ShutterBug Posted December 8, 2011 Share Posted December 8, 2011 (edited) Hi all :) Let me preface this by saying that I made a decision while planning our 4th grade curriculum to put some extra focus on writing this year. Up until this year we've stuck pretty much to TWTM method for elementary writing. Some years we've used WWE and some years we've done narrations, copywork and dictations from across the curriculum. I've listened to Susan's lecture on writing in the elementary years and I wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy behind the approach. Ds (9) writes easily and beautifully when it's a self motivated creative writing (stories, journalling, etc..) but tends to completely freeze and go into panic mode when it comes to narrative summaries and expository type writing. Also, (and I know I should be able to) I couldn't shake that voice in the back of my head that kept nagging me in regards to what the kids in ps are doing writing wise. Soooo, I made the decision to continue using TWTM method in combination with a more traditional writing program (ended up deciding upon Winning With Writing Level 4) so he could learn a bit more about paragraph construction, forming ideas, topic, detail and ending sentences along with practicing the different kinds of writing....narrative, descriptive, persuasive, etc.. Right now we're doing about 1 1/2 hours per day of writing. Our total school day takes anywhere from 4 to 5 hours. The work doesn't seem to be too much, and I'm slowly seeing some improvement....I just can't help but worry it's tooooo much. Here is what our current schedule looks like.... Monday - Ds reads a chapter in CHOW out loud and then we sit down and do a rough outline of important details from the chapter. Next he takes the details and writes a rough narrative summary of the chapter (generally one to three pages of writing). Then, we sit down and edit the rough copy together. I'm hoping this process will begin to come quicker, but for now it takes an hour to an hour and a half. Tuesday - Dictation - a paragraph taken from whatever literature he's currently reading. This year he's been reading through the unabridged children's classics. Sometimes I'll choose from his assigned reading for history..we're doing a brief overview of World History and he has daily reading from a booklist of Sonlight, TWTM recommendations, Beautiful Feet books, etc.. - Ds writes a final copy in cursive from Monday's edited rough draft and draws a picture to go along with the narrative summary. These then go into his history notebook. Wednesday - Lessons 1 - 3 from that week's Winning With Writing Assignment - Ds reads a chapter from CHOW out loud and gives an oral narration Thursday - Lessons 4 - 5 from that week's Winning With Writing Assignment - Dictation Friday - Ds reads a chapter from CHOW out loud and gives an oral narration - I assign some sort of themed writing assignment that correlates with our current literature, history or science studies. For example, last week I assigned him to write a paragraph describing the differences between Earth and Mercury. Sometimes it's a paragraph, sometimes it's a book report, sometimes it's a letter to a friend. Is this too much? How much writing are you expecting out of your 4th graders? Thanks so much in advance for any input you may have to offer! Jenn Edited December 8, 2011 by ShutterBug Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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