Get to know your students through writing
The first day(s) of school can be overwhelming with information, procedures, and expectations for teachers and students. There’s a lot of focus on the teacher. To shift that attention to the students, give them opportunities to introduce themselves to you, even if you already know them. Give them choices on how to express their introductions. Create a few different prompts in MI Write that will get your students writing, reflecting on themselves, and showing you something new about them. We have included several prompt ideas below.
Even though MI Write will give students feedback and scores, let them know that you are not grading these assignments. These writing assignments have many goals. You get your students writing about a topic that they know so much about; your students get practice in MI Write in a low-risk environment; you get to learn more about your students.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- If you had a million dollars, how would you spend it?
- What do you hope to accomplish this year?
- What is your favorite memory? (Add an element of specificity if you want; ex. with your family, of your pet, of school, etc.)
- If you were a superhero, what would your superpowers and name be? Why?
- If you had an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere you wanted, where would you go and why?
- What is your dream job? What do you need in order to land that job?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment? Why do you consider it to be the greatest?
Incorporating writing into your lessons
- Use one of our pre-packaged prompts or create your own to introduce your first unit. Have students read the prompt and any attached stimulus material and then write what they know on the topic. This gives you a baseline of where your students are in that area.
- Include a writing piece in a unit. Enable peer review and create peer review groups to add a collaborative element. Allow students to meet with partners or in groups to have mini conferences.
- Use lessons to introduce/review grammar or writing skills
- Set up stations with different writing activity in each center:
- Provide a list of characters, settings, and conflicts. Have students choose one of each and write a short story
- Complete an “About Me” questionnaire
- Choose a side in a debate and write a quick argument for their position
- Read a short passage and respond (answer an open-ended question, write a review, rewrite the ending, or write it from a different perspective)
- Read a short passage. Identify and correct grammar mistakes
Useful tips for writing instruction
- Don’t grade every assignment for grammar and spelling. Be selective.
- Allow and encourage students to practice and revise as many times as they can.
- Use student interest to drive topics and formats.
Whatever your writing plans are for the year, let us know how MI Write can help!