My students were sitting at their desks, looking up at the "Do Now" journal assignment posted on the board that stated,
"Write one page in your journal about a time you felt alone. What did you do about it?" As my students began their writing assignment, I heard them groan and make comments such as, "Writing a page is too long." "Why do we have to do this?" Their mumbling made me ask, "Do my students dislike writing because it is too difficult? If so, what makes writing so arduous for them?"
Later that afternoon, I read over my students' journal responses. One student in the class wrote, "I had a party because my parents were out."
After I read that statement from her journal, I could not help wonder, "What kind of party did my student throw? Who was at her party?" There was no information that would allow the audience to understand anything about the party my student decided to throw. The student needed to understand how to think about her audience when she implemented her journal entry. It was at that instant that I realized this student may have difficulty comprehending how to use writing as form of communication.