Today, we again practiced stating an opinion using academic language. We practiced a little bit whole group, sitting knee-to-knee, but it was a quick practice. I then had students go back to their table groups and play a board game. It was a very simple board game where they flipped over a card, gave their opinion using a sentence frame, rolled the die, and moved a marker.
This just gave them one more way to practice. After the board game, I gave students three prompts from the game. Students chose a prompt, wrote an opinion statement and three reasons for it. While students were writing, I circulated the room and made sure each student had used a sentence frame to state their opinion. This was first on the chart and first on my list.
Something to think about! Thursday: More Practice Goal: Work with academic language and provide more practice On Thursday, students sorted opinions and reasons. I cleaned up the writing a little bit, but used mostly their writing with a few other more difficult ones thrown in. We first sorted the strips of paper into option and reason. Then we matched the reason to the correct opinion. This whole group activity mirrored what I wanted students to do during their independent activity.
Students did their own sort. This gives them exposure to accurate academic language for opinion writing. After sorting, students chose one opinion and reason pair. They wrote that opinion and reason on a blank paper and wrote two more reasons to go with that opinion. Not only was I able to get another piece of writing from students, they used the given opinion statement and matching reason to practice some higher-level writing.
By requiring students to learn three types of essay writing — argumentative, informational and narrative — the Core staked a claim for writing as central to the American curriculum. It represented a sea change after the era of No Child Left Behind, the federal law that largely overlooked writing in favor of reading comprehension assessed by standardized multiple-choice tests. Students continue to arrive on college campuses needing remediation in basic writing skills.
The root of the problem, educators agree, is that teachers have little training in how to teach writing and are often weak or unconfident writers themselves. According to Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, a scan of course syllabuses from 2, teacher preparation programs turned up little evidence that the teaching of writing was being covered in a widespread or systematic way.
A separate study of nearly teachers in grades three through eight across the country, conducted by Gary Troia of Michigan State University and Steve Graham of Arizona State University, found that fewer than half had taken a college class that devoted significant time to the teaching of writing, while fewer than a third had taken a class solely devoted to how children learn to write.
Unsurprisingly, given their lack of preparation, only 55 percent of respondents said they enjoyed teaching the subject. Troia said. Adherents worry that focusing too much on grammar or citing sources will stifle the writerly voice and prevent children from falling in love with writing as an activity.
Image A pre-assessment in social studies by a Staten Island ninth grader, part of a Writing Revolution program. That ideology goes back to the s, when progressive educators began to shift the writing curriculum away from penmanship and spelling and toward diary entries and personal letters as a psychologically liberating activity.
Later, in the s and s, this movement took on the language of civil rights, with teachers striving to empower nonwhite and poor children by encouraging them to narrate their own lived experiences.
Calkins, founding director of the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, a leading center for training teachers in process-oriented literacy strategies. The organization was founded in , at the height of the process-oriented era.
As part of its program at Nassau Community College, in a classroom not far from the one where the teenagers were working on their college essays, a group of teachers — of fifth grade and high school, of English, social studies and science — were honing their own writing skills. A major goal of this workshop — the teacher-training component of the Long Island Writing Project — was to get teachers writing and revising their own work over the summer so that in the fall they would be more enthusiastic and comfortable teaching the subject to children.
Use the suggestions from peer review to restructure sentences and add or delete details. Step 7 Edit and proofread. Look for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. Remind students of grammar issues you have studied and how to find them in their writing.
Reading aloud is a good strategy, and students who finish papers on a computer should run a spell check. About the Author Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since , most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education.
Photo Credits girl teach to write image by Julia Britvich from Fotolia. Imagine that you have an identical twin who is a different class than you.
What pranks would you play on your teachers and classmates? Nessy's Life. Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster? Describe your life under the sea. Have you ever been lost? Write about the experience. Perfect Party. Describe what the ultimate birthday party would look like if you could do anything you wanted. Kindness Counts. What do you do?
Memory Eraser. Explain why. Opinion Essay Writing Prompts When writing an opinion essay, students should clearly state their opinion, then back it up with sound reasons and facts. Opinion essays should close the essay with a concluding paragraph and a summary of the argument. Be a Friend.
What does it mean to be a good friend? Growing Up or Down. Would you rather be older than you are right now or younger? Some kids in 3rd grade have cell phones. Do you? Best Pets. Give at least three reasons for your opinion. Why or why not? School Favorites. What do you think is the best subject in school?
What makes it the best? Off Limits. Explain why your parents should allow it. Summer School.Kris Bales is war long-time homeschool parent. Updated July 25, Students in 3rd grade should be writing regularly in a variety of styles and for a variety of audiences. For many students, the most difficult part of help is facing the blank page. The following grade level appropriate writing prompts provide post of inspiration to help your students get started on a number of different writing assignments. Narrative Essay Writing Prompts Narrative essay tell a story consensus on real or imagined events.
Think of something that you found difficult to do at first such as multiplication or tying your shoes , but that you now understand. If you could make a new school rule, what would it be? Individual Writing Since we had spend so much time on the whole group and partner practice today, I gave students an easy prompt: their favorite food. Ask students to summarize their point in one sentence. As part of its program at Nassau Community College, in a classroom not far from the one where the teenagers were working on their college essays, a group of teachers — of fifth grade and high school, of English, social studies and science — were honing their own writing skills.
Small children should write at desks, she believes. Off Limits. This is one of my highest students. By Dana Goldstein Aug. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Someone told your best friend a lie about you and your friend believed them.
According to Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, a scan of course syllabuses from 2, teacher preparation programs turned up little evidence that the teaching of writing was being covered in a widespread or systematic way.