5 paragraph essay - 4th grade - ProTeacher Community


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5 paragraph essay - 4th grade
Old 08-22-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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So we are teaching the 5 paragraph essay to our 4th graders. We started this week by going step by step and students basically copying down the main parts (Mary Rose's first lesson).

Next week we are going to be focusing on the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.

Every day we will give them a different topic and they'll have to write an intro and conclusion after teacher modeling.

Well, I know that the intro should start with a hook to get the reader. And that the intro should have what you're going to talk about.

What else should I be making sure to explicitly point out to the students?


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introductions
Old 08-25-2007, 05:25 AM
 
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When writing introductions I have students focus on the topic sentence first. We often go back and add background or a hook. In some expository essays my students write a plan sentence. For me that is a sentence that lays out the the development of the body paragraphs. A plan sentence might be, "Albert Einstein's life was complicated in his early, middle and late years." Then the next paragraph would be his early years, the next would be middle, etc.

FYI: I teach 6th.
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Old 08-26-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Can your students write one really good paragraph, let alone attempt a five paragraph essay? Is that really in your curriculum?
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:19 AM
 
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Wow! No way are my fourth graders ready for that. Most can't write a complete sentence consistently. Wonder if that is really developmentally appropriate? Isn't that a more 7th and 8th grade thing?
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:28 AM
 
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Hi everyone....this is my first post and I just want to say that I really find all of your comments and suggestions both positive and helpful.

I think that students will rise to high expectations. We start on 5 paragraph essays in 6th grade, but I really think we could start sooner since in 7th & 8th they focus on 7 paragraphs.

I have a really great resource called "The Power of Three in Writing: Thinking in Threes" by Brian Backman. I found this really helpful for my 6th graders. He breaks every step of essay writing into three parts. I teach an inclusion class and found his approach very helpful with my special education students.


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Five Paragraph Expository Model-Using Colors
Old 09-03-2007, 07:43 AM
 
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Some of my students who were really resisting or not understanding the basic structure, found this to be helpful.

Five Paragraph Essay Model
http://www2.asd.wednet.edu/Pioneer/b...ssay_model.htm

Slide Show for Five Paragraph Essay Model (downloadable)
http://www2.asd.wednet.edu/Pioneer/b...raph/index.htm

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5 paragraphs
Old 09-08-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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I too am teaching the 5 paragraph essay to my fourth graders, many of my third graders were able to do this last year. They rose to the challenge and they did quite well. Our state has the writing test in fourth and it is expected in fourth that they write using the six traits rubric. They are supposed to use metaphors and similes and use descriptive language wherever they can. Its in our curriculum and YES they can do it if they try! Some of course need more help than others. ha ha
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thanks for these
Old 10-14-2007, 08:18 AM
 
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Thanks for these links. I agree with many of you. My grade 6 class is expected to write a minimum of 5 paragraphs, using the 6 trait rubric. They have been using the same basic rubric since grade 4.
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4th grade CAN write five-paragraph essays
Old 11-21-2007, 08:52 AM
 
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I taught 4th grade for 12 years and every Friday I had my students write five paragraph "essays" in the form of a letter home to their parents. Every Friday, we would make a list of main events of the week and subjects under them. Such as Math and then under that, the list of the things students learned or did in math.
learned new division step
created pretend checkbooks
created our own story problems for each other
had x test

Then the students would pick their three subjects of the several we had on the board that they wanted to write about. Here is an old letter one of my students wrote.

Dear Mom,

This week in school was fun. I did some new things in math, in PE we learned a new game and on Friday we had a substitute.

This week in math we learned two step division. It was really hard at first with all those numbers going back and forth but now I get it. We also created word problems for each other and nobody could figure mine out.

In PE we learned how to play Octopus. It is a game where you say, "Octopus, octopus in the sea. Octopus, octopus can't catch me" and then you run across the field so the kid who is the octopus doesn't catch you. If he does, you are turned into a tentacle and have to catch other kids. It was super fun!

We had a substitute. She was really fun. She brought a big red bag that she called her bag of tricks. She had us play a writing game and even brought her guitar and sang. When she read out loud, she made funny voices for the people in the book.

That's all about this week, thanks for reading my letter and please write back.

