Making Interactivie Writing More Interactive

Dec 13, 2016

Many, many years ago, I attended a session that discussed the components of interactive writing.  At the time, writing was not even close to a strength of mine and I had a lot to learn.  I did learn that interactive writing is the act of composing text with your students; however, you "share" the pen with them.  One big take away from the session was to have ALL students writing during an interactive writing lesson with white boards, rather than one student at a time writing on the shared paper.

Looking at how to keep all students engaged during interactive writing
I loved this idea and (of course) played around with it as soon as I was back in the classroom.  But as my job has changed throughout the years, I have had less opportunity for interactive

This year my school adopted LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention).  Every other day, the students write about their reading and interactive writing is a part of this.  It has been a lot of fun for me to utilize this teaching technique in my routine.  The students and I decide on the sentence(s) that we would like to write.  Then we begin.  I share the marker with the students and it turns into a product like this:

As one student is writing on the shared board or paper, the other students are writing on their own white board.  If it is a sight word that I want them to recognize quickly, I will typically ask them to erase their boards and write it again.

What I have found: 
  • The student that I choose to "share" the pen typically needs some support on the skill that I am asking them to write.  I pick this child on purpose because it allows me to have a quick teaching moment with them.  For example: the work may be "take" and I pick a student that has not been consistently reading and writing words with the "vce" pattern.
  • Students that are not "sharing" the pen at that exact moment are still engaged in the writing because they are writing the word on their own boards.
  • I am still able to monitor students that are writing on their own personal white boards.  This allows for some quick teaching moments when they are struggling with a particular skill.
The struggle:

 For me, one of the struggles I had with adding personal white boards into the mix was wasted time that could occur.  What I mean by this....constant erasing of letters or writing excessively large.  Not that this is a huge issue or could not be remedied by some good behavior management.  But it was something that would annoy me.

But this year, I found a solution.  In the past I have used some of the smaller dry erase boards from the Target Dollar Spot.  These worked fine.  I also had some of the dry erase stickers on my table last year.  This did not work out well.  Lots of picking at it by students, left them looking very disgusting.
This year I found the dry erase tape. 

Looking at ways to engage All students during interactive writing

What I like about this tape is that I can cut it into smaller strips.  Then I can leave the back on (so it does not stick) and tada! I have small white boards that are big enough for students to write one word at a time on them.  They are also small enough for me to keep in a pocket right next to me.  So I can grab them quickly and we can get started.

Looking at ways to engage All students during interactive writing

Does this sound like anything that you already do or something that you could see yourself adding?


1 comment:

  1. Interactive writing is a great tool. I know I don't use it often enough!


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