3 Ways to Motivate Writers: An Exclusive Interview with Teaching in Room 6
Stephanie Moorman from Teaching in Room 6 has been inspiring teachers and supporting student writers for two decades now. She has graciously agreed to share her best tips for motivating students to write here on teachwriting.org!
1. Write Across All Subject Areas
How do you go about motivating your students to write?
"Motivating students to write is something I strive to do at all times. You see, in my class, writing is an integral feature. We write all day, every day in every subject and every time of day. We don't specifically have a writing time because writing is woven into the very fiber of our class.
Because we write so much, I am always trying to keep my students' interests peaked and focused on the writing that is being done. One way that I have found to keep their interest is by letting students know the purpose behind the writing. Are we trying to convince others to believe our opinions? Do we want to share what we know about a math concept? Are we vying for a specific job in class? Knowing WHY they need to write has helped the students focus their ideas and keep them motivated on the writing.
Another way that I have found motivates students to write is by showing them that their writing is valued. The students publish their writing online for others to read. It is displayed on our bulletin boards. Students read their writing aloud to their peers. They are celebrated as authors, increasing motivation to write even more."
2. Build a Writing Culture with Structure
What are some new, innovative strategies you have used recently to teach writing?
"Honestly, there really is nothing new or innovative that I have tried when it comes to teaching writing. I have found the tried and true methods of breaking writing into chunks, teaching writing as a structure to follow, consistently teaching writing mini lessons, and actually writing daily is what helps create a culture of writing in my class. I try hard not to use gimmicks or cutesy writing organizers when teaching my students to write, as those things, I feel, become a crutch. Rather, I stick with things I know to work and let the cutesy go by the wayside."
3. Write in Front of your students
What is your #1 tip when it comes to teaching writing?
"The best thing you can do for your students is to write in front of them. Modeling good writing, or bad writing and asking for feedback, is the best way to show students the process that writers actually go through when drafting and moving towards published pieces. So often our students think that the first draft is the end. That what they produce first is the best they can do. Showing them how you personally write, then revise and rewrite your own work, provides amazing examples for the students. They can see what to do, what not to do, and how to apply those ideas to their own work. The more you do this, the more valuable your writing becomes to your students."
Meet Stephanie--Teaching in Room 6
Connect with Stephanie...
Stephanie is a 20 year teaching veteran who is Nationally Board Certified. She has been teaching in the same district, which is the district she went to school in, for the entirety of her teaching career. Stephanie has spent time teaching 2nd-5th grade but has mainly taught 5th. She has 3 children (ages 10, 8, and 4) and has been married 12 years, their anniversary was just this week:) Her family is slightly Hamilton obsessed and spends most of their time on the softball field.
Stephanie inspires and supports teachers around the world with her curriculum and is a top seller on Teachers Pay Teachers. Check out her store below!
The ORIGINAL Paragraph of the Week program on Teachers Pay Teachers! This daily, scaffolded approach to paragraph writing is perfect to help get your students writing good, solid, detailed paragraphs. Students will write one paragraph weekly, focusing on the organization and format of the paragraph itself.
This daily, scaffolded approach to essay writing is perfect to help get your students writing good, solid, detailed 5 paragraph essays. Students will write one essay a school month (20 days), focusing on the organization and format of the essay itself. There are 20 separate writing prompts in this 300+ page file.