I had students learn to write essays with something that was meaningful and real; a letter about their personal experiences going to a real family member. In the beginning, students’ letters were limited and it took them about six weeks before all students understood the concept of how to follow writing a five-paragraph essay. In January, we started taking the letters to a whole new level where they focused on one thing each week. Like one week they had to have an opinion about everything they stated. Then on another week, they focused on creating great images instead of just telling about things, another week it would be focusing on word choice. By the end of the year, my students could write beautiful letters. Also, after we had a field trip or a presenter, my students could easily compose a five-paragraph essay about the trip or the presenter. All I would do with the kids before writing, was brainstorm the main topics and ideas to go under each of those to help them when writing their paragraphs.

I was called in by my principal as he didn’t know why my 4th grade students were testing so much higher on the Direct Writing Assessment than the other 4th grades. It was because of these letters home as I did not do any prep to get them ready for the DWA. I just told the kids, "It is like your letters home."

It is a matter of making them write regularly. The skills they developed in these letters home, transferred into becoming beautiful book, poetry and creative writers as well.

Another fun thing we did with the letters was that parents would write back. Children had to return the letters and we saved them in the order they were written and bound them at the end of the year. The kids laughed hysterically seeing their growth in writing from the first of the year letters to the end of the year.
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I love this idea!!
Old 11-25-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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If I get a teaching job this year I would LOVE to use this idea. I am HOPING to be teaching next year in fourth or fifth grade.
Jennifer
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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Distressed--

1. Look at the date on the post. That was the first week of school. And no, at that point, my brand new fourth graders were not writing in complete, correct sentences. Many wrote in fragments and runons. Of course, now that we are 9 months into the school year, there has been great growth. Perfection? No....and if you can tell me that every one of your students' writing is completely devoid of runons and fragments I would recommend you write a book for the rest of us on how to teach. In fact, on this year's standardized writing test, my students scored the highest in the entire district, if that is something that is of value to you.

2. Please, please watch your accusational tone on this board. Do you know what kind of students I work with? Do you know anything about me as a teacher? Do you know the history of the situation? I am hopeful that you are not this judgmental of others all the time. It is my feeling that people on this board who are posting are here because they care about kids and want to bounce ideas off each other. That's why I am here.

3. I am an excellent teacher.

Let me tell you--I was just feeling pretty good about my morning with my kids learning how to develop a character for the stories they are writing and then to get blasted by that surely made for a miserable afternoon. Sorry--had to vent about your message.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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My fifth graders are writing five paragraphs - obviously some better than others. But isn't that true for all grades? If they can write one good one they can write five IMO. We of course have a plan before we start writing the paragraphs. I use Power Writing. It has been a successful technique for me.
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Distressed
Old 05-07-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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If you are going to post a negative and insulting comment, have the you-know-what to sign in.
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Ok everyone
Old 05-07-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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let's try to act better than the youngsters we work with every day. My kids have been bickering back and forth and tattling all day every day. Distressed, keep such a rude thought to yourself. We all need help around here. You should apologize!
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I Agree
Old 05-07-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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Distressed,
I couldn't find your post, I'm assuming it's been blocked off by now, but I agree with the above posters. We are here to talk with each other and help each other. We are here to support each other and provide a moment of cheer for each other. We are here to pray for each other or send positive thoughts to each other. We are one body, a body of teachers, and a wound to a part of the body hurts us all. We don't need to be wounded. We get enough of that throughout the year. Please be kind.
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Thanks everyone--I didn't mean to bicker. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

Enough already, right? Issue over. Post about 5 paragraph essays, nothing else.


Have a good night.
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My post!
Old 05-07-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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So I stumbled back on my post from the sad post in Teacher's Lounge.. and I totally never saw these responses in September!!

It is expected of our 4th graders to be writing 5 paragraph essays, or writing quality of 5 paragraph essays (even if not in 5 paragraph format) on their state test in February. We get our scores back hopefully tomorrow! Eeee!

Anyway, sorry my post caused problems! My kids ranged from levels.. some not knowing where to put periods, some with excellent writing skills using details and such.. my goal was to get as many of them as possible to be able to write 5 paragraph expository essays.

