If you haven’t read Jeff Anderson’s book 10 Things Every Writing Needs to Know, you might want to pick up a copy. It is brilliant. In his chapter on motion Jeff talks about building stamina. One way to build stamina is through Power Writing.
Before the Power Write I write two words on the board. Today the words were: ball and smile. Students need to include one or both words in their Power Write. Then I say to the students, “You will write as much as you can, as well as you can, and as fast as you can for one minute.” (Jeff has lots of great tips on Power Writing in his book)
At the end of one minute students count their words and we graph our class data on a chart. It’s been awesome watching their stamina imporve (amazing transfers into workshop writing as well).
Here is what I came up with in my one minute:
“Dad will you play catch with me?” Dharia asked me last night as she chucked the ball at my face.
“Of Course,” I replied as I ducked and the ball bounced off Breslin’s shoulder.
34 words. Not bad.