Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Quick Writes

Today I heard something that made my heart sing. I had asked the kiddos to get out their writing books because we were going to do a quick write. One of my very reluctant writers responded with
"Oh yeah, I love quick writes!"
Without a drop of sarcasm.  Oh yeah indeed!  He went on to write nearly half a page in ten minutes. That might not seem like a lot, but for him it's a massive improvement. And the pride on his face was spine tingling.

Our quick writes play an important part in our writing block. I provide a prompt (such as 'the door slammed...'), and occasionally some sort of parameter (such narrative), set the timer and say GO. Ten minutes later I say STOP and depending on whatever else we've got going on during our writing block we may swap with a critical friend or just move on.

There are multiple purposes and benefits of quick writes. For the kiddos:  improving stamina and creative fluency; regular chances to practise being a critical friend; playing with different styles without committing to a lengthy piece; and as it turns out a great sense of success because ten minutes is long enough for confident writers to get stuck into it and short enough for less confident writers to get something on the page without being overwhelmed.

For me: during the ten minutes I roam the room and observe physical writing practices (I'm amazed at the range of pen grips of my kiddos!); reading the responses allows me to see 'raw' writing giving me a wealth of information on which to based specific feedback and give NSLs; and lots of giggles.

The topics are sometimes serious and sometimes silly. The results are always interesting.  Check out  these gems:
"I sit in a lonely room with only a vase on a table." 
"Some creepy sicko had created a vase of death."  
"The vase's pattern was quite intricate, made up of runes and symbols and drawings depicting a beautiful planet." 
"What took so long?" [the character had claimed he needed to go to the toilet but was gone for 30 minutes] "Because I drank lots of water I needed a really long wee." 
"My heart was beating out of my chest." 
"Roses - red as blood." 
"He was very picky - he wanted the taste of human flesh in his teeth."
I'm always happy to take suggestions for future topics.  (It's a bit like #28daysofwriting really... In MANY ways.)

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 3 Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Standard 5 Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

No comments:

Post a Comment