Friday, August 26, 2011

10 Minute Writing

This writing technique is such a simple task to implement, and yet it is so powerful for the best results. Kids need massive repetitions with writing, we know this. The use of Oral Writing and the Genius Ladder gets kids the oral reps that they need, and now we are going to add the writing that will bring these together.

At the end of the day have the kids get out some paper and begin writing on the writing prompt that you give them. The first few times, let them write about what they want, and as time goes on, they should be responding to writing prompts that you choose, that could be from the state writing test if your state has one.

They are going to write for 10 minutes straight with no interruptions. As they begin, tell them you are only looking for neatness right now, today, and maybe even the next three days. You are going to walk around with a red pen and a green pen looking for neatness. Here's how an interaction may go;
       Me: That sentence is neat and exactly what I am looking for. (I make a green mark next to the         sentence.)
       Student: Thank you, Okay, Yes Sir/Ma'am...some type of statement that says, I heard you Mr. Rekstad. Kids are used to dissing teachers; no more. They will now take ownership for their work and respond in kind to your comment. Are we talking to hear ourselves talk? No...have them answer you, it'll feel so great.
       Next Student:
        Me: This part of the sentence needs to be neater please. (I make a red mark next to the sentence.)
        Student: Thanks Mr. Rekstad. (I move on to the next student.)
This goes on until I have gone all the way around the room. It is very quick and efficient. It doesn't take long to look at a students paper when you are looking for neatness.

The next day, you have them write again, but this time they are going to have yesterdays paper right next to them so that you can compare them. If they are making similar mistakes, make two red marks next to the problem.

As the weeks go one, you can start reading their papers for more grammatical things. So, by the end of the year they can write for 10 minutes and be working hard on all of the skills that you have been teaching.

Try it out!

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