Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Strategies for Engaging Boy Writers

This was a useful list of things to think about with boys writing

 Boys who were allowed to choose writing topics showed increased motivation and engagement. 

2. Boys are helped by experiencing examples of different text forms. This helped boys in non-fiction writing.

3. A "guys-only" writing workshop was initiated for a small number of boys. They came away very motivated to write as a result.

4. Boys planned their writing using graphic organizers both individually and in pairs. 

5. When boys were given assignments with step-by-step instructions, clear expectations and a formula to follow, assignments were completed. 

6. Boys were introduced to the "APE" (answer, prove, extend) strategy to help them to write at a higher level.

7. Boys saw the importance of an authentic audience and a real purpose when they produced a "Boys Writing for Boys!" newsletter. 

8. Talk is an important scaffold for boys writing activities. Talk builds social interaction, and deepens understanding and is a precursor to writing. 

9. Allow boys to share their thinking through talk prior to a written assignment. It will improve their ability to communicate. 

10. Boys use of the debate to discuss authentic and relevant issues transferred into their non-fiction persuasive writing. 

11. Boys welcome having male role models as writers.

12. Boys choice of topics for writing allows for ownership. 

13. Schools can tap into the real-life connection by creating blogs for the students to use for class writing.

14. Boys prefer to write about real-life and hands-on experiences.

15. Boys' writing improved during activities that were highly motivating and grounded in the real world, coupled with direct instruction about the writing form and supported with the use of visuals such as anchor charts, word walls, and graphic organisers. 

16. Boys like to write about exaggerations, humour, silly writing, rap songs, procedural writing, short scenes.

17. ICT in the form of computers, blogs, wikis and digital voice recorders have been used with boys to reinforce writing skills. 

18. Boys with special needs thrive when given the opportunity to work with assistive technologies: graphic organisers, dictation software. Write and edit in-class compositions electronically allowed them to receive immediate feedback.

19. Teachers observed that when the number of paper and pencil tasks was decreased, students were more engaged during the writing activities.

20. Boys who design and play video games develop sophisticated operational, cultural and critical literacy skills. 

21. Boys requested boy friendly topics, a clear outline of what is expected, a shorter writing process and fewer things to fix when they are finished. 

22. An emphasis on non-fiction writing 

23. Boys' teachers placed a heavier emphasis on oral assessment and performance-based assessment, such as drama activities rather than traditional assessments based on writing. 

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Hi team

Your suggestions and feedback are very much appreciated.