Jennica in New Mexico.

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 25 2012


The majority of my students HATE writing.  They hate the formality of… they hate how long it takes… they hate revising and rewriting their papers…

I tricked them with the following prompt:  Writing makes me feel…..

“I would like to write in my own way without having to stop and think to myself, “does this sound right?” or maybe “is this a good transition?” and “what do I write here?” That’s why I take so long writing. When I stop writing and start thinking and my mind starts to wander so I get bored and start talking. I don’t want to do that anymore, so I’m going to try really hard not to.  Also, I would like to apologize if I disrupt the class or if I’m talking during class and I will do my best to stop.”

I had so many students write about how much they hated writing…. it was funny though because they wrote a lot on this topic!  Because I only have 5 more teaching days left with them, I’m not too sure I can change their strong disdain for writing.  What I’m hoping to give them though is the basic writing skills they will need in high school.

We recently started persuasive essay #2- is hunting ethical?  It relates to a short story the students are reading in reading class. At first I wasn’t sure how they would like the prompt… but so far, they are really into it!  The picture below is from one of my students who really struggles with writing.  He’s at about a 3rd grade level.  For essays, I’m usually lucky if I get 4 sentences from him.  On this prompt though he wrote about 3 paragraphs! And I’m not sure if he knew he was using it… but he definitely uses emotional appeal in the last sentence- one of the persuasive techniques I taught.


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Learning and teaching…mostly learning.

New Mexico
High School

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June 2012
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