Teaching children how to write words and phrases

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pengyou
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:29 am

Teaching children how to write words and phrases

Post by pengyou » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:41 am

I am teaching grades 3-6 in a public school in Taiwan. About half of my students attend a cram school after school and half do not. As a result, the disparity in students levels is quite large.

Next week I would like to focus on grades 3 and 4 and help them improve their writing - writing letters of the alphabet, words and phrases. I would like to create a writing workshop - use an intensive approach to help them because they sooner they improve, the more practice I can give them.

I want to stage a "writing Olympics" and have as many as 5 or 6 activities. I have two classes with each group every week, and the classes are back to back, for a total of 80 minutes. I have never taught writing to children this age, so I need ideas for the "events", and also ideas on how to manage it.

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:44 pm

If you have stations around the room, the children could move in teams that they form with mixed age groups and abilities. You might have to help with that. Get them to choose a team colour, a team name and even make up a chant/song which they can write out and post at their home station. Then the Olympics start and they have 10 minutes at 6 stations. That will leave 10 minutes to get ready with their team name and 10 minutes to award the prizes at the end.
Station 1 - post it notes in many colours and they have to write as many nouns as they know. They can't repeat the nouns of other teams so will have to read the previous ones.
Station 2 - on the windows they write with window pens all the names of things you can see out the window. They can't repeat the names the other teams wrote so again they will have to read or have someone to check at least.
Station 3 - on the green/white/blue/brown chalkboard all the animals they know.
Station 4 - on large sheets of cardboard or large sheets of roll paper all the games they know.
Station 5 - on chart paper, the words of an English song they know
Station 6 - on flash cards, anything to do with transportation - names of cars, trains, etc.

Of course, you can choose categories that you are studying. Those are just ideas.
Each team has a captain who records the number of words they generate from each station on a record sheet and tallies the total number at the end.

You can give out funny prizes at the end to do with writing (funny pens, pencils, coloured pencils, crayons, notebooks, journals) and have a cup - it could even be a tea cup with the school logo on it for the winning team and paint their name on it with the date in nailpolish. You could play inspiring music as they come up to accept the cup and as they come into the room.

You could form the teams the day before and asked them to come to school with an article of clothing in the team colour so you can keep track of the team members. You help with spelling and check to see they are keeping fair scores. Give each team a different coloured marker to write with or crayons or whatever so their contributions show up easily.

pengyou
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:29 am

Post by pengyou » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:12 am

Thanks! You have given me a lot of good ideas! Do you have any ideas to help them learn the mechanics of writing, i.e. keep the tail of the "p" down and straight, make the neck of the "h" go high, etc They are grade 3 but this is their first year to study English and work with the western alphabet.

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:42 am

There are a lot of materials on enchantedlearning.com - tracing seems to work well or having animals for each letter. Do they learn to print or write?

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