Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keeping Writing Exciting in Fifth

My district has been working on unpacking the Core Standards for the past couple of years.  A lot of hard work and time has gone into ensuring that we are helping understand what kids know and figuring out what to do if they already know it or if they do not know it.  The rigor of the curriculum is not a bad thing, but I worry about kids working so hard to learn that they forget to be kids.  It is our job as teachers to help keep the classroom fun and engaging. 

I have learned a lot about sales through teaching in my classroom.  The excitement of the students typically relates back to the "'pitch" given to them.  Being a fifth grade teacher, I know that my students have written many persuasive essays over the years and it isn't exciting by fifth grade, so I need to spin it different to engage them while covering the Core.

The past few years my students haven't written persuasive essays...they have written editorials...yes, pretty much the same thing.  Letting fifth graders know they get to do something that other grade levels don't get to is a great way to hook them right away.  When introducing persuasive essays editorials, I give my students a few high-interest and engaging editorials to read that I know will grab their attention and get them excited.

One of their favorites every year is written by a teacher who wants to ban homework, that gets them talking!  I try to find editorials that show both sides of a view and some heated discussions typically occur.  Seeing my fifth graders excited about writing and the topics they have chosen is awesome!  Writing time is usually a struggle, so I love seeing how passionate they are about their ideas and how much they get to learn during the process (even if they don't realize they are learning, which is the best type!)

I will post my editorial graphic organizer on here in the next few days as a freebie!

How do you keep your students engaged during writing??


Lori Raines said...

Rockin Resources sent me!

Cheryl Hoff said...

I also teach fifth grade. We are very focused on writing his year.

Meredith Gore said...

I try to keep students engaged but throwing out silly ideas they can incorporate into their stories : )

Kelly said...

I love the idea of calling them editorials!

Hodgesgal said...

new to your blog, can't wait to check it out!

Hodges Herald

Andrea L. said...

I try to come up with silly stories or ideas to get them interested. Or, I try to come up with a new way of doing something so they get interested in the novelty of it.

Engaging Students Creatively said...

@ Lori- Welcome!

Engaging Students Creatively said...

@ Cheryl- It has been taking us awhile to roll out!
@ Meredith- Silly ideas seem to work well, it is fun to see how the enjoy silliness after they forget about being too cool:)

Engaging Students Creatively said...

@Kelly- Thanks, it is crazy how that little change makes them so much more excited than they were for persuasive essays. It's all about new ideas!
@Elizabeth- Welcome! I am glad you are here!

Engaging Students Creatively said...

@Andrea- Great ideas, thanks for sharing! I like the idea of silly stories, I find myself going autobiographical so I need to try the silly route!

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