By third grade students are becoming more aware of their writing and understanding that writing is a valuable tool for communicating their thoughts and ideas to others. They no longer depend on a picture prompt to direct their wiring, but are able to write about a specific topic for the purpose of communicating information. By drawing on prior knowledge and personal experiences, students are able to make connections through writing.
One of my "big" goals this year for your children is to make writing a positive and fun experience. I am working to introduce them to many forms of writing: poetry, essays, stories, journals, and typing. On my class website I have a blog portion. Each student has responded on the blog at least a few times this year. I also encourage the children to respond to their classmates blog posts in a positive format. This is a wonderful way to practice their technology, typing, and writing skills as well as building a strong classroom community.
Daily writing is a wonderful way to provide children with exercises that allow them to practice organizational skills, demonstrate correct paragraph structure, apply grammar and mechanics, and write for an audience. As the new year approaches I am going to encourage children to write at home each day. This will not be a graded assignment or homework, however we will talk about keeping a journal or diary, or simply replying on our classroom blog regularly.
Writing Prompts should include the following:
1. Title (Be creative!)
2. Date (The date of the calendar!)
3. Topic Sentence (Hook your audience!)
4. Five to Seven Sentences (Four supporting detail sentences to accompany your main idea or topic sentence. Be descriptive!)
5. Closing Sentence (Let your audience know you are finished!)
6. Use descriptive phrases and describing words (Use adjectives!)
Did I use paragraph structure?
Does each sentence have at least 7 or more words?
Did I begin with a topic sentence?
Did I indent each new paragraph?
Did I introduce characters and a setting in the beginning of my story?
Do I have a middle?
Did I use sequencing words to help my story make sense? (First, then, later, finally, etc.)
Did I put the events of my story in order so that my reader can understand what happened?
Did I give my journal prompt a title?
Is my paragraph formed neatly and properly?
Did I stay on topic throughout and not include unnecessary details?
Did I put the date of the writing prompt?
Did I proof my work for errors? Check for COPS (capitalization, order of words/ grammar/ make sense, punctuation, spells or uses resources to spell grade level words correctly)
If you have any questions about the expectations about your child's writing please do not hesitate to send me an email.