One thing I worked on a lot last year is my Independent Writing block. Kids have twenty minutes a day to write on their own and I wanted this time to be purposeful, productive, and self-guided.
In both Word Work and Math, I use a Bingo board to have kids choose their own activities to complete throughout the week or unit. They will plan their Bingo and then work towards it during independent work time, showing me their progress at the end and getting a signature. Five signatures in a row is a Bingo and a small reward (usually a sticker), then they keep working until they hit Blackout or the unit is over and the Bingo sheet is collected. For additional info, click HERE for a video walk-though of my editable Bingo boards.
For Independent Writing, these Bingo boards look a bit different. Of course, since they are completely editable, they can be filled with any information you'd like, but I like to do one of two things: Types of Writing or Prompt Numbers.
Types of Writing Bingo
This is the easiest since it can be reused under any circumstance. I filled this in myself, so you can use this as a guide or adjust it to fit your class' needs. Kids will write about any idea, but follow the format of the type of writing in their Bingo square. This is a great way to ensure that your kiddos don't get stuck on just one type of writing. By having them choose their Bingo, they can take some risks and also write in some of their favorite formats.
I wrote a lot about how I used my Writing Prompts in a prior post HERE. While this version does take some initial setup time, I have found it a great way to get through more of the prompts and really keep kids fully engaged in writing.
An easy way I organize this is with 4x6" photo sheet protectors, a binder, and my trusty Silhouette Cameo for the numbers:
I numbered each pocket 1-24. Now, I can use it all year long for any Writing Prompt packet. I then print out the pages of prompts (10 to a page). You can number these 1-24, which would be very smart, so kids could stay organized during the process. The prompts themselves don't come pre-numbered, since there are 35 total and a space for you to write your own, so you can pick and choose the prompts that work best with your group.
The prompts then get put into the slot with the number and are available for kids to grab and glue into the top of their Writer's Notebook.
All of this is stored in our Writing Prompts Binder which students can access easily during Independent Writing Time.
For a FREE copy of this binder cover, click HERE!
Using this format, when students show me their writing at the end of Independent Writing Time, I can see their progress with the prompts and it allows them to work in a variety of formats and purposes in a fun and engaging way. Many of them won't finish the prompts during one Independent Writing block, so on Fridays we typically have a "Finish Up Friday" block instead where they can go back and finish their draft and maybe even revise and edit some old prompts to make them their very best work.
To view my growing collection of Writing Prompts, click HERE to see them in my TpT Store or below to go directly to their listing:
To see the new Independent (and Partner!) Writing Bingo Boards, click HERE to see them in my TpT Store.
Please leave any questions you have for me about these or my writing block and I will be happy to answer them in the comments or an upcoming post. Happy writing!