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Paradox5

Writing Across Curriculum

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How do you do this? I have never been successful getting my kids to do so nor do I really understand how. Mine do NOT like to read at. all. Telling them to go research a topic will not happen. The materials we are using this year do not lend themselves (that I have seen) to doing so. {Ok-- we haven't been to the library in months. There I said it. Now I wil go hide in shame.}

 

And any tips for a SN child who refuses to even dictate a composition? The only time this child did so was when we used WWE 1 and 2 a year ago.

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When I do writing across the curriculum, I start by asking them to dot point summarise the passage. Teach outlining first, so they can create a skeleton of their reading and then write from that skeleton in their own words. Start out with lots of discussion and hand holding!

I'd start with short passages, like a couple of paragraphs, and ask them to pick out the main idea in each paragraph to dot point. If you're doing science or history this works really well.

So we might do -

Monday, read the section and orally narrate.

Tuesday, remember the main idea from the reading, look at it again and discuss/underline the most important idea and supporting arguments for each paragraph.

Wednesday, put those important ideas and supporting information into dot points and sort them into a logical presentation order.

Thursday, using your dot points as a guide, rewrite the information into your own words. You might want to add an introduction/conclusion if they want to.

Friday, edit the paper together. Have student type up the final draft.

 

I wouldn't start off expecting a lot of writing. Literally half a page to begin with. It shouldn't be intimidating, you want them to find it manageable so they get used to how to do it. Long research papers are the same thing just with more important ideas/supporting information!

 

I really really recommend listening to Susan Wise Bauer's lectures on writing - she lays it out practically step by step and it is so helpful. I've listened to them dozens of times! https://welltrainedmind.com/p/a-plan-for-teaching-writing-grades-k-12-mp3/

Edited by LMD
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I agree with the above, but I'd actually start by talking across the curriculum. Whether you read something outloud or they've read it (or done an experiment), ask an open ended question. Get them to think outloud, possibly leading to them asking a question or two of their own.

 

Some people write in order to think better and others think outloud before being able to write. I have both types of kids (including one that hate writing and ones that dislike thinking).

Edited by RootAnn
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We followed WTM pretty much for writing across the curric in elem. school, so it just morphed into our later years as an extension. I don;t even necessarily look at WTM for logic stage writing because we have it down after elem. 

 

We did R&S English and did the writing assignments. Easy, and not daily. So it was like one short comp exercise in each chapter of grammar or something like that. 

 

Then we did SOTW and did the written narrations at the end of each section or chapter from the beginning, from 1st grade on. We did notebook pages for every science topic. We wrote definitions in science. We did dictation. I pulled sentences from their science books or from SOTW or from a book we were reading. When they were very young, like 1st grade we did copywork before we got into dictation. 

 

We tried to start WWS when they were in 5th or 6th grades, but with doing all of the above that we had always done the assignments got bigger, and there wasn't a lot of time. We were covering it all anyway. R&S got them through making notecards and organizing them into paragraphs for a report from multiple sources. Outlining in history ala logic stage WTM history taught them to recognize the organization in others' writing and how to then organize their own thoughts. 

 

We added some types of creative writing occasionally by entering a writing contest or doing some journaling notebooks on our own and now with Thinking Tree Journals.  For high school we moved back into WTM suggestions: R&S grammar (reading it only at this point,) Finished WWS then moved into the Rhetoric suggestions, the Great Books study as laid out in WTM. It is my first time in high school, and I am just getting a feel for it right now. 

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When I do writing across the curriculum, I start by asking them to dot point summarise the passage. Teach outlining first, so they can create a skeleton of their reading and then write from that skeleton in their own words. Start out with lots of discussion and hand holding!

I'd start with short passages, like a couple of paragraphs, and ask them to pick out the main idea in each paragraph to dot point. If you're doing science or history this works really well.

So we might do -

Monday, read the section and orally narrate.

Tuesday, remember the main idea from the reading, look at it again and discuss/underline the most important idea and supporting arguments for each paragraph.

Wednesday, put those important ideas and supporting information into dot points and sort them into a logical presentation order.

Thursday, using your dot points as a guide, rewrite the information into your own words. You might want to add an introduction/conclusion if they want to.

Friday, edit the paper together. Have student type up the final draft.

 

I wouldn't start off expecting a lot of writing. Literally half a page to begin with. It shouldn't be intimidating, you want them to find it manageable so they get used to how to do it. Long research papers are the same thing just with more important ideas/supporting information!

