Helping Students Write

Writing can feel intimidating, mysterious, ambiguous and frustrating. How can you help your daughter or son get beyond those feelings to be able to write? As I had mentioned before, taking baby steps is where it all begins. Writing doesn’t have to be done in a day. In fact, I recommend you take several lessons (days/ weeks) to complete a writing piece.

Have you ever head the expression priming the pump? It means, ” to take action that encourages the growth of something or helps it to succeed.” You have to do this in writing as well. Think back to the time when you were given a writing assignment and you had no idea of what to say, no interest in the topic? This is how our children feel too!

Create a writing atmosphere. Light a candle, brew some tea or make hot chocolate, have some erasable pens or fancy pencils, special paper, and of course, some type of treat. This lets your child know this is something special and a time dedicated to doing something different. At first, the beverages and snacks may be eaten with little writing taking place, but keep at it. It will change if your child knows you are going to be doing this as a regular part of your school routine. use those fancy pens and paper for just your writing time.

Start with Conversation  You can talk about a fun activity that happened recently. ( a sleepover, a day at the zoo, a soccer game, a friend who came for a visit, a trip, etc) You can also talk about something that has made them sad or an event that is yet to occur.

Jot Down Ideas or Make a List from the Conversation Either you can do this or you can have your child write them.

Use these Ideas for Writing Your son or daughter can write the ideas down in various ways: a poster, a strip of sentences, a comic book, a short video, or a PowerPoint.

Find something your daughter or son is interested in to help them write. This can be Minecraft, Legos,  a favorite video game or a best friend. Set a timer of 2-3 minutes and have them write whatever comes to mind about the topic. This list can be a springboard for the next time you write.

Is your child been asking you for something and you have been on the fence about it? I have had students write persuasive pieces of writing about getting a pet, having an allowance, playing inside, staying up later, and taking a trip. Let them know you will have an open mind so they don’t feel their efforts are totally in vain. 🙂

Set the timer. This will help your child know there is a stopping point. You could be having such a fantastic time that time gets away from you.  Short and sweet lessons are good for everyone. (10-15 minutes)

Write alongside! Yes, your child needs to see you model writing. Not every time is a great writing day and your child can see how you overcome your writing block or when you are enthusiastic about the topic you have chosen.

Share Each person can share something they have written. Your reluctant writer might want to share anything, but ask them to share at least one thing. Be sure you share too!

Praise your child for their efforts.  You are likely to have a child that is willing to try again if you praise them and what they have accomplished.

Here are the erasable pens that I use with my students. They LOVE them! FriXion Pens

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Have a great week! ~Lisa ~




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