Providing Frequent Opportunities to Write

According to the National Commission on Writing, offering adequate time for students to write is an essential element of an effective writing instruction program. To become effective writers, students need dedicated time to write, with writing occurring across the curriculum in various forms over time.

What might that look like in your classroom?

  • Encourage frequent and sustained writing.

Provide daily writing instruction to your students. If possible, devote at least 30 minutes each day to writing practice, allowing students to apply the skills they have learned. 

  • Remember that you don't have to provide feedback for every revision. Instead, allow students to revise using automated and peer feedback, freeing you to provide targeted feedback and allowing students to gain a metacognitive understanding of the writing process.
  • Provide opportunities for students to write for multiple purposes with increasing complexity.

Assign a variety of prompt topics in Utah Compose so that students have opportunities to persuade/argue, inform, narrate, and describe for different audiences and purposes. Assign supplemental practice tasks and/or curriculum-specific writing activities using customized prompts, adding appropriate stimulus materials. 

  • Create two prompt assignments in Utah Compose - one to persuade and one to inform. Instruct students to respond to the prompts with two different audiences in mind. 
  • Create a prompt in Utah Compose which encourages students to engage in their own evaluation of texts of different quality in response to the same prompt. Attach exemplary texts. 
  • Integrate writing practice opportunities across the curriculum.

Don't limit writing to the ELA block! Look for writing exposure and practice opportunities in all content areas. 

  • Choose a Utah Compose prepackaged constructed-response prompt in one of the content areas with associated reading stimulus materials such as articles and websites. 
  • Collaborate with other content area teachers to create prompts that can be used in more than one content area, encouraging cross-curricular writing and increasing writing practice. 
  • During novel studies, assign “quick writes” across the curriculum by creating a customized, constructed-response prompt. The purpose of this task is to develop writing fluency while informally assessing a student's knowledge of content, so don't focus on grammar and organization.

Providing frequent opportunities to write will provide a solid foundation for writing practice supported by Utah Compose, helping students improve the quality of their writing.