How to Implement Team Writing: Establishing Guidelines

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The overall goal of team writing is to provide an opportunity for small groups of students to collaborate during each step of the writing process to produce a shared piece of writing

If a team writing activity sounds like an implausible dream (considering your students’ diverse stages of writing development), take a deep breath and listen up!  You might be surprised to learn that there are tremendous benefits in store!  Some of the most notable student benefits include having the opportunity to…

a)   discuss the writing process with peers.

b)   listen to the ideas and perspectives of others.

c)   learn to negotiate.  

d)   learn to meet deadlines.

e)   find a complementary partner(s).

f)    get inspiration from others.

g)   have fun.


Shurley English includes team writing opportunities in most grade levels, and as these lessons are introduced, two key components for success are defined:  respect and teamwork

Students are taught that respect is first and foremost.  It means to show people that they are important through our words, actions, and attitude.  Students are expected to treat others with respect and to follow these Guidelines for Respect during team writing. 

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The other key component for team writing success is Teamwork. Students learn that teamwork means working closely with others to reach a goal.  They also learn that teamwork and respect go hand-in-hand.  When teammates respect each other, they make an effort to work together to reach their goals.  Everyone on the team must participate, communicate, and cooperate equally! 

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As you can see, there are many positive benefits that come from team writing opportunities.  As the teacher, you can rest assured that Shurley English provides the necessary steps for students to collaborate successfully through each step of the writing process.  Why not make a team writing project a part of your lesson planning soon?