Writing Samples

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by Roobunny, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Writing Samples and Behavior

    So I did a writing prompt this first week of school to get a general idea of where my second graders are. One student is spelling everything phonetically. I am a first-year teacher so I am a little unsure of where to start with the struggling writers, especially one like this. As a side note, this student cannot stay fully seated in his chair or stop fiddling with the community supplies on his desk. He's also been calling other students names and hurting some feelings in the process.

    Any advice?
     
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  3. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Aug 27, 2012

    To be honest, in writing, I want my kids to do their best in spelling, but I don't want them to be stuck on it. I want them to get their thoughts onto paper for writing...we do go back to check for spelling, but once we are revising.

    I would be sure to conference with your struggling writers as much as possible. Maybe pull them over when everyone else is writing quietly to do an extra mini lesson with them or to apply more in depth practice on the skill you just taught.

    It is going to be a process...they will get better with your help, but it won't be overnight.

    As for the behavior, have you tried working on non-verbal cues or do you have a behavior management system in place? Definitely keep documentation of what is happening because if it continues you will need it to share with the parents.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2012

    Thanks for the response Leigh,

    I've actually been thinking about this particular student. During writing today he was totally disinterested and very apathetic. I was having my S brainstorm things they could write about in their notebooks - after getting some general ideas from them as a class, I had them brainstorm on their own on paper. Then we met as a group and shared ideas which generated more ideas...

    Anyway, this particular S was stumped on what he could write about. I was prompting him with things like "have you ever been anywhere you really enjoyed? Have you ever seen a movie you really liked? Have you ever done something silly with your brother?" To every question he would simply shrug and mumble, "I don't know." It was incredibly frustrating. Even after our whole-group share when we were bouncing ideas off of one another he was still completely apathetic.

    It seems like he's formed a "learned helplessness" - is this the term I am looking for? He does struggle with his behavior, but I am making sure to praise him for the smallest things he does appropriately (walking down the hall correctly, pushing in his chair when lining up, picking up trash around his desk, etc.) I really want to help this student, but I don't know where to start :(
     
  5. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Aug 27, 2012

    Do you know anything about his likes/interests? You are definitely on the right track with the praise...I think if you are able to build a positive relationship, he may let you in more. Is he a new student? If not, maybe you can talk to his 1st grade teacher. You may also want to talk to the guidance counselor for some ideas. My old counselor was great at taking kids for a brief conversation to get some background info and give suggestions on how to help.

    Another suggestion- do you have a literacy coach or supervisor to talk to about this particular student?

    Does he struggle in all academic areas?
     
  6. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2012

    I haven't gotten to know him well enough yet to pinpoint what he is interested in. I did notice that when I put out a painting area during indoor recess he chose that station and again today I put out a coloring station using those "Twistable" Crayola crayons he chose to color. He also played quite well with WikiStix once I showed him how to use them so perhaps he has a creative/artistic streak in him?

    He is a new students so I cannot talk to his previous teacher. We have a reading specialist, but I feel like she's incredibly busy at the moment and don't want to add something else to her plate.

    No concerns have been brought my way with my math/science team teacher, but she did mention that it takes him a long time to do his work.

    He's actually been doing a bit better since the last post. It takes a little bit of prodding and I have to stay on top of him to get him started, but he's really impressed me the last couple of writing sessions. He's been writing the entire 15 minutes. I made sure to make a big deal out of it when he beat his previous word count, up 23 words from 20.
     
  7. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Sep 3, 2012

    That's great news, roobunny!
     

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