5 Tested Writing Strategies That Work Like A Charm


Since writing is my jam, I have tried so many different writing strategies in my classroom over the years and found ones that truly work like a charm. I wouldn't teach writing without them. Each strategy sets the stage for effective writing.

1.  SCAFFOLD YOUR WRITER'S WORKSHOP LESSONS


This strategy is mainly for the teacher. The writer's workshop lessons should be presented to students in a step-by-step progression. When lessons are planned out and in an order that makes sense for that type of writing, students' writing will undoubtedly improve. They will understand the writing process and see how a quality piece of writing starts from the beginning stages of prewriting to the end stage with a final copy. Learn from my mistakes. I used to teach different mini lessons, but until I focused on an order to take one piece of writing all the way through a series of mini lessons, I didn't see the same results. It may take a long time to finish one piece of writing, but it is worth it in the end! A sample of scaffolded lessons can be found HERE.

2.  SET WRITING GOALS


Young writers should create a goal for each piece of writing. It will help them reflect on their writing and grow into expert authors.

 
WHAT SHOULD STUDENTS CHOOSE AS A WRITING GOAL?
Tell students to think of something that they frequently have to correct in their writing or something that they find difficult when writing in the past. Explain that writing goals can change from one piece of writing to the next. I find it best for students to focus on ONE goal in each writing piece. I know I know, it is hard to pick just one when they may need help in numerous areas. However, this focus will help them in that particular area every time they write! There are many goals that can be developed from writer's workshop. For example, writing in complete sentences, sticking to the topic, adding more details, or organization. Find a list of common goals HERE.

 
WHAT IF YOU WANT TO SET THE GOAL?
Absolutely! It is perfectly fine for the teacher or parent to set a goal or help the young writer set a goal, but make sure you explain your reasoning! Think of anything that may have been taught in a previous lesson or something students are expected to use throughout the year. Are there any writing skills that the young writer needs more time to develop?

3.  CREATE A WRITING REFERENCE



Writers should have a source to reference when writing. One way of providing a reference is by taking notes in each writer's workshop lesson. If you provide lessons that scaffold through the writing process, the notes will be in the same step-by-step order. This is especially helpful when students have another writing prompt in that same type of writing. They can go back to their notebooks and use it as a guide. Another way is to provide student reference folders. Print off all the necessary resources for your writing standards and place them in the folder. This can be used in a writing center or printed for each student. It is a valuable tool that can be used over and over.

4.  WORK WITH WRITING CHECKLISTS


Writing checklists are by far one of the best strategies for students to use when writing. Whether it is a paragraph or an essay, a checklist will help young writers look back through their writing to see if it still needs work.
 
WHAT DO YOU INCLUDE IN A CHECKLIST? 

What do you want your students to accomplish? What skills do you want to see in their writing? I like to use a different writing checklist for each type of writing. 

AT WHAT POINT IN THEIR WRITING DO YOU INTRODUCE A CHECKLIST?

I give students a checklist when I introduce the prompt as a guide, but ask them to fill it out after their rough draft, revisions, and editing. This will provide them with one last peek into their writing to see if they need any more tweaks before the final copy. You can get these FREE as one of our exclusive freebies for signing up for our Rockin Resource's newsletter. We offer teacher tips, ideas for instruction to motivate and differentiate in the classroom, and send out exclusive freebies and deals to our members. Don't miss out! Sign up HERE.  

5.  USE SPACING AND COLOR WHEN REVISING


When your young writers are ready for the revising step, ask them to skip lines in their writing. Why? It will give them room to add and exchange words, phrases, and sentences. Then when they are revising, suggest using a colorful pen. I even like to have students use a different color for the type of FAAVS they are using in their writing. This is an acronym I created to help student with word choice. Although many of the sense words will fall under adjectives, it is just one more way to have them think of words when revising!  

F- Figurative language
A- Adjectives that sparkle
A- Adverbs that shine
V- Verbs that strengthen
S- Sense Words that sizzle

I hope these ideas are just as helpful to you as they were in my classroom! Thank you for visiting Upper Elementary Snapshots! I would love to connect with you!