Kids burnt out in writing - 1st grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Carolyn, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Rookie

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    Apr 1, 2007

    Time to get mback to work after spring break. Are your kids getting tired of writing in their journals? When we transition from read aloud to writing, you can hear the moans and groans. Does anyone have some ideas to keep them going until May?
     
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  3. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    MODEL! Whenever I find my kids getting grumpy about the writing portion - I find if I do a shared writing and model it with them, they seem more apt to go at it. I also make sure to write a few comments on each entry each day, which they find very motivating. Good luck! :D
     
  4. tchecse

    tchecse Companion

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    Change up the writing tools...Maybe let them use colored pencils/markers. Maybe they could use magazine letters or pictures to make rebus entries. Give them a word and see how many times the students can use this word in their entries. Make a game out of it. Get an inflatable die that you can write options on and everyday the children can roll the die to see how their journals are going to get done. (examples for sides-use markers today; kids choose topic; use neatest handwriting; rebus entries, (and occasionally maybe you could do a "skip journals today" space...even if they never land on it, the kids will get excited by the prospect it "might" happen!).
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I love the inflatable die idea.

    What I do is sometimes I just make journal optional. A LOT of my kids still do journal writing anyways because they like to share their writing with their class. This gets the other kids motivated when I praise their writing/illustrations like mad.

    Also, I sometimes will put some colored pencils or markers out for them to use at the journal writing table. This gets them motivated too.
     
  6. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Yep, it's that time of year- isn't it? Trying to find new ways of motivating students to do most anything. Altough, I feel as though I've had to do that all year.

    I use writer's visors (plastic ones I bought at US Toy) and I have a red toolbox that contains some fun writing utentils students can choose from to use during writing.
     
  7. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2007

    This isn't going to be popular....

    I just read a chapter in one of my texts for my grad program and it suggested that maybe we write too much. "We sometimes act as if the experiences of our children need always ben explicitly articulated and rendered into writing in order to be pedagogically valuable." (Jardine, et. al Back to the Basics of Teaching and Learning P75) Also, "Many children are estranged from their own experiences and have been rendered mute by the often silencing formalism of schooling." (83)

    Now don't get me wrong, I think writing is important, I teach it, we do it in my classroom. I think using the ideas like the inflatable die is a great one. I also think by this time in the writing LESS might not be a bad thing. If students have the mechanics down that we want them to then I think moving on is ok. I've been thinking about using a taperecorder and having students record their journal entries. I have had many students that need more work on oral skills than writing.

    Just thoughts to ponder.
     
  8. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2007

    I do writing workshop everyday with my Kindergarteners. Sometimes we switch the paper we are using (bigger, horizontal, vertical, less lines, more lines etc) and sometimes we write in composition books. THe other day I thought they were getting worn out with the writing, so we went outside and did sidewalk chalk. They still had the option of writing but it was the coolest thing to be able to use sidewalk chalk (in the mind of a Kindergartener!)
     
  9. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I think I agree with ctopher - at least in theory. When my kids write in their Reading Response Journals - I call that 'focused writing' - they have a specific purpose - to answer my question. The writing should only be one or two quality sentences. I model this throughout the year and only give them about 7 minutes to write, which I think helps keep it brief.
     
  10. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2007

    I can see the point that sometimes, less writing is more effective. In my classroom, I teach 4th grade, we have an hour and fifteen minutes devoted to writer's workshop everyday. With a mini-lesson of only ten to fifteen minutes, there is WAY too much time devoted to quiet writing in my opinion. My kids are done after about 15 minutes. I personally think that fifteen minute chunks through the day would be more effective because it would allow breaks in between writing. The students could then look at the writing again and see things to revise or be refreshed to write a little longer.
     
  11. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    you are SO right purplecrazy21 - keep it short and more frequent - this is the ONLY way I would have my kids write. Otherwise, it is WAY to frustrating for them.
     
  12. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2007

    Exactly, Halpey,
    During our writing time, I'm frustrated because I have to monitor too much to keep them on task and they're frustrated because they become bored. I am trying to find a way to incorporate different activities for them to do during this time to avoid that boredom. Also, our writing time is at the end of the day so they are ready to go home and tired. Not a productive writing time!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 1, 2007

    Poetry?

    Nonfiction writing?

    Both these units re-energized my 2nd grade writers!!
     
  14. mviera

    mviera Rookie

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    How about getting writing ideas from them. I teach 2nd grade and before writing center time I ask them for a setting , characters and a problem. By choosing their writing topic, they are more interested in the writing. Maybe pre- write some on paper strips and having them pull them out of a bag. I try anything that will change the routine and their attitude.
     
  15. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Just with anything, we can beat it to death. I think you have to gauge how your students are responding to what you are teaching and meet their needs- whether it be backing off or stepping it up. If you have to switch gears or continue with what's working- that's what teaching is all about.

    I like my students to write in their writer's journal (a special journal they chose themselves) each week. Some write more than that. I don't grade for mechanics but I do like to read it.
     
  16. Carolyn

    Carolyn Rookie

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    Apr 1, 2007

    Every single reply to my post is very enlightening! You see, I am a Reading First school. Therefore we must follow a protocol. Which consists of modeling for 20 min; demonstrating encoding, etc.....
    then they return to their seats with the journal in hand ready to write what THEY want. Our coach says NO prompting. (I bent the rules last week and gave a prompt. My kids could NOT write about a given topic!!
    I've added variety. We've written letters, list, poems. They are just burnt out. We are required to write every single day. Heck, I'm burnt out. I think to myself, "I must have a dull life because I have not idea what I'm going to write about for a model today:angel: "
    BUT, I must say this: I displayed some of the students writing samples in the hallway. I received many compliments on how well my students could write. I thought to myself, "Hard work pays off, but if you only knew the moans I hear every day.:)"
     
  17. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Apr 1, 2007

    what about going outside, the hallway, the gym, the playground ...a change in scenery may lift up the moods of your kiddos!
     
  18. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Apr 2, 2007

    What if they could write a story with a friend? My son is in 1st grade and has been talking about a Star Wars book he and his friend want to write together. I have asked him a couple of times in the last two weeks if he has done this yet and he said sadly "No, we never have any time to work on it." What a golden teachable moment lost!!!!
     

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