Writing is an essential skill that all students must learn how
to do while in school. What starts out as learning to write ABCs
and 123s, soon turns into the ability to write structured sentences
that make sense, and then leads to the ability to write essays
and reports in a clear and concise manner. It's no wonder that
concentrating on the area of writing is so important in the classroom.
This guide to teaching writing is geared to help teachers learn
some effective ways that kids learn to write. Set Goals The first
thing you need to do in order to properly teach writing to your
students is to have a goal or purpose for what you want them to
write. If a student does not understand what is you are trying
to get him to write, he will either become very frustrated with
the assignment and/or refuse to complete the assignment. This
certainly was not your goal, so explain it to your students clearly.
Example: You want your students to write a paragraph about
animals. If you simply say, "I want you to write about animals,"
you are not giving any direction and students will have a ton
of questions to ask you. On the other hand, if you say, "Write
about an animal that hibernates in the winter," then you are giving
clear instructions of what kind of animal they should be writing
about. Also include as much detail in your description of the
assignment, such as:
- Why does this animal hibernate?
- What does it mean to hibernate?
- How does this animal survive without eating all winter?
Teach Note-Taking Skills
The proper way to write is to first take notes and then turn
the notes into an outline, and finally the finished product. Encourage
your students to take notes in a notebook. Next, have them transfer
their notes into an organized outline, and lastly, have them turn
their outline into a report, in that each paragraph has at least
Explain to your students that they should take notes consistently
to develop the habit. They will be taking notes throughout their
entire school career, so teaching them as early as possible is
best. Students may also want to use a highlighter to make important
information stand out.
Creative Writing Possibilities
Use your creative side to come up with fun ways for students
to write. Writing in the same format will become mundane very
quickly. Here are some ideas you might consider using instead:
- Articles (for newspapers, newsletters)
Students enjoy a change of pace every so often. It keeps them
on their toes, and keeps them interested in what they learning.
You can turn an otherwise boring topic into a creative wonder,
if you use your imagination and make writing fun!
Proofreading and Editing
Before handing in any writing assignment, a student should know
how to proofread and edit his work. Encourage your students to
use these methods for proofreading and editing their papers:
- Laying the paper aside for an hour or two and then going back
to check for errors. When you write a paper and check for errors
immediately, chances are you will miss something. It is best
to clear your mind before proofreading.
- Let someone else read your paper, and do not get upset with
Help your students create an editing checklist that they can
check off on each time they complete a writing assignment. Doing
this as a class will ensure that all students have the same checklist
in their possession.