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Composition Cautions Overcoming Problems Faced in Writing Susan Roberts Reading Specialist Jefferson County Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Composition Cautions Overcoming Problems Faced in Writing Susan Roberts Reading Specialist Jefferson County Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Composition Cautions Overcoming Problems Faced in Writing Susan Roberts Reading Specialist Jefferson County Schools

2 Reference Writing the Four Blocks Way Drs. Pat and James Cunningham, Dr. Dorothy Hall, and Sharon Moore

3 Caution 1: Students Lack Motivation

4 Attempt to avoid writing Students with a motivation problem: Dont know what to write about Given a topic, dont know anything to say about it Cant write because they cant spell the words Write a little, claim theyre finished

5 Caution 1: Students Lack Motivation Lack of self-efficacy in writing Lack of intrinsic motivation to write Lack of independence in writing Three aspects to the motivation problem:

6 Caution 1: Students Lack Motivation What can I do about it? Encourage self-selected writing frequently Allow single-draft writing Allow phonetic spelling Share first drafts in a positive atmosphere

7 Students need the four square graphic organizer for self-selected writing because they need: The sequential steps that they complete with a piece of writing To repeat the steps with the next piece of writing… and the next To repeatedly engage in first draft writing with phonetic spelling To share their writing in a positive environment To receive feedback from peers and teachers

8 Caution 2: Telling rather than showing

9 Caution 1: Students Lack Motivation Avoid giving students knowledge about writing when what they need is…. Knowledge – how to write…. SHOW…..DONT TELL!

10 This is where the mini- lesson comes in…. A mini-lesson is: Focused on a particular skill or process Modeled writing by the teacher by the teacher at the overhead while students watch Followed by student independent writing

11 Caution 3: Students who think that writing is not speaking:

12 Caution 3: Writing is Not Speaking: These students have the problem of writing their speech down when it requires additional skills that speaking does not.

13 Handwriting Spelling Capitalization Five aspects of the writing is not speaking problem: PunctuationFormatting Handwriting and spelling comprise basic writing fluency. Capitalization, punctuation, and formatting are the rule-governed mechanics of writing.

14 Speaking requires none of these, but writing requires all five. Handwriting Spelling Capitalization Punctuation Formatting

15 Caution 3: Writing is Not Speaking: What can I do about it? Teach students the basic rules that govern the mechanics of writing. Teach writing mini-lessons on topics such as: Capitalization Punctuation Format Grammar Steps in the writing process

16 Caution 3: Writing is Not Speaking: What can I do about it? Teach editing: Teach students to proofread and correct their own first drafts for correct spelling and correct application of the rules. Use mini-lessons to teach editing and revising. Use an editors checklist as a list of rules for editing, revising, and publishing

17 Caution 4: Students who lack the ability to juggle all of the components of writing at the same time This lack-of-automaticity problem is a very natural one.

18 What can I do about it? Teach writing skills often through mini-lessons. Have students write often to gradually increase in their automaticity with the parts of writing.

19 What can I do about it? Allow students to self-edit their own first drafts as soon as they are able. With frequent practice, empower students gradually to improve in length, sophistication, and mechanical correctness.

20 Caution 5: Expecting final or published drafts to be totally free of mechanical errors

21 Allows you to check their editing and help them fix a few things (conferencing) Puts the responsibility for editing on the student rather than on the teacher Students should edit their own papers. Allows for much more learning of writing rules by students

22 Caution 6: Starting revision too early in the year Do not ask students to revise until most of them have: developed some self-confidence with writing developed intrinsic motivation and independence in first-draft writing developed independence in editing

23 Caution 7: Allowing students to recopy pieces before they are revised, edited, and approved. Do not try to achieve perfectly neat handwriting or correct spelling on a draft. Eliminate all recopying during process writing. Only recopy or type once during the complete writing process.

24 Caution 7: Allowing students to recopy pieces before they are revised, edited, and approved. Make small revisions in the space above each line. (skip lines) Make larger revisions by cutting and pasting (literally or on word processor). Copy first drafts after they have been revised and edited.

25 Caution 8: Having students revise every first draft seriously erodes the students willingness and enthusiasm to revise.

26 Students should write at least three first drafts for every one they revise. Students end up more willing to revise. That revision does not dampen their interest in writing first drafts Students work harder on a first draft if they get to choose which of three or more to take through the writing process.

27 Heed these composition cautions… to overcome problems faced in writing.


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