 

I really really recommend listening to Susan Wise Bauer's lectures on writing - she lays it out practically step by step and it is so helpful. I've listened to them dozens of times! https://welltrainedmind.com/p/a-plan-for-teaching-writing-grades-k-12-mp3/

They cannot do even this, simple as it sounds.

 

I really feel at a loss of where to go from here. I was thinking EIW but given this year's hands-off by Mom track record, I am hestitant to do it again. The boys cannot pass the WWE 2 final week. We left off at week 20 more than a year ago (I checked my files.). They are getting on in years. I'm getting more nervous especially since Son 2 went through college writing. Now that i know what the kids are facing, I need some help.

 

Why is writing so hard???

Edited by Paradox5

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Hmmm, that is tough!

 

Which part of the wwe2 final week was problematic? I wouldn't worry much about struggling with the dictation part. Could they answer the narration questions? What happens if you read a passage and ask them 'what happened?'

 

Eta- can they write a sentence of their own that they make up (rather than one you dictate)?

How are they with copywork?

Edited by LMD

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I found with my sixth grader that he prefers typing to the physical act of writing.  With my third grader, he balks at most writing, in general.  We are doing WWE, but he doesn't love narration.  One thing I am discovering with him is that he finds some of the literature suggestions boring, and he absolutely hates classical art narration.  When it is nonfiction about science or a topic or story that interests him more, he is more engaged.  Maybe try to have them research something more interesting to them.  Even my oldest glosses over if I ask him to write a lot about ancient Rome, but he loves researching the history of Disney World.  Try to get them engaged in writing first.  As they develop the skills, you can then transfer that to the meatier subjects that may not hold their interest as much because they feel more confident in their skills.

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And any tips for a SN child who refuses to even dictate a composition? The only time this child did so was when we used WWE 1 and 2 a year ago.

We're only a little way into trying this out, but it's only been a success thus far...

 

Every Monday morning we go to the library, pick a topic for the week, and borrow a few relevant books from the junior non-fiction section. Then over the course of the school week, DS reads from the selection of books and creates his own "mini-book" (basically a report spread out over a few pages, each with a different sub-header) on that topic. He is highly motivated to produce content because he's aiming to create his very own library of mini-books to loan out to friends and family. We just recently put a mini-book in the post to another WTM family.

 

Just an idea. It sounds like it might be hard for you to get to the library, but then it also might just be the inspiration you all need?

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I know some people think it's too formulaic, but IEW has helped my kids tremendously. They don't have special needs, so YMMV, but my 4th grade DD thinks writing is torture. However now on her 2nd year of IEW theme-based books (which I think is somewhat analogous to "writing across the curriculum") she is able to pretty much take some information from a source and write a paragraph that has a logical flow to it and doesn't sound like a kindergartener wrote it. FWIW, I don't make them follow the "dress up rules" as rigidly IEW does, I just introduce them as more ideas for them to think about during the editing process that might make their writing sound more vivid.

 

For me at least, while I like the idea behind WTM writing across the curriculum, I need more hand holding as a teacher. And my kids needed something that wasn't quite so rigid and frankly (according to them) boring.

 

Just my 2 cents ...

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Hmmm, that is tough!

 

Which part of the wwe2 final week was problematic? I wouldn't worry much about struggling with the dictation part. Could they answer the narration questions? What happens if you read a passage and ask them 'what happened?'

 

Eta- can they write a sentence of their own that they make up (rather than one you dictate)?

How are they with copywork?

I tried again with Son 3 today. (Son 2 is doing fine with BJU Eng 5, he tells me.)

 

He read the passage to himself just fine.

He did not want to answer in compete sentences but did. He missed maybe 2?

He gave me a one sentence narration after stomping off twice to cool down: "Peter blew on the kids fairy dust, and they flew out the window to Neverland."

I did not even try to do the dictation.

 

If I ask him 'what happened?' about a passage, he tells me he can't remember cause he started thinking about other things. He is fine with copywork. He could do it all day. He does make up sentences but would rather throw a 45 minute fit than write it down on his own first. I should amend that to say he has written a few sentences in his english book without me breathing down his neck. They are funny, too.

Edited by Paradox5

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I know some people think it's too formulaic, but IEW has helped my kids tremendously. They don't have special needs, so YMMV, but my 4th grade DD thinks writing is torture. However now on her 2nd year of IEW theme-based books (which I think is somewhat analogous to "writing across the curriculum") she is able to pretty much take some information from a source and write a paragraph that has a logical flow to it and doesn't sound like a kindergartener wrote it. FWIW, I don't make them follow the "dress up rules" as rigidly IEW does, I just introduce them as more ideas for them to think about during the editing process that might make their writing sound more vivid.

