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momchiroto2

How much writing for a fifth grader?

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I have a fifth grader and  we are working through Treasured Conversations.  He is learning to create an outline from a topic sentence and write a paragraph from it.  He reads well and is working on Hake grammar.  The rest of his school day is spent reading from history and science books based on his interests.  I am a bit worried that we are light on his writing output, I would love any suggestions or thoughts any of you would have.

What should be the approximate written output for a fifth grader? I am concerned that we are not doing enough.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Edited by momchiroto2

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In sixth grade I realized my dd had not had enough writing from fifth grade and I assigned her two full page letters every week, and she could write to whomever she wanted. She really enjoyed it. Most of our family Live far away so they enjoyed it too!

 

I don't know if a boy would find this as fun but it's an idea :)

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Is he handling the writing you are giving him well?  Does it seem easy, hard, or in the middle for him?  You might let that be your guide.

 

I wouldn't be worried if either of mine was producing a paragraph a day at that age but would have increased it if he could handle it.  Maybe add a journal if he can do it?

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My son is in fifth, and this is the year I decided to increase his writing output.  He does Writing and Rhetoric, which often has a summary or amplification with a full story twice a year.  We are also doing Paragraph Town, which has him writing two paragraphs twice a week.  You don't have to overload him, but I would try to do one longer writing assignment at least once a month.  We are doing a state history notebook, so he is writing some essays on history topics for his notebook.  I also got some forms for book reviews off of Enchanted Learning's website, and I am trying to build him up to a book report by the end of the year.

 

Every child is in a different place.  I'd try for at least one solid longer piece each month or so that stretches him beyond his current ability, wherever he is currently.  I don't think all fifth graders have to do X, but all fifth graders should be moving toward an incremental goal that is beyond their fourth grade capabilities.

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I don't think there is a set answer to that question, because I've found that children really differ in this area.  My sons were doing around 3 paragraphs total a week by the end of fifth grade. My dd could do at least 5 and much more if it was creative writing.  I've come to believe that it is very important to spend a lot of time teaching middle schoolers how to think and plan their paragraphs.  That is much more important than writing more.  (I'm not saying writing isn't important, just that if the available time goes to planning and not writing b/c the child needs to learn to plan, don't short this time).  There is also no correlation in my house with how much a child was writing early on to what they are capable in high school. Ds, who at the end of fourth was still crying about writing anything, is easily handling an online AP English class with an A average.  We just kept moving forward with his writing.

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I teach a late elementary/early middle school IEW writing class that meets every other week. My students are doing 2-3 paragraphs every two weeks.

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On average in a week my 5th grader is writing about 2 pages total (3-5 paragraphs each) across different areas. He does a journal entry with a writing prompt once a week and ranges from 2-4 paragraphs with that. Then we notebook for our content subjects and switch every other week. So this week he might do a written narration with key points (about 3-5 paragraphs) for history and then next week do the same for science. Sometimes he enjoys doing a "book report" type written summary of some of his favorite books he has read. Those end up being about 5 paragraphs or maybe a little more. 

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