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Motivating Middle School Writers from Kate Roberts August 16, 2009

Filed under: middle school,TCRWP,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:40 am
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Motivating Middle School Writers

Kate Roberts presenter  8/11/09 (Notes from Megan-a colleague who teaches 6-8 in a Middle School in The Bahamas)

There are three things needed:

  1. To demonstrate motivation
  2. To create a community of writing
  3. A genuine response

We want our students to practice 18th century literacy in the 00’s.

There are some ways we hold them back…

–       By giving the same prompts all students

  • Ex. “Write about a time you were scared” vs. “Write about a time you felt big emotions”

–       By giving too many directions or teaching too many points at once

–       By not taking their work seriously

Ways to Create an Audience

–       Have them check in with their partner about regular HW assignments

–       Share with each other everyday

–       Try out different partners (a speed-dating approach to finding a buddy)

–       Don’t wait for celebration

–       Use student work as your demonstration text

–       Quick publish

  • Even before the end of a unit, say “Find your best piece, let’s publish it. Get it on looseleaf for tomorrow.”

–       Publish dramatically across the school

Accountability and Rigor

–       Set high goals for volume

  • At the beginning of the year, do a stamina assessment. Have them write for ten minutes and keep that page to show them how much (or how little) they could write.
  • Draw an X at the bottom of the page. Tell them to write to the X

–       Teach elaboration

  • Give them a list of phrases like “I think, for example, this is important because”
  • Have them orally tell a story and have the partners throw out a phrase when they are struggling