Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Getting them hooked on writing and a THANKFUL giveaway!

Some kids are just natural born writers (or talkers) and have a lot to say.  Other kids don't even know where to begin let alone how to get their thoughts down on paper.  If you are a teacher or parent, you know EVERY kid has something to say.  Most of them can't stop talking, lol, but when you ask them to write it down you can practically see the wall going up and the lost stare in their eyes.  How do you get those kids to break out of the shell and start writing?

I'm linking up today with my girl Jivey from Ideas by Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday: How do you get kids to write?  There are a few things I really like to do when teaching my kids about writing.  Some teach to the writing structure and others are just fun and showing kids that writing is fluid and can be soulful.  It doesn't have to be all about a prompt.  Luckily in fourth grade there is a huge push for writing so my kids come to me with a good deal of writing knowledge.  Although, let's face it, sometimes a summer can wash away an entire year's worth of work!

At the beginning of the year I like to take my kids down to the media center and have them roam around and pick random books.  I ask them to write down the first sentence of each book they pick up and look at the different ways author's hook the reader.  Do they use figurative language?  Dialogue?  A cliffhanger?  Ask a question?  After they have written down a bunch of different examples in their Writing notebook we go over them as a class and see which direction we would like to take in our own writing.  Sadly, we have not had a chance to do this activity yet this year because of our new reading series but I'm thinking we might take a little trip to the media center after the holidays!  I got this idea from Melissa Forney (she is AMAZING!) in one of her books.  If you have never checked her out, you must!  She is a writing guru and has some terrific ideas!

Another one of my kid's favorite activities is Classroom Journals.  I think they like this for a couple different reasons.  The first reason is that it's not graded and they have free reign to write about what they want but on a specific topic (it's the perfect amount of direction for independent fifth graders).  Sometimes just telling them to write about whatever they want is the hardest thing for them!  Another reason I think they love it, is that they can go back and look at what other people wrote about that same topic and brainstorm.  This might not be the best way to engineer originality and creativity but it does get their juices flowing and ideas churning.  My students in fact always run for this station when given the opportunity!

Since you stayed through all of that I think you deserve a special little treat!

A bunch of bloggers have joined up to say THANK YOU.  Thank you for following us.  Thank you for your support, encouragement, and friendship.  We have learned so much from you.  

So we wanted to say thank you with a Gift Card Giveaway.  

Simply fill in the rafflecopter below and you have a chance to win one of 3 prizes. 
(You can fill in the rafflecopter on any of our blogs, it's all the same one.) 

3 lucky winners will win a $25 gift card to TPT.  

Good luck!