Teachers and parents are searching for answers on how to teach writing. The middle school teachers and parents are the ones with a tone of desperation.
Through my weblogs, I am able to see what searches brought people to this website. Here are a few interesting and enlightening searches that showed up on the weblogs. In one sense, they tell a story. It would be a funny story, if it weren’t so true.
Elementary School Searches for Help on Teaching Writing
• tools to teach toddlers prewriting skills
• how to teach 1st grader to write an essay
• how to teach my 7 year old son to write fast
• small easy essays for grade 2
Middle School Searches for Help on Teaching Writing
• my middle school students don’t write sentences
• my 8th grade son does not know how to write an essay
• how do I teach complete sentences? “middle school”
There is quite a change in the tone from the ambitious elementary school writing teachers to the desperate remedial middle school writing teachers. Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay is an excellent, common sense solution for elementary school writing. For struggling, reluctant, and remedial middle school writers, it’s the fastest and most effective way to get these students writing well-structured whole compositions (essays, reports, articles, stories, and letters).
Middle School Writing Desperation
Have you ever taught remedial middle school writers? If you have, you likely understand and feel the hidden subtext of pain and frustration in the searches related to middle school students.
Unfortunately, remedial middle school writers don’t appreciate having the old basic information repeated to them as if it were new information. Teachers are likely to hear, “We already know that!” In fact, a large group of remedial middle school writers can turn into a fiery hornets’ nest! “We know that! We already know that!”
Remedial middle school writers think they understand it because they studied it in elementary school. By middle school, teachers have certainly TOLD these students all the rules of correct writing. However, if students don’t use the rules, they don’t understand the rules.
Organization in Writing: It’s Only Natural
Writing in correct paragraph form, while using nice introductions and conclusions, should feel natural by middle school. In fact, it should be painful and unnatural to write in poor paragraph form. It should feel strange to have no introduction and a poor conclusion. Students should be able to feel the rhythm of beginning, middle, and ending in their paragraphs AND beginning, middle, and ending in the larger whole composition. Students shouldn’t even need to think about it. The best writers in middle school feel all of this; the remedial writers don’t feel any of it. In short, remedial writers are writing idea by idea, and sometimes – word by word.
When looking at student writing samples from state writing assessments, it’s quite clear that 3rd and 4th graders can be and should be writing short whole compositions in correct paragraph form. These writing samples also show that many middle school students are not able to do so. Whether you are an ambitious elementary school teacher or a desperate middle school teacher, check out Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay on the homepage!