Avoiding Writing Nightmares

I hate teaching writing.

Don't get me wrong... I love to write, I just can't stand teaching it. This is my seventh year teaching and every single year my goal has always been to be better at teaching writing.

I'm happy to say, this year it might actually happen! We are doing writer's workshop, and here is my little board for that:

Two other things are making it easier for me this year. One: portable word walls/mini offices. I printed out the portable word walls from here and then used ABC stickers on top. I found the concept and resources here. (Ahhh, thank you, internet!). And since I only have nine students, it didn't take me long to make these:

The second thing that's making it easier is my visual rubric of what "good work" looks like. I sat down with the kids and I did three variations on the assignment "write about your house". They helped me label each work sample:

Now it's easy to refer back to when they say "I'm finished!"

What about you? Do you have any tips/tricks for making writing less painful?


Marisa said...

I really like your rubric of what good/poor work looks like! I think I might try to adapt this for my 4th graders! I just started doing personal word walls this year and so far it is working out really well. Another great idea you could use with little ones is did-it dots. You basically take some of those brightly colored circle dots and put a code on it. For example, you would put a period in the middle of one if you working on end punctuation. Then during independent writing, you would walk around and check to see if students had put their periods. If so, you would put the "did-it dot" on their paper. Kids will work hard for a did-it dot and it is a great form of documentation! I got this idea from a workshop with Debbie Rickards who wrote Primarily Writing. You can see some of her resources here: http://www.worknotes.com/LA/Shreveport/DebbieRickards/photo2.aspx


Megan said...

WOW! Nice stuff!! For a while, I felt really inferior at teaching writing. Then I was given an 8th grade honors class where the kids had to write an essay per week. It really broke down my intimidation and made me more confident.

With that being said, I still hate teaching writing because of all the GRADING involved!!

I am teaching basic composition next semester, and I'm back to being scared because I've never taught it before.

Ginger Snaps said...

I feel the same way! I always think I do a horrible job teaching writing!! I love your visual rubric though! Such a good idea!

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Hmmm, I don't like the use of the word "ugly" or "boring". Don't you teach very young children, like 1st grade? How will a child feel if they don't have the motor control to make a "perfect" picture? Or if they only have enough language to make a "boring" sentence.

Alysia Battista said...

Have your heard of A Star and a Wish or Writing Cops? They are both strategies I use in addition to foldables and graphic organizers. Head on over to my blog and click "writing" and "foldables" on the blog labels. They have been extremely successful strategies...eventually my students started begging me to start language arts time! For my modeled examples, I put "okay, good, great, excellent, and magnificent" because we have 5 numbers on our rubric. Good luck.

Miss B, Busy Bee

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