Writers block is not fun. I have been starting at my blank WordPress window for over an hour now trying to think of what to write about and nothing is coming to mind. I know there are several things I want to write about yet I can not find the right words to create a blog post. I sometimes feel like this when creating a lesson. I can come up with this great idea in my head that is going to wow and amaze my students yet when I open up my lesson plan documents I freeze. All of the sudden all of my great ideas go out the door and I’m stuck looking at a blank template wondering what I’m going to do.
So what do you do? What I’ve found works best for me is to just start writing. Don’t worry about the content just start writing and eventually you will think of something. Like right now. As I wrote this I realized I could share a lesson idea that I do with my students. At the beginning of my ELA classes I will post a random prompt or picture on the board. As my students enter they are instructed to sit down and just start writing for 8-10 minutes. During these stream of consciousness writing sessions they are instructed to not worry about spelling and grammar. Instead we focus on responding to a prompt. I have found that by eliminating the focus on spelling and grammar that my students are more willing to experiment with their writing. After the 8-10 minutes we then spend about 3-4 minutes wandering around the room and sharing with a partner. After those 3-4 minutes we then have 1 or 2 volunteers share their work with the class. My students love this process and have commented that it has helped them improve their writing skills.
I know this is not a ground breaking idea. In fact I’m sure at some point I “borrowed” it from someone else so feel free to steal it and use it in your classroom.
Ps I used the process above to write this blog post so please forgive any spelling or grammar mistakes.