Once a week or once a month, a teacher can hold a "Sentence Auction. The identity of the student who wrote each sentence is not revealed. The students are told to "bid" on the good sentences. The winner is the student with the highest number of "good" sentences. I have never "corrected" my students' writing mistakes, at least not in the traditional way. I have always told my students, "If I correct your English, I improve my English; if you correct your English, you improve yours.
If I pre-set the errors I would look for, for example correct use of past tense, I would only correct past tense errors, even if I saw other glaring errors in the paper. Sometimes this was hard to do, but I wanted to maintain the students' focus on the writing improvement we were working on. If I set a number of errors I would circle, for example, five, then I carefully chose those five and ignored the rest.
When I returned the papers, the students were responsible for correcting their own mistakes. If they weren't sure how to do it, they could check with a classmate, and if no one knew, then I would assist.
Invariably the students would ask, "Are these the only errors in the paper? They might be disappointed, but they came to understand the value of correcting their own errors when they submitted a piece of writing. One of the challenges for ELL students when they approach writing is their anxiety about writing their ideas correctly and writing a lot of information in English.
This may feel overwhelming when a student is assigned an essay. In order to get students comfortable with the idea of just putting ideas on paper and not worrying about mistakes, we do regular "quick writes. They need to keep their pencils on the paper and even if they can't think of anything to write or they are worried about how to spell things, they are supposed to keep writing. At the end of five minutes, the students count how many words they were able to write and they keep track in a log.
The objective is that they will see progress in the amount of writing they are able to do in five minutes' time and hopefully apply this fluency to their essay writing. Cinquain poems offer great flexibility in working with ELL students of a variety of language levels. The basic Cinquain formula is as follows, but teachers can modify it as needed according to the student language level.
There really is no wrong way to do a Cinquain, students can put key vocabulary words together any way they like to create the message they desire. Teachers may want to use Cinquains to reinforce new content vocabulary and concepts as well. With these writing activities to try in your classroom, the only thing left is to buy a few boxes of pencils, hand them out to your ELL students and help them discover the possibility of joy in writing. Teachers who use a variety of activities and strategies to help ELL students become comfortable with expressing their ideas in a new language and finding success with small writing tasks, will give their students' confidence for a lifetime of self-expression.
I offer this Cinquain poem to sum it up. This article from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, featured on LD OnLine, discusses dysgraphia and its warning signs, as well as strategies for addressing it for different age groups.
Reading Rockets webcast featuring Dr. Louisa Moats, and Dr. These three renowned reading and writing experts address why writing is important, what the latest research tells us, and what educators and parents can do to support our children's development as writers. Teaching Plot Structure with Picture Books. Use picture books to teach young writers how to organize plot logically. This article includes examples of basic plot structures, along with picture books that use those structures.
An Introduction to Letter Writing. This article from My Child Magazine, featured on Reading Rockets, offers samples of different styles of letters from thank-you notes to letters to Santa and style guidelines that children can follow. This site lets you create your own handouts of words that students can practice writing.
The paper is lined and the word is outlined in small dot print. Good for ELL students developing initial literacy skills. ReadWriteThink offers a variety of fun, interactive writing activities, including the Comic Creator. Students can fill in comics with their own words and storylines. A poetry site designed to assist instruction of ESL students in poetry and other creative writing forms. The site has links and detailed information on poetry such as Cinquain, Diamante, Haiku and Limericks.
It also has further information on other types of creative writing and tips for instruction. Language Arts Graphic Organizers. These graphic organizers can be used to prepare for a five-paragraph essay, organize sentences in a paragraph, map concepts and events, compare topics with a Venn Diagram, organize notes for a presentation, create a double-entry journal, and much more.
With generous support provided by the National Education Association. Thanks for sharing useful ideas out of your personal experience. I really enjoyed reading the sentence auction activity and would share it with a friend who is teaching English at some local school; I am sure her students will benefit a great deal with this writing technique. I enjoyed your personal experience and it is very helpful. Way to be creative and go the extra mile for ESL students. I also love the poem.
Write About This is an app that addresses all genres of writing throughout elementary school, engaging students and making them feel excited about writing!
This app is worth investigating for teachers of reluctant writers. Storyrobe allows writers to write, share their work, and receive feedback from others. This is a great way to integrate student editing and revision as well as teaching how to incorporate positive feedback to writers. With this app, you can easily save and upload your story to social media platforms as well!
For traditional essay writing in classrooms, there is no better app than Google Docs! Google Docs has all the traditional functionality of Microsoft Word but allows for collaboration between students and for easy-to-give and easy-to-receive feedback from teachers through the commenting and suggesting functions. When paired with Google Classroom, Google Docs makes the assigning, collecting, and grading of essays a breeze for teachers and students.
