Some students love to write, some tolerate it, and others just hate it. You know the scenario....the student sits and stares at a blank piece of paper for what seems like forever. How do we get our most relunctant writers writing? Even better, how do we get them excited about writing. Every teacher has at one time or another had one or two students who didn't enjoy writing. Okay, I'll say it, some students hate writing. However, it really isn't that they hate it, they just don't feel they're good at it. It makes perfect sense. I mean, what person would enjoy something that they're not very good at. Think about it. Bad cooks don't enjoy cooking. Nobody enjoys eating their cooking. Terrible singers don't enjoy singing. Wait a minute. I'm a bad singer, and I LOVE singing. It's my family that doesn't like hearing it. Well, that was a bad example, but you get the point. If students were better writers they would enjoy writing. Furthermore, in order for students to become better writers, they need to write more often. It's a vicious cycle.
Until last year I taught third grade. By the time kids reach third grade, teachers usually have two or three relunctant writers in their classrooms. Currently, I'm teaching first grade. First grade writers are a totally different entity. Most students are emergent readers and writers entering first grade. Therefore, they're just learning how to read and write. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to be the one responsible for their displeasure for writing. How can we get primary students off to a good start with writing? What tools, strategies and best practices, can we utilize to engage students in the writing opportunities that exist in the classroom? How can use technology to support them in their writing? Here is another way:
I came across a website called ReadWriteThink. They have something called a Comic Generator. Students can create their own comics on the computer or interactive whiteboard. The Comic Generator allows students to choose from different layouts, characters, and settings. The best part of all, the student has to WRITE the captions and dialogue. After the comic is completed it can be printed or edited. If you have an interactive whiteboard, your students could present their comics to their classmates. I created a comic of my own as an example. Take a look and see if you can get the gist of my comic.
Did you get it? I'm dreaming about the first day of school and hoping I remember everything. I'm upset because I have to go to school, even though I look and feel terrible. Finally, I discover that it's Saturday. Okay, so it's not very good, but I bet my first graders will do a lot better. More importantly, they'll have so much fun creating, that they'll forget they're WRITING!
The website for the Comic Generater is http://www.readwritethink.com/