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mrszemog 10-26-2011 01:18 PM

I am new to fourth this year. I taught first for five years. I think I've adjusted pretty well, and seem to have somewhat of a handle on all my subjects,(I'm self contained), expect for writing. I feel as if I am doing a horrible job!!!!
I feel that we just don't have enough time. I took a 6 Traits training over the summer, but I still feel like I'm lacking. I teach at a small catholic school, so we don't have the stress of the state test hanging over our heads. However, I want to do better. We have started the second quarter and we're still working on narratives. I feel as if I'm drowning! Any and all help/suggestions will be greatly appreciated. :)

luvtulearn 10-31-2011 08:57 PM

talking pen. . .
I know how you feel but. . .don't get so caught up with the entire process of writing that you lose sight of having the students experience and enjoy the aspect of sharing their ideas, thoughts, and emotions on paper. I myself have gone through a six hour training for six traits and have learned a lot about the whole writing process. The training made me feel more confident in the teaching of writing however, my students were actually writing less. I had to learn to let go somewhat of the methods and just encourage them to just use " the talking pen ," to do their thinking on paper. I always felt I had to embrace the entire process to the presentation level, but you can just focus on sentence fluency or word choice and leave it at that. Sometimes less is more. ☺☺☺Hope this helps.

kmrhg 12-16-2011 10:33 AM

4th Grade Writing
I am a fourth grade teacher and I don't think I will ever have a complete handle on teaching writing. I too teach at a small Catholic school and I love it because it gives me the ability to teach writing they way I want using the best parts of different philosophies and not one prescribed method. In my classroom I use a blend of the 6 traits along with ideas from Katy Wood Ray's book Study Driven. I find that the 6 traits gives us a good starting point for the beginning of the year as we learn how to become authors, but when we transition to writing narratives I like KWR's idea of modeling writing after something we have read.

I do a memory writing each year with my students and we use different books to model our writing after. The students pick a memory to write about then after we have studied some different text, they chose which model they will follow to write their piece.

For instance: One of the books we use is When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. In the text the author repeatedly starts her memories with, "When I was young in the mountains..." if students choose this model for their writing, then they would start theirs, "When I was young in 4th grade..." or "When I was young in ___________..."

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