Well, we are here to share a few ideas that we use to help keep students energized in writing!
I'm going to share two strategies I've used, neither of them is my original idea. I just borrowed them from someone else. :O)
The first is called power writing. I really am not sure who came up with this. I wish I could give them credit. But it's something that our reading coach shared at staff development.
Here's how it works:
You give the students two completely random topics.
I gave polar bears and hand sanitizer. (We had just read an article on polar bears and hand sanitizer is random).
Here's what they do. They pick one of the topics. Then they write for 3 minutes, nonstop, pencil to paper. The key= no stopping. It doesn't matter what they say about it. They just write. You set the timer. It goes off. You say stop. Then they count the number of words they wrote and they write the number on their paper.
Then, you give two more different topics. I gave football and math. They do the same exact thing again. 3 minutes, pencil to paper, no stopping. They count the number of words, and write it down.
It looks something like this:
You are asking yourself, why is she having them do this???
Because, it encourages and increases stamina. They are writing about random things, it's not being graded, and it doesn't really matter what they say. They count the words, because then they can see just how much they can write about random things.
Plus, they start to compete against themselves. When they see that they normally write more the second time, they want to continue improving their number. I only did it twice in a row, but you could even do three times. It's a quick and simple way to show them that they CAN'T say "I don't know what to write" or "I have nothing to say about this topic". Clearly, if they can write about hand sanitizer, they can write about pretty much anything.
The other idea came from Lucy Calkins when I saw her at a conference a few months ago. It was such a simple idea, but one I had not tried.
You pick a topic that you have been learning about or that they know really well, and you have them write everything they know about it. Everything. We tried it with the American Revolution. Here's what it looked like:
From here, they could write an informational piece. They could zoom in on one part of the American Revolution and give more detail and it would be so easy, because they'd already shown THEMSELVES that they knew so much!!
I guess Lucy Calkins knows what she's talking about... :O)
Those two strategies showed the kids that they CAN write and when they realize this, they LOVE it!!
The last thing is not really a strategy I use, but something that motivates my kids.
When they found out I'd let them write in their journal with them, they were thrilled!! Hey, if it's that easy, I'm all for it!
What are somethings that you do to motivate your kids to write? I'd love to hear about them, and if you can, link up with