In this blog post our friend Amy Mayer, the CEO and Founder of FriEdTechnology - a Google Professional Development Partner Company, offering professional training for educators, shares her thoughts on how to get students writing.
If we know each other, then you know I really believe students writing more improves student writing more than any other strategy; it's not teachers "grading" or giving feedback that makes students better writers, though that must be done from time to time. What REALLY makes students better writers is WRITING and WRITING and WRITING. I know this in my soul to be true because I taught writing for many years and I saw how much daily writing improved my students' writing. BUT (and that's a big big BUT), I could not keep up with the feedback loop on daily writing without a team of assistants. Did I have a team of assistants? No, I did not, BUT, I came up with other strategies like spot checking, random journal checks, etc. that allowed me to keep my students writing daily AND maintain most of my sanity.
Luckily for you, today there are more tools and better ways to encourage daily writing and my favorite by far is WriQ from Texthelp. This amazing tool gives students feedback on their writing. You can also use it to grade papers with its built in rubric and grammar/spelling check, but today let's focus on STUDENTS using WriQ to "mark" and correct their OWN work. This really works and it's actually completely free. If your school or district decides to buy WriQ, they can add custom rubrics and get really cool and amazing stats on student writing, but for an individual teacher OR student, FREE, FREE, FREE! Have I convinced you to give it a try all while stringing you along for those writing prompts? I hope so! Here's a link to make it easy!
AND here's a quick video so you can learn more about what WriQ can do to make your life easier and your students learning better:
Okay, hopefully you're still here and still waiting, rather patiently I might add, for those writing prompts. First of all, I didn't make this list myself. I found it online years and years ago, but there are some keepers in here. I really like that these give me ideas then I can change them around to make them work for exactly what I'm looking for. For example, I taught high school, and I know better than to ask some of these questions. When you read the list, you'll probably see what I mean and just IMAGINE the "interesting" responses you would get 😜 .
Well, here we are, almost at the end and with a gratuitous gif waiting down there for you. Here's that list of writing prompts I promised you! This link is a "copy link" which means you will get a copy of my doc in your own Google Drive. Once you create your own copy, you can find it in your Google Drive from then on!
If this post made your day, you learned something new, or you are even mildly interested, leave us a comment, would you? Share it with your colleagues . . . that would be even better, and help there be less grading of papers going on this weekend!