Monday, August 10, 2015

SAFE to Write

As a writing teacher, one of the most frustrating obstacles to overcome is getting kids started with their writing. Often you will hear, "I just don't know what to write." Or even more frustrating, you will open a student's work only to find that they have barely written anything at all and writing time is over. It's hard to edit an empty page! :( This presentation solves that problem by teaching kids to get started and helps them feel SAFE when presented with a new writing assignment. I love my acronyms!

After this presentation, I would do a lot of quick writing in which students write everything they can get down in one minute, do a word count, and track their progress over time. A great way to give kids ideas is to find funny or interesting Youtube clips to watch.  As a class, brainstorm a word-bank and then time them for one minute. The goal is to overcome the fear of getting started and just dive in (or as the presentation suggests, cannon ball!) to the assignment.


Getting Started:
Tips to Feeling SAFE!
Set Purpose: Is there something I should read or think about before I write
Assignment: What does the assignment specifically ask me to do?
Format: What will my writing look like? Will it be a letter, a sentence, a paragraph, a poem? Does the prompt let me know how long my writing should be?
Expectations: How will my writing be graded or judged? Is there a rubric? How can I use the rubric to be sure I have met the requirements?

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