Start Writing With the Writing Teacher's Roadmap
Unsure of where to begin writing in your classroom? Use the Writing Teacher's Roadmap. The roadmap outlines three steps and five actions you can take to get your kids writing.
What is the Writing Teacher's Roadmap?
The Writing Teacher’s Roadmap is a guide for you to follow when teaching your Grade 1, 2, and 3 students to become better writers.
Step 1: Get Your Kids Writing
The first step in helping your students become better writers is to get them writing.
- Do your students write for at least ten minutes each day?
- Do you provide quick, fun, and engaging writing activities that your students are excited to complete?
- Do you plan out the writing activities so that ALL the students in your class will be successful?
- Do you provide examples or samples of each writing activity to give your students ideas for their own writing?
- Do you make sure that ALL your students are writing and non one sitting with a blank page in front of them?
Need strategies to get your kids writing?
- Use fun, engaging activities to motivate your kids to write.
- Keep activities simple and easy to complete in a short amount of time.
- Choose activities on topics that interest students.
Step 2: Make Daily Writing A Habit
Once you get kids writing ... make it a habit. You want your kids writing every day to give them the practice they need to become better writers.
- Have you established a daily 5 to 10 minute writing routine in your classroom so that your students are practicing their writing every day?
- Do you provide your students with a choice of writing topics so they can easily choose what they want to write about?
- Do you ensure your students' writing success by providing target questions to get them thinking of ideas to write?
- Do you focus on the content of your students' writing rather than on the mechanics and structure?
Ready to Establish a Daily Writing Routine in Your Classroom?
- Set aside 5 to 10 minutes each day to write.
- Write at the same time each day to establish a routine.
- Provide students with a choice of writing topics and give students target questions to help them think of ideas to write.
Step 3: Keep Them Writing
Your kids are writing on a daily basis ... it's time to keep them writing. There are 5 different actions you can take to keep your students writing.
Action 1: Teach Writing Skills
- Do you have a plan of how you'll present writing skills to your students to give them the skills they need to become more proficient writers?
- Do you provide quick "writing talks" or mini lessons to your students on a regular basis to get them thinking about the different writing skills?
- Do you focus on developing one writing skill at a time so your students can learn the skill to mastery before moving on to another writing skill?
- Do you make sure your students have the opportunity to practice each writing skill after it is introduced so they have time to master it?
Need to teach writing skills to your students?
- Create a list of writing skills you want your students to master by the end of the school year.
- Introduce new skills to students one at a time.
- Give students ample opportunities to practice the writing skills.
Create your list of writing skills. Think about the skills your students need to master their writing curriculum outcomes or standards. Need ideas? Check out the blogpost Writing Idea #6: Keep Writing Checklists (coming soon) for ideas.
Action 2: Practice Writing
- Do you provide your students with different types of writing opportunities (narrative, opinion, letter writing, how-to, report writing, etc.) so they can learn how and when to use each type of writing?
- Do you demonstrate each type of writing to your students so they can be successful?
- Do you provide your students with ample opportunities to practice each type of writing?
- Do you choose topics that are fun and engaging for your students so they are motivated to write?
Ready to provide writing practice opportunities?
- Be sure to provide many different opportunities for your students to practice their narrative, opinion, and informative writing skills.
- Focus on one type of writing at a time.
- Demonstrate or provide examples of the type of writing.
Action 3: Write In The Content Areas
- Do you look for ways to integrate writing into the content areas?
- Do you provide the opportunity for your students to record their learning in the content areas?
- Do you teach your students how to make connections between what they are learning and their own lives and to the world around them?
Need to get your students writing in the content areas?
- Think of different ways to integrate writing into the different content areas (math, science, social studies, health, arts ed, etc).
- Students can write reports, keep journals, create inquiry projects, take notes, make connections to their own lives, etc.
- Encourage students to connect and demonstrate learning through the use of graphic organizers or simple recording strategies.
Ready to get started? Try out the Making Personal Connections graphics organizer and use in one of the content areas - Science, Social Studies, Health, Math, or Arts Ed. The organizer can be found in the freebie library.
Action 4: Assess Writing
- Do you use self, peer, and/or teacher informal assessments to gather information about your students' writing?
- Do you use rubrics to informally assess the writing of your students?
- Do your students set writing goals based on the informal assessments?
- Do your students know how to reflect on their learning goals about writing?
- Are your students able to determine if they need to change or set new writing goals based on the informal assessments?
Ready to start assessing student writing?
- Decide on how you will assess student writing.
- Consider using self, peer, and teacher assessments.
- Provide students with rubrics for the different types of writing.
Use the ten minute writing activity to begin assessing student writing. Get a ten minute writing sample from students at the beginning of each month to assess student program. The ten minute writing activity can be found in the Formative Assessment FREEBIE on TpT.
Action 5: Provide Extra Supports
- Before beginning a writing activity, do you establish which of your students will need extra supports to be successful?
- Do you determine beforehand what the extra supports will look like for your students who need it?
- Do you evaluate the effectiveness of the support you provide to your students to determine if different or additional support is needed for future writing classes?
Want to provide extra supports to your students?
- Determine the learning needs of the students in your classroom.
- Identify the supports that will help students succeed.
- Look for supports that address a number of different learning needs so you can help multiple students by using the same support.
More information about the Writing Teacher's Roadmap, along with 103 other planning ideas, teaching strategies, classroom routines, and writing activities ... AND the resources you need to implement the ideas, strategies, routines, and activities ... can be found in Teaching Writing 101.
Until next time,
P.S. Do you struggle teaching writing to your kids? Are you looking for writing tips, strategies and ideas?
Not sure if any of these are for you? Check out the Touch of Honey Freebie Library. Download a freebie and begin using in your classroom today.