Helping Students with Independent Work
The Write Foundation is arranged with detailed, specific guidelines, to give mom the necessary tools to teach the lessons and assist the students while they complete their independent work. The more you help them, the more quickly they gain writing skills which help them on their way to becoming independent proficient writers.
It is important that Mom takes an active part from the beginning teaching and assisting. Whether teaching at home or if your child is taking the writing class in a co-op, help them through their independent work. But, don’t do it for them, help them.
The basic idea of writing seems simple but in reality students have a lot they are trying to grasp. Encourage them to use the student worksheets, student assignments, and other things like their word lists. When they ask you questions such as how to spell a word or how to punctuate a sentence, tell them so they can concentrate on the skills they are learning.
Assist as much as necessary. At first is when your students need the most help from you. Some students need more teacher help for awhile, while many others become more independent quickly. When a student is working on the correct level, intensive teacher instruction drops significantly as the year progresses.
The Write Foundation provides: View, Print and Try Free Curriculum Samples
- Quality tools
- Effective systems that will help you teach your students an organization process which teaches how to write well.
The Lesson Formats are organized into three main areas:
- Sentence Structure: Works on grammar and other elements of well written sentences.
- Paragraph and Essay Composition: is the bulk of each lesson. Level 1 has six lessons that work on improving sentence writing, but all the other lessons work on writing single or multiple paragraph compositions.
- Poetry: is a very enjoyable way to work on grammar, vocabulary and concise writing.
Sentence Practice: It is important to practice writing sentences that actually tell you something. Help your students move from simple basic sentences to descriptive sentences that paint pictures with words. Go over instructions and examples with them. Complete at least three or four of the practice sentences with your students. For most students it is best to either complete all of the practice sentences together with a lot of input from them, or when they are done, sit down with them and read through what they wrote independently, helping them correct their mistakes.
Compositions: As they are writing their compositions assist your students with the complete writing process.
- Ask them questions to help them brainstorm.
- Banter ideas back and forth. Guide them.
- Help them outline the brainstorm, teaching them to use the examples and forms provided.
- Guide them as they create sentences for their rough draft from their outline.
- Use the current checklists, worksheets and assignment page from the lesson to help them edit their rough draft.
- Then, teach them how to write the final copy where it is a paper they can be proud of because it looks good, and is well written, because it follows all the guidelines they have been given.
Poetry is a powerful tool and is the favorite part of each lesson for many students.
Writing poetry students:
- increase their vocabulary,
- learn how to effectively use different parts of grammar,
- practice using different figures of speech
- learn how to write concisely where they say something meaningful, briefly
In a typical lesson you will need to explain and write one together as an example which takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Then, students should write one or more on their own which takes another 20 to 30 minutes. Grade or review their work immediately after they have completed writing.
Help them through the complete writing process for everything until they obviously do not need your help. And then back away slowly, one step at a time. Mom’s part may be intense at first but should ease up. The more you help them in the beginning, the more your part should significantly drop as the year progresses.
Your students need to prove they are:
- well grounded in the basics
- successful working independently
Students gain independence as good writing habits are solidified.
- Do not repeatedly rewrite correcting mistakes until perfect or the end result is they will hate writing. My first year to teach essay writing in a co-op my students had to rewrite an essay about a dog until they corrected all or most of their mistakes. After a few attempts were made one student said, “I used to love dogs, but now I can’t stand them.” We moved on to a new topic.
- If students are making an overwhelming number of mistakes? Slow down or drop back to an easier level. If students are overwhelmed, it may mean they are not quite mature enough to handle the material yet. When they are working at the correct level they will make mistakes, but not that many.
- The Goal is to – develop their writing skills with step-by-step teaching.
After grading is complete for every lesson:
- Review final graded composition with them. Using the current checklists provided.
- Show them how to correct their mistakes. After a paper is graded, for some students it works well to allow 1 rewrite to improve their grade, but …
- Then, move on to the next lesson, even if the paper is still not perfect. Discuss and review what was missed at more length in the next lesson as needed.
Teachers need to stay focused and be patient:
- The student is learning a process.
- Perfection with each paper is not the goal.
- The primary goal is to go through the process over and over until students establish good writing habits. Permanently.
If you begin with hands on intense diligence, your students will succeed. Start out on the right foot using TWF. The more you focus at the beginning assisting your students with their independent work, the faster your students will become independent successful writers.
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