The organizational strategy your students use improves their ability to present ideas clearly and effectively. This exercise will allow you to test their ability to write a focused essay in a fixed amount of time.
On Your Mark. Get Set. Stop!
Timed writing responses are one quick way to test a students ability to write a focused paper. It is similar to Sustained Silent Reading, (S.S.R.) only the children are writing until the time runs out instead of reading. Give them a prompt or topic to
write about and explain the goal: to keep writing on the topic as long as possible without switching to another point or different focus. This activity forces them to learn to develop an idea completely without getting sidetracked by extraneous information that adds no depth to their writing. The winner is the student with the most writing that sustains the purpose
and builds one sentence upon the other without getting off-topic.