Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quick Write

As we start to prepare for the ISTEP test in the spring, we are starting to investigate a new genre...the genre of Test Prompt Writing.

We have been working all year on our writing and working toward making sure it is proficient in many different genres.  Yet this one is really though...for one reason...THE TOPIC!

When we write on a daily basis, many times, we get to choose what we want to write about.  In a testing situation however we don't have that luxury.  We have to write about a topic that is given to us by the test.  This can be tricky when you only have 60 minutes to write.  Many times students get stumped on the topic, don't know what to say, and spend a lot of time thinking.

So...what can we do to prepare for this.  The answer is simple...a daily quick write.  A quick write is just what it sounds like, a quick write.  In a quick write you are given a topic that you may or may not know a lot about and are asked to write for 2 minutes.  There is only one rule in a quick write...YOUR PENCIL CAN NEVER STOP MOVING.  You need to write down everything that is on your mind.

How will this help us once that test rolls around?  Well...the hope is that by practicing to write about a surprise topic quickly we will be able to do the same on ISTEP.  Hopefully, we will get better at thinking of things to write much quicker.  We have been doing this type of writing all year but...the next couple weeks we are going to be focussing on it a little bit more.  Everyday the students will be given a surprise topic to write about for 2 minutes.

This is something you can also do at home!  Try giving your child a topic to write about and time them for 2 minutes to see what they can come up with.  Here are some prompts you might want to try...

  • What is your favorite day of the week?  Why?
  • What is something that really makes you angry?
  • What is your favorite movie?  Why?
  • What if you could participate in the Olympics.  What event would you compete in?  Why?
  • What if you were the principal of this school, what would you do?
  • What do you think of 3D movies?
  • What do you think makes a happy family?