Sunday, September 20, 2009

Standards Sundays: Grade 5 writing strategies

Good writers tend to keep pens and paper close at all times.

Let's make something clear here: in many classrooms today, especially in the urban, Title I, Program Improvement schools, there is very little writing. Oh, there is plenty of copying, yes. But very, very little writing.

And yet, fifth graders are expected to compose multiple paragraph narrative and expository essays with:

a) plot, setting, and an ending
b) establish a topic with chronological order
c) provide details
d) use transitions to link one paragraph to another
e) conclude with a summarizing paragraph
f) use and cite relevant resources, both traditional text and electronic
g) use electronic media to produce documents
h) edit and revise their own work in order to improve it

I've said it before, I'll say it here again, and I'll probably say it as long as the Standards Sundays feature will exist on TCLB: Holy cow, that's a lot.

And it can't be taught in a self-standing unit. Nope, this is stuff that is continuously taught throughout the school year.

I'm a little weirded out by the fact that revision is such a small segment of the writing standards. Revision is big! HUGE! It's one of the reasons why I've been writing my blog entries with several days before actual posting. I can re-read it and make it better after the first write.

Well, I don't do that all the time, and sometimes the entry posts before I'm satisfied with it - which is why I also sometimes go back and revise posts even though they've been up in internet-land already. Which is why I like blogging: so fluid, always a work in progress.

Which is what writing is, no?

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