I knew I wasn’t doing things as well as I could. My instruction felt fragmented. For example, when my students and I were working on a memoir essay, I used one process for instruction. When we worked on a book review, we used another process. Each time, I focused on a different set of requirements—requirements that were genre-specific—and then used a different rubric for assessment.
While each genre of writing follows its own conventions, the problem with approaching each assignment as a distinct form of writing meant that my students felt like they were starting from scratch each time. I wasn’t seeing the skills students were developing in one writing assignment transferred to the next.