Engaging Students in the Writing Process
Updated: Sep 8, 2019
When it comes to writing, my students are usually engaged in bigger assignments but struggle when it comes to Daily 3 or Daily 5 writing centres. I assume this is because by Grade 3, they have been engaging in some form of Daily Writing since they started school. Eventually, something you do everyday becomes less exciting if it follows the same format/structure.
I noticed that my students were disengaging with the daily writing process, rushing their work, and always asking to work on a story on the computer instead. Rather than fighting their interest in using technology, I embraced it. I created Google Slides Writing Prompts for them to work on each month. Now, I know this probably isn't popular with everyone. I get it, the argument is that students should still spend time printing, editing/revising/drafting without the use of technology, etc., and I COMPLETELY agree. Many of my students still needed A LOT of practice with printing neatly and remembering things like capitals, punctuation, indents, etc., on their own which is why I still kept normal journal writing in our routine. I simply ADDED the Google Slides Prompts as another option for writing on certain days.
Each month has 9 prompts included, and I would have the students complete 5-7 of them depending on how strong they were in writing. Prior to starting the Digital Prompts, they would have to have X amount of written journal entries completed as well. This is how I made sure my students were getting the best of both worlds.
The best part is that my students actually started getting WAY more writing done. They would focus on finishing their journal entries, because they were always so excited to see what the digital prompts were for the month. The prompts were engaging, and because of that, they finished more writing than they ever had in one month.
The ACTUAL best part was that this worked for my IEP and ELL students as well. They could either use text-to-speech through Google Read and Write to answer the prompt, or practice typing and having spell-check do it's magic. I truly saw some students light up, because they went from doing what looked like "kindergarten" work (spelling basic CVC words) to doing what the rest of the class was doing in an accommodated way.
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