So, yes.. it was appropriate to be teaching if they're being tested on it and yes, not all of them were ready for it in the beginning but we worked together and pushed through and I'm super proud of what great writers they became!

Also.. .if I had seen these posts in September, I would have given up on my students writing longer essays, so I'm glad I didn't!!! I asked for help on how to do it and what I should make sure to include, because it's in my curriculum and I know they have to be able to do it.. not to have to defend that I was teaching it! I know my curriculum.

Last edited by colorbywords; 05-07-2008 at 04:03 PM.. Reason: wanted to add something
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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I think that it you taught them step by step they could! My fourth graders can, so they will be even better prepared in the middle school grades. I have some friends that teach at the middle school levels and they have to completely re-teach their students how to write an essay because they didn't learn it in elementary. So really you should be starting 5 paragraph essays in fourth grade so students have two years to grow in their writing before middle school.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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I meant to say "I Agree" in the title on my entry above.
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Letters to parents- 5 paragraph essay
Old 01-04-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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I teach 5th grade and I came across this post while looking at how to get my students to take accountability for their writing and become better writers. I love this idea and was wondering if you could send me a little more about how you went about doing this. I totally agree that writing should be on a regular basis and I thought that my love for writing would also help some of my students begin to love writing as much as I do. I'm always writing and some of my kids have been really curious about what I've been writing. It's worked for about half of my class and I see them writing all the time, but the other half is a huge struggle. They don't know how to write a full paragraph and with the writing assessment coming up I'm extremely worried.

The class I have actually didn't have any writing training until 4th grade when they finally lifted the writing ban in my district. It was finally acceptable to teach reading and writing together again. It's extremely frustrating because these poor children don't see the value of writing nor do they care to write correctly, spell correctly, or even make any sense of their writing.

I think making them accountable with the writing of letters to their parents everyday will help them understand how important it is and let the parents know how hard their child is working in school. I love the idea and would love more information. Thanks for the suggestions. Even with the school year half over I started this morning on having them write a letter to me about their break and how they spent it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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My class is writing 5 paragraphs. I start out the year by modeling how to write 5 paragraphs. I having the class copy paragraphs I have written and discuss the parts as we go, to teach them the format. Then, after a couple of lessons, I write parts of the paragraphs and have the class decide what I should write next. Each day I let the class be resposible for a little bit more of the essay until they are writing the whole thing. Each paragraph must have 5 sentences. The essay has and introduction, 3 supporting parargraphs, and a conclusion. Some students need more modeling than others, but most catch on quickly.
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4th graders Can Write Essays
Old 11-18-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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You're focusing to much on the structure of essay writing, instead of what you want your students to say. Are they writing personal essays or persuasive essays? Are you allowing them to pick out and generate their own ideas. Once a student is invested in what they want to say, what their claim is (or thesis) such as Having Bikes are Cool, or Little Siblings are Annoying, or Having a Pet is too much Responsibility. Then, use these personal claims to develop the structure of essays. So if Little siblings are annoying, you need to have 3 reasons. (Each reason, then becomes a paragraph). They support their claim with examples (list), and/or with an anecdote (known to them as a small moment). Now wrap it up- your conclusion.

Once you teach them the structure through their own generated ideas, then it can apply that to any prompted topic.

I teach 4th grade special education. With guidance and support, they can learn this.
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They can if you teach them.
Old 11-19-2010, 03:53 AM
 
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This is not something that they just do. They must be taught. You must model and lead every day. My third graders write essays in paragraphs. I expect that they can do it and then teach them. Never say never. It is self fulfilling and kids will pick up on it. Go for it!
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Expository
Old 01-12-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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My class has to write a 5 paragragh essay on why i like my substitute teacher but it is an expository so i am having a problem on that so can you tell me at least what to put in the first 2 or 3 paragraghs
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So confused!
Old 01-12-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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If you have them write a 5 paragraph piece ~ how long should it take them to complete this and how on earth do grade such a thing?

I have 60 kids ~ and this is my challenge. PLEASE, someone, give me advice! I would really like to do this, and I don't think it should be hard for them to do...

Still, there are a great number that make many errors, don't care about presentation, rush through it... I know that it's important to grade for things other than conventions, but when I have assignments this long, some of my students give up on capitalization/punctuation altogether. (Honestly ~ it looks like CRAP!) So, in pressing for writing of this length/depth ~ I feel like they are just practicing bad skills and that it's detrimental. To get them to write something like this ~ correctly ~ would take a lifetime. Furthermore, to grade something like this would take a second lifetime.

When I raised this concern in the past, it was suggested that I shorten the length of the assignments... But how do you know when to lengthen them?

I don't mean to hijack this ~ and starting out so long ago, I'm truly hoping that hijacking can't be an issue...

For anyone who has the time to answer ~ thank you so much!!!

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fourth grade writing
Old 01-15-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Thank you so much for your straight forward and easy to implement idea on teaching the five paragraph format. I am a veteran teacher, but it is my first year teaching fourth grade and with so much on my plate, I simply could not figure out how to create meaningful writing lessons for such a diverse group of writers. I really appreciated your post. Thank you for taking the time to share it!
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expository writings
Old 01-31-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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when you are writing a expository writing you should always have 1. introuduction
2. deatails 3. transitional words 4. wow words
5. conclusions 6. organization if you follow my edvice you will get an awesome score kids!!!!! <3<3<3<3



Still, there are a great number that make many errors, don't care about presentation, rush through it... I know that it's important to grade for things other than conventions, but when I have assignments this long, some of my students give up on capitalization/punctuation altogether. (Honestly ~ it looks like CRAP!) So, in pressing for writing of this length/depth ~ I feel like they are just practicing bad skills and that it's detrimental. To get them to write something like this ~ correctly ~ would take a lifetime. Furthermore, to grade something like this would take a second lifetime.




My class is writing 5 paragraphs. I start out the year by modeling how to write 5 paragraphs. I having the class copy paragraphs I have written and discuss the parts as we go, to teach them the format. Then, after a couple of lessons, I write parts of the paragraphs and have the class decide what I should write next. Each day I let the class be resposible for a little bit more of the essay until they are writing the whole thing. Each paragraph must have 5 sentences. The essay has and introduction, 3 supporting parargraphs, and a conclusion. Some students need more modeling than others, but most catch on quickly.



-always listen 2 me

Last edited by ashley martin; 01-31-2011 at 01:21 PM.. Reason: thinking
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essays (5 paragraphs)
Old 02-08-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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I am a student teacher... and the taecher got the flu so I have to fill in for her.I know nothing about writing 5 paragraph essays This is all new to me and my fellow students.
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5 Paragaph Essay
Old 03-24-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Everyone in the class should have the same topic. Have them write about themselves because everyone knows about themselves, well, most of them do OR write about something you just studied in history, using notes on facts and ideas generated from that subject. If writing about self, look for example formats for autobiographical essays online, for your grade level. Find examples to read to your students to help them reach your expectations. Write an essay with them, or write one as a class first to practice the structure (I do, we do, you do). Focus on one part at a time.

1) decide as a teacher the writing topic and have students brainstorm
2) create opening paragraph with a "hook" or "attention getter" and end opening paragraph with the thesis
3) topic sentence for essay (one sentence thesis statement) with 3 proofs/ideas/examples to be explained in 3 paragraphs of the body of the essay
4) body of the essay with topic sentence, examples and transitions and a concluding sentence
5)concluding paragraph retelling/restating what the essay is proving/explaining and rewriting the thesis statement (use different words)

Those are the main parts that should be in a 5 paragraph essay. Writing about themselves, doing step-by-step as a class, reading an example to the class and using student examples to teach (project on board or read out-loud) should produce a good result if you are clear about your expectations. So, get an example Online, identify the parts I listed, work together as a class and have students help each other and have fun! Students love telling their stories most of the time! Make sure each student has a clear thesis statement by spending the most time on that, and giving them a sentence template and examples, and you will enjoy the process. Provide lists of words and ideas for the students that you develop or are developed as a class, for example, list of ideas of hooks, topic sentences, etc.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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Excellent ideas!!! Thank you!! I can't wait to try it this Friday!
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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My 3rd Graders can do 5 paragraph papers. We have over 50% poverty. They take a long time to do, but they are learning!
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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What is Power Writing?
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Lucy Calkins essays?
Old 11-15-2011, 08:41 PM
 
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Anyone using Lucy Calkins to write essays? If so, how did you begin?
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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I'm in Freshman class now, but I wasn't taught much about how to write a five paragraph essay until 6th grade. I wish they would teach kids sooner the helpful basics of English or any other subject for this matter. I was only taught the basic of math, including times tables, all across my bright summer and transition into third grade. Now I'm successful in math than most other students, but I still wanted the great opportunity to be lucrative in the rest of my future subjects.

I believe that Arizonagirl's tips would have the most effect.

(Why am I even posting here? :3)
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I am using Lucy
Old 11-29-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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this year, and I really like her mini lessons. The problem I am finding is a time issue. Her one or two day lessons take me a week or more to complete. I share my writing time with science/social studies time. We have a separate 90 minute block in the morning for language arts which incorporates some writing also, but I am finding that the writer's workshop time is sometimes interrupted by other subjects (and early release days or conference days). If the students are not allowed time to write consistently they forget what they are doing.

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I always know I can count on PT members for a little inspiration!
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Very Helpful Idea
Old 02-20-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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Arizonegirl!!! This is such a wonderful idea. I've been looking for ways to teach about writing a 5 paragraph essay and this eases them into it with a meaningful writing assignment. I can see how their scores would be higher. Excellent job and thanks for sharing. Your students are lucky to have you as their teacher!!!!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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I LOVE this idea, Arizonagirl. I am going to try it in my classroom! Thanks for sharing.
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need help
Old 03-05-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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the problem with me is that on some prompts its easy for me but on some prompts it not and so i get a 3. I have been practicing. What should i do?
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Lana500198
 
 
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Actually
Old 04-06-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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Nope acctually 4th grade state tests do have to write essays for written essays 2 to 5 paragraphs based on the amount of bullets there are to say in one paragraph each.Usually weeks before the test every school day your student listens to a passage or reads a passage then writes an essay for practice.Then days later they go over it and get graded and explain with the class what you have to do to get a good grade and to pass the state test
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SarahRandles
 
 
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SarahRandles
 
 
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Formula for High Performing Student Writers
Old 09-02-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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High Expectations + High Quality Instruction = High Performing Writers (grade level doesn't affect anything)

My students write multiple paragraph compositions because that's what is needed. Why dumb down?! Students should be writing and creating and composing and building as much as possible. Synthesis is the highest order of thinking.
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shining ligh
 
 
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shining ligh
 
 
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Need Help : )
Old 11-16-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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Hi,

I have a 4th grader. He is in the G&T program. His Teachers from 3rd grade expected him to start writing 2 and 3 pages essays just out of the blue !!! without any help from her except been judgmental....

well, he had a very bad year last year that he lost all confident in himself and all his love to go to school that he had in 2nd grade as his 3rd grade teacher use to tell him that he is not as smart as the rest of the class if answered any wrong answer......"which I didn't know about until the year ended" it's so sad to see a teacher do that to an 8 years old child.

Thankfully this year he has such a wonderful teacher, and we are trying to rebuild his confident in himself and make him love to go to school like he use to when he was in 2nd grade.

I need help ...: ). I'm trying to help him to write better and expand his writing. please let me know what is the best way to work with him to achieve that.

Thank you for you help in advance.

a 4th grader mother : )
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rosalie1111
 
 
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rosalie1111
 
 
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4th grade essay
Old 01-17-2013, 02:25 PM
 
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Great job !

I wish we had teachers like you in my 4th grader private school

My daughter has an essay to write and it is left up to me to teach her how to write one at a 4th grade level.


I will follow your advice

Thanks for sharing.

4th grader mom
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JnJ's mommy
 
 
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JnJ's mommy
 
 
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Agree
Old 01-23-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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I totally agree with you 4th grader mom. I as well is teaching my 4th grader how to write essay's being she will be testing for private school next year. She will have 20mins to write an essay on a topic that they choose for her. If there is any suggestions on the easiest way to teach her that would be greatly appreciated. She is having problems with reading comprehension and we are working closley with her to improve. I'm thinking thats why she's having problems with her writing although she has some great writing ideas. HELP!!!!!!
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