Sunday, January 24, 2016

Writing With a DING!




I'm more of a chimes girl myself, but this little dinger, when used sparingly, has been a helpful little tool. When I say sparingly, I mean I resurrect it, at the most, twice a year. Much more than that and it could get a little annoying or simply lose its affect. But I can vouch for the fact that first graders don't mind it's DING one bit, especially if they're the ones who create it. Here's how this little tool works in my room.

I actually used the dinger to inspire my writers. For example, we're currently working on persuasive letters. Even though I'd modeled and taught a handful of lessons on backing up their opinions with details, which typically isn't an issue with my writers, the majority of this year's class wasn't embracing the idea in their daily writing. Somewhat out of desperation, I brought out the dinger one day and made quite the hullabaloo about it during my mini-lesson on using details. Of course, when they heard what the dinger could do and that they could be the ones to create that sound, their little eyes lit up. 

Off they went to write, and off I went to circulate the room, looking for writers who were using details to back up their opinions. Each time I found one (and I found many that day), the child got to ding the dinger while I made a quick announcement about what that writer had just done. My goal was to catch as many of them trying the strategy as possible, and I did just that.  

Yes, it's a little noisy. Yes, it interrupts the writers, Neither is ideal for the everyday writing workshop experience. But, it motivates writers who won't budge and need a push in the right direction. A little noise and interruption a few times a year is worth it when my writers take on the challenge and get over that hump in their way.  DING!



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14 comments:

  1. Good idea to nudge those writer's who weren't using details! I am sure your writers were very engaged and motivated to do just as you had asked to be able to ding that bell!

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    1. Lori, they were definitely engaged and motivated by nothing more than a DING. :)

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  2. I love ideas like this that motivate and excite even for just one day! It is a lasting memory.

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    1. Em, you and your team are great at creating motiving moments!

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  3. This is a brilliant idea! Used sparingly it could work well in a variety of situations:)

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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    1. Tara, I was thinking the same thing: math, reading, behavior...

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  4. That's a great idea! I can imagine the fun in your class.

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    1. Barb, dinging a bell is pretty fun all right. :)

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  5. Replies
    1. Sara, yep, when they least expected it. :)

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  6. Tammy What a powerful tool to motivate young writers, I love it!

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    1. Melissa, it does have a way to doing that which comes in hand some days. :)

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  7. What a great idea! I may have to steal this one too! :) P.S. I have the exact same bell! I'm telling you, great minds.....

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    1. Miss Trayers, I'm honored that you say we think alike. :)

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