This one mistake is the difference between students who can brainstorm effectively in a way that helps to get to the revision process without being overwhelmed and those that get stuck!
What's the mistake?
Focusing on the wrong portion of the writing process
Rushing through the writing process to give your students ‘more time to write’ is not the most effective or supportive mindset. Instead of spending time feeling frustrated that your students are not producing the quality that you are looking for. To get your students feeling confident, we need to focus more on the areas that will help to get us there. Here are some simple ways to refocus your instruction to supporting your students.
Top 3 Tips on avoiding this mistake:
Tip #1: Brainstorming
Research shares the importance of building background knowledge. Therefore, brainstorming is our form of establishing that background knowledge prior to writing. The bulk of your unit plan should be spent having conversations around stories, sharing each others’ stories, and brainstorming various components to ensure students have a clear outline of the events in their stories. Build in many opportunities for brainstorming using various organizers (connecting to reading is BEST).
Tip #2: Revision
The writing portion of your unit should last no more than 2 days. This means that the bulk of your unit will be spent brainstorming and revising. However, getting students to look back and add to their writing can be challenging. Having a plan of what to revise will encourage students to feel more comfortable and confident in the revision process.
Tip #3: Editing
This process goes hand-in-hand with revision but the focus is on punctuations, capitalization and spelling. When editing, students participate in peer editing opportunities, but also come back and complete a second editing round independently. The key with this process is helping to give effective strategies. For example, have your students focus on one area at a time. They will read their papers and look for all the capitalization errors. The next round will be focused on spelling. This will help to break down the process and make it more manageable for your students.
Want to learn about the other mistakes you could be making and how to fix them?
Check out the other blog posts in this series:
Mistake #1: Not Scaffolding The Lesson Enough
Mistake #2: Clear Modeling When Writing
Mistake #4: Writing Is Not Linear
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