I’ll be honest – I used to really struggle with teaching writing. Like reeeally struggled with it. Somehow my writer’s workshop block was more chaotic and noisier than center time! How is that even possible?! Well, I’m happy to say things got better and I eventually learned how to take my students from struggling, reluctant writers to writing rock stars! I’m excited to share some of the strategies that worked for me!

 

  1. Model how to write.
    Ok, so this may seem like a no-brainer but I didn’t always do it. Sometimes I would just explain the writing lesson to my students…but I’ve found that it’s more powerful to show than to just tell. Now I make sure we complete a shared writing together as a class as often as possible. {See picture below.} I like to use chart paper for our shared writing time but you could also use your whiteboard. The nice thing about using chart paper is that you can refer back to previous writings if need be. Modeling how to write was a game-changer and provided the scaffolding a lot of my students needed!
  1. Use a “share chair.” Several times a week I break out the “share chair.” (It doesn’t have to be a special chair, just a regular old chair will do. See picture above.) At the end of the writing block, I pick three or four students to come up to the “share chair” to share their writing with the class. I was surprised how well the “share chair” worked to motivate my students! They started working so hard during writing time in hopes that I would choose them! 😊
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  3. Allow free writing time. I give my students at least one day a week where they can just “free write” in their journals about anything they want! I don’t grade or assess my students’ free writing so it gives them a chance to practice writing in a low-stress environment. I’ve found that free writing builds my kiddos’ confidence and encourages their creativity! For students who really struggle with what to write in their journals, I have a jar of fun prompts they can pick from. Check them out here!
     I hope these tips can help make your writing block a success too! If you have any writing strategies that have worked well for you, I’d love to hear about them!

I also have some FREE spring writing paper to share with you!

Happy Writing!
~Tara

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