Get your reluctant writers writing!

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I have quite a few students who really struggle with the process of writing.  Some of them find planning and organizing their ideas to be a challenge, whereas others have difficulty with mechanics.  I also have students who are really reluctant to write; they often find excuses not to write, sit there staring at their papers, or even sometimes just refuse to write.  Fortunately, I've found a few things that have worked to get these students more interested in writing.   

Here are some things I do in my classroom to get my reluctant writers to write:


1. Give them short journal writing prompts - my kids all have journals that they write in a few times a week.  I give them 5 minutes to write as much as they can and tell them not to worry about the mechanics, just get their ideas out!  Trying to think about their interests really helps too.  I also have  a jar with writing prompts in it.  I often have the kids pick a prompt out of the jar and that's what they have to write about for the day.  Another suggestion that goes with this is to have the students try to increase their words per minute each day.  Give your students a writing prompt and have them write as much as they can in two minutes.  Each time they do this type of writing, have them graph the amount of words they have written in one minute (just have them divide the amount of words written in 2 minutes by 2).  The goal is to increase their words per minute over time!

2. Create iMovie trailers - my reluctant writers LOVE these!  iMovie trailers are perfect for kids that love to be creative, but struggle with getting their ideas out.  The students are able to be creative and share their knowledge, but they do not have to worry about writing in full paragraphs.  I love having my students write biographies or reports about something they've learned using iMovie - they are able to learn and use so many other things too (taking, uploading, and cropping photographs, as well as planning their ideas to fit a slide and designing a trailer that fits their topic). 

3. Padlet - This has been my favorite website/app of the year! If you haven't used Padlet.com yet, definitely check it out!  I first learned about Padlet when I was doing the Global Read Aloud in the fall. It was a great way to have my students respond to comprehension/discussion questions about the book we were reading. Then, I would post the Padlet link on my class Twitter page so that other students around the world also reading the same book could then respond.  My students were always so excited when another class would post.  I've also used Padlet in my class to have my students share their drawings (and then write a sentence or two about what they drew), write about how they solved a math problem, respond to a story starter or prompt, and answer comprehension questions.  Padlet is also great to use to assess prior knowledge and/or use as a closure activity/check for understanding.  My students that are typically very reluctant to write tend to write more on Padlet as it's not as overwhelming as writing a paragraph on paper...plus it's way more fun to write on the computer or iPad! 



4. Use an iPad to record your student's response - I frequently have my students do this when they have difficulty getting their ideas down on paper.  Sometimes kids have so many ideas in their minds that they just don't know how to write it all down quick enough without forgetting something important.  Sometimes they have difficulty planning what they want to write, but they're able to say it just fine.  So, I have these students record themselves on the iPad saying their response. Then, I have them play back what they said and write it down. This has been so helpful for my students who have difficulty getting their ideas out AND writing everything down at the same time. 

5. Collaborative writing - break your students into small groups. Then give the kids a topic and have each one write for 2 minutes.  At the end of the two minutes, the kids rotate their papers to the student sitting next to them and add on to the paper they are given.  This continues for a few rotations. At the end, have the students share what was written on their papers.  Sometimes they have some very creative (and funny!) stories.  It's also a great way for students to respond to each other's thoughts about a topic (saying if they agreed or disagreed).  I've found that many of my reluctant writers enjoy this type of writing.

What are some strategies you use in your classroom to get your students writing? Share them below!


Happy Teaching!! ☺
~Lauren from Lessons By Lauren





by Lauren

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