Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Week of Free-Writing!

This week we began free-writing, which for many of us in Room 121, was a breath of fresh air since that meant we could write about anything and everything we wanted to...but with a catch: writing the entire time without stopping!

According to Peter Elbow(an English professor and author of many books including Writing Without Teachers), free-writing is the best way to improve writing, and we want to be the best writers we can possible be in Room 121

"The most effective way I know to improve your writing is to do freewriting exercises regularly.  At least three times a week.  They are sometimes called "automatic writing," "babbling," or “jabbering" exercises.  The idea is simply to write for ten minutes (later on, perhaps fifteen or twenty).  Don't stop for anything.  Go quickly without rushing.  Never stop to look back, to cross something out, to wonder how to spell something, to wonder what word or thought to use, or to think about what you are doing.  If you can't think of a word or a spelling, just use a squiggle or else write "I can't think what to say, I can't think what to say" as many times as you want; or repeat the last word you wrote over and over again; or anything else.  The only requirement is that you never stop." ~Peter Elbow

To help us build stamina, we started with free-writing on Tuesday for 3 minutes, and we wrote for 3 minutes today. Yesterday, before everybody began writing their first official free-writing entry, I (Mrs.Allen) wrote an example while everybody watched. Then, after answering everybody's questions, we got right to writing.

Today we wrote again, and tomorrow we might even increase our time to 4 minutes since we did so well today. We'll see....

Here are a few free-writing entries from a few of us who really wanted to publish our writing to our blog. As you can tell, some of us still are getting the hang of it, but every one of us wrote each entry in 3 minutes. Since we are all unique and work at different paces, some of our entries vary in length; however, we all wrote practically the entire time, and we are still learning.... so that's what matters!

With true free-writing, which is what we are aspiring to do, sharing is optional. With public free-writing (which we will do some of later on in the year), the writing is intended to be shared (hence the name "public" free-writing); however, with the free-writing we are doing now, sharing is optional.

After we wrote today, we got with our skating partners, and many of us opted to share what we had written.

Here are a few pictures of us sharing our writing today:


Anonymous said...

Awesome you guys are really good at writing,some good words in there.

Anonymous said...

Your free writing and handwriting is great.
I can not wait to do pen pals with you.
From Brody.

Anonymous said...

Great work room 121!
I love the writing you've put up!
I really like how you put what Peter Elbow said about free-writing!
Do you wear a school Uniform to school? We do
How long is school? Ours goes from 9:45-2:45
What state of America are you in? We don't have states (since of our small country) But where in Hawke's bay!
I can not wait till we do pen pals with you!

rmannell said...

Hello Room 121,

It seems the vacation has ended and the fun of your blogging experiences has begun. I agree with Peter Elbow, free writing allows the mind to be set free as we explore ways of sharing our ideas.

I enjoy writing in many ways whether my own through my story writing blog, my blog for extended comments for students, writing comments on blog posts around the world, or simply replying to emails or comments left on my blogs.

My enjoyment also comes from reading the writing of others whether in my role as a member on Team 100WC (UK Based but available to all) where I add comments for children entering the 100 Word Challenge ( or reading the short stories of other adults entering writing challenges.

I can see by the included photos on this post, Room 121 has some talented writers. It makes me wonder how many of you might one day choose to be authors, journalists, script writers or simply people who have a love for writing.

Keep writing, enjoy sharing, and make the world a happier place for the creativity you share.

Teacher, NSW, Australia

Anonymous said...

My Name is caitlyn but i diddnt know how to put in my name. that is soo awesome you have 5 hours of school we have six. I cant wait till pen pals too it will be awesome i think. i especially think it will be cool too talk on skype. do u have younger siblings?i do i have 1 brother.i gotta go

Mrs.Allen said...

Thank you for your comment, Ross! We just began learning how to comment on blogs last week, so one of us will reply to your comment in detail soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caitlyn I am your pen pal and I can't wait to start getting to know about each other:)
Talk soon

Anonymous said...

Actually Stefan remember we start at 8:45-2:45, so Caitlyn we have 6 hours as well!
Oh and we have sent away our pen pal letters so they should arrive soon!
Talk to you soon:)

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