If you’ve taught for any time at all, odds are you know a student who is a reluctant writer! Can’t Stop Writing provides kids the opportunity to build writing fluency in a non-threatening
and fun way.
In this packet, there are writing prompts for every day of the year, including holidays, special days (field trips, sub days, first and last days of school, and the 100th Day and more!). Prompts include creating lists, opinion and persuasive paragraphs, and stuff just for fun. They were designed to make students think, while being accessible enough for a quick response. You'll learn so much about your students and their lives! They'll learn something about art, music, history, and geography--a little bit of everything!
Each slide is dated, but for there’s no reason you can’t rearrange them for your own special school or classroom days.
A Little Success Story…
The first year I used this tool, my students loved this activity, groaning when the timer went off each morning. I would display the prompt on my SMARTBoard but had to screen it because they were so eager to begin. At mid-year, a child who received intensive support for his emotional needs joined our class. Talk about a reluctant writer! He didn’t refuse to write, he simply went out of his way to avoid it. As we approached the end of the semester, he was called to see the nurse. As he walked out the door, he turned and said, “Don’t do 'Can’t Stop Writing' until I get back!” Of course we waited!
Aligns with Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards.
Here’s how it works in my classroom.
We have a dedicated notebook just for this activity. Composition notebooks have worked great for my kids. They loved the novelty of them.
Step 1 Each morning, I introduce a topic or prompt for students to write about.
I set a timer for a period of time. For younger students, about a minute is appropriate to start.
Step 2 Everyone writes to the topic until it goes off. If they can’t think of
anything to write or run out of ideas, they write “I can’t think of anything else
to write.” over and over until they think of something or hear the timer.
Step 3 When the timer beeps, they may finish their sentence. I have my
students share with a partner and then choose 2-3 kids to read their writing
to the class.
Step 4 Gradually increase the writing time until your students are comfortably
writing for whatever amount of time is developmentally appropriate.
Some teachers have their students count the number of words they
wrote, and some even graph it. I skip this step. (Partly because I
forgot about it when I first incorporated this technique!) Luckily,
I found that my kids naturally begin to write more and more over time
You may choose to use the kids’ products for editing, but I wouldn’t
edit every single one. Perhaps have the kids select one each week to
edit for a specific skill. This is your call, of course!