Saturday, July 25, 2015

Three Quick Ways to Get Your Students To Write


Many of us are still on summer vacation, but the school year is fast approaching for others.  I have three suggestions for getting your students to write during the first few days of school.  I know you will have to get your class management and routine started, but you can still use these practices.

# 1  On the first day, hand every student an index card.  Ask the students to write three things about themselves.  It can be things they like, dislike, places they visited, family events, etc.  It can be anything they want to share. On the back of the card, ask them to write down three songs they like.

# 2  Incorporate music into your morning routine.  Maybe you can have a song playing as they enter the class.

# 3 Students fill out the topic sheet listed below.  The topics stretch across a wide range of ideas. Additional topics may be written on the back.  Click here for your free copy.

You might be wondering why I do these activities.  The index cards will give you immediate feedback about your students. You have a starting point.  In addition, you might want to look up the lyrics to unfamiliar songs to ensure appropriate language and consider playing them for the class in the morning.  That student will beam when she/he hears her/his song. Many of the students will have the songs on CD.

We have a morning greet where the entire class walks around saying good morning to each other.  Playing music starts our day off in a positive manner.  As I walk the room, students tell me about things they like, pets, family events, sports, vacations, awards, rehearsals, and several other events in their lives.  I store this information in my head.  I follow up by asking questions in return as we are roaming the class.  I am validating that I care and I listen to what's important to them.  When it comes to writing, and they are having struggling with ideas, I can verbally bring up things they shared.  "Didn't you tell me you hit a home run?"  "I can't believe your grandmother visited? " Once you give them personal references, they have a starting point.

The topic charts will allow for several writing opportunities.  You can make copies for yourself to reference and hand the original copy to the students to store in their writing folders.  Students may reference the chart all year long for inspirational ideas.

These ideas/suggestions always come in handy at some point during the year.  When you read through their topic charts and index cards, you may write anecdotal notes, if needed.  Within the first few days of school, you will have a plethora of information and more importantly, you are validating your interest in each and every student.

I hope these suggestions help you!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of compiling that list of favorite tunes right away--on that first day. :) I also dig that topic chart; what better topic to write about than what we know/our own experience (and taking time to read what they write, so you can give suggestions when they're having a brain freeze)?