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Getting them to not state the obvious

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Getting them to not state the obvious
Old 11-14-2015, 03:24 PM
 
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Wondering if anyone else has those students who write as if they are "Captain Obvious?" I am looking for a powerful way to get them to stop such things as "My topic is..." "My essay is about...." "Here is a list of ..." etc.... A huge pet peeve of mine and this year's crop of 6th graders aren't quite getting that this is unnecessary!


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Old 11-14-2015, 03:49 PM
 
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I responded in a PM because what I could be recognized by a colleague and I'd like to try to keep my PT name secret.
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Start out with a Hook
Old 11-15-2015, 07:04 AM
 
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I've always had my writers start out with some type of hook. This can be a question, startling fact, or something to catch the reader's attention. I think students are trained in elementary to write the "My topic is..." It will take some practice to have them get to a more sophisticated level of writing. Maybe do a mini-lesson where they cross out the "I am writing about..." and have them partner up to think of a better sentence starter.

Speaking of sentence starters, I use a lot of them because many of my students (mostly boys) will just stare at the page instead of getting started.
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sentence starters
Old 11-15-2015, 08:32 AM
 
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I do this as well, but find when writing on their own they go back to the "The topic of this essay is..." since they get that I have banned 1st person now. I worry about them being able to come up with their own thoughts on standardized testing when I can't help them.

We use the RACE strategy for Open Response questions and they are good at restating. It's the longer writing assignments where the bad habits keep popping up.

Thinking about making a "Don't be Captain Obvious" Anchor chart/handout for their binders to have as a reference.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:52 PM
 
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A big thing that I do in my classroom is to have my students write an action word first which can help launch them into their thesis statement. A very descriptive sentence in the beginning takes away the need to say what they are writing about in the piece. However, if there is no way to fit an action word in there, I often have my students start with a quote, or a memory or just something that reminds them of the topic they are writing about.

I always tell them not to put their best foot first, but their best sentence.


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