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Old 07-15-2011, 05:14 PM
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First, I would check with the fourth grade teachers to see what the students know. That will let you know how much writing experience they have. My cooperating teacher would frequent the 4th grade hallway and look at writing that was posted. It gave her an idea of the types of writing the 4th graders did, skill level of incoming students, and 4th grade expectations. She then started the year addressing what she noticed from the students when they were in 4th grade. The students were impressed that she knew about the work they did in grade 4! She used their abilities and experiences to guide her teaching.

If they are struggling writing a paragraph, I would teach the hamburger method: 1 introduction sentence (top bun), detail sentences (cheese, onion, pickle, ketchup, etc.), 1 closing sentence (bottom bun). Have students practice writing a paragraph using this model. The paragraph would be on 1 certain topic. Have them practice writing 1 paragraph compositions before working them into 5 (or multiple) paragraph compositions. When they are writing multiple paragraph papers, guide them through the process by working on 1 paragraph at a time.

This is what I would do. Hope this helps!

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