Teach-Re-Teach Your Students the Basics of Writing:
Are your students struggling with their writing, but you struggle teaching grammar?
I also struggled with the same problem the first three years of my teaching career. I tried a plethora of gimmicky activities hoping to engage them, yet my students' writing did not improve--their poor standardized test scores proved it and it was a reflection on my teaching. Only 31% of my students passed the State test in ELA. Luckily, for my teaching career it was the first year of State Testing implementation. Nevertheless, I was served notice that my students' scores had to improve, and fast!
Finally, the summer between years three and four, I met my 11th grade English teacher by chance, and I told him I have been teaching English for three years. I also told about my students' performance on the Standardized tests, and what advice he could give me.
After he told me that the State test was the main reason he retired, he suggested I develop a Writing Workshop to teach my students in addition to the prescribed curriculum I had to teach.
I spent the rest of the summer developing this workshop. I planned to teach every aspect of grammar, mechanics, diction, and style. Starting the first week of school, I would dedicate three instructional days instructing this workshop (30-minutes per workshop) until the State Exams were administered in May.
To make a long story short, my students' scores improved to 52% that year, ranking my students' second among all English classes.
One of the first lectures I taught in this workshop is this power point presentation, though I had to write out the notes on overhead projector transparencies (I'm showing my age). This lecture starts with the backbone of writing--sentence parts--that covers the following points:
• The Subject
• The Predicate
• The Object, including:
o Direct Object
o Indirect Object
o Object of the Preposition
• Grammatical points to vary student writing,
"Mr. McLaughlin's Writing Workshop not only helped 52% of his students pass the OGT's after his first year of implementation, but also helped our school rank third in the district, and helped our school fall 2 percentage points above the State average."
Gwendolyn Butler, English Department Head, Glenville High School, Cleveland, OH
For the incredible value of $5.99, you too can help build your students' writing skills.
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