This is an "and more" post! I teach math for 4 periods of the day, but I also teach language arts, so I want to share thoughts about the "quickwrites" that we have started doing this week (instead of writing about math:).
I do have my students write quite often - they write nearly every day. Normally, they write about a topic from their idea list, but occasionally I give them an idea to write about. This week, in addition to their regular writing, we did "quickwrites" on Tuesday and today. For the quickwrite, students read a poem or passage, and then respond in writing for about 5 minutes. The response can simply be whatever the poem/passage made them think of, and where their thoughts went from that initial thought. Or, they can take one line from the poem and focus just on that line and what thoughts came from it.
I am so impressed with their writing during these two writing sessions! Both Tuesday and today, students read poems from the book 100 Quickwrites, and it was so interesting to read how many different directions their thoughts took! Today's poem was about the beach, and that poem led their thoughts to how a bedroom was decorated, to Star Wars, to skiing, to pets, and of course, to the beach itself. What was so great was the way they explained their connections and how they were led to the thoughts they wrote about.
I had thought about doing quickwrites in the past, but somehow didn't get around to it, so I am SO glad we started this. I can't wait to read what they write about next!
Do you have favorite writing activities/topics that you use with your students?