My philosophy on teaching is that if kids can’t learn the way we teach, we must teach them the way they learn.
Expository writing is a difficult process for many students. I developed this Planning Organizer several years ago and have used it with my fourth graders ever since. Writer’s block happens often when kids are staring at a blank piece of composition paper, but when they are given the structure with which to write, the “creative juices” can flow once again. It is amazing how much more focused and organized their writing is!
Once they get the hang of how to use the Planning Organizer to plan out their writing, students can move on to the next step toward independence. The prompts (both written and pictorial) within the Planning Organizer are visual reminders for students of how to arrange their writing. A concern I've had is that learners will become reliant on these cues, and won’t be able to easily transfer it to their independent writing (whether it’s for standardized testing or their individual assignments for other classes). I introduce the Blank Template after I feel my students are proficient with the Planning Organizer. The purpose is for them to progress from the more dependent planning organizer to the more independent template that they can create on their own on composition paper.
I created this Main Idea Graphic Organizer as a visual aid to help my students understand main idea. It's an illustrative way to determine the main idea of text which is a very difficult concept for many students to grasp. I kept the format identical to my Expository Writing Planning Organizer to help students see the similarities in writing expository text and determining main idea. It can be used as a stand-alone graphic organizer, or paired with my Expository Writing Planning Organizer for emphasis.
It’s also free of busy distractions, like clip art and hard-to-read fonts. Special needs students are not the only ones who benefit from a clutter-free paper, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the improvement in your students’ writing!
Find me on Instagram! @theuniqueclassroom
Check out my blog at theuniqueclassroom.com
Amy Marie | The Unique Classroom | Universally Designed curriculum materials for all types of learners