Teaching Juniors How to Write

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ptlanguage, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. ptlanguage

    ptlanguage Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2019

    I am in need of help. At my high school, writing skills are not at the forefront of our English department...never have been...probably never will be. The focus has been heavy on literature. Not saying that is bad; I love literature. But, many of these kids say they are going to college. Their writing skills are awful. Many of them say they do not know what a thesis statement is. These are juniors in high school. They should be well on their way to writing, but they are not. I feel overwhelmed because I do not even know where to start. Could my fellow teachers give me some advice.
     
  2.  
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,700
    Likes Received:
    2,403

    Sep 26, 2019

    Have they conquered the 5 paragraph essay?
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,275
    Likes Received:
    103

    Sep 27, 2019

  5. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    24

    Oct 12, 2019

    This is what I do for the first quarter of school.

    We begin each day with a grammar lesson (I use Daily Grams Ultimate Series), and in addition to that, I systematically go through and teach evvvverything about grammar. They begin by learning the definition of a sentence and definitions to every punctuation mark. This takes about 15 minutes.

    After that, they do a page of "Voice Lessons". I love this resource because it's teaching them close reading strategies about analyzing an author's voice, but the snippets also serve as mentor sentences, and the students are required to write good sentences. Again, this takes approximately 15 minutes.

    For the last 20 minutes of class, we have "essay time". We begin each unit (I do one on narrative, expository, persuasive, and research) with 2-3 days of instruction on what I expect from them, how to organize their essay, strategies, prewriting, and example texts.
    Then, they write one paragraph a day (if they don't finish in class, it's homework) until the essay is finished. We do only 5 paragraph essays. When they've finished their essays, they read them outloud to the class.

    I think this works because they are getting regular, specific grammar instruction that *does* make its way into their writing, because they are regularly exposed to high quality writing and mentor texts, and because they end up writing 5 essays in one quarter. I don't get overwhelmed because I grade one paragraph every day for my students during our class time. My classes are relatively small (15-22 students) so I can imagine that this could be difficult if you have 30+ students.

    Second quarter, we continue the grammar and voice lessons, but read nonfiction texts instead of writing essays. Third quarter, they do two longer pieces of writing. Fourth quarter, we read a novel. Every Friday for the entire school year, they do independent reading, when they silently read a novel from my list and keep a reading journal for accountability. Other than that, they don't do any literature. They only end up reading 4 novels in my class.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,700
    Likes Received:
    2,403

    Oct 12, 2019

    Since OP has never responded, we have inadequate information to make recommendations. That doesn't mean valid suggestions haven't been made.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,764
    Likes Received:
    991

    Oct 14, 2019

    In my opinion, these are excellent plans and strategies. Well balanced, rigorous but doable.
     
  8. Nelson Franklin

    Nelson Franklin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 1, 2019

    Got through it internet. I hope you will find a right solution.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. greendream,
  3. Obadiah,
  4. TeacherNY,
  5. Pi-R-Squared
Total: 380 (members: 6, guests: 356, robots: 18)
test