My colleagues and I often start off the day with “Quick Writes” — activities in which students write about a topic for three to five minutes, without stopping. The Quick Write strategy can be used across all subject areas in order to develop writing fluency and to encourage students to reflect upon their learning or their lives.
Quick writes can also be used to assess what a student knows or whether they can apply a particular skill in their writing. For example, I encourage my students to incorporate at least two or three vocabulary words into each of their quick write responses so that I can assess if they truly understand the words.
1. Do you enjoy coming to school every day? If so, why? If not, what made you stop enjoying school?
2. What are three great books or movies that you would recommend to a friend? Give detailed reasons why each book or movie is worthy of reading or watching.
3. When were you faced with a choice that you didn’t want to make? How did you decide to make it and what was the outcome?
4. How would our lives be different if no one had a cell phone? Would you like to live this way or not? Explain why and include details.
5. Sitting down all day is not considered very healthy, but yet students sit at desks almost all day to learn. Would you prefer to stand at a desk and learn? Why or why not? Provide at least three reasons.
6. What time of day do you enjoy most and what time do you enjoy least? Explain why and include examples.
7. Do you have a favorite meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, etc.)? Explain what type of meal is your favorite and why.
8. What kind of art do you enjoy creating the most? Explain what you do and why you love to do it.
9. Who has been your favorite teacher so far in your school career and why? Give details in your answer.
10. What is your favorite cartoon character or type of animal? Explain why you love your choice.