 

For me at least, while I like the idea behind WTM writing across the curriculum, I need more hand holding as a teacher. And my kids needed something that wasn't quite so rigid and frankly (according to them) boring.

 

Just my 2 cents ...

We have tried IEW SWI_A in the past but the key word outlines tripped them up. I have not seriously looked at the theme books. I'm going to my local homeschool store Saturday and will check them out.

 

 

Has anyone used Writing Skills by EPS Books with their kiddo? Did you add anything to it?

http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/literacy/grammar-writing/writing-skills-2nd-edition/about-the-program

 

I think I'm more frustrated because we did seem to be making some progress for a bit, and now we are all the way back at the beginning.

Edited by Paradox5

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Things we have tried in the past or a walk down writing failure lane :P

 

WWE 1 and 2

WriteShop Primary D

IEW SWI-A

my own thing

k12 3rd (revised)/journal

EIW 1 (that was a long time ago!)

BJU Eng 5 (current)

 

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I tried again with Son 3 today. (Son 2 is doing fine with BJU Eng 5, he tells me.)

 

He read the passage to himself just fine.

He did not want to answer in compete sentences but did. He missed maybe 2?

He gave me a one sentence narration after stomping off twice to cool down: "Peter blew on the kids fairy dust, and they flew out the window to Neverland."

I did not even try to do the dictation.

 

If I ask him 'what happened?' about a passage, he tells me he can't remember cause he started thinking about other things. He is fine with copywork. He could do it all day. He does make up sentences but would rather throw a 45 minute fit than write it down on his own first. I should amend that to say he has written a few sentences in his english book without me breathing down his neck. They are funny, too.

Okay, how old generally is this kid? (Under 7? 8-12? 13+)

So leaving out the stomping, resistance etc stuff (I'm kinda assuming that's related to the SNs?), it doesn't sound too bad to me.

He can copy correctly - great! That means he knows how to practically form a sentence on a page.

He can answer the questions in full sentences (missing a couple wouldn't bother me greatly) - great! He understood what he read and can form complete sentences in his mind and then say them out loud!

He can even come up with a sentence and then transfer it to paper on his own! Excellent, this is the goal of dictation!

 

So, for writing acrylic the curriculum then, I would find some way to get him thinking about the main idea in a paragraph. Either discussion with you or underlining in the book or drawing a picture or do points or anything that helps him to see the idea in the paragraph, without which the paragraph wouldn't make sense.

Once he can express that to you, see if he can put that expression into a complete sentence - either verbally or written. If verbally, I'd scribe for him and encourage him to copy it. I might, instead of scribing it for him, repeat it back for him while he writes (dictation).

 

Writing is about thinking clearly and logically.

 

Actually, he might like the MCT writing books. Essay Voyage laid everything out really well, and Paragraph town would probably work quite well!

Edited by LMD
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That should have said Son 4 is doing well with BJU. Son 2 is in college!

 

Son 3 is 13 going on 14 in April.

Son 4 is 12 going on 13 in May.

 

These are all excellent ideas. I am going to try some. I think, too, I am going to try WWE 3 with him or/and Writing Skills for more instruction.

 

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That should have said Son 4 is doing well with BJU. Son 2 is in college!

 

Son 3 is 13 going on 14 in April.

Son 4 is 12 going on 13 in May.

 

These are all excellent ideas. I am going to try some. I think, too, I am going to try WWE 3 with him or/and Writing Skills for more instruction.

☺

 

I also have a child turning 13 this year. She's NT and a pretty natural writer.

We still do narration and dictation everyday - and she's not great at dictation, I don't know that she'd pass the wwe3 dictation section...

We still do a lot of discussion of main paragraph points and dot point outlines. She's not writing resistant so she can generally turn a dot point outline into a piece of writing but it's less than a page!

Being able to find the main point and organise the ideas logically is a logic stage skill, so 12/13 year old boy still working on it doesn't sound terribly behind to me.

I think you're doing fine, keep on keeping on!

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We really liked the CAP writing and Rhetoric. Less boring, easy to teach and creative. We found it to be a great transition from WWE to CAP. There is even dictation and copywork included, but they start to add summary and amplification into the mix.

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We really liked the CAP writing and Rhetoric. Less boring, easy to teach and creative. We found it to be a great transition from WWE to CAP. There is even dictation and copywork included, but they start to add summary and amplification into the mix.

I was just looking at this today and decided to come read reviews. maybe I should just go with the WWE 3 I have on my shelf to finish out the year then take the summer to figure this out.

Edited by Paradox5

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