Interactive Writing

Skylar Ross Block C Section B

What is Interactive Writing?

Interactive writing is when the teachers and students work together to create a meaningful text that can be used as a guide and as a tool later on in the class.
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Parts of Interactive Writing

- Experience: A shared classroom experience helps motivate the students to write a similar story. Ex. guest speaker, field trip, or recent subject in school

- Prewrite: The teacher and students figure out who the audience is going to be, and what the structure of the text is going to be. Ex. Thanking a guest speaker for coming.

- Compose: The teacher and students work together to form the piece of writing

- Share the Pen: The teacher and students take turns writing the story, some adding words, others adding phrases.

- Review: The teacher helps the students recall the instruction to bring back important vocabulary words, or words with a specific sound or meaning.

- Extend: The class finishes the text and then keeps it in a place that is accessable during any time of class.

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Shifts for Grades 2-5

- Lesson Flow: Fluid and Dynamic: The older and more experienced your writers get, the more they will write with each turn. They will soon begin to write sentences and paragraphs, instead of just words.

- Share the Pen: Modifications in Pace, Discussion, and Medium: In kindergarten and first grade, the students will be focused on writing just lettersm If words are possible, encourage the students to do so. By second grade, one student might come up and write several words or an entire phrase. In grades 3–5, the students may come up and write whole paragraphs before giving the pen to someone else. The teacher is also encouraged to allow this as well, this will build students confidence and understanding of others writting process.

- Lesson Frequency and Duration: Less and More: The younger the grades, the more often you can do interactive writing. these lessons should last about 10-15 minutes.These can be done daily in kindergarten and first grade, but after that, they need to be less frequent. Grades 2-5 need to be primarily once a week or less. This is an activity for the students to build knowledge, not zone out during instruction. These lessons should last about 20-30 minutes.

- Teaching Points: Expand and Extend Around Genre: Writing is created around the students interests and motivation for the entire class.

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Why Use Interactive Writing

- Interactive writing can be used thoughout the entire cschool year as a tool and resource for students.

- Helps guide the entire class all at once, and allows students to share their opinions and strategies with the class.

- Students will be forced to pay attention and actively participate.

- It brings the literacy curriculum together. This includes the work around language, reading, and writing development.

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How to Get Started

  1. Teach Routines First -For first timers, make each step as small as possible, so you don't lose interest.
  2. Consider Carefully the Time of Day to Deliver the Lesson -The time of day will effect the outcome of your lesson. Plsn to have an interactive writing session after high eneergy activities, so the students are able to stay focused.
  3. Create a Comfortable Space Near Writing Resources - The environment n which you do your interactive writing session will make the likelihood of success of your session much higher.
  4. Use High Visible Materials - Students need the best material to write on. Lines, graph paper, or chart paper will make the sentences look and flow better.
  5. Prepare to Make Thoughtful Teaching Decisions - As the students write, analyze their process and find out where they may need help, and assist if needed.
  6. Keep All Students Engaged - Make sure that students are engaged the entire time. Allow them to turn and talk a few times, and move around a bit so they are able to stay focused.
  7. Be Patient with Yourself - Interactive writing can take weeks for classes to figure out. Have no fear, and be patient with your class and notice their individual improvements, not just their failures.
Interactive Writing in 1st Grade

3 Quesitons to Ask Yourself

1) What do you do if you are not getting 100% attetion or focus from your class? How do you engage the whole class?

2) How can you make a interactive writing session enhance the literacy activity you are going to do for your lesson?

3) What evidence, experience, or knowledge can you bring into your interactive writing session to make sure that the whole class engages and enjoys the activity?

Personal Opinion

Interactive writing can be an amazing thing for early writers. The strategy of having the whole class write the same story really helps students figure out what it is they need to do when writing on their own. Following guidelines and steps to successful writing is important to remember because this allows students to reuse the interactive writing as a guide later on. For the higher grades, this acitivty can assist students in thinking in a different way, and maybe find an easier way to write texts.Making sure the entire class is engaged is probably the most important factor when doing interactive writing. Without the entire class' attention, the text just won't be as effective.

Article Citation

Roth, K., & Dabrowski, J. (2014). Extending Interactive Writing into Grades 2-5. The Reading Teacher, 68(1), 33-44.

Extra Sources

Link for youtube video:

50 literacy strategies:

Tompkins, G. E. (2004). 50 literacy strategies: Step by step. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Interactive Writing Example Gallery:

More information on Interactive Reading: