Writing Plan

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by matchstickgirl, May 6, 2008.

  1. matchstickgirl

    matchstickgirl Companion

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    May 6, 2008

    I was curious if anyone was willing to share with me how they do their plan for writing for the year. What is the focus for each month or every couple of weeks. I am very frusterated because I feel I am not organized at ALL with writing. Any helpful ideas would be a great help. I just feel so super lost with writing and really want to get a good plan during the summer.
     
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  3. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    May 6, 2008

    There are certain types of writing that we are supposed to teach, like historical fiction, reading response, persuasive letter, informative writing, etc. I align my writing assignments with other subject areas; for example, historical fiction goes perfectly with our study of the slave trade, so my students write diary entries from the point of view of a slave during Middle Passage. We did an informative writing piece after we finished a unit on matter, and students were required to use specific vocabulary words to describe certain concepts. We're so pressed for time due to tests in reading, math and science, aligning writing with those areas is the easiest way for me to make sure it happens with quality. We have smaller writing pieces all the time, but my big projects are always tied to another subject area.
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    May 6, 2008

    Here's my curriculum map for the year:

    August: What is Writers' Workshop?
    September: Complete sentences and coherent paragraphs
    October: Report Writing
    November: formal/business letters
    December: procedural writing
    January: Fiction
    February/March: writing in testing situations
    April: Poetry
    May: report writing revisited
    May/June: Dramatic literature
     
  5. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    May 7, 2008

    I am also lost in writing. Do you teach them 5 paragraph essays, or is it just one paragraph writing?
     
  6. dxiechicken41

    dxiechicken41 Rookie

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    May 10, 2008

    We use 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. It's helpful to focus on a certain aspect of writing at a time. Also, you could ask your admin to send you to professional development that focuses on writing. I went to an ISAT writing prep class and it helped me develop a good graphic organizer to use for expository & narrative. Can I attach it? I'm not sure how to do it.
     
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    May 10, 2008

    I am going to be working on my LT plan for writing over the summer. My school also uses the 6+1 Traits of Writing, but we also use the 4 Square Writing which complements the 6+1 Traits very well. That's all I have for know. I'll give more info as I get myself organized. I really wont be diving into this project until sometime in June though.
     
  8. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2008

    I'll be teaching how to set up a writing program for our new teachers this coming year during preplanning. Some ideas are to set up your students with a Writer's Notebook, which is a regular one-inch notebook with a plastic cover in which you can slide a paper down into it. Students can design the cover for their notebook and slide it down--good activity for the first day of school.

    The notebook is divided into the types of writing you have to teach--we have "narrative", "persuasive", and "informational" that are tested. Add a section for "Toolbox", and a section for "Work in Progress". I don't like to keep the finished work in there because I don't want it lost.

    In the "Narrative" section, students will have a page either made by you or by them as part of an introductory lesson that tells what narrative writing is and isn't. Another page will show some examples of pre-writing graphic organizers that could be used. Another one would show a plot line and students write notes about what goes where. Include several samples of good narrative writing. Add anything else you want for your program, or as you think of it during the year.

    Repeat this with the other types of writing you need to teach.

    In the Toolbox section, you will have lists of vivid verbs, sounds, textures, words for "said", etc. Have an editing marks page. A list of ways to hook readers and samples of each that you've gone over. (Introduce only a few of these at a time.) A list of transition words and when to use them. Figures of speech, metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, etc. There are lots of things to put in here. I wouldn't have them put all in at once, but I'd introduce them, practice them, so that it isn't just stuff in the Toolbox section. A lot should be student generated (with "help" from you) so that they feel "ownership" of the lists.

    Start making a master copy notebook now and add to it as you come across things. Seriously, save running off paper by having the students create the lists that you already have.

    Start collecting some good children's picture books that show toolbox ideas in use. An example is "Owl Moon"--my favorite. Metaphors, similes, beautiful imagery, a succinct moment in time story that sets an almost magical tone to a realistic event. There are some good resources out there for lists of books for different types of writing.

    Sorry, this is getting long. Writing has become one of my passions.

    I'll post later about some good beginning of the school topics if you remind me later.

    Just one more thought: I've discovered that grading writing is counterproductive. You won't get them to let go and use their imaginations and their voice if they are worried about whether they are doing the "correct" thing.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 11, 2008

    Great idea, shouldbeasleep!
     
  10. matchstickgirl

    matchstickgirl Companion

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    May 12, 2008

    That was really helpful! I hope you don't mind if I PM you over the summer if I have questions? I really want to get writing organized and I have just become so lost in everything! :)
     
  11. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    May 16, 2008

    Love to help!
     
  12. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    May 17, 2008

    How often do you guys spend on each of the 6-Traits?
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    May 17, 2008

    Mostly ideas and voice. I plan for writing everyday, about 45 minutes, combined mini lessons and writing. Sometimes more. Plus sometimes in the content areas. Students have to pass a writing test in Georgia, so it's practice, practice, practice.
     
  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    May 18, 2008

    I was really bad about 6 Traits this year. When I did writing project in the past I would really try to focus on one or two of the traits and teach those in depth. The idea was for the students to pay special attention to those traits as they wrote. Then, is subsequent writings, we would focus on other traits but also recall information about those we had already covered. You can never really ignore the Conventions as that is all about grammar and correct usage of language. Presentation always had to be neat no matter what, but sometimes we had fun and got creative. I also try to point out traits and how they are used when we read or share literature. I just finished reading The Teacher's Funeral to them and pointed out that the author's use of improper speech was an example of Voice because the main character was living in 1904 rural Indiana.

    Next year, I really want to do a better of job of teaching the traits. I need to work on this over the summer.
     
  15. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    May 18, 2008

    Our reading series has writers workshop integrated..... but I didn't feel comfortable using it. Those of you who do writers workshop, could you tell me how you introduce it, and how often you "teach" writing.

    Trying to change things up for next year. Thanks!
     

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