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: