You want students to write critically in your class.  Why? Critical Writing is the most effective and time efficient way to increase both rigor and relevance in all content, in any instructional setting.  Don’t argue… it’s a fact.

The secret to increasing the amount of critical writing that occurs in your classroom, no matter who or what you teach, is to leverage the “Critical Quick Write.” The Critical Quick Write is not polished or formal writing.  It is writing to increase connections and cognition.  Two elements that need to be increased dramatically in the typical classroom. 

So now the questions become “when and where?”  The answer, pick your spot for a given lesson and then have students write to the following prompts.

The Critical Quick Write Warm-up Topics (partial list) Steps Process Strategy Connections Critical facts and concepts

The Critical Quick Write Main Lesson Topics (partial list) Note making Steps Process Connections Examples Similarities / Differences Applications

The Critical Quick Write Lesson Closure Topics (partial list) Process Connections Strategies Non-examples Similarities / Differences Applications Pro/Con Evaluation Other uses

These quick writes can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes and force the student to think deeper about content and connect the content to other concepts and ideas.  The key is frequency. The more students do this the better their thinking and understanding becomes.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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