Homework Help

Reluctant WritersI am more pleased than ever this year the writing in my classroom.  I...

user profile pic

nashella | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 15, 2009 at 4:12 AM via web

dislike 0 like
Reluctant Writers

I am more pleased than ever this year the writing in my classroom.  I think I may have finally stumbled upon the right mix of content/conventions in regards to instruction.  My conferences now include a 50/50 mix of teaching points in both areas.  I am still struggling, however, with ways to reach those reluctant writers, who honestly, seem to be mostly boys.  I am allowing them to write about Star Wars, Ultimate Fighting Champions, Bakugon (huh?), and still can barely get them to put more than 2-3 sentences on a page before they announce that they do not have anything left to say.  Any ideas? I hear that Donald Graves is working on a new book about boys and writing.  I can't wait to read it, but in the meantime...

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted March 15, 2009 at 2:09 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Sometimes kids don't write because of learning issues.  Here are a couple of suggestions that might help:

Scribe for them or give them a tape recorder.

Have them imagine that they are telling someone, and then write what they would have said.

Give them photographs to write about -- that have nothing to do with battles!! :)

Give them a poem with line starters

Have several boys do a rotating story - where they take turns writing the next 2 or 3 sentences.

Good luck!

user profile pic

drgingerbear | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 15, 2009 at 5:57 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like
Reluctant Writers

I am more pleased than ever this year the writing in my classroom.  I think I may have finally stumbled upon the right mix of content/conventions in regards to instruction.  My conferences now include a 50/50 mix of teaching points in both areas.  I am still struggling, however, with ways to reach those reluctant writers, who honestly, seem to be mostly boys.  I am allowing them to write about Star Wars, Ultimate Fighting Champions, Bakugon (huh?), and still can barely get them to put more than 2-3 sentences on a page before they announce that they do not have anything left to say.  Any ideas? I hear that Donald Graves is working on a new book about boys and writing.  I can't wait to read it, but in the meantime...

Students who are reluctant writers (and readers) are often afraid. Why are they afraid? They may have experienced difficulty, been made fun of, or feel inadequate. One of the best ways to get my reluctant writers (especially boys) to write is to provide them with a safety net... I create an environment where they feel safe to try. This is done by having them "critique" my writing. I also give them a "1st chance" for spelling... letting them spell they best way they can and then going over it with them 1:1 and praising their efforts. I also provide them with graphic organizers or mind maps to help them organize their thoughts.

Here are some links for mind mapping/ graphic organizers:

http://www.k111.k12.il.us/LAFAYETTE/FOURBLOCKS/graphic_organizers.htm

http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_1st_lang.htm

http://www.nvo.com/ecnewletter/graphicorganizers/

user profile pic

tklinger | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2009 at 6:04 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

I use graphic organizers a lot to help form ideas and keep things organized. I also use the hand method. They draw their hand then put ideas on fingers, topic in palm, etc. For spelling they are asked to use inventive spelling when they don't know a word, or put down the letters or sounds they do know then a line for those they don't. ex. d_g. The thing that seems to motivate them the most is when they see their stories in print from the books that I type up from what they have written, they then get to illustrate, share, and place the books in our class library for the others to read. This of course comes only after editing, peer editing and revisions.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes