Students Can Respond to Daily Writing Prompts, Inspired by The New York Times, at Home for Free

Mar 15, 2020 · 22 comments
Emma (Illinois)
I need the social aspect of school. We went so long without seeing our friends because of quarantine so it is just so nice to be able to be with our friends every day at school. I think that other students will just need time to adjust to going fully in person because some kids were fully remote during the span of our last school year. I feel that standardized testing during the pandemic is unnecessary because kids already go through so much whether that be having to do online schooling and Google meets or going to in-person school with a mask. These circumstances are really a hardship that these kids have to overcome.
Pia F (Saudi Arabia)
I wonder why students from outside of the US need to have 16 years old to comment in the learning network, instead of 13, like the US students. Also, I want to know if younger students (11 and 12 years old) can comment, after the legal guardian revises the terms.... Thank you!
Sarah L (New Mexico)
I'm a bit confused! I logged in, see the learning network bu don't see where to sign up for writing prompts. Thanks.
Nicole Daniels (The New York Times, Learning Network)
@Sarah L If you are looking to respond to writing prompts, you can visit the spotlight here: https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/learning-writing-prompts.
Sienna Dyavanapalli (Glenbard West High School)
When answering the question of “should schools be able to discipline students for what they say outside of school,” many administrators argue that in order to avoid difficulties in the classroom, it is better for schools to be involved in student matters on social media, and while it is necessary for schools to be involved in the lives of the students, a question can be made if exterior aid will actually help absolve student’s problems, or simply makes them worse. This implication can easily be seen in the childish saying “ I’m gonna tell,” as it highlights the fear of consequences embedded into student’s minds from a young age. Despite the fact that this story pushes the strong, positive message of self-advocacy towards a younger audience, to the perspective of a child admitting their wrong is extremely difficult. Therefore similarly to adults, a child would search for anything to diffuse the problem at hand, man alike more likely to pursue negative paths to keep their secret, all and all proving that school’s interference into social can be detrimental for students.
Antrel (Chester, VA)
This is a great idea to keep kids happy during the quarantine. There is one problem, these activities are for older ages. If there could be stories for younger ages that would make this even better.
Alexzandrea (Englewood colorado)
I think that you could explain yourself to as why the schols and countries closed down their doors, and if you could also write more about how we need to keep each other safe and our health spot on just amazing. you could tell us how to do that or give anyone advice on this whole issue we are facing.
Nooshin (VA)
How do we subscribe to receive the daily prompts?
Olivia (Brooklyn)
I absolutely loved the webinar this morning. I'd planned to read back through the chat to make note of the amazing resources shared by people but apparently waited too late, and the Zoom Meeting ended, taking away my access to the chat. I think you guys said you'd be posting the webinar later, but I missed where and when. Would you mind sharing this information again? Truly, thank you for such a wonderful experience. It was highly inspirational to this middle school teacher!
Rachel (Learning Network)
@Olivia I am glad to hear that you found the webinar helpful! The recording of the webinar will be available as early as tomorrow, March 19th. We will post it on our website, on the free webinars post. We will also email the recording to everyone who attended. Best, Rachel
Louisa (Montauk, NY)
Learning Network is helpful in giving students other ways to write and share their ideas outside of academic and literary analysis prompts.
Therese (Montpelier, VT)
You could create writing prompts for 3-5 graders too. That age group would be thrilled to see their comments online.
Michael (New York City)
@Therese Our What's Going On in This Picture? feature - https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning-whats-going-on-in-this-picture - and many of our Picture Prompts - https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning-picture-prompt - can work with younger students. But, younger students cannot comment on our site because they do not meet minimum age requirements for NYT commenting rules.
Anna Taylor (Jackson, NJ)
Great idea! My kids are grown, but I have shared it with friends whose kids are younger.
Sam (North carolina)
I believe that parents should not have the power to track kids through a smart phone or through any chipping technology. I think it would be adequate to have parents contact the children and receive the location that would also me installing a bond of trust between the parent and the child. If kidnapping or your child runaway is an option or something you’re scared of. I would permit the tracking, but the device would have to be turned on if the circumstances were right but otherwise the tracking device will be off. This gives the kid more freedom trust and a feeling of a equality with the parent.
Jayla (Florida)
Its a good idea, I'm curious to see if these prompts can turn the learning network into a place of open discussion, and not merely perfect essays. Interested in seeing how this goes.
Michael (New York City)
@Jayla Our online student forums are full of students writing about the issues they care about in their real voices. Our contests definitely receive lots of "perfect essays," but not our daily prompts. Here is one example: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/learning/how-concerned-are-you-about-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html#commentsContainer
Jane (Philadelphia)
A great idea, but only suitable for older students. I teach kindergarten and 1st graders. How about some activities these children can do? Can you just give the ideas in an article instead of requiring parents to make an account? I will share the article with my children's parents. Oh...how about both indoor and outdoor activities? Kids need fresh air and sunshine!
mr (big)
If they can find a bit of nature, that'd be the thing. I hope the Times includes outdoor observation/exploration in the activities for all ages.
Michael (New York City)
@mr That's not so easy for The Learning Network to do! But we try when we can. like with this Lesson of the Day (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/learning/lesson-of-the-day-natures-best-poetry-of-2019-clouds.html) that asks students to look closely at clouds.
Tori (Bakersfield)
I love this a lot , we can all share our op ions and thoughts and we can be one in honestly replying to this for extra credit I hope everyone has a good day and is safeee!
Kay Linennen (St Catharines Ontario Canada)
Thank you. Your creative idea Is absolutely brilliant.
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