I know that not every teacher has time – or even a need – to have kids write full paragraphs or essays each week that require prewriting graphic organizers. Yet, I know that getting students writing on a regular basis is one of the best educational practices teachers can adopt. If you’re still not sure how to incorporate writing every day, consider having students write to short prompts at the beginning and end of class. These quick writing opportunities will get kids into the habit of writing so they don’t view it as a “chore,” and they will provide you with formative assessment in a snap.
I will be providing more detailed information in upcoming TRUTH In Teaching newsletters (get the tips, strategies, and resources days before they appear on our website) and in the Writing Resources. For now, think about prompts that introduce the lesson in an engaging way or that get kids to reflect on their learning or their processes from that day’s class. Consider the examples below:
- Math class – What is one thing you did to help you understand today’s formula? Describe what you did and explain why it helped.
- Social studies class – What is a trait of an effective leader? Explain your trait choice.
- Science class – Were any parts of your hypothesis correct? Explain how your initial thoughts compare to the experiment’s outcome.
- Art class – Which technique do you most look forward to using, and why?
- Music class – How does the piece convey a mood? Describe your thoughts.
*Remember, I’m an English teacher, with an emphasis on the English. Tweak these prompts or use them as inspiration and then write prompts that are a better fit for your particular content and lessons.