MAD writing procedure

MAD stanjpg_5935_Royalty_Free_Clip_Art_Happy_Pencil_Cartoon_Character_Holding_Golden_Trophy_Cupds for MODELLED AWESOME DAILY writing

We use many visualisations to increase the fluency and speed of children’s writing. This has been a very successful strategy and I have been trying to develop a different but as successful strategy that takes less time when we want to target specific topics, genres or spelling/grammar conventions.

MAD writing is the result and we have now used it with hundreds of children with great results!

The children enjoy it as it is fairly short, targeted and gives them great results.

They love to share their results!

This will not going to replace other forms of writing we do.

It is simply being implemented to increase writing fluency, understanding of sentences, paragraphs, grammar and to improve spelling. New topics are provided each week.

Approximately 20 mins is needed but I have often completed a lesson in 15 mins when short of time!


  1. Write up topic on board.
  2. Briefly discuss and model write YOUR response to this topic. (NOT children’s ideas) 5 mins
  3. Children read your writing aloud. 5 mins
  4. They write their own response  5 mins
  5. Edit and share 5 mins (only 2/3 can share)

Only write 2-4 sentences when you are modelling. Children might write more and they might “borrow” yours. Some children might want to copy yours completely. That is valid as you are a model.

Eventually they will have the confidence to do their own.


MON- My ideal weekend.

TUES – A terrible experience.

WED – What a surprise!

THURS- My favourite unhealthy food!

FRI- If I ruled the world!

SAT- The world stopped spinning and ………


Here is an example of a lesson where I used the topic MINECRAFT to stimulate children’s writing voices!

Please ask any questions regarding this procedure – and remember we have crafted a very practical one day course for teachers (ALL KIDS CAN WRITE) to demonstrate and explain all our writing strategies and teach you exactly how to apply each one! (Contact us for course details!)


Leaky Elbow Syndrome


I often joke about how many of our students seem to have holes in their elbows and their wonderful ideas drop out before they hit the page!
I think we forget how hard it is for children to coordinate ideas, handwriting, concentration, punctuation etc and get ideas down.
My favourite lesson every day is WRITING and I am amazed as I see the creative process begin anew with each lesson.
The blank page is transformed- one minute it is empty- the next there are ideas, “wonderings”, creative “splats” and sadly sometimes one word and a pencil that just won’t move!
When I ask children what they would like to write they describe how they have many ideas and just cannot choose. Sometimes they have a HUGE idea and they are frightened to begin because it will take so long to write or they feel they cannot spell the words.
There are so many variables and teachers need a very full tool-box and a huge dose of understanding to be able to effectively teach written expression.
We sometimes use story starters- especially when children are tired and we are approaching the end of the year.
As children LOVE random choices, we often cut these up and they take one as a lucky dip. They act as “circuit breakers” so their brains can zoom in on just one idea!
If I give them too many topics to choose from they will get into the “kangaroo caught in the spotlight” syndrome and simply stop!
I have given you some of our story starters here and invite you to try them out. We are always devising more and at the moment we are working on a new Christmas set.
We share all our writing strategies in our writing workshop for teachers- ALL KIDS CAN WRITE. Please contact me if you would like to attend the forthcoming ones in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane or Singapore.


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