Daily Routines That Build a Love of Writing

Writing routines make a difference in the development of writing skills. This post explains how to tie reading and writing instruction.

The reading-writing connection is HUGE, but for many students, writing is a REAL struggle. Kids get stuck with coming up with ideas, may work at a slower pace, may be unwilling to attempt when the writing not "right", or may have real struggles with connecting oral words to print (spelling). Because of these barriers, we KNOW that consistent writing instruction and practice is critical. Today, I am joining in with my literacy friends at The Reading Crew to share suggestions of classroom routines that will help you and your students develop a love of writing.

Writing routines make a difference in the development of writing skills. This post explains how to tie reading and writing instruction in cohesive ways to grow reading and writing skills.

Keep Balance in Your Writing Program

To begin, it's important to understand that writing can and should be infused throughout the curriculum, but simply including it in all subject areas isn't enough either. Consider this diagram. If you think about your total day, you can probably "check the box" on informal writing easily with journaling, graphic organizers, exit tickets, and writing in response to reading. However, it's also important to use varied assignments (genres) in order to teach writing structures AND use process writing to finely tune writing skills. 
Writing routines make a difference in the development of writing skills. This post explains how to tie reading and writing instruction in cohesive ways to grow reading and writing skills.

Organize Writer's Notebooks

Writer's Notebook Set Up FREEBIEThrough my training and experience, I've learned that kids should always have a piece of writing they are taking through the writing process, but not everything kids write needs to be published. Samples should be kept of journal entries, quick writes, brainstorm lists, and drafts as these can be used for process writing at a later time or when a student finishes work early.  Plus, your writer's notebooks are perfect portfolios to demonstrate progress at conference time and for the student to see how they've improved. It's important for kids to see where they've come from and know they're improving.This notebook organizer freebie should be helpful to you.

Build a Community of Writers (and Readers)

Another important component of a strong writing program is a writer's community. What does a community of writers look like? First, I think environment matters. The classroom needs to surround the students with their own work showcased in a way that makes every student feel proud. Teachers might have an author's chair for sharing where students talk about what they're writing and where they can receive feedback from their peers. This is also the place where the teacher can share their work. (Kids should see us write too.) As you work on writing, be sure you connect your instruction to other literacy domains...spelling, speaking, listening, and reading. Reference great literature as examples and allow kids to spotlight interesting vocabulary they read and might use for writing. Finally, materials for writing should be clearly available to the kids. (even your highlighters and flair pens..yes, I know they're treasured items). Well...maybe you can have flair pens designated for students and flair pens for yourself. (smile)

Make Time for Writing

In a busy schedule, sometimes it is hard to make time for untested content, but what we fail to recognize by doing this is that we can USE writing to learn content at a deeper level. Consider instead working content into your process writing choices. Research topics that tie into your content areas (FREEBIE) or write RAFT papers (FREEBIE)that highlight science and social studies concepts. Writing takes time, but it's the student-student and student-teacher conversations (FREEBIE) that move our students along in their skills. If you struggle to get that one-on-one time, enlist parent volunteers to help and use technology to help your students with revisions.

When trying to figure out your schedule, you might consider starting your writing block with a mini lesson based upon a genre you are studying in guided reading. This helps students connect the structure and text elements to the writing. I use shared writing to model as well as student examples to highlight elements from the mentor text. (read aloud) The key is to keep mini lessons short so that most of the time is spent composing and revising.

Take Advantage of Technology

I have found Google apps SO HELPFUL in my writing instruction. Google Drive and Google Classroom greatly helped my students and I with revisions and the exchange of papers. My students struggle with spelling, and having access to spell check (although not 100% dependable) does help them with at least narrowing the spelling options. For those who are hindered with fine motor skills, keyboarding is a great help too. 

Writing Ideas

With my lessons, I use the Six Traits of Writing. For wonderful lessons focused on them, you should visit The Writing Fix. The Writing Fix is a website sponsored by the Northern Nevada Writing Project. It features carefully chosen mentor texts and coordinating writing assignment AND includes all of the materials. If you'd like to learn more about it, you can read my post over on Classroom Tested Resources tomorrow.

For other great back to school literacy tips and freebies, be sure to visit the links below. 

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Writing routines make a difference in the development of writing skills. This post explains how to tie reading and writing instruction in cohesive ways to grow reading and writing skills.

14 comments

  1. Way to go with the animated graphic! I also really like your graphic organizer at the beginning with a reminder to incorporate all three types of writing. (I went to pin it and it's missing a description though if you want to add one.) Thanks for organizing this!

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  2. LOVE all of your writing tips! I REALLY love the animated gif ;) Awesome post, Carla.
    Julie
    The Techie Teacher

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie! Yes...I have had fun figuring out another new tech tool. :-)

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  3. Have I mentioned you are one of my literacy teacher/blogger idols!! Another amazing post Carla! Thank you for always sharing your knowledge with such well-written posts. This one has so many great tips and ideas. Thank you!!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Sarah. You crack me up! Thank you! :-) If only I had the following you do though! LOL! One day...

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  4. I love how you talked about building a community of writers where students felt proud to share their work :)

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    1. I think it's so important that kids' work get shared with peers and displayed as much as possible. I love class books for this and newsletters where we can showcase the kids. Thanks for stopping by Bridget! I have a big project due, but I'll be around soon. :-)

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  5. Amazing post as always! I love the tips that you included =)

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    1. Thanks so much Jenn! Yours too! I love Google Classroom and Google Drive for writing. It made a huge difference for my kids last year.

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  6. This is a great post, as always, Carla! I wanted to pin the Venn graphic about balanced writing, too, like Jessica! Add that pin button when you get a minute (there are too few minutes, aren't there???) I will share your post!

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    1. To pin from my blog, you just click the pin button below the post or "save". Should be all set.

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  7. Thank you, Carla. Great ideas for writing.

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