August 16, 2011

Trying Something New - Writing Bingo

Every year I try to make a few big changes to my instruction. These changes help me approach every new school year with enthusiasm. This summer I felt an especially strong need to recommit and re-energize. I had had an especially challenging year and felt myself becoming a bit complacent.
In mid July I was starting to get nervous because I hadn't come up with any substantial changes. Sure I had some ideas and had been exploring new approaches, but I hadn't found anything Earth shattering.

And then I found Writing Bingo...

Someone had posted a series of about 40 differentiation ideas on Twitter. Writing Bingo was buried on 1/4 page, but as soon as I saw it I knew -


So I jumped in, did a lot of googling, and created a year's worth of Writing Bingo boards: (Click on the image below to view and download the document)

I am so excited about doing Writing Bingo this year - I can barely wait until our session with it (which will be on day #4). Here's the skinny:

1. Students complete 5 creative writing tasks per month (in a row to form Bingo)
2. I schedule 1.5 hours per week for free writing to be used for Bingo
3. Writing tasks cover the entire gamut of written genres including

* recipes * stories * jokes

* directions

* poems

* personal journals

* emails

* website designs

* menus

* brochures

* letters

* songs/raps

* comics

* arguments

* reviews

* game rules

* scripts

* greeting cards

* invitations

* autobiographies

* picture books

* schedules

* shopping lists

* news articles

You can tell I got excited - I couldn't stop coming up with ideas! Hopefully it's not too overwhelming!

Another exciting feature - A built-in self assessment rubric!

This approach excites me because
* It makes writing more fun and authentic
* Students have LOTS of choice
* Very formative
* Lots of creative genres

Our first writing time will be one week from today - I'll let you know how it goes! Feel free to download all 4 of my Bingo boards (the rubrics are on the last page).

Update: Writing Bingo is going wonderfully! The students LOVE it! I've written two follow-up posts: Differentiation and Engagement in Writing Bingo and The Writing Resource File - An Essential Tool.

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