Calling all writing teachers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by runsw/scissors, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I am trying to come up with a year-long plan for writing instruction. We have standards that must be taught, but have complete freedom in the methods we use. My building teaches the 6+1 Traits and uses the 4 Square writing method. We have very old text books (grammar doesn't change that much does it?) to use as "resources", and that is just what I try to do. However, it feels like I am groping blindly in a low lit room. So this summer I'm trying to come up with a more outlined plan of action. I feel like I'm starting from scratch, so it's hard to know just how much time to spend on each aspect of the subject matter and what the best order of istruction might be. Here's what I have so far:

    Aug.-Sept.- review mechanics and parts of speech (noun, verb, adj.), 4 types of sentences, subject/predicate, very basic sent. diagramming, simple/compound sentences, practice writing variety of original sentences [can't quite remember what I meant by original sentences]

    Oct.- read, disect, write paragraphs on single topic: main idea, detail sentences, supporting details, cut out extra "fluff" senteces, intro 4 Square method (don't know how much intro will be needed here)

    Nov.- continue writing paragraphs on single topic (5-7 sent.), cont. with 4 square introducing sentence variety to enliven writing, strong beginnings and endings, organize sent. for max. impact

    Now please critique my plans thus far. Does it seem like too much information? Not enough for each month? Is there a better order to the instruction I might want to consider? :help:
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I don't have any advice, but am looking forward to the responses.
     
  4. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I, too am looking forward to the responses. The following is what I have found successful for sixth grade (this year 5/6) but i am always looking for better ideas.

    I teach grammar mini lessons 4 days a week starting with prepositions/prepositional phrases, nouns/verbs and then subject and predicate followed by adjectives the first quarter incorporating it with sentence structure, punctuation, etc. We also do "Grammar With a Giggle" so they have an entertaining way of practicing proofreading skills. We write in journals three to four days a week. They have a choice of prompts which fit with the focus for the twelve weeks. We usually pull our major pieces from our journals as they choose their favorite pieces to develop.

    I do approximately 12 weeks on each of these categories (not necessarily in this order, but I generally start with narrative, since they are most familiar with it):

    • narrative (We generally do 3- 4 major pieces)
    • research report
    • persuasive, compare/contrast/ business letter

    Incorporated with that is teaching summarization, note-taking, outlining, oral presentations. I also have them for Social Studies, so I generally teach these skills using SS concepts. My teammate teaches science and she also incorporates these skills with her class. Between the two of us we are able to cover this quite thoroughly.
     
  5. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2008

    As already mentioned, I look forward to the responses you receive as well. My question is when will you introduce each of the 6-traits?
     
  6. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jun 10, 2008

    http://writingfix.com does a nice job of incorporating the six traits through literature. I used a number of them with great success. The kids really enjoyed them.
     
  7. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2008

    here was our plan from last year

    August-September: Writing- The Writing Process, personal narrative, ideas and content

    Conventions- Sentence Structure and Variety, Conjunctions and Commas

    October: Writing- Comparisons, Organization, Journal Entry, Beginning Middle and End, Logical Sequence

    Conventions: Nouns, Punctuation/Caps with Nouns, aphostrophes with contractions and posessives

    Nov-Dec: Writing-Persuasive, Audience and Purpose

    Conventions-Verbs

    Jan-Feb: Comparisons, Word Choice, Journal Entry

    Conventions-Adjectives

    Feb-Mar: Writing-Write a story, word choice (sensory details)

    Conventions-pronouns

    April-May: Writing-Expository, Word Choice

    Conventions: Adverbs

    Wri
     
  8. LinzerCastle

    LinzerCastle Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Nicole,

    I am finding your posts very helpful, your teaching seems to be very similiar to what I am hoping to do next year. I am still struggling with my writing block. My plan for writing next matches up with yours. Do you allow your students to pick their own topic for the writing portion of Writer's Workshop or do you give them a topic based on what you want them to work on?

    Any advice or information you could offer on your writing block would be much appreciated!
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 11, 2008

    The WritingFix website is fantastic! I've bookmarked it, and I'm sure I'll be using it quite a bit. I had thought about introducing each of the traits as we begin focusing on the paragraph writing in October. Or maybe this will happen in late September, I really don't know. Last year's group just seemed to struggle so much with writing. I had kids who were fixated on using five-word sentences and never deviated. Very few (if any) of them were able to stay on topic for an entire paragraph. Run-ons and fragments were a huge problem. They had great success with DOL proofreading, but it never really transferred into their own writing. I guess that's why I thought it would be a good idea to hit hard on sentence types/structures/enhancement before tackling paragraphs. I plan to use the Paragraph A Week program for the months of October and November at the very least. Each project places emphasis on one or two of the traits. My thinking is that by the end of these two months the students should have a pretty good idea of what each trait encompasses.
     
  10. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2008

    How much time to you spend on a typically writing assignment, runsw/scissors? I would usually start one on Monday and it would be due on Friday, but I was wondering if that was too long to spend on one assignment. I've always wanted to do things the Writer's Workshop way where students finish one assignment and immediately start on a new one (only publishing one out of a group and not every single assignment), but could never figure out how to go about setting that up.
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 11, 2008

    The PAW assignments take about a week. When we write stories or reports we work on them for a few weeks. Poems take only a few days unless they want to go back and continue to fine tune them. I try to keep them all in the same place, but toward the end this is hard. In the past I have kind of rotated between writing projects and grammar instruction every couple/few weeks.
     

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