Happy New Year!! It is almost time to head back to our students and our classrooms- our home away from home! And as I think about getting back to school, I am thinking about student writing and how to encourage students to write even outside of writer's workshop.
When I think of student writing, I try to think of real reasons to be having them write- communicating with their friends and teachers in authentic ways. Here are 3 fun, but real ways to inspire them!
1. Writing Letters & Notes
Kids LOVE to write notes, right? I know I did in school and I got into trouble for this quite often. But isn't this an authentic writing activity? How about letting them know that writing to their friends, teachers, parents is a great way to communicate with them? Set up the parameters that work for you- no letter or note writing when they should be working on something else. Give them a fun area with colorful supplies and let them WRITE! They will go through a lot of paper so scrap paper is good and cheap scrapbooking paper is fun. Cut it up into small rectangles and set out fun markers and pens.
2. Interactive Bulletin Boards
I have wanted to increase student engagement with reading and writing this year. Not only with the students who come to my classroom, but with ALL students in our building. I wanted to create a buzz and some excitement about literacy in a way that everyone could be involved. These interactive bulletin boards have been a lot of fun!
Students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents were encouraged to write on this back to school board. They really enjoyed sharing book titles!
Of course at Thanksgiving, students wrote about what they were thankful for in their lives. It is fun to read what is written on interactive boards.
Once the paper is hung in the hallway, students notice what the topic is and they will start stopping by my room to ask for markers so they can add their thoughts too. I like that it is something everyone can contribute to.
Instead of what WE want for Christmas, I had students think about what their TEACHER might want instead. Puppies, a sun hat, and vacations were some of the answers!
3. Setting Goals
Do you have students write about their New Year's Resolutions? How about instead of resolutions, have them set goals for the year! This works so well with Growth Mind Set. Instead of writing a resolution that is quickly forgotten, students can write about what goal they have and how they will improve or meet their goal.
After students have written their goals and decorated them, they make a great display for your room. Students then can see their goals and be reminded what they are working towards.
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