Daily Writing Practice

    So, 13 years into this whole teaching thing and I have to admit...writing is hard in 2nd grade!  Out of all subjects taught in a day, writing seems to be the one that has changed dramatically within my tenure. We have so many expectations for these little ones.  As their teacher I feel for them. Last year I started a living journal, which is basically a prompt with a picture.  The students have 10 minutes to put their pencil to the paper and JUST WRITE.  It's not an assessed piece of curriculum.  In fact, students can bring it to the carpet to share IF they want. But that is as far as I go.  I wanted them to have some time to just relax and learn how it feels to journal or keep a diary of thoughts and feelings. During the last trimester I created compilation of writing prompts covering 4 different genres.  My students looooooved this! I am super excited to start it again at the beginning of this 2016-17 school year.  I wanted to give some tips...

1. ~ Dim the lights during this special writing time.  I have several lamps in my room so I just leave those on and it makes a nice ambiance.

2, ~ Use this time as a calming tool.  We did it after specials as a writing warm up.

3. ~ Have a share schedule.  By listing 2-3 students who can share their writing IF THEY WANT at the beginning of our mini lesson meeting. I'm sure you know, 2nd graders love to share so you rarely get turned down on this. I keep a grid in my lesson plan binder and simply write the students name on the board at the beginning of the day.

4. ~ Set a visual timer.  Several of my students need this given that I have a special ed inclusion class.  Also, it gives them a feeling of, "this is my time that I can use as I see fit".  My only stipulation is that pencils are up and thoughts are happening.

5. ~ Show the kids your invested in this! If I do stop to read a students writing I always ask, "May I take a look?".  I also have a journal so I will sometimes sit with the kids and write too.

6 ~ If you do use the resource that I created pre-cut prompt squares and have a glue day (Monday worked best for us).  It only takes the kids about 5 minutes to glue that weeks prompts into their journal for the week (5 to glue).  This worked so well because we only had to get glue out once per week and then they were set.

This TpT download is a fast routine resource and CHEAP!  But, you can simply open a blank PowerPoint presentation.  On a daily basis look for interesting photographs on Google copy and paste it with a short prompt. HOPEFULLY you have an ELMO or Smart Board in which you can just display the prompt and kids can go at it in their journal. By the end of the school year you'll have your own resource that you can keep for years to come!

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