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Early Intervention Students and Writing Ideas
Old 11-01-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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I've got about 12 students out of 54 fifth graders that are poor writers. They just can't seem to get IDEAS down for informational writing. (It's not too bad for narrative writing.) They can't seem to pull enough out of their heads to get it down on paper. They are very concrete. It's not that they are ESOL. Some are language delayed, but most are just low students...they ones that don't qualify for Special Ed because they are working at their IQ level. You know, the "gray area" kids???

Anyway, how do I get them to ELABORATE? We've worked on the other traits, and I see progress in word choice, organization, conventions, etc. but not much in IDEAS. This sounds awful, but it's like their heads are full of cotton. "What else can you tell me about....?" is just met with blank staring. "How would a person feel...?" and they look at me in a confused way. It's like pushing a watermelon through the eye of a needle. Don't get me wrong; I really like these kids. I just don't think there is much thinking going on.

I can help them with the other traits. I just can't seem to help them with this one.

HELP ME HELP THEM! Please. I'm begging you to help me figure out how to get them to write more. Any ideas, even brainstorms might help.


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Old 11-04-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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Together: What if you had them write "How to Clean the Sink" after you all cleaned the sink (or something else with steps or directions)? Highlight the topic sentence green. Notice all the details/ideas and highlight them yellow. Then, you could try following a recipe and having them tell how to make the item, writing down all the details/ideas and highlight them yellow. How about having them highlight all the details/ideas in a paragraph they read about an animal?

They do it: Have them write about a very familiar topic, i.e. something I am good at, telling all the steps you take to do it. Then each child highlights all of their details in yellow. Ask them to summarize a story, and then highlight all of their details in yellow.

This might get them from beginning to a little bit farther along the continuum....
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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Thank you for your suggestion. I'm late in looking back at my post...seems so busy at school now.

I've had some success with just giving them quick writes 3 times a week. They've been getting more down

from their heads to their hands....sorry, the cat is causing a problem since he insists on laying on the keyboard.

Again thank you. I've got some cards that I'm going to post on this site and one says something about adding a sentence somewhere. It's getting too late to explain and I'm tired. Should go to bed, like my name says.
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Time for bed
Old 11-27-2010, 03:48 AM
 
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I agree that shared experiences are the key to informational writing and even for those kids who lack personal experiences they can reflect on for narrative writing. Have you tried non-fiction read alouds with this group?
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