Regardless of the grade, each child will be spending a lot of time on strengthening writing skills. While this can look different from grade to grade, a strong command of the language is at the very core of writing success. READ, READ, READ. The Reading-Writing Connection is inextricably linked and time spent on reading aloud and silently is never wasted.
All great writing begins with the construction of a great sentence. Therefore, focusing our attention on how to craft a quality sentence will spiral into discussions on word choice, organization, fluency, and mechanics. We are highlighting organization, elaboration, and the use of transitions in each and every writing piece across the content areas.
Grades 1-3 Spelling:
Each week your child uses their spelling/vocabulary words in sentences. There is a level of increased expectation that comes when you transition to from one grade to the next. When your child has sentences for spelling homework, these are some questions you could ask your child.
1. Did you reread your sentences aloud?
2. Did you ask yourself how you could make a "good" sentence "better"?
3. Can you show me how you used context clues in your sentences?
5. Can you show me what sophisticated verbs or adjectives you used?
6. Can you show how you answered questions like Who? What? When? Where? and How? in your sentences?
Grades 1-5 Anthology Essays or Achieve 3000 Thought Questions
For each anthology selection read in class, your child writes a short-answer structured essay.
After completeing a graphic organizer, engaging in a class discussion on the essay's main points, your child is given time to write their essay and share/edit it with a peer.
Before you sign their scored/graded essays and depending on the grade level, you can ask any of the following...
1. Did you read your teachers' comments?
2. Do you understand what they are saying?
3. How could you improve next time?
4. Show me how you organized your essay.
5. Explain to me how you elaborated on your details.
6. Which transition words did you use?
7. What is your own goal for the next time you write?
8. How can you help your reader be less confused?
At-Home Writing Tips
1. Shop with your child for a journal and have them write in it daily. Topics could be generated together, or ask!
2. Have your child write a letter to a friend, or family member on nice stationery or via email.
3.. Play a game where you say or write the beginning of a story, and the other person adds to it...Keep alternating to create an organized, yet whimsical story.
4. Have your child help a younger brother or sister with their writing.
5. Play the sentence-stretching pyramid game. Draw a triangle and add four or five lines across it. In the smallest box (the tip) write a two word sentence: She eats. In the remaining boxes, keep adding details, until the longest box (the base) will have the best sentence yet! Example: The young girl sits patiently on the concrete steps chomping on her chewy Cheetos while waiting for the school bus to arrive. You could even create a way to earn points by counting how many words were used in your sentences.