I’m a big fan of doing writing activities at the beginning of the year. First, I think it’s the easiest way to get a quick gauge of your students. From one writing task, you can of course see how your student are, overall, as writers. Are they able to produce a piece on demand or do they shut down? How is their sentence construction? You can see their spelling abilities, which often translate to reading abilities in the primary grades. You can see their handwriting. Those “I did it in 30 seconds and I’m DONE!” students get quickly identified. Plus, writing prompts are typically something you explain in a few minutes, the kids begin working, and you don’t have to give a lot of direct instruction, allowing you to put supplies away, or pull students for quick one-on-one assessments, or accomplish any of the other million things you have going on. These free printable back to writing pages are designed for students to take a look at the year ahead, and give you a quick and easy way to get a gauge on students’ abilities.
Once students have completed their back to school writing assignment, take a few minutes to read it over. Identify students that are in biggest need of support. Make a list of those students and what your next steps are. You can even identify other trends amongst your students to know where to start your instruction for the year. It’s a great way to do a quick gauge of where your students are, while they don’t realize it’s an “assessment” and don’t feel any pressure.
There are 7 different versions with different sayings and designs, all focused on the year ahead. You can let students choose their own, or you can pick one for everyone. Each of the prompts is focused on the new year, so it may be helpful, especially for younger students, to give them guidance on what to write. For example, you may have students write about what they want to improve on during the year. Or, to write what they would like to see happen during the year. The back to school writing prompts are open ended enough that you can give students something specific to write that still connects well with the pages, or you can just give them the page and tell them to write.
Each of the Back to School Writing Pages comes in lines for older and for younger students. With the cute, colored designs, they are easy to print and display for a Back to School bulletin board. Click the pictures to download them.
Looking for more back to school writing practice? I also have digital journals that are perfect for student independent work. Working right in Google Slides, students respond to a prompt, practicing both their writing and typing skills. With pre-built text boxes, these digital journals are ready to be assigned in Google Classroom without any extra work. Just make a copy for yourself, and assign.
You can assign a specific writing prompt for students to answer each time you access it. Or, give students a range to choose from. Set expectations right from the beginning of the year and students will be ready for this ongoing, digital writing practice. You can download my Digital Writing Journals for free from my TpT store.
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Hi! I’m Tessa!
I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rdgrades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom. Read more About Me.