Saturday, November 19, 2011

Teaching Writing

    new school clipart image: pencil writing on a piece of paper to complete a homework assignmentWriting can be a difficult craft to teach, can't it? I have quite a few advanced writers in my class which allows me the chance to work in small groups with my more struggling writers. Well, the main reason I was prompted to write this post was because as I was searching YouTube for some writing ideas, I came across a video which demonstrates a technique called Four Square writing. I am so excited to try this with my own class next week. What it essentially is is a 4 squares grouped together with a rectangle in the middle. In the rectangle (number one) you write the topic. The 4 other squares are supporting reasons for the topic. Students can write in these squares (square 5 is the feelings square, so they write about their feelings on the topic there), and add more details if you teach them editing skills. When they are finished, they write these sentences together as a paragraph. This is so simple and so brilliant, and I am so excited. It's really not much different than the thinking maps I use, but I think the format just looks cleaner, and the numbering of the squares organizes the paragraph much easier.
  If any of you use the Four Square method for writing, I would love to hear about it. To view the video, click here.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Keeping the Humanity

         As I write this, it is currently parent-teacher conference season. We've been in school for a couple of months, and finall...