While written communication can, at times, be undercut by social media, teachers can also use it to motivate students to write more and write better. By tapping into these writing apps, teachers can get their students invested in improving their writing skills!
When their writing skills including vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar usage, etc. But what if their writing skills are not up to the mark? It then becomes a herculean task to complete the work accurately and on time. Fortunately, there are many easy-to-use resources on the web which students can use to enhance their writing skills.
The Edvocate Podcast, Episode 3: Why Teacher Shortages Occur. They should write whatever pops into their mind without worrying about grammar, spelling, phrasing, or organization. This kind of free writing, according to writing experts, helps students synthesize diverse ideas and identify points they may not understand.
There is no need to collect these exercises. Have students write a brief summary at the end of class. At the end of the class period, give your students index cards to jot down the key themes, major points, or general principles of the day's discussion. You can easily collect the index cards and review them to see whether the class understood the discussion. Have one student keep minutes to be read at the next class meeting.
By taking minutes, students get a chance to develop their listening, synthesizing, and writing skills. Boris suggests the following: Prepare your students by having everyone take careful notes for the class period, go home and rework them into minutes, and hand them in for comments. It can be the students' discretion whether the minutes are in outline or narrative form. Decide on one to two good models to read or distribute to the class. At the beginning of each of the following classes, assign one student to take minutes for the period.
Give a piece of carbon paper to the student who is taking minutes so that you can have a rough copy. The student then takes the original home and revises it in time to read it aloud at the next class meeting.
After the student has read their minutes, ask other students to comment on their accuracy and quality. If necessary, the student will revise the minutes and turn in two copies, one for grading and one for your files. Structure small group discussion around a writing task. For example, have your students pick three words that are of major importance to the day's session.
Ask your class to write freely for two to three minutes on just one of the words. Next, give the students five to ten minutes to meet in groups to share what they have written and generate questions to ask in class. Use peer response groups. Divide your class into groups of three or four, no larger. Ask your students to bring to class enough copies of a rough draft of a paper for each person in their group.
Give your students guidelines for critiquing the drafts. In any response task, the most important step is for the reader to note the part of the paper that is the strongest and describe to the writer why it worked so well. The following instructions can also be given to the reader: State the main point of the paper in a single sentence List the major subtopics Identify confusing sections of the paper Decide whether each section of the paper has enough detail, evidence, and information Indicate whether the paper's points follow one another in sequence Judge the appropriateness of the opening and concluding paragraphs Identify the strengths of the paper Written critiques done as homework are likely to be more thoughtful, but critiques may also be done during the class period.
Read-around groups are a technique used with short assignments two to four pages which allows everyone to read everyone else's paper. Divide the class into groups no larger than four students and divide the papers coded for anonymity into as many sets as there are groups. Give each group a set and ask the students to read each paper silently and decide on the best paper in the set. Each group should discuss their choices and come to a consensus on the best paper. The paper's code number is recorded by the group, and the same process is repeated with a new set of papers.
After all the groups have read all the sets of papers, someone from each group writes on the board the code number from the best paper in each set.
The recurring numbers are circled. Generally, one to three papers stand out. Ask students to identify the characteristics of effective writing. After completing the read-around activity, ask your students to reconsider those papers which were voted as excellent by the entire class and to write down features that made each paper outstanding.
Write their comments on the board, asking for elaboration and probing vague generalities. In pairs, the students discuss the comments on the board and try to put them into categories such as organization, awareness of audience, thoroughness of detail, etc.
You might need to help your students arrange the characteristics into meaningful categories. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, A Valuable Teaching Device. Critical Perspectives on Computers and Composition Instruction.
Children need lots of practice with writing to develop their skills in the elementary years. Parents can help at home with these activities and ideas.
Ways to help students strengthen their writing skills.
How can I help students become better writers in the discipline when I am not a writing teacher? Share Useful Strategies with Students. Many of the writing strategies we take for granted (e.g., how to write an introduction, how to research relevant sources) are not at all obvious to our students. And yet, these issues arise so frequently. The Writing Challenge App allows students to enjoy writing in the guide of a fun, interactive game. The app provides a prompt to get student writing started then, every minute, the app supplies another prompt to add new ideas, words, characters, sentences, places or actions to the plot.
Helping Students Who Struggle to Write: Classroom Compensations. By: Regina G. Richards. Many fun and efficient software programs are available to help students learn appropriate keyboarding. Offering access to a variety of programs helps decrease boredom and allows for choice, as the student may select different software each . 4) For students with difficulties with writing conventions (spelling, grammar, etc), I recommend having them start a personal spelling and grammar dictionary to help them with frequently used or misused words or grammatical rules. I would like it if they can keep such a log on their iTouch or phones.