Interactive Writing

Renee Caraballo B 9/10/15

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  • Interactive writing is not just a strategy that can be used in the primary grades, it can also be used in grades 2-5.
  • Dynamic instructional method- must be fast paced and relatively brief.
  • Collaborative, teachers and students work together.
  • Construct meaningful text while discussing the details of the writing process.
  • Group collaboration- composition
  • Share the pen! Lets the students write even if it is just letters, letter clusters, whole words, or punctuation.
  • Interactive writing reflects the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing).
  • Recommended Sequence (primary): Experience, Prewrite, Compose, Share the Pen, Review, and Extend.
  • Interactive writing is beneficial because it brings together overall literacy curriculum, including work around language, reading, and writing development.
  • Sessions no longer than 30 minutes! Keep the students engaged.
  • Explore the genres.
  • "Ultimate goal of interactive writing is to improve students' independent writing."
  • Four Key Shifts in Grades 2-5: Lesson Flow: Fluid and Dynamic, Share the Pen: Modifications in Pace, Discussion, and Medium, Lesson Frequency Duration: Less and More, and Teaching Points: Expand and Extend Around Genre.
  • Universal Elements of Interactive Writing: Four Principles That Hold for All Grades: Value Each Step in the Lesson, Balance the Planned and Unplanned Teaching Opportunities, Make Intentional Teaching Decisions as Writers Develop, and Make Explicit Links to Students' Own Work.
  • Seven Points for Preparation (2-5): Teach Routines First, Consider Carefully the Time of Day to Deliver the Lesson, Create a Comfortable Space Near Writing Resources, Use Highly Visible Materials, Prepare to Make Thoughtful Teaching Decisions, Keep All Students Engaged, and Be Patient With Yourself!


As I was reading this article, I really enjoyed the ideas that were expressed in it. Interactive writing is not a strategy that I had thought about using, and was honestly uncomfortable to even attempt to implement in my classroom. I felt that it could be awkward, and was afraid that I would probably "butcher" it and be doing a disservice to my students. After reading this article, I got some great advice as to what exactly interactive writing it, how it can be used in the classroom across all grade levels, the benefits that it has, and the way it fits with the common core. I did not know much about interactive writing before I started reading this article, but after reading I think that I would be willing to try it. I love how at the end of the article it gives encouragement for the teachers to be patient while trying to implement this strategy into their classroom. By implementing this strategy into the classroom, it allows students to see how a piece of writing should look like through modeling, practice word choice, revising, etc. It is an excellent tool to make sure all of the students are on the same page and help them take ownership of their writing.

This article is important because it gives great explanations as to what exactly interactive teaching is, how it can be implemented into the classroom, it breaks down how to alter the strategy to fit primary or intermediate, etc. This article explains how interactive writing can be used to reach all students at all different levels, even emergent to fluent writers. After reading this article, I am more willing to give this strategy a try. It will impact the way I teach by allowing me to branch out and try different strategies. Who knows, I may end up reaching students that I might have had difficulties reaching otherwise.


  1. In what ways do you see yourself implementing interactive writing into your classroom, if at all?
  2. The article gave many reasons as to why this strategy is great, but did not provide many negatives to it. What are the potential drawbacks that you see with this strategy?
  3. What are some more ideas to keep the students who are not writing, actively engaged in the activity?


Interactive Writing
2nd grade interactive writing


Roth, K., & Dabrowski, J. (2014). Extending Interactive Writing Into Grades 2-5. The Reading Teacher, 68(1), 33-44. doi:10.1002/trtr.1270