Anybody have any good suggestions for a good series of books that focus on writing for grades 1 - 6. The school here has the English curriculum split up into Listening / Speaking, Reading and Writing.
For L&S we are using the Go Go books which are simplistic but decent.
For reading we are using the Easy Reading series which are OK but some of the topics are extremley boring.
For writing I have no idea what they are going to hand us but I want to get a request in before it's too late. Last year I was stuck with some horrific book which was a bastard mix of grammar and reading comprehensions and filling in the blanks vocabulary questions. It was far too had for the students and insanely difficult to structure a class around it as you would have one chapter with three different exercises which had no relation to each other. Anybody have any ideas for something fairly easy and that has a decent structure about it?
Why do you need books to teach writing? Start simple. Teach kids to write 100 words about themselves. Then progress to writing about their school. Start with things they know about and build from there. It sounds like your school want to use books solely to stick a 10% mark up on them and fleece the parents.
OP, if your school is using the English curriculum, it makes