The Do the Write Thing (DTWT) program is an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV). The Do the Write Thing Challenge gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives in classroom discussions and in written form by communicating what they think should be done to change our culture of violence. “By encouraging students to make personal commitments to do something about the problem, the DTWT program ultimately seeks to empower them to break the cycles of violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.” DTWT
Each year, two student essays are selected to represent the City of Detroit in Washington, D.C. The two students are identified as the DTWT National Ambassadors and their winning essays are added to the State of Michigan Library in Lansing, Michigan and the National Library of Congress archives in Washington, D.C.
A teacher meeting will take place at Detroit Enterprise Academy on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 for all English Language Arts teachers in the Metro-Detroit area that are interested in learning more information about the Do the Write Thing (DTWT) essay contest. All teachers that are interested in attending the meeting can contact the DTWT Detroit City Chair Zemen Marrugi at firstname.lastname@example.org. The teachers meeting will include the 2016 DTWT student applications, essay requirements, and school participation details. The meeting will also include information about the 2016 Student Recognition ceremonies in Lansing, Michigan and Washington, D.C.
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.
Blog and video models best practices for creatively incorporating writing in the classroom.
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.