Writing may not be every student’s favorite subject, but you can help them improve their writing skills using a few tips, tricks, and resources. I love providing students with fun writing prompts and ideas to get them started, as well as resources to keep them going. Through fun activities and tons of modeling, students will begin to love writing. Keep reading to learn how to improve writing skills among your students, and be sure to check out the freebies at the bottom of the post.
Why Writing Skills are Important
Believe it or not, writing is directly linked to critical thinking skills. Writing is a simple way for students to show everyone what they know and what they have learned about a topic. It’s important to improve writing skills over the year to prepare for state testing and exams and to complete classroom assignments. Eventually, all these writing skills will translate to longer essays and written reports.
Encourage Kids to Read
The more kids read, the more they will be exposed to different styles of writing. All books they read in the classroom are great examples of text structure. As they read, they will subliminally notice how sentences are formed and details are written. The more they read, the more they will add these elements to their own writing.
Use Outlines and Organizers
When conducting any type of writing, especially research, have students keep track of their findings on some type of recording sheet. This recording sheet will organize their question, answer, and any important information about citations when they go to write their final draft. Use these Common Core Research Writing Templates to get started. They make adorable bulletin board displays for research projects as well.
Help Students Get Started with Prompts
In elementary school, writing prompts are extremely helpful when figuring out how to improve writing skills. Thought-provoking questions or a sentence stem may be just what they need to get started. Using writing prompts gives them leg up and inspires them for later writing pieces.
Teach Students to Brainstorm
Brainstorming is the perfect way to help students come up with ideas to write about. Remind them that the brainstorming process involves writing down words or phrases and coming back to turn them into full sentences later. By recording their thoughts and ideas, they will have plenty of context to work with when they go to form sentences.
Encourage Parents to Help
Any chance you get, ask parents to check in on what their kids are working on. Send home the first drafts for parents to read over and provide feedback. Parents can be a helpful tool in giving another opinion on the writing process. Encourage parents to give constructive criticism, though that will build the students up.
Allow Spell-Check When Using Technology
If students are typing on a computer instead of writing with a pencil, allow them to use spell-check or grammar apps. These features may seem like they inhibit a child’s learning when it comes to writing, but they can be extremely helpful. Students will see the errors they are making and keep them in mind as they continue to write.
Display the Steps of Writing in the Classroom
Provide students with an easy way to remember the writing process using flipbooks and classroom posters. Students will love keeping the flipbooks in their desks to refer to and seeing the posters on the wall as they write. Grab these Opinion Writing Essay Posters, Flipbooks, and Guides to use with your students.
Promote Free Writing with Incentives
Encourage students to free write any time they want. Provide opportunities during the day to free write in a journal or encourage them to keep a diary at home. Incentivize their use of these free writing tools at the end of the week or month, and they are sure to continue their self-expression through writing.
Use a Bell Ringer to Invite Kids to Write
A bell ringer is a great way to get students to write and settle down as they enter the classroom. Provide students with a Monday news prompt to share what they did over the weekend. Students draw a picture of something they did over the weekend and then write a paragraph to describe it. This is a great practice to help students learn how to improve their writing skills. Grab these Free Monday News Reports to use in your classroom.
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