Are you ready to convert your fake writers into real writers? This post is great for teachers but also parents of hesitant writers! If you’re not sure where to begin, keep reading! A few weeks ago I blogged about How to Spot Fake Writers. But once you spot them, it doesn’t mean much until you know what to do about it. So here are some simple ways you can convert your student from a fake writer to a real writer!

How to Spot Fake Writers

  1. Their Writer’s Notebook will have missing pages.
  2. They constantly change story ideas.
  3. The frequently distract others.
  4. They want to illustrate before they write.
  5. They’re constantly sharpening pencils or switching out pens.
  6. They make obvious “thinking” gestures.
  7. They complain about writing time or dislike writing.

Read more HERE.

So… what can you do to convert fake writers into real writers?

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Use the following tips and techniques to convert fake writers into real writers and children who really enjoy writing.

Sit them near you

This is the best trick ever, y’all! Sit your tricky students, or children, near you or at your horseshoe table (or kitchen table). This allows you to still conference with students, grade papers, or work but also keep an eye on your hesitant writers. If they’re known for getting up sharpen pencils frequently, give them a fun pen to use! If they’re constantly grabbing water, set a timer and have them write for 6 minutes and then take a small water break and get back to work for another 6 minutes. Make it work for you!

Let them write anything

I say this all the time. I know. BUT, it’s the only way to get students to fall in love with writing. What do I mean by anything? I mean anything. Recipes, comics, lists, different football plays, a basketball commentary, etc. Does it really matter what they’re writing about if they’re finally writing? Sure it’s not what you want… but as they learn to get enthusiastic about writing, you’ll be able to steer them into better writing topics.

Use their passion to create stories

Once they’ve written something exciting and are starting to get bored (ex: they’ve written all the lists or recipes they could possibly think of), challenge them to work it into a short story idea. Maybe they could write about someone going to the grocery store (and how they write their list and find the food). Or they could take that basketball commentary and work it into a story about a basketball game. This will need some heavy modeling and guidance, but it will be well worth it!

Teacher helping young african boy with homework. Happy teacher helping her student at elementary school. Portrait of woman teaching to schoolchild in classroom. Elementary school teacher helping students.

Have them share when they’re excited

Did they come up to you excited to share their writing? Well, have them share it with the class at the end of your writing time! Or share it with their siblings and parents! Your “Real Writers” may get jealous and want to try writing lists too, but after a day, the craze will fade out and your Real Writers will get back to writing and your Fake Writers will be excited that other people were interested in their writing! They’ll keep going once they see writing as purposeful and exciting.

Refrain from negative comments

We all have a moment we’ll never forget, where a teacher made a flippant remark and we were crushed. Try to refrain from saying anything negative or “helpful” during the first month or two of this student’s writing excitement. Pump them up with positive and just encourage them to write more. They likely have been Fake Writing for a while and need to just catch up on all the writing they’ve missed out on. Encourage them to keep it up even if it’s not the best yet.

What tricks do you use to convert fake writers into real writers? I’d love to hear tips and tricks below in the comments!

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