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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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