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How Quick Writes Can Improve Student Confidence

Between handwriting, spelling, vocabulary, and formulating sentences, writing can be a daunting process for elementary students.  In fact, you’ll probably notice that many of the students in your classroom are reluctant to write.  I have found that one of the best ways to help students become more confident writers is through the use of quick writes.  I’m going to show you how you can use quick writes in your elementary classroom to get your students excited about writing!

How to use quick writes to build student confidence

What is a Quick Write in School?

Many writers and authors use some form of quick writing as part of their creative process. However, a quick write in the classroom might look a little bit different.  It usually involves a simple writing prompt from the teacher, followed by a set period of time for students to write a few sentences based on the prompt. The goal is for students to get their ideas down on paper quickly while answering the topic of the prompt.

A completed informational quick write

How Quick Writes Can Create More Confident Writers

There are many reasons why it's helpful to add these short prompts to your school day. Here are five of my favorites:

1. Easier to Finish

It’s important for students to learn about the steps of the writing process through brainstorming, rough drafts, and editing longer writing assignments. However, this longer process can feel overwhelming to some students, especially young elementary students.  This is why quick writes are so helpful!

Quick writes are designed to be completed in one sitting.  This provides an opportunity for students to feel the accomplishment of finishing a short writing assignment. This feeling of accomplishment can translate to increased confidence for young students.

2. Provide Choice

The best quick write prompts provide students with some element of choice.  This small change can make a huge difference in a student’s confidence.  When we ask students to write about the beach, students who have never been to the beach will feel less confident in writing about this topic.  However, if the prompt allows students to write about either the beach or the park, students can choose the topic that they are most interested to write about.  

Four quick write prompts on colorful paper

Using quick write prompts with opportunities for choice will help students take more ownership of their work.  This will help them be more confident in the final product. It will also help to improve the voice of their writing.

3. Practice Editing

Just because a writing assignment can be finished in less time does not mean that it doesn’t need to be edited.  Quick writes are an excellent way for students to practice editing their own work.  Since there are fewer sentences to sort through, the editing process won’t feel so overwhelming to students.  

Some students will need one or two edits per sentence, which can feel daunting on a full-page writing assignment. It could even wear on a student’s confidence to see so many edits needed at once!  

A completed narrative writing prompt

4. Use Different Writing Types

Quick writes are a great way to expose students to different types of passages, such as narrative, opinion, and informative.  Students can learn about each form of writing and practice with a quick write before trying a longer assignment. For example, instead of completing a full narrative story for a writing assignment, they can do a short quick write instead!  

Students will be able to grow in confidence with each type of writing through a quick write.  After having positive experiences with shorter writing prompts, students can use their knowledge and confidence to write longer passages.

5. More Writing Experience

As with any skill, the more that students can practice writing, the faster they will improve. When students can feel like the writing process is becoming easier for them, they will become more confident and independent writers!

Quick writes allow students to take many more assignments from prompt to final edits. Their confidence as writers will grow with each completed quick write. Throughout their school experience, students will need to know how to write independently on a given writing prompt for different types of writing assignments. This is a skill that students will use for years to come, so it’s important for them to feel confident in their writing abilities.

Where to Find Quick Write Prompts for Students

You can find many different lists of quick write prompts for students online.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, try to find writing prompts that give students some element of choice.  You’ll also want to make sure that you use quick write prompts for a variety of different writing types.  This will help you maximize the benefits of using quick writing in your classroom.

Do you feel like you don’t have the time to sort through lists and lists of writing prompts? Are you having trouble coming up with your own prompts for your class? If so, you’ll definitely want to keep reading because I have done all of the work for you!

Printable Quick Write Prompts

To help you save time, I have actually created a bundle of quick write prompts that you can incorporate into your writing curriculum.  They are a great way to get students excited about writing with simple prompts for narrative, informative, and opinion writing. 

Two informative writing prompts, one with sentence frame, one without

Each of the 60 writing prompts comes with pictures and plenty of space to write.  Each prompt also includes an element of choice.  This helps students take more interest in the prompt and feel more confident in what they are writing.  In this bundle you’ll also find sentence starters that you can use to provide scaffolding for students who need that support.

You can find this bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Just click through to take a closer look at everything included in this resource!

Save These Quick Write Tips for Students

I hope that this post has encouraged you to try quick write prompts in your classroom.  Adding these fun prompts to your writing lessons will help your students grow in confidence and stamina.  

If you’d like to save these ideas for later, be sure to save this pin! Just add the image below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest.

Quick write prompts for elementary

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