Writing

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by tcher, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. tcher

    tcher Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2007

    Any good ideas on how to teach children to be better writers?

    I have been doing mini lessons and meeting individually with children but it seems some students just do not improve. We have the state test coming and there are many picture prompts and open ended questions. I cannot figure out a good way to make some better writers. Any suggestions on how to be a better teacher when it comes to writing would be greatly appreciated. I feel I am failing some kids when I come home and read their writing, while other's pieces are amazing.
     
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  3. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Feb 25, 2007

    Post a class/teacher-generated graphic organizer before having them write on a topic. It takes time, but is well worth the effort.
     
  4. tcher

    tcher Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2007

    I have them pre write usually with a four square. Sometimes with a web. They have so much trouble with spelling and with keeping their thoughts focused.
     
  5. ashley57

    ashley57 Comrade

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  6. tcher

    tcher Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2007

    They are fourth graders. I will check out the book. Thank you.
     
  7. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Mar 4, 2007

    I use the book The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever with my grade threes. I bought the book through Scholastics a couple of years ago. The book actually has lessons and a few worksheets that can be used in the class. I use it all the time to help prepare my kids for their provincial testing at the end of the year.
     
  8. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    Mar 4, 2007

    improve writing

    To start out, I teach my kids to write a 5-sentence paragraph: topic, 3 details, conclusion. We use our hands as a model: thumb is topic, three middle fingers are the details, and pinkie is a concluding sentence. We then graduate to a 5-paragraph essay, writing a paragraph for each of the fingers. When I first learned about the 5-paragraph method, I found oodles of information online. Then our district bought teachers the 4-Square Writing books.

    We do brainstorming/prewriting first. We use a 5-block flowchart that I made myself using M. Word.

    The important thing is, I model good writing on the board. I model everything we do. Just like students must hear good models read, they must also see good modeling of writing. Everything they write, I write. After they basically learn how to do it, I don't always write first. Sometimes I write after they get started. We also share ideas before we write. We share in a big circle (whole group), and then partners share together. Teaching writing is difficult. Before we started using the 5-paragraph essay, my students always scored average or below. After we started writing 5 paragraphs, their scores went up dramatically.

    I also assign groups for peer editing/revising. There are 4 in a group, and I try to place strong writers with weaker ones. This has seemed to help. Each group has a thesarus and a dictionary for looking up spelling and synonmys. I work one on one with some that never seem to get the concept!

    We take our writing assessment Tuesday, and I am so pooped! I am ready to get it over with. Pre/Katrina our principal rewarded those who scored highest on the writing. We got away from that after the hurricane because we missed so much school. I don't know if we will do that this year, but it sure helped with motivation!

    Good luck with your lessons. In our area, no one wants to teach the 4th grade language arts because teaching the writiing is so diffiicult!!!
     
  9. teachkids

    teachkids Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2007

    I have more trouble using the graphic organizers. We have been using different ones all year and they still want to plow ahead. The other thing that has been difficult is trying them to do peer editing in groups.
     
  10. 6thgradeteacher

    6thgradeteacher Rookie

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    May 9, 2007

    You have to model, model, model this one over and over. It's worth it in the end though. My kids have become wonderful peer editers!! Sometimes even tougher than I would be! :)
     

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