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Six Traits of Remedial (and Effective) Writing Instruction in Middle School September 29, 2009

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Three Important Questions about Middle School Writing Instruction

1. Are your middle school students remedial writers or are they on grade level?
2. How do you bridge the gap between your remedial writers and your high achieving writers?
3. What are appropriate goals and objectives of middle school writing instruction?

The Six Traits of Effective Middle School Writing Instruction

Many students are ready for this kind of writing instruction. However, if your students are not, the question is, “What is the fastest way to get them ready for this?”

1. Students apply the skills of using both precise and descriptive language.
2. Students apply advanced levels of syntax and sentence structure.
3. Students apply the skills of precision in language, clarity in language, and unique expression in language.
4. Students develop the knowledge and skills of writing in a variety of genres and across the curriculum.
5. Students engage in deep analysis of many genres of writing and use evaluative rubrics in their analysis.
6. Students apply advanced language usage and sentence structure to essay writing and composition assignments.

Bridging the Gap between Remedial and High Achieving Middle School Writers

One of the greatest frustrations in teaching middle school writing is the wide range of academic skills that students in the same class possess. There is a much larger gap between the high achievers and students who are struggling when compared with both elementary school and high school students.

In elementary school the gap in student achievement is much smaller because there has been less time for the gap to grow. In high school students are essentially on different career paths and as such are in different classrooms. (Furthermore, the statistics on the national high school dropout rates are dismal. This does make it easier for high school teachers; however it is a national failure that we must address!)  

Three-Step Plan for Scaffolding and Remedial Instruction 

1. Get everyone on the same page.
2. Scaffold the new instruction.
3. Remediate with students who still struggle.

Your writing instruction needs to be accessible (inspirational and motivational) across a wide range of abilities!

With “Pattern Based Writing: Quick and Easy Essay” you will:
1. Quickly get everyone on the same page!
2. Easily remediate with students who still struggle!
3. NOW because ALL your students are engaged, scaffolding the new writing instruction actually WORKS!

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