Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quick Writes! a peek into a child's thinking....

     I love a good way to peek into the minds of my students.  One way to do this is with a "Quick Write". I got these pointers from FOSS and would like to share them with you. 
       Quick Writes are usually short and to the point...designed to get to the heart of the topic at hand.  I like to use them as a preassessment to show what the students have for background knowledge on a new topic and to reveal misconceptions that they bring with them in the classroom.  This is crucial so that you can catch them early and work to correct these misunderstandings as you teach (not at the end of the unit!)
     When designing a quick write, you need to start with a topic in mind.  Think of a main concept, big idea or standard that you will be addressing and develop a prompt or question for the students to write a response to.  Jot down 3 or 4 concepts that you feel are common for your students to have as background knowledge ahead of time.  This will help you assess the prompt to determine who has a strong background, who has a typical background and who has a weak background on the topic at hand.

     Some teachers like to do Quick Writes on index cards so that they can do a quick sort into three groups - strong, typical or weak.  Others like to have students write the quick write in your notebooks.  I personally like the idea of combining the two.  I like to have them write on index cards, collect them, sort them and add feedback if needed.  Then I pass them back out and we glue them into the notebook to reflect on later in the unit as a self-reflection piece.  Students can then look at the first card and write a statement such as "I used to I know...."

      What do you think? Would it work in your classroom? How would you adapt it to fit your needs and the needs of your students?

Gotta Run for now!


  1. Love it! Will be using this idea. Thank you.

  2. Always thankful to find ways to incorporate science & writing. Love the idea of revisiting in a notebook at a later date. I'm going to try this!