Writing issues

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by S Dubb, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2009

    I have a third grader who has significant trouble when she's writing. Her ideas are all good, but it's almost as if she's thinking faster than she's writing. She'll take four or five ideas and write them all down as one sentence with many "and's". Not only that, but her ideas get mixed up within the "and's" as well. For example, she'll have a paragraph like this...

    (idea1 idea1 idea1 idea1) and (idea2 idea2 idea2 idea1) and (idea3 idea3 idea3 idea3 idea3) and (idea1) and (idea2) and (idea4 idea4...)

    Get the idea?

    We've talked about taking those ideas and making them each into their own sentences. We've used graphic organizers, but they only separate her ideas on the GO.

    When working one-on-one with her, she can write a decent paragraph with a bit of struggling, but when on her own it just isn't clicking. It's so frustrating for me to see this because she's a bright girl with good ideas, but she just can't get them down in a fluid paragraph.

    What can I do to help her?
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 4, 2009

    Could it be a problem with written expression?

    Ask her to say what she is thinking before she writes, then have her read what she wrote and compare the differences.
     
  4. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2009

    I've actually done that with her many times. She'll read back what she's written and then say something like, "Oh..." and realize that it doesn't flow well. But still after numerous reminders, she can't seem to get the idea of saying it first and then writing it to stick.

    Unless I sit with her and say something like, "OK, tell me one thing about X. Great! Write down exactly what you just said," then she can't seem to make the connection between speaking and writing. It's so frustrating because she's a bright kid who just keeps making these mistakes over and over again.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 4, 2009

    Could you make her her own graphic organizer to remind her? "Tell me ONE thing about X..."

    (Not for the first time, I find myself musing on writing and speaking as two distinct languages, or at least two distinct idioms.)

    Here's something else to try: What about having her go over something she wrote in draft form a while back, to see if she can see how it doesn't work? Could be that her current writing is just a little too much in her head for her to be able to spot the problems on her own (and she wouldn't be the first person for whom that's true).
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 4, 2009

    Tell her to write it down, then read it twice after she writes it, then rewrite as needed
     

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