There are times when I have felt very demoralized when I read the children’s writing. I teach Primary 4 in the north of Glasgow. No matter how much input I give there are some children who simply do not like writing.
Recently I have started doing One Minute Writing. It is a great way of using the odd 10minutes before breaks that can happen for a variety of reasons.
The first time I used this was after a fire drill and there was 10 minutes between getting back to class and the morning break. The children were noisy and restless.
As their literacy jotters were on their desks I asked them to put the heading One Minute Writing and the date. They were a bit bemused at starting what they thought was a writing lesson with so little time available.
When they had done this I explained that I would write a single word on the board and they would write about that word for exactly one minute. A timer was set and I wrote the word “fire”.
They all looked wvery industrious. I was impressed. When the timer rang they out down their pencils and every child was keen to read what they had written. I chose the ones who were usually reluctant to write and also reluctant to share their work with the class.
The results were like list poems.
Fire is dangerous
Fire can kill
Fire spreads quickly
Fire is hot
Fire can burn you
Keep safe from fire.
I honestly think that they write as much in the given minute as many of them would write in 30 minutes.
Now they ask when they can do One Minute Writing.
Why don’t you give it a try. Let me know how it works for you and your class.
This looks great. I’ve a big writing session today with a p4-7 class, will try this as a ‘warm up’ and report back!
I did indeed use it as a ‘warm up’ and have used it again a couple of times since in different contexts. It’s worked really really well. Will get my act together to do a full blog post but, briefly, great idea with requests from two classes to ‘have another go please, it’s great’ ’nuff said!
After reading your post I decided to have a go at one minute writing. I have a handful of kids who struggle when it comes to sustained writing. I thought this would be a good way in, and I can say it was a very positive activity. They even asked when would we do it again! I’ve posted it onto my blog
Thanks for sharing your idea.
I am so glad other people have found this helpful.Thank you for the comments.
There’s also a site called paragraph planet – write a paragrpah of 75 words and submit it http://www.paragraphplanet.com/submission.htm I haven’t come acoss a sentence planet – write a sentence of ten words?
Also one called 100 word challenge at http://100wc.net/
Thanks Ann. This idea sounds really good. The simple ones are the best, methinks. I’m going to work on it tomorrow!
Also, to David, thanks for the link.