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I <3 READING 03-19-2012 06:12 PM

Not seeing the results
This school year, I have approached teaching writing a bit differently than years past. I was given the trait crate to pilot the program for 4th grade. I LOVE the program and I feel like my students are truly benefiting...when we work together. Every time they are given a school or district mandated timed writing prompt, they bomb. I am feeling so confused about this and don't know what direction to head in. Any suggestions???

MissHopeful 03-19-2012 07:37 PM

I would have them do an independent prompt as often as you can that ISNT one of the timed, school-mandated ones and then find time to individually conference with your students after they have written them... talk to each student for several minutes about his or her body of work and what he or she can do to improve. This way, it isn't advice given whole-group which may or may not stick. Also, assign these individual improvements to your students. If one student is working on more descriptive word choice and another is working on more organized thoughts, that's fine! Then, come back and check the improved piece, see if they followed the advice you gave. I also attended a writing workshop PD day recently where they emphasized having the students learn about rubrics, and use one on their own writing and discuss why they gave themselves the scores they did on various facets of their writing... its all about accountability.

Hopefully some of that might help

I <3 READING 03-20-2012 07:10 PM

Thanks for the positive advise. Tonight I am going to make a "goal sheet" template. Tomorrow I am going to begin one-on-one conferences to set a specific goal for each student. I will give it time and then decide if they are ready to add a second goal. I also think we will revisit the rubric. Thank you!!

Readn gal 04-15-2012 07:03 PM

Prior to presenting the final, find some "exemplar papers", top papers to show students what the expectation is for the final.

Perhaps you don't really know how much they have improved. I have students write a "pretest" essay at the beginning of the year. I score them and write "writing goals" for that student based on their pretest. At the end of the year they get the same prompt. After I score the final, we compare the two pieces. Students always improve. If you don't have a writing from the beginning of the year you don't realize how far they have come from the fall.

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