Mechanics of Writing

Do your students struggle with the mechanics of writing? Even the basics?

Yeah, mine do, too.

So this post is all about THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.

THE GOOD: We have written more this year than any other year.

THE BAD: The majority of my students are still making simple mistakes.

THE UGLY: In a ONE paragraph summary last week that they submitted to me electronically, ALL of them had to make corrections, and 15 out of 16 had to make corrections THREE times, and THEN some STILL had mistakes.

We are talking about capitalization errors, simple punctuation errors, leaving words out, using the wrong word, and spelling mistakes with simple words.


To be honest, today I almost cried.

I wanted to GIVE UP.

Are they not embarrassed? Do they not care?

But then as I was researching (yeah, I guess you figured out I didn’t give up), and reading, and tweeting, and getting some good feedback from other teachers, I realized something:

Through their writing, they are really telling me that however I have been teaching editing has not worked.

I, the teacher, have got to make some adjustments. Some serious adjustments. And quickly.

So instead of going with my original plan this week for english/writing, I’m gonna modify it a little.

Tomorrow we are going to learn how to do an “Express Lane Edit”. You can read about this concept by Jeff Anderson HEREΒ in a Voices in the Middle article that he wrote.

Tomorrow we’re going SHOPPING. For some errors. OR some good writing mechanics.

We are going to CHECK THEM OUT.

And of course we are going to write a RECEIPT for the ones we find.

Then somehow in this overwhelming curriculum, and in our stretched to the max schedule, we ARE GOING to become editors of our own writing. And we are going to get good at it. πŸ™‚



Procrastination and Personification

Let’s start with the 1st one. Even though I really want to put it off. Tee-hee. Yes, I have been procrastinating LATEly. As usual. It’s one of my MAJOR weaknesses! πŸ™‚ I PROMISE I am going to upload the study guides for Units 4-5-6 very soon and respond to the 19 comments that are in my comment box WAITING on me. I am so sorry! Life has been busy, but I am going to tackle it soon.

I really need to go ahead and do this since I MAY be teaching only science next year to 5th and 6th graders. It’s not final yet, but there are 4 of us that are tossing the idea around-for some reason I am ready for a change.

Moving on to personification. We have been focusing on this since Monday. We have found examples within our story this week-The River That Went to the Sky. We have created our own personification sentence in groups. AND, my favorite-I showed them this video today to REALLY bring it home!

My favorite piggy of all time-well, I still love Ms. Piggy from The Muppets! πŸ™‚

We took a little quiz today on personification and there was only 1 F out of 52 kids!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! If you have been following me lately you know this is wonderful! I had some C grades and the rest were 100s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEA for us!