70: Quick Writes (2 of 2)





Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 6.15.09 PM


4 More Quick Writes (for 3 other straggles, go here)
  1. Brainstorming:
    • coming up with lots of ideas in a short amount of time
    • goal = quantity over quality
    • Possible uses:
      • could be part of writing break:
      • list every detail and idea you remember from the past 10 minutes
      • at end of list could supplement and revise this list
      • could be used to identify multiple ways to solve a problem
      • review content
      • inventory knowledge
      • connect content to things outside the classroom
      • correct previous misconceptions
      • pre-reading activity
      • vocabulary processing activity – provide as many examples of possible of this word
      • recap reading
    • Play by play:
      • select brainstorming topic, time, duration (1 – 2 minutes), and goal
      • at the appointed time, give students brainstorming topic and have them write for set time
      • student share lists with partner and extend their lists
      • create a class master list with ideas from each pair
      • work the room during individual brainstorming and pair discussion times
      • reprocessing lists
        • what would you like to add to your list now that you know more?
        • what are the top 3 things on your list and why?
        • what would you like to remove from you list now that you know more?
      • Pro tips:
        • select topics that students have some prior knowledge of
        • have students correct errors and misconceptions at a later time
  1. Drawing & Illustrating:
    • quick drawings, sketches with captions that show understanding of an idea or problem
    • good for visual learners
    • Play by play:
      • can ask students to diagram/sketch what they learned the previous day
        • ask students to draw without the aide of the internet, on their own
        • encourage non-artists to relax
        • provide other options to students who are not visual learners
        • use to make a class-wide collection of pictures – note Nearpod is good at consolidating these drawings and sharing select drawings
        • OR use to made a single class-wide picture
      • work the room – scan for key ideas, common themes, misconceptions, struggling to draw/caption
      • have students reflect on how drawings are helping them visualize and grow their own learning
    • Types of drawings
      • cartoons
      • timelines
      • cycle drawings
  2. Clustering:
    • similar to concept mapping
    • start with a single word/topic in the center, draw related topics on hubs extending from the center
    • Uses:
      • helps students learn what they know and how to organize their learning
      • help student process information prior to discussions
      • make sense of reading (textbooks, articles, etc)
    • Play by play:
      • Model it first – think aloud to model thinking that goes with clustering
      • Students can start using this strategy working in pairs
      • Can create cluster individually after they become familiar with the strategy
      • Assign a key word to start the cluster (the central word)
      • Have students explain connections between central word and words on the hubs
      • Work the room – look for misconceptions, struggles, interesting connections, recurring connections
      • Reassure students who are uncomfortable with associative thinking
      • Can provide words in center and hubs if topic is new
      • Word splash variation – show a word cloud of key words and have students write as many sentences as possible that connect the words
  3. Mapping
    • arranging ideas visually to show relationships
    • leverages fact that brain works by associating images with words
    • examples:
      • Venn diagrams
      • flow charts
      • concept wheels
    • purposes:
      • represent nonlinear processes
      • organize, synthesize, digest knowledge
      • recall problem solving steps
      • review material near end of unit
      • relate ideas to a larger whole or big ideas
      • organize projects
      • generate ideas
      • process reading
    • Play by play:
      • model creating type of map and use think aloud to link map creating to thinking
      • show students models of maps
      • use graphic organizers with targeted model
      • give students time to complete the map with the use of graphic organizer
      • work the room to see struggles, common ideas and misconceptions
      • discuss maps – call on students to explain where they placed information and why
        • display student suggestions / ideas on a class map
      • variations:
        • could start map in class and finish at home to give more processing time
        • do gallery walk with maps – write comments on blank paper by the maps while rotation around
        • complete maps in pairs
  4. Bonus Strategy: Learning Logs:
    • Collect WTL’s in a learning logs – could be pasted into a notebook or kept in a large envelope
    • Ask students to examine WTL’s at key milestones in projects, correct them, and create pieces that synthesize key information in the WTL’s
Recommended Reading & Viewing:
Write-to-Learns (WTLs) can help students learn how to think.  Using quick strategies can help students reprocess information and can help teachers notice trends that help them build bridges between ideas and fine-tune lessons.  Using mapping and sketching activities can help visual learners make stronger associations with and among ideas.


Preparation Steps
  • Decide what types of Quick Writes can be used to highlight key ideas and connections in learning targets
  • Model how to create Quick Writes.  Use think aloud strategy while modeling.  Also let students examine and discuss examples to get more familiar with the strategies.
Early Implementation Steps
  • Use quick write strategies (variety) to give students varied ways to process content in workshops
  • Use pair share protocols to discuss and consolidate quick writes
  • Have student reflect upon and add additional comments to their quick writes in order to develop students’ metacognition
Advanced Implementation Steps
  • Use quick write strategies (variety) to give students varied ways to process content in workshops at their beginning, middle and end
  • Set up routines that have students assemble quite writes into learning logs and use these learning logs to review material at project milestones

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *