Writing across Content Areas: Fast and Effective Formats

Great blog post from my friend Jaami: writing as a metacognitive learning tool across content areas.

Here is a preview of what you’ll find:

“Before” Lesson Start (Preparation)
– Journaling and Quickwrites
– “Most Important Thing” to generate interest: Ask students to write the most important quite/concept/etc. from the previous night’s reading
– “Big Questions” to clarify misconceptions: Ask students to write 1-3 of the most pressing questions from the previous lesson (students can then pair-share-regroup to discuss, and choose the most pressing question of the entire class)

“During” Lesson (Scaffolding/Assistance)
– Mid-class quick writes for assessment: summarize, on index cards, after manageable chunks of content
– Problem Statement/Problem Solving for critical thinking: Ask students to respond in writing to hypothetical situations, scenarios, or case studies by suggesting solutions; or, to create problems to be solved
– Learning Log for metacognition: Have students quickly catalogue what they’ve learned, and what questions they still have

“After” Lesson (Reflection/Assessment)
– “Micro-themes” for reflection and assessment: Short, informal writings of one page or less at the end of a lesson to check for understanding
– “Exit tickets” for assessment: A quick summary and/or question generated at the end of class to gauge student understanding

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