Royan Lee, a Grade 7 teacher in the York Region District School Board, constantly inspires with what he does in his classroom and what he shares online. The other night, just as I was heading to bed, I came across this post that Royan did on writing. He really made me think … so much so, that I barely slept that night.
I love to give students choices in writing, and I encourage “free writing” when I can, but I usually still include a number of different requirements as part of my writing activities. I rarely have students just “play” with writing. Since I do encourage, “play” in many other parts of my program, it seemed important that I encourage this for writing too.
Today, I changed my morning writing routine to a completely free write exercise. Students could write on any topic that they wanted, using any form that they wanted, and any tool that they wanted. All that I required was that they write. Here’s a short video of the results:
Important Note: When I said that this must because because of our focus on “letter writing,” I meant that students have been writing to other students in the class. They are doing lots with the different names of the students in the class. This is why I thought that they’d want to write lists and sentences including their friends’ names.
I love seeing how engaged each of the students were in their writing. All of them spent the entire time writing. They used resources around the classroom, including their dictionary and the word wall, to help them with spelling. More importantly, they took some risks in their writing. They had fun writing. They even edited their writing when they were done. It was great to see that the students loved to write. I’ll definitely be doing this type of activity again!
Thank you, Royan, for inspiring me to try something new. Have others attempted Royan’s “challenge” too? What were the results? I’d love to hear your stories!