Engaging reluctant writers - Writing on the desks

Looking for a new way to engage your students in written tasks?
Let them write on your classroom desks.
It might seem nonsensical and definitely not what you want to do if you have a feisty class. BUT I guarantee you this will engage students who hate or won't write. And they will love the rebelliousness of it all and so they will follow your instructions, and they will help clean it all up. Promise.

There's nothing like the feeling that you might be vandalising to get the pen moving.

How? Simply:
With whiteboard pens and baby wipes.

Let them write.
Photograph it.
Wipe it off *
*Lesson learnt - red pen does not come off as easily as black or blue pen.

How have I used writing on the desks to engage pupils more?

#1  For group work and group collaboration.
This one is based on the analysis of ideas in The Giver.
Pupils were given an essay question, images and vocabulary to weave into a giant plan.
You could use this for almost any group work task.
I just photograph the finished table and print for the pupils' books.

#2 Encouraging reluctant writers
We all have classes where positivity about extended written tasks can be challenging.
Even more tricky if your lesson is the end of the day on Friday.
In these lessons, my classroom desks just replace classwork books.
Pupils, whether they are 11 years old or 18 years old, love the chance to take up a whole table just to write on paragraph.

#3 Inclusive learning for all
Whether you have students with physical difficulties or those who struggle with the classroom environment - the opportunity to stand up and move around the table whilst learning can work.

#4 Erasing mistakes is easier
One of biggest worries that my pupils preparing for their high stakes end of education exams feel is making mistakes.
The worry over getting it wrong can be enough to freeze some students and they can't write at all.
The joy of writing on the table is that mistakes are easily and permanently removed.
For a pupil, who struggles to write an analytical essay, the chance to craft a perfect paragraph erasing and changing as needed can provide a valuable boost.

So why not try writing on the desks?

Thanks for reading.

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