Are your kids writing paragraphs well?

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by caliteach78, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. caliteach78

    caliteach78 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 18, 2009

    In my class some of my kids understand paragraphs when we're writing, but many just don't get the concept. At what point is your class in writing paragraphs on their own, or understanding the structure? Thank You!
     
  2.  
  3. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2009

    Most of mine understand that they need a topic sentence and detail sentences. Most can create their own graphic organizer with some guidance (whole class brainstorming and limited modeling), and many can use the GO to create a reasonable paragraph. A few are REALLY good at it.

    But they all have their little writing issues ;) Some cannot spell the simplest words. Some leave words out. Some write just exactly like they talk and they don't talk well :eek: I try to remember that last year they were just learning to put sentences together!

    They are still writing only one paragraph for assignments, however, and I'm wondering how to make the transition. I taught 5 paragraph writing last year (5th grade) and 1 paragraph writing this year, and I'm confused about what should come in between!
     
  4. caliteach78

    caliteach78 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 19, 2009

    I am having my kids do an animal report with five paragraphs- but I wrote them an outline, such as: Par. 1-Habitats Topic sentence, detail, detail, detail. What do you think? My writing levels are so scattered.
     
  5. lolabear1

    lolabear1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 21, 2009

    Every Monday, each student writes an outline on a certain topic (we do one first as a class). It has the topic sentence, 4 details (not in sentence form yet), and the conclusion sentence. On Tuesday, they write a paragraph from the outline. I edit the paragraph and give it back to them on Wednesday. I fix spelling errors, grammatical issues, etc. It helps teach them about the editing process. By the end of the year, they will be doing that step themselves. On Wednesday, they rewrite their paragraphs and I grade that based on a rubric.

    Even my lower kids are now writing decent paragraphs. They require more editing, but they get the basic concept. They know to indent, stay in the margins, stay on topic, etc.
     
  6. dunwool

    dunwool Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 22, 2009

    We do paragraphs for our students to write about various genres throughout the year. My group of students is pretty low academically this year so they are struggling somewhat. Overall they understand that there needs to be a topic sentence and closing sentence but often times that has to be heavily guided. There are few students that could come up with the ideas without the strong structure and graphic organizers that we provide for the students.
     
  7. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 31, 2009

    I go over paragraph structure a LOT. :) I find that might higher kids get it and my lower ones do not... they are still struggling to put a few sentences together...
     
  8. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 28, 2009

    My kids are getting paragraph structure pretty well. I make sure they have a good topic sentence before they can write anything else. I have also taught them that the words "For example" are a good thing! It makes the paragraphs a little formulaic at first, but we gradually discuss ways of including examples without posting a red flag!

    The one thing that they don't do is indent...and it's driving me nuts! No matter how much I teacher edit, peer edit, draw arrows, act it out, get silly, finger space, etc, they just won't do it. Of course, a few have mastered it, but I even have students who indent on the rough draft, then don't on the publish copy...infuriating! HELP!
     
  9. greyna2

    greyna2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 29, 2009

    What graphic organizer or other idea do you use for their prewriting? I have tried a web, the hamburger graphic organizer and 4 square, none of which, I feel, have been very successful.
     
  10. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 29, 2009

    It depends on what they are writing. If it is a story, we do a story map. If it is a report, we do a KWL. Personally, the hamburger has been useful for my kids, but I have also seen a table (the furniture kind). The topic is the top, and the legs (support) are the details. Hope this helps.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,883
    Likes Received:
    87

    Mar 29, 2009

    cali,
    In 2nd grade, writing one paragraph and beginning to understand what that means is all that is really developmentally appropriate. Beginning to indent is good, but they will not totally understand the concept at this point. Yes, some children can do more, but if a 2nd grader can write 5 on-topic sentences (not paragraphs) they are meeting the goal in our district.

    Basically, a 2nd grader should be able to do the following with "reasonable control:"

    --Generate ideas about a single topic
    --Focus on one topic
    --Plan writing using a graphic organizer, story map, cluster map or other pre-writing technique
    --Compose stories to include a beginning, a middle, and an end
    --Use time order words to sequence and organize their writing (first, next, then, last)
    --Revise by adding or deleting details.

    --Revise by deleting details strug with and and then.
    --Use adjectives to elaborate simple sentences
    --Use a variety of sentence types
    --Use specific vocabulary to clarify meaning

    --Write in complete sentences
    --Capitalize some proper nouns, the beginning of sentences, and the pronoun "I"
    --Punctuate declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences
    --Spell grade appropriate high frequence and phonetically regular words correctly
    --Begin to use apostrophes in contractions and singlar possesives
    --Begin to use correct form of singular and plural nouns and pronouns


    Hope that helps.
     
  12. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 30, 2009

    Wow, RainStorm, that's a very clear and explicit description of your expectations for your students - very helpful.

    In the first semester of school, my class and I work A LOT on writing conventions, we call them "Rules for Writing", including the use of correct paragraph structure, so most of my kids can start with a web and knock out a basic paragraph fairly easily. The problem is that these paragraphs are so BORING and mechanical. Their paragraphs are so totally lacking in "voice". I run into this problem every year, so there's something wrong in the way I'm teaching writing.

    In this final quarter of the school year, we're going to focus on conferencing and revising these paragraphs to make better word choices and to use figurative language like similes and onomatopoeia.
    A writing teacher advised me to share lots of examples of exciting writing from picture and chapter books, as well as starting a cache of exemplary student writing to share in future years.

    Good luck with your kiddos!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Jonathan Small,
  2. Ima Teacher,
  3. mrsf70,
  4. stephenpe,
  5. YoungTeacherGuy
Total: 387 (members: 5, guests: 342, robots: 40)
test