This is a blog I’d started six months ago. Rereading it, I may need to into “Free Write Fridays” again. I feel like our writing has gotten routine and that we are way too regimented. Writing needs to breath to grow, and we are in need of a deep breath! 🙂
As part of our Friday routine, we do a free write. It’s a time (in my thoughts at least) to just be able to allow words to flow without the “how much do I have to write” or “I don’t like this subject” or my favorite, “Is this a summative assessment” questions being asked.
However, we keep getting these questions, and in my mind, I’m not sure why. As I’ve done free writes like this, it’s that time where I can just get my thoughts on paper (or the screen). I’ve been able to use free writes as springboards into other blog topics, a way to keep my own writing fresh. Without something like this, I struggle with topics to keep six readers interested in what I’m writing about.
Another reason why I like this, it’s fluid. Too many times we give our students the five paragraph essay or a word count, to the point where they have been trained to ask those questions. This form of writing just means write, without that pressure. Now, I have one student who showed me three words with a big grin on his face, so of course, a few guidelines are needed. But for the most part, writing in this manner is allowing yourself so freedom to attack topics that they might not normally do.
And finally, if all we do is the assigned kinds of writing, it takes away the freedom to express the randomness that is being human. Want to write about kittens? Awesome, go for it! Want to write about how your parents are being totally unfair? I feel your pain, let it out! Want to write about how you love to play *insert sport or activity here*? Sweet, tell me more about it! The point is, write to write. Write to give yourself some freedom, a time where emotions and feelings can be poured out, a place to just dump the junk thoughts in your head.
“But someone will read it!” Not if we are using Edmodo, which we always do. Sometimes, with permission, I’ll read them out loud, but that’s not the goal either. In the end, I want my students to know that there is power in their words, and they can use this free write time to practice that craft, to hone their skills, and to make it so that when the assigned writing comes, they have the practice in being able to just let the words flow.
Plus, as I read them, they make me laugh because sometimes, we just have some crazy topics shared, and I love that about this age group! 🙂
January 23, 2017 at 9:06 pm
My class always loved free writing day, which was about once a week. I agree, it’s fun to just write without any parameters and when the kids enjoy writing, that’s over half the battle. I often got my 4th graders outside to write, which frequently resulted in some great writing. Sometimes they were given something to write about and sometimes it was free writing. I enjoyed your post-Happy Writing!
January 24, 2017 at 6:04 am
This would be a great classroom poster, “the freedom to express the randomness that is being human”!