18/100: Reflecting on Penny Ur’s Teaching Tips – 18. Write in Class

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Naomi’s Photos

This is the final part (part eighteen) of my blogging challenge. I’ve enjoyed this challenge a great deal. It has left me eager to start the new school year!

As a veteran teacher it is easy to fall into the trap of doing things a certain way just because I’ve done them that way for years, without remembering the reason why. 

I’ve decided to set myself a blogging challenge – reflect on one tip from each of the 18 sections that compose Penny Ur’s latest book: “100 Teaching Tips”, so as to dust off old practices that may have remained unexamined for too long.

Tip Number 95: “Do writing in class”

I certainly use this tip.

Although it does make some sense for students to write their essays at home (writing can be quite time-consuming since students need time to think about what they are writing) it also makes sense to have the students write some of the essays (or work on parts of an essay) in class.

I do correct essays written at home, have students rewrite them and hand them in again. That is good. Nonetheless, the learning experience is different.

Immediate feedback



Opportunity to model work habits

I’ve had students who told me they remembered certain advanced vocabulary items because these particular words were ones I had suggested when they “got stuck” while writing in class. Sometimes students even remember that I wrote the word on the board in the righthand corner, or on a yellow piece of scrap paper that was available.

Emotions and multi-sensory experiences seem to have a role here.

I believe that like most things in life, it’s about striking a balance. I won’t stop assigning writing tasks to be done at home but I make sure to have students sit and write in class.

Do you?


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