After years of trying to convince my reluctant writers to write, I am proud to say I finally managed to succeed in helping each student find at least some joy in writing. I did this by introducing monthly themed writing prompts. The kids all really looked forward to seeing the new prompts each month. They were motivated to write because they had a choice in what was being written.
I combined the monthly journal prompts with a paragraph of the week program. This systematic and consistent method of writing both personal narratives and opinion / persuasive articles using a rubric really rocketed their writing abilities to the next level.
Best of all it allowed me to monitor and document their writing progress.
Another way students were motivated to write was through the creation of customized writing journals. Among my many back to school activities, I began each year by reading Judy Moody and doing a variety of related activities. At the end of the book, Judy makes an "All About Me" collage. To complement the story I had my students make collages on the cover of their composition notebooks.
We then added pockets inside using envelopes. The pockets were perfect for storing inspiration pieces for writing.
Such a simple, yet clever idea. Really there are a million and one uses for this the classroom. It's just envelopes glued into a notebook.
Card stores often have extra envelopes that they are willing to donate or you can ask your students' families to save them for you. They are perfect for small pieces of inspiration in a writer's notebook, math fact cards in a math journal, a place for storing task cards and so much more. What would you use them for?
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