Writing is one of the toughest subjects to teach, and therefor it requires some excitement! Here are six sure fire ways to get your students pumped for writing time!
1. YOU Need To Be Excited!
Students feed off of your energy. If you are not excited about writing then they won't be either. This is all about faking it until you make it! It doesn't matter if you absolutely hate writing yourself, don't let your students in on it. Instead, over do it. Get yourself worked up into a frenzy because they will grab just a little bit of excitement from you, and it will make a huge difference in their attitudes!
Another important element of this is that when you ask your students to write, you should write too. They don't need to know that you are writing notes to them, or your grocery list, but they do need to see you writing.
Of course there will be days that you will be conferencing, but especially in the beginning, just write!
2. Make it Routine!
There should be a time for writing every day! I know that it is hard to fit it all in, and am well aware that writing is one of the first things to be shoved out the door when time gets squeezed, but don't let it be. You students need to know the value that you place on writing, and the number one way to do that is to make sure that you carve out time for it each and every day.
3. But Don't Get Stuck!
Just because you do it every day does not mean that it needs to be the same every day. Mix up how you complete your writing workshop on a regular basis. Some of my favorite ways to bring novelty to the writing are:
- Partner writing-allow students to work together to create a writing piece.
- Writing dice (like these) that give students random ideas that they should incorporate into their stories.
- Free choice day-usually we are writing in a particular genre, but to mix it up I allow students to write in a genre of their choice for the day.
- Different materials-have a variety of writing materials available for students to use including crayons, markers, pens, and different patterned paper that you know your students will just love!
Remember all that talk about making sure that you write every day, and then thinking how in the world does it all fit? One way to take care of that is by integrating writing into the content areas. Sometimes if you are a little "writing weary" then this is just the trick. It allows you to continue writing every day, but also allows you to sneak it in all the while boosting up content knowledge. It really is win-win.
These science quick writes are a perfect, no prep way to make sure that your students are using content vocabulary and keep writing!
5. Make it Memorable!
Another way to cure the "writing weary" student is by providing an experience for them to write about. Even the most reluctant writer can't help but get sucked in when they are having fun! There are a few different types of experiences that are easy to provide for students including:
- Going outside if you are writing about nature
- Bring the topic into your class-For example, if you are writing an expository piece about rabbits, see if someone can bring a rabbit into your classroom
- Complete a simulation:
Dice simulations are one of my favorite ways to give students an experience that will get them excited about writing. They are easy for me because all I have to do is print, hang around the room, and add dice. It really doesn't get any more low prep than that! I have created dice simulations for historical, science, and seasonal topics.
Really, these are double whammies because they integrate content into the experience for a science and writing experience that students are sure to remember.
6. Allow Time to Share!This post has some great ways that you can provide authentic audiences for your students' writing.
I hope that you have been able to find at least one way that you can get your students pumped up about writing!