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Writing To Learn. By: Jason Fischer. What Is W riting T o Learn?. Normally writing to learn activities are short and unplanned B asically informal writing tasks that help students think through key concepts or ideas presented in a class

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Writing to learn

Writing To Learn

By: Jason Fischer


What is w riting t o learn
What Is Writing To Learn?

  • Normally writing to learn activities are shortand unplanned

  • Basically informal writing tasks that help students think through key concepts or ideas presented in a class

  • Usually these writing activities are limited to less than five minutes of class time or are assigned as brief out-of-class assignments


When should it be used
When Should It Be Used?

  • Writing to learn activities can be used at many points during a class period:

    • The Beginning:

    • Writing to learn activities are good openers, this brings students back into the context of the class

      • A writing to learn activity sets an expectation that students need to pay attention and arrive to class prepared

      • Also lets teachers know how much students remember from the last class

      • Class openers can also prepare students for the lesson :

        • Givingthem time to find definitions of key terms that do not know

        • At the end of class students can go over their definitions and can see what they have learned


When should it be used1
When Should It Be Used?

  • The Middle:

    • An activity in the middle of a class can keep students attention by changing the pace of the class

    • Can also promote student participation by allowing them to brainstorm and write about particular questions or issues in the lesson

      • can then share with their peers during the remainder of the period.

  • The End:

  • Helps students see what they have learned

  • Also what they are confused about so they can look over the content before the next assignment or exam

  • A short writing activity at the end of class will help students comprehend and retain the material talked about in class that day


Writing to learn strategies
Writing To Learn Strategies

  • One Minute Paper:

    • Text and note books must be closed

    • Students write the most important or most useful points they learned from the lesson, reading assignment, or discussion

    • Students can also write down any questions they have

    • Called a one minute paper,but the activity usually takes two or three minutes

    • A one-minute paper can work as a work up or cool down activity

    • As a cool down it helps students:

      • Take in, digest, and internalize new material

  • Letters Home:

    • Paraphrase in informal language what is being learn

    • Students can write to their parents, a sibling, or a friend

    • Helps students see the relationship between their classes and their everyday lives

    • Also gives them the opportunity to describe the material in their own words


Writing to learn strategies and ells
Writing To Learn Strategies and ELLs

  • The shorter the activity the easier it will be perceived by the student.

  • One minute paper:

    • Short

    • Knowledge based

    • Room for questions

  • Letters Home:

    • Short

    • Draws on students idea of key points

    • Allows student to think in a informal manner

    • Does not involve normal writing rules


Works cited
Works Cited

  • Kiefer, Kate. "An Introduction to Writing Across the Curriculum." The WAC Clearinghouse. Colorado State University, 2010. Web. Feb. 2010.

  • Kalman, Judith. "Writing to Learn." Oregon State University. The Professional & Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. Web. Feb. 2010. <http://oregonstate.edu/ctl/articles/packet1/Writing%20to%20Learn.html>.

  • The Center for Teaching Excellence. "Using Writing-to-Learn Assignments to Actively Engage Students in the Learning Process." National Teaching and Learning Forum: 1-2. National Teaching and Learning Forum. James Rhem & Associates, LLC. Web. Feb. 2010. <http://www.ntlf.com/pod/Duquesene%20writing-to-learn.pdf>.


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