By Zemen Marrugi, M.Ed.
Need a creative way to get your students excited about writing? Check out my video on a teaching strategy that is sure to improve your students’ writing skills. Whether you are a classroom teacher, academic specialist, paraprofessional, or a parent looking for ways to enhance your own child’s writing craft, you will benefit from this teaching strategy.
Would You Rather Notebooks give students an opportunity to reflect on the material that is being taught in the classroom and share their opinion on two different scenarios. Here is how you can implement this teaching strategy in your own classroom:
1) Provide each student with a notebook. You can use any type of notebook as long as it has line paper in it.
2) Give the students a chance to decorate the cover of the notebook so that they can become excited about writing in the notebook. Be specifics with what you would like included on the cover.
3) Place the notebook assignment as part of the students regular writing exercise. I strongly encourage you assign this as a small group or independent work during workshop or stations. This type of writing exercise is not meant to be taught whole group. This strategy works best if done one-on-one or independently so that students can work on their own pace through the writing sample.
4) You can cross curriculum and have the students respond to a variety of questions related to all subjects. Modify accordingly depending on the students’ age and content area. This teaching strategy does not necessarily have to be used during the Language Arts or Reading block. Students can write in their ‘Would You Rather’ notebooks during Social Studies and Science. Ask questions like, “Would you have rather been a soldier during the American Revolutionary War or American Civil War?” Giving the students an opportunity to reflect on the material you have taught them throughout the year will help you measure exactly how much information they were able to retain.
Share your comments below and provide me with feedback on how you feel about the information on the teaching strategy I shared with you. Let me know what other videos or strategies you would like to learn more about and I will try my best to provide you with the resources in some of my future blog entries.
About Zemen Marrugi
Zemen Marrugi is an Assistant Principal and national presenter. She’s worked as an elementary and middle school teacher and has presented countless workshops on topics like Differentiated Instruction and Creative Classroom Workshop Ideas.
In addition to presenting workshop to elementary/middle school teachers, Marrugi has also presented workshops for college activities personnel at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Association for Student Advancement District 5 Great Lakes Conference and the National Association for Campus Activities Regional and National Conventions. Her experience in the educational world is very broad and includes both private and public sectors.
Marrugi received her Bachelors from Wayne State University in Elementary Education and her Masters from Grand Valley State University in Educational Leadership. She holds a professional teaching certification and a school administrative certification. Marrugi also has an English Language Arts endorsement. Click here for more information on Zemen Marrugi.