We’ve done some digging into the education industry and found a variety of frequently asked questions about writing instruction specifically. Our goal here is to shed some light on these questions and give you more confidence in teaching writing.
- How can I support student writing?
- The first step in supporting your students in their writing is to find out where they are. What are their existing skills and what do they need? From there, build lessons and activities that support the needs of your students and further challenge their skills.
- What do I do with struggling writers?
- Give these writers time and space to find a way to process their thoughts and ideas before making them write. This could be through graphic organizers, drawing pictures, or talking it out with you or a partner. Small groups or one-on-one settings to walk through a lesson could also help writers get a better grasp on a skill they are struggling with.
- How do I begin planning a writing lesson?
- Think about what your students need, which topics will be most engaging to writers, and what your overall goal will be for your students. What do you want them to be able to do or understand through this lesson? Once you have the end in mind, you can work backward, finding a writing prompt/activity that will help your students accomplish the goal you’ve set forth.
- How do I teach the writing process?
- Make sure your students understand that writing is a process and that most writers go through several drafts before they have a finished piece of writing. Take time for each step, maybe one a day, giving students ample time to practice and ask questions.
- How can I get my students engaged in evaluating their own writing?
- Ask them questions during the writing process that will lead them to reflect on their own work: What works? What doesn’t? What changes did you make and why? How can you make it better?
- Allow time for peer review. Encouraging students to constructively look at another’s writing will give them tools to see their own in a new light.
- How should I respond to my students’ writing?
- Timely and specifically. Effective writing instruction includes a quick feedback loop. Students are more engaged with writing assignments when they are offered feedback in a timely manner, but the response also has to be as specific as you can make it. Whatever you are looking for, your comments should be constructive and specific enough for them to understand what they may be missing and how they can get there. Ask leading questions and remind them what a good introduction includes, for example.
- Do we have the comprehensive writing resources we need at my school?
- If you or your school/district has MI Write, then yes! If not, let us know so we can help you get the formative writing assessment tool that will support your writing needs.
MI Write has features and functions that support effective writing instruction at every step of the process and answers these questions. We provide a library of lessons and graphic organizers, and the PEG engine leaves immediate feedback based on The Six Traits of Writing on every submitted draft, leaving teachers to focus more on the higher level elements of writing.