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jennmsu93 jennmsu93 is offline
 
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how do you teach writing?
Old 07-29-2014, 03:55 PM
 
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I'm so bored with how I teach writing. I do the same writing projects each year and need a fresh start! We follow ccss so I know I need to teach opinion pieces, informational pieces, narratives, and research. Any creative suggestions to help get my year off to a great start?

I'm thinking of using interactive notebooks (which I have never done before), but not sure if I should do that for writing or reading first.


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Love this question!
Old 07-29-2014, 06:43 PM
 
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I feel like I need to revamp my writing, too. I'm interested in hearing the responses. This is our first "official" year doing the common core, so it's a bit of a change for me, as well. Sorry I'm not much help!
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Writing
Old 07-29-2014, 08:31 PM
 
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Writing is probably the most difficult subject to teach because it has so many components.

I basically try to make writing fun. If a child likes the assignment then they will work harder through the process. I choose assignments that I believe they will like and that I like as well. If I like them, then I present them with more enthusiasm. This always helps the students to like them as well.

I model a great deal. In my opinion you can not model too much.

I write independently and share with the students. I write in front of the students on the document camera so they may watch me in the process. I do a think aloud and explain what I am thinking as I write. I also write with them on the document camera taking their suggestions.

I start the year by re-teaching how to write a sentence. Then paragraph. Finally multi-paragraph.

I always find something in each student's writing to brag about. They have exposed themselves on paper which is difficult so they deserve praise. This build their confidence. We edit some issues but often not all. If they leave the conference feeling good about their writing they will write again. If I bruise their ego they will not want to write more.

I teach the process of writing all year.

I also teach the six traits of writing all year.

I try to alternate short assignments with longer ones. I sprinkle poetry through the year.

I do not require all assignments to go through the entire writing process. Sometime the rough draft is enough.

I have students write across the curriculum. This way if they hate writing but love science (for example) then they have a good writing grade when we do a science related writing. At least that usually is true for pupils.

My mini lessons on the problems I see in their collective writing. For example I may see that many students are using "me and I" incorrectly. Then we have a grammar lesson on the concept.

This year will be a little different. My team has decided to use a program called Empowering Writers. I went to the narrative and expository training. I think it is a great program.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:40 AM
 
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I have used the Empowering Writers program and it is wonderful. It is great for giving the students direction and support in their writing. Students are also more enthusiastic about writing with this program.
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thanks 1956bd ...
Old 07-30-2014, 05:11 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions! I do some of the things you mention, but not nearly enough of some of the others. I really like the idea of tying writing in with social studies and science ... something I have only touched on previously. I think my hardest part is finding those "fun" projects/assignments to write about. Think I'll be spending a bunch of time on Pinterest looking for ideas!

I wish I had a team to work with, as well as training. We're a small school with only 1 class per grade so we basically are on our own. I took a quick look at Empowering Writers and it looks wonderful! We use Units of Study, but it's not my favorite.

Thanks again!


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Math Poetry
Old 07-30-2014, 07:39 AM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/Math-Poetry-Li.../dp/1596470720

This is a wonderful guide to writing poetry about math topics. My favorite assignment is called Fractions of Me. It is an adorable poem about themselves.
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Sensory Writing
Old 07-30-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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This used to be one of my favorite assignments until the food police at our school said we could no longer use it.

You give each student an Oreo cookie in a baggie. You discuss using the five senses when you describe something.

The first day they describe in their notes what it looks like.

The second day they describe what it smells like.

The third day what it feels like.

The next day they finally get to eat the cookie. They describe how it tastes, plus the sounds that it makes as it is eaten.

Then all of these notes are used to write a descriptive essay about the Oreo.

I encourage my students to use a simile and alliteration in their essay.

The final draft is round shaped paper with lines. It is about 9 inches wide. It has a cover that looks like an Oreo. I wish I had an electronic copy but I do not.

The students love this assignment! The best part is when they write future assignments you can remind them to include sensory writing like they used on their Oreo essay and they remember!

I play them the U Tube Oreo commercial with the song as an introduction to the assignment. We discuss how it uses descriptions to sell the cookie and the music is just fun.

Here is a copy of the prewriting organizer that I used for note taking.
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File Type: pdf sensory graphic organizer.pdf (18.0 KB, 87 views)
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First Day Poem
Old 07-30-2014, 08:04 AM
 
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http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...ad.php?t=93448

Here is a thread about how I start our year in writing.
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Bubble Gum Blowing
Old 07-30-2014, 08:12 AM
 
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This is another adorable writing assignment that was put to rest by the food police at my school. It is a real shame. This assignment has the WOW factor and the kids loved writing this how to piece.

Basically the kids write a how to essay about blowing a bubble with bubble gum. They also create a self portrait from a paper plate. You poke a hole in the mouth drawing and add a pink balloon. This art work is displayed above the how to. ADORABLE!

Just do a search here on Proteacher to find all the details.
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Heart Map- Writing Bank
Old 07-30-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=279359

This is a great assignment to do early in the year. Then save it in the writing journal. Kids can look back at their heart map any time they have free writing time. It will give them ideas about what to write about when they are at a lose of what to write.

The kids like all the art work in this assignment.


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Good Resource
Old 07-30-2014, 08:19 AM
 
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http://www.writingfix.com/

Writing Fix is a great resource for ideas. I especially like the picture book assignments suggested.

The persuasive writing assignment that goes with the book I Wanna Iguana if a fun one for the students.
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Read This Book Aloud
Old 07-30-2014, 08:26 AM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Wave-C.../dp/0060562005

It is a very creative story about a boy who brings a wave home. It ends with him returning the wave to the sea and then dreaming about their next vacation to the mountains as he stares at clouds out the window.

In other words it sets the reader up to write a sequel narrative. The kids really have fun with this creative fantasy.

Another book with an ending like this one is Imogene's Antlers.
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Thanksgiving Writing
Old 07-30-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...ad.php?t=62570

We use this assignment each year in November. We send t home as a family project. They present them in class before Thanksgiving. It is a persuasive assignment to prove to their audience that their turkey is not really a turkey.

If you search here on PT you will find more versions and information.
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Winter Holiday
Old 07-30-2014, 09:25 AM
 
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After I did the turkey assignment with my kids the first time I wanted a similar assignment for the winter holidays. My students and their families had really enjoyed the turkey family project so I created another on for December.

The kids did an amazing job. I look forward to listening to these essays each year.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Family Project best gift in the World-2.doc (136.5 KB, 60 views)
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More About Winter Holiday Assignment
Old 07-30-2014, 09:30 AM
 
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Here is my example that I share with my students.
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File Type: doc Family Project Best Gift in the World 3-2-2.doc (22.0 KB, 46 views)
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1956bd ...
Old 07-30-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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You are truly amazing. These are wonderful ideas. I actually do the turkey disguise, but only last year did I start to have them focus more on the writing element of it. I will continue to do that this year. And I love the winter holiday activity!

Thank you again ... I will definitely be using some of these fantastic ideas this year!
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