Writing prompts support blog for teachers and students/ Focus #1

Standards: 1.5; 2.6; 3.4; 4.1; 4.5; 6.3

English @MHS was created as a support blog for Nick Fairlie’s blogging class last year. It was embedded in his ‘mothership’ blog as a space with further options for student writing. The idea was to add to Nick’s prompts all sorts of other options which were thematically linked and which used different kinds of media. Our intention was to differentiate the writing task in this way.

Now that this project is over, I would like to keep adding writing/response prompts if other teachers find this useful, either to supplement their blog post prompts (for example, Amanda Carroll’s blogging class) or just as a lucky dip for a rainy day. I emailed a few English teachers about this and received a positive response from some so I will continue posting and alerting them of new content. The prompts consciously extend and challenge students’ thinking by using images and videos to contrast with the usual textual prompts.

Professional Standards: 1.1; 1.5   The blog post prompts are created so that teachers can select from a flexible and effective repertoire of teaching strategies. Teachers use the prompts in flexible ways, eg selecting open ended or multi-dimensional prompts to challenge students’ thinking and writing, extending students with more challenging prompts or allowing students to choose. Prompts are constructed as starting points for teachers who will adapt prompts and vary teaching strategies to differentiate writing tasks. Prompts vary the combination of text, image and video, as well as encouraging differentiated responses eg prose, persuasive text, poetry, etc.

2.1 Writing is improved and writing fluency is developed through frequent writing practice. A comprehensive range of prompts can be used flexibly by the teacher at point of need. Students are engaged when given a wide variety of options and genres.

2.2  The blog format enables an ongoing selection of writing prompts enhanced by a choice of media, eg images, videos, slideshows, animations, gifs, etc. Additional information can be embedded in hyperlinks. It’s a more interactive, attractive, flexible and differentiated program for writing.

2.5/2.6 Using the blog as an alternate source of teaching ideas for student writing, I am able to create a comprehensive variety of writing prompts independently from the teacher after initial and frequent consultation. The blog is created as a support to the teacher. Digital literacies are embedded in the blog prompts, and these complement and enhance existing literacies (ie. reading, writing, thinking, creating.

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