Profile of a Graduate: 2 Key Ingredients for Flipped Writing

What is the profile of a TVS Graduate? Our High School will open next year and with it, our dream of graduating the first TVS learner is becoming a reality. It is a much-anticipated event that was hard to imagine 4 years ago when we started with just our 12 founding learners and their families. 

Our Profile of a Graduate outlines all the traits that make TVS learners uniquely ready for their next great adventure and to start changing the world on Day 1 post-graduation. They Learn to Know, Learn to Do, Learn to Be, and Learn to Live Together. This post begins a series on diving deep into each trait. First up, learn to do: communication!

Writing at TVS is upside down. We don’t start by writing and learning grammar. We start with a real need to communicate.

This need is infused in studio life. Problems are described on Town Hall slips. Gratitude is shared through thank you notes. Reflection is an essential part of Quest. Learners advertise their need or their willingness to help on the Help Board.

With a reason to communicate, many learners find a passion for writing.

These two learners are working on a series of stories together.
This learner has already written several chapter books at home.

It may take time to develop but we intentionally create a learning design for every learner to explore many types of communicating. Each new Writer’s Workshop or Communication Workshop introduces a real-world need (like pitching a studio field trip or writing a script for a play) and a new format, everything from poetry to 5-paragraph essays.

What about grammar? I know it can be hard to read misspelled words and entire pages lacking periods! When you need to communicate and have a passion for writing, grammar becomes a means to an end. Learners who are motivated to communicate well are motivated to learn spelling and grammar. Grammar does not make you a great communicator but helps you communicate greatly.

Need one more example? This is from a learner who received peer feedback on their writing, “Oh, I should go back and put in paragraphs. That would help you understand my ideas better.” No instruction needed.

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