personal experiences in mine,”Sunny adds. “All in all, this was an unforgettable week. I made new friends, and it felt pretty sensational to hand over the printed copies of the book to my fam- ily and friends at the official book launch event.”This year’s book, which will be bilingual English-German, will be available at school and online in June.
Peer Writing Coaches
“We introduced Peer Writing Coaching at FIS about five years ago,” says Richard Winn, who teaches English in the Upper School. “This school year we specifi- cally focused on our Grade 8 students. Around 60 Grade 9-12 students with a known affinity for writ- ing were trained and connected with two to three Grade 8 students for a series of various writing as- signments.” Florine, a Grade 9 student, adds: “Last year I had a Grade 12 student as my writing coach. His feedback on how to improve my writing and how to create better structured sentences was very use- ful and inspirational. I was happy to give this sup- port to other students this year.”
Grade 8 student Mishthi says: “I don’t see myself as the strongest writer, and I felt very lucky to be teamed up with Carter, a Grade 12 student. He thoroughly reviewed several of my assignments and shared sources with back-up information with me so I could gain a deeper understanding of specific aspects like comma setting. I felt really comfortable communi- cating with him, and maybe my grades did not go up so much, but Carter’s support certainly made the writing process a lot easier.”
Carter adds: “In coaching, I put a lot of effort into building trust. I provide back-up references for fur- ther reading, and try not to focus on little details.
The advantage of coaching is that students can ask questions on how to improve while working on as- signments. I have fun doing this, and I learn how to communicate positively, motivate, and sell my ideas.”
Florine confirms,“It is not the intention you take over the writing process from the student you coach. It’s rewarding to support students and see them im- prove. And actually, I learn a lot from reviewing their writing as well.”
Corrie Korink - Zoetekouw FIS Parent
Author’s note: While this is my last article for FIS World as we are moving this summer, I feel very relaxed this time handing in my article to our magazine’s editor-in-chief, having had the pleasure of a peer writing coach at home: my very own daughter.
Experimenting with book cover designs during the 2018 Writing Symposium
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