Just Do It (part 2)

Yesterday I mentioned how important it is for children to write as much as possible.

As a teacher, you may be thinking, “Yeah, I would LOVE to give my students more time to just write, but WHEN?”

I feel your pain.  Sometimes I was tempted to boycott all assemblies and special area classes.  I never did, of course, but I was frustrated by so many activities I was expected to squeeze into my day while STILL teaching the tons of standards my students were supposed to master.

So the answer?  Get creative.  Since writing was a top priority, we wrote no matter what the subject. 

The Benefits:

  • Writing brings clarity–Whether it’s a science experiment, reading summary, or math problem, writing can help us work through our thoughts and observations.  The more we respond on paper, the more focused we will become and the clearer our understanding will be.
  • Communication–Think about all the people you come in contact with and how you interact with each one.  How do your own communication skills help/hinder both professional and personal relationships? We need good communication skills no matter what career path we take.   Writing is one of the best ways to improve such a valuable tool.
  • Remember–I’m always making lists, jotting down what I need to pick up at the store or times and dates for appointments.  Why?  So that I don’t miss an event or forget something important!  As we write we are filing that information away in our brains.  Writing helps us remember.

So go ahead and pull out the journals in math or science class.  Offer open-ended questions that will challenge students to dig deeper.  Allow students time to reflect in their journals on lessons or experiments.  Their own written reflections will last much longer than anything we teachers could ever say.

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