I don’t know about your schools but the bulletin boards that are posted in our halls are incredibly challenging to keep up with. Every teacher has our own in our rooms that we manage and display student work or we use them as word walls but the community bulletin boards are a challenge. We had an open house this week and were asked to re-do them and make them look fresh. Julie Warren, our history teacher spent over an hour re-covering the super long board and I sent an email out to our faculty pleading for student work. I am lucky because I don’t have a set curriculum to follow so I can drop everything and spend a day “making” something to display in the hall.
We did collaborative free-writes. Now, I have done these before on white boards. Students sit in a circle and everyone has 30 seconds to write one sentence. Then they pass the whiteboard to the right and the next person reads the sentence and writes a second sentence, then passes it to the right again, and it goes on. I do this with my more advanced classes, where they are very comfortable writing and creating stories and there will be minimal errors. As I walk around if I see something misspelled, I can quickly erase with my thumb and ask my student to edit it. OR, I can sit in the circle and when the boards come to me, I edit.
What I tried the other day was an experiment and it worked SO well! I created this document. Then I explained to students the plan. (If you don’t teach Spanish you can see my basic instructions written below)
- Students sit in a circle with a hard surface to write on
- Students have 6 minutes (I WANTED THEM TO BE QUALITY) to draw a story in the boxes. If they use stick figures that is FINE! I want QUALITY stick figures!
- If they choose to write anything in the boxes it MUST be in Spanish and preferably dialogue.
- Students have 1-2 minutes to color their drawings
Next, after students completed their drawings, I explained the next steps. (Again, non-Spanish teachers see the description below. (The instructions start at 3:20… we always get off task in this class! I love it!)
- Students start with their OWN stories. They begin writing a story about their images. They must follow my regular “Free-write” writing rules. They have 3 minutes
- No English
- Be Creative
- USE CIRCUMLOCUTION
- Use a variety of verbs
- Create a beginning, middle and end.
- Then they pass the story to the right. The timer is set for 2 minutes. Students read what is already written and add on to it.
- They pass it again, they read and then write.
- etc. etc. etc.
The results were INCREDIBLE. Students did NOT write their names. Here is what my babies created. I hope you enjoy and you can use this your room! 🙂 Obviously some are better than others, but I didn’t want to only include the best for you here. So there is a mixture of all of the levels of writing from the class. 🙂
There you have it!!!
Until next time,
La Maestra Loca