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This is a Guest Post by Adaptive Learnin’. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, you can contact us on Twitter @GlogsterEdu, or comment with your Email Address below (email addresses will not appear publicly).
A Discovery I Made Recently
On my blog adaptivelearnin, I just started participating in this fantastic free writing idea that only takes five minutes every Friday, called Five Minute Friday. The idea is to write freely for five minutes without distractions, without worry, and without focus on any of technical aspects of the writing process. If you mess up, you don’t stop. Poor spelling? no worries. If you make grammatical mistakes, no problem. You keep going, unleashing a flood of ideas into your writing. The purpose is to be free from all the worries that normally cause writing anxiety or “writer’s block.”
Five Minute Friday was started by a blogger named Lisa-Jo Baker. EVery Friday at 12:00 AM EST Lisa-Jo posts a writing prompt on her blog. The prompt she posts is what all Five Minute Friday participants are supposed to free write about on their own blogs -five minutes without stopping. Participants write their posts, then link back to Lisa-Jo’s original post. Participants then scroll down to the bottom of Lisa-Jo’s post and comment on other posts because all posts are linked for viewing. Five Minute Friday participants want you to comment on other posts. It’s a part of what the writing community is for.
So, here is where Five Minute Friday, teaching, blogging and Glogs come into play. After doing a Five Minute Friday for the first time last week. I was sold on promoting it to teachers, who could use it with their students! It’s easy and simple for teachers to implement, and it’s fun!
Why You Should Try 5 Minute Fridays
An unplanned free-writing assignment can assuage the anxiety that many students (particularly ESL students), have about writing. For students who are still experiencing intellectual development, brainstorming and thinking creatively can be a source of stress. It seems to take forever, and the harder one thinks, the less sure one becomes of oneself; and this is as true in writing as in any academic subject. When students do come up with ideas, they become so focused on the requirements of the assignment and the details of diction and mechanics, that they struggle even to put thoughts on paper -they soon forget their ideas, and are back at square one. Implementing a simple and fast-paced free writing task like Five Minute Friday once every week will give students practice with uninterrupted and anxiety-free brainstorming and creative writing. Wow, I thought when I first heard about it. This is huge.
Give it a shot
I started Five Minute Friday writing last week on my blog and did another post today. As I wrote my post today on my personal blog, Glogster EDU came to mind. Five Minute Friday could so be connected with creating Glogs for various purposes in a writing task or process. That’s why I’m here now writing to all of you on Glogster EDU’s blog.
Five Minute Friday is based on blogging. You can write a Five Minute Friday post for demonstration on your teacher blog, and then have students write a post on their classroom blogs. You will have to model and teach them how to do Five Minute Friday. (You can find the details on what to do, on Lisa-Jo’s blog.) Once students get the process, doing it every friday will be easy. I believe with practice week after week, their writing anxiety will diminish. and their ability to brainstorm quickly will drastically improve.
5 Minute Friday and Glogging: How it Works
Once students have composed their Five Minute Friday posts on their classroom blogs, you can follow-up by having them use their writing to kick-off new creative tasks and/or extended writing assignments through Glogging on Glogster EDU.
Here are my thoughts on how to incorporate Five Minute Friday with Glogging:
- Carry out a 5 Minute Friday writing assignment. Do this a few times so that students get comfortable with the concept.
- Divide students into groups and create Glogs with links to all of their Five Minute Friday classroom posts. Then have student groups share their Glogs on the SmartBoard, or have students walk around and share their Glogs on Touchscreen Tablets or Computers. Have students comment on each other’s Glogs or Five Minute Friday blog posts to encourage students to learn how to offer positive writing feedback.
- Pick some of the best Five Minute Friday posts for the current week on Lisa-Jo’s blog with students. Then have students create Glogs, individually or in groups, about their favorite posts. Students can then share their Glogs in the same manner as outlined above.
- Have students create Glogs linking their personal Five Minute Friday post for the week. Then on their Glogs have them create links about what they learned from the comments and positive feedback other students have left for them on their Five Minute Friday posts.
- Once you’ve successfully implemented Five Minute Friday, you can have students create Glogs displaying their best or favorite Five Minute Friday blog posts.
- Remember to use the Project tools in Glogster EDU to assign the Glogs, and then store finished Glogs in student Portfolios.
- You could then have students take the Five Minute Friday post they write and use it as a full extended writing assignment.
- To make the writing process less anxiety-driven and more free, as Five Minute Friday promotes, you could have students map out their writing plans in various steps by creating Glogs.
- Try a “My Writing Process,” Glog, and students can define for themselves, how their writing process works (and what problems they have with it). This Glog can be adjusted over time to reflect new discoveries.
- Have students create Glogs as graphic organizers to map out their next steps in the writing process. They could start with an outline, and slowly add paragraphs to it, for example. Eventually students would have to write full assignments, but by starting the writing process with Five Minute Friday, followed by brainstorming ideas using technology students love, it will help them get excited about writing instead of making them feel anxious, as they usually do.
- If you are working with English Language Learners, you could have students write a Five Minute Friday post. Then you could have them create a Glog with vocabulary and/or grammatical ideas to incorporate in an extended writing assignment using their Five Minute Friday post.
- This will help them have an outline of vocabulary and grammar in their extended writing so they don’t become repetitive. It will also focus them on learning the vocabulary they need to express themselves fully. The Glog helps to define the need, and remind students of what they have learned.