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pinkshopper pinkshopper is offline
 
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pinkshopper
 
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Writing troubles
Old 01-16-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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My 4th graders are having a very difficult time understanding why a paper or story needs an introduction and a conclusion and further how to properly write them. I do not teach them English yet find it very important that they understand the importance. I do creative writing with them once a month and often have them write reports for Social Studies so I was going to try and tie in a quick lesson on introduction and conclusion in a 5 paragraph paper...any advice or suggestions on what to do?

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Bertie B Bertie B is offline
 
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Teaching 4th graders to write a paragraph.
Old 01-17-2011, 03:44 AM
 
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Hi,
My team teaches how to write a paragraph starting at the beginning of the year. We post elements of a paragraph, model, model, model. Practice together etc. review often. We have writing prompts for every week. The kids write a paragraph a week, with a rubric to go with it. You could use a checklist too. They have to give themselves the points first before we look at it. Often, it is the capital letters, spelling, punctuation that is the problem. That's why we teach dictionary skills too.....don't we have way too much to teach besides Guided Reading? Anyway, now, this time of the year, they are getting the hang of the paragraph and are doing so much better. It takes time and regular practice for it to transfer to other areas of study.
I fear a quick lesson might have to turn into an everyday, every week lesson.

Kids don't get that the conclusion sentence has to relate to the topic sentence somehow. We just did cause and effect paragraph using "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie", and all the other books were our inspiration on how to relate the conclusion sentence to the topic sentence. It worked out well, but I think it is because they have had a lot of practice in writing paragraphs.

Hope this helps a little.
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Paragraph Rubric
Old 01-17-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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Would you mind sharing your paragraph rubric?! My 4th graders also write a paragraph a week....well honestly I usually send a writing prompt home over the weekend for them to do, and that is on top of our "regular" writing in the content areas and so forth. I was going to work on a rubric today for there weekend writing, I would love to see yours for ideas if you don't mind.
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1956BD 1956BD is offline
 
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What about a non-example?
Old 01-17-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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Read them the body of an essay without the introduction and conclusion and then ask them some questions about the topic. When they are unable to answer all the questions maybe they will see the need for an introduction and conclusion.

You might even make it more dramatic by cutting off the top and the bottom of the essay in front of them before you read it to them.

Just an idea, I have never done this for a lesson. Good luck!
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I agree w/1956BD's approach
Old 01-18-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Find a couple of short stories you know they will like. Read several starting in the middle, where you know they will lack the info to follow the story and after finishing ask how they liked the story. Also, read a few that have cliff hanger endings and stop before getting to the end. That should give them the idea.


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Vautriceii Vautriceii is offline
 
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Checklist for Writing
Old 01-23-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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I am not the one with the Rubric, but I can give you what we use.

G - Great Beginnings - Change the setting or location. Instead of "The kids were walking home from school on a cold day."...to "On a cold and freezing afternoon, the kids were walking home from school."

M - Magical Words - I don't like the "magical" part, because I think it is childish. In reality, the words are of a higher caliber than what they normally use, i.e., numerous, plunge, despair, and rickety are some examples.

E - Ending connects to the beginning

D - Dialogue (2) per paragraph

S - Show don't Tell - Show me anger and happiness without using those words

S - Senses - Include touch, taste, smell, hear and see sentences.

S - Similes - Include similes

C - Correct punctuation and spelling

10 - 10 lines per paragraph

I was having a hard time getting my students to include all these concepts. I have them write this on their rough draft or mapping page to use as a checklist. I then held a contest for the ones who included all the concepts. I used a gift card to a game store as an enticement. The effort improved.
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Bertie B Bertie B is offline
 
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Paragraph Rubric
Old 01-24-2011, 03:08 AM
 
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I like all the ideas here, especially giving information without the topic and conclusion section. I will find my paragraph rubric and post it for you. I only do three detail sentences though but you could adjust to what you want. I will get that on today or this evening for sure.

Last edited by Bertie B; 01-24-2011 at 03:11 AM.. Reason: add more info
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Bertie B Bertie B is offline
 
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4th grade Paragraph Rubric
Old 01-25-2011, 04:04 AM
 
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Name___________________________ _________
Paragraph of the Week
1. Heading- Name and date -1 point
2. Topic Sentence- 3 points
3. Detail Sentences, (at least with 3 complete sentences with capital letters and punctuation at the end - 9 points
4. Concluding sentence - 4 points
5. Indent paragraph- 1 point
6. Neatness - 2 points
7. Spelling - 1 point

Total points= 20 points
_______________________________ _______________________________ ______________ A paragraph is a group of sentences that tell about one idea or topic. A paragraph is like a train. The topic sentence is like the train's engine. It is the lead sentence that gets the paragraph started. The detail sentences are like the train's boxcars. They carry all the cargo or all of the facts and details that tells about the topic sentence. The concluding sentence is like the caboose. It brings the paragraph to an end. Make sure your paragraph includes all of the elements in the rubric above. Your grade will be based on the completion of the 7 items listed above.

*** Please staple this with your name on it to your final copy, neatly written or typed.
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chaz6 chaz6 is offline
 
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Good resource for writing
Old 01-25-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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This will probably be a summer read as the year is 1/2 over, but it is a good one. Aimee Buckner has some great ideas on the writer's workshop. She also has Notebook Connections Strategies for the Reader's Notebook which is great for the reading teacher.
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Bertie B Bertie B is offline
 
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writing
Old 02-24-2011, 03:47 AM
 
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I will look into Aimee Buckner about Connections Strategies. I have the kids make a connection book for each story we read. Sounds like there are other things I could be doing. Thank you!


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