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Quote Quick Write: Combining Writing and Character Education

I have always loved inspiring quotes and am constantly trying to find ways to incorporate them into my classroom. While聽browsing through Instagram at the beginning of the year, I saw that my friend @themrsodie posted something about her class doing a Quote Quick Write. I was immediately intrigued and contacted her asking for more information. What she shared with me was so inspiring, and something I started implementing with my students right away!

Quote Quick Writes are a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

Selecting Quotes for Quote Quick Write

When we first started doing Quote Quick Write (or QQWs as my students now fondly refer to them), I wanted to make sure to model for my student the types of high quality quotes that were ideal. After selecting quotes, I would post them for my students to access. My district uses Edmodo, but you could post the quote on whatever site you use with your class (a blog, Google classroom, etc.). You could even write your quote on a whiteboard, anchor chart, or project it from your computer or iPad!

When my students come into our classroom first thing in the morning, they unpack, sharpen their pencils, and pull up the quote of the day on Edmodo using their iPads. They take out their QQW journal and write down the quote of the day at the top of their paper and then start to formulate their response. When we first started doing these, my students would only write a couple sentences, but now a lot of them are writing a page each morning! I usually give them 15-20 minutes to get unpacked and ready for the day and do their QQW. While they are doing this I am doing聽attendance and taking care of other morning business.

A Quick Quote Write is a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

We usually do a QQW usually 2-4 days聽a week. After the first week and a half where I was the one selecting quotes, my students started to find quotes on their own that they said would be PERFECT for our QQW and asking if they could post the quote for the next day. That is when we started our QQW student sign-up! I wrote dates on our whiteboard for the next two weeks and students signed up for the day they wanted to post the quote. I have them show me the quote ahead of time and then they usually try to post it the evening before so it’s ready first thing in the morning when students come in! Lately, some students have been so excited about finding multiple great quotes that they post a couple and tell their classmates that they can choose which quote to respond to!

A Quick Quote Write is a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

Quote Quick Write Anchor Charts

When we started our QQWs, we talked about what a good response would look like. We created an anchor chart with sentence stems to help students push their thinking. This gave them a foundation for thinking about responding to quotes.

Quote Quick Writes are a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

In addition, we reviewed what a quality 5th grade writing response looks like. One of the things Lucy Calkins mentions is giving students opportunities to build their writing fluency and write down their thoughts as they come, instead of just sitting there saying that they don’t know what to write. That is what I wanted to focus on for our QQWs, so we came up with an informal rubric that students could use daily to evaluate their QQW.

Quote Quick Writes are a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

It’s amazing now to have students look back through their QQW journal to their responses at the beginning of the year. They love seeing how much their writing has improved!

Sharing Student Responses

Not only are the quotes we write about inspirational, but students’ responses are too! I don’t want their writing to just remain in their writing journal so no one else sees it, so I make sure to provide opportunities for students to share their Quote Quick Write responses with their classmates. One way we do this is after the QQW time period is over for the morning, I ask who would like to share their response. Students can volunteer to share their whole response, or maybe their favorite sentence or paragraph.

Quote Quick Writes are a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

Another thing students do is upload their responses to our online learning platform (Edmodo). They just snap聽a quick picture of their notebook. You could also have students share it on a blog, publish one student’s response a day on Twitter, or pair them up with a writing partner to share their writing.

Quote Quick Writes are a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

After months of doing this, students had a journal filled with amazing responses to inspirational quotes and we decided that it was time to publish our favorites! Students flipped through their notebooks and decided on their favorite response. Then they typed it on their iPads and found (or made) a picture of the quote to put at the top of their paper.聽My students love designing their own backgrounds for quotes… they usually do this either using the app Pixie on their iPads, or with paper and markers/colored pencils!

A Quote Quick Write is a great way to combine daily writing and character education!

Finding Quotes

My students are now experts at finding quotes! Some of them have favorite websites they look at, others just do a search for inspirational quotes and pick their favorites! Here are some sites to get you started:

  • Brainy Quote – This site allows you to search by popular topics and authors. Plus they have beautiful picture backgrounds to go with聽a lot of the quotes!
  • Values – Great quotes with beautiful images! You can click on the type of quote (trust, smile, achievement) to see more quotes in that category.

I hope this helps you get started with Quote Quick Writes in your classroom!
Pinterest Images (2)

  1. Malena Murray says:

    I LOVE this idea! We are coming to the end of this school year, but I might even try some before mid June. I love the idea of having them all in a notebook too, to see progress and then to pick out their favorite or best. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Melanie says:

    All of these ideas are amazing!!! We are lucky enough to have Molly as a teacher. She goes above and beyond daily. We will sure miss her next year!!

    • Molly says:

      Thank you SO much, Melanie!!! I’m so glad I got to have Jeffrey in my class this year! He is so amazing and I will definitely miss him too!

  3. Kristin says:

    Where did you buy your colorful table caddies with matching cups inside of them?

    • Molly says:

      Hi Kristin! The caddies are mostly from Michael’s! I got the orange one from Lakeshore though, since I couldn’t find an orange one at Michael’s! The matching cups are from IKEA!

  4. Haley says:

    I LOVE this idea! I just finished my first year of teaching, but I cannot wait to incorporate this at the beginning of next school year. Do you have a resource of your most used/favorite quotes? Or do you just randomly pick one every day?

  5. Theona Shields says:

    Hi Molly,

    I am absolutely in love with the concept of Quick Quote Writes- I want to implement your idea into my 4th grade character program. Do you have a template you use for help guide students thinking when they respond to the quote. I thought I saw one somewhere- but I can’t seem to locate it. Thank you again for willingness to share.

  6. Stephanie R Galloway says:

    Amazing! Do you have any of these items for purchase?

  7. Meagan says:

    This is such a great idea!! This will be my first year teaching strictly writing, and I was planning on doing the exact same thing. SO glad I read this because you did things I wouldn’t have thought about doing!

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I support teachers with implementing classroom organization systems and building a positive classroom community + environment that exude joy! 

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