This week we are going to be including Language Arts and Composition together as we begin practicing writing constructed responses to literature. This week, I will be guiding the students through a response, next week they will get a little more independence as they work on a different response, and finally, the week before break, they will participate in a timed, independent response, similar to what they experience on ISAT. This third response will be the December Writing Sample.
This week at the LC, we are going to spend a few moments talking about our 5-Paragraph Essays. Your student should be wrapping up his or her final draft at home and then preparing to upload and File Share it with the November work sample. The entire work sample, including the final draft of the 5-Paragraph Informative Essay, is due by Friday, November 22, 2013.
Please note: I will NOT be accepting any final drafts at the LC. They need to be uploaded and File Shared with the work sample. Thank you.
I need you to go see a post ("Peer Edit with Perfection") that I put under the 6th grade "Composition this week ..." tab. It pertains to you, too! Soooooo, go see it! Go here!
This week in the Learning Center, students are going to be sharing their writing piece with a fellow peer, and they will read each other's piece and offer positive comments, constructive comments, and other meaningful advice. I will also be circling the room and reviewing the first drafts myself as well.
In addition, students have been told that they may reach out to me throughout the week if they have questions regarding their writing.
In addition to my post right below this one, I want to add the following helpful guidelines for you as your student begins to work on this over the next week or so.
** The pages numbers are listed in the lower right corner of each page in itty bitty font. **
Have your student, if s/he has not already done so, write his/her name on the front. Have them wait to write a title until after s/he finishes his/her essay.
Encourage your student to record important content-related vocabulary and the facts and supporting details s/he will include in the essay.
We discussed in class, but review with your student the Interesting Leads and Strong Closings section. Remind your student that while capitalization and punctuation are important, s/he does not need to spend much time perfecting these aspects when writing the first draft. S/he will have the opportunity to refine his/her work during the revising and editing phases.
Encourage your student to mark the boxes on the checklist as s/he adds each point to the informative essay in a logical and sequential order. I will be using a copy of this page as a guide when I am grading the final essay.
Pages 5 and 6
These pages provide your student with guidelines to ensure that they address all aspects of an informative text. Remind your student to complete the sections of the organizer in single words or phrases. The ideas recorded on these pages will be fleshed out as your student writes his/her rough draft.
Remind your student that this is only the rough draft version of his/her informative essay and that s/he will have future opportunities to revise and refine his/her work. Encourage your student to refer to pages 5-6 of the organizer as s/he writes the rough draft. If your student needs additional pages to write on, s/he may attach lined paper as necessary.
Go over the checklist with your student as s/he works through each step of the writing process.
** Your student has been instructed to come to the LC next week with a rough draft and with pages 5 and 6 filled in.
This week in the Learning Center, students will be choosing the piece of writing that they want to work on for the month of November.
The students are being given an "Informative/Explanatory Writing Organizer" (a fold-out) to help them expand the writing piece they chose to work on over the next two weeks. The final draft will be five paragraphs; typed (double space, Times New Roman font, 12 pt, 1 inch margins). The students were given an opportunity to look through the organizer in class and begin thinking about how they'd like to expand their writing piece. Keep in mind that they may need to do additional research to find enough information for their five paragraphs.
Your student will need to come to class next week with a rough draft of his or her 5-paragraph essay. They will be working with partners to go over each other's writing piece. I will also be looking them over. In addition, your student may file share with me his or her rough draft and I can have more constructive comments available for them when they come to class next week. I just ask that you give me enough time to review the piece and prepare accordingly.
The final draft of this piece will be November's Writing Sample. THE FINAL TYPED DRAFT WILL BE DUE TWO WEEKS FROM NOW, the week of the 18th.
We will be doing a sort of Writer's Workshop each week where we will be working with peers to edit, review, critique each other's writing. The peer review aspect of the writing process reveals perhaps the most important facet of the reading-writing connection: the understanding that students' written works are meant to be read. This helps direct students' focus as they write for a specific audience and validates them as authentic writers. I will be circulating around the room to conference briefly with each student on his/her writing piece and to see how the changes are coming along.
I will be requiring your student to be working on his/her writing piece at home this week and next, working on the changes that need to be made to his/her writing piece. I want to emphasize that the writing process should take place over several days and that your student is not required to complete the entire organizer at one time. Perhaps have your student work on one paragraph a day. This breaks down the challenge of writing the 5-paragraph essay into smaller, more manageable chunks.
We will NOT be writing any new pieces for the month of November. We will only be working one piece of writing through the entire Writing Process:
this week's assignment
* The work for each week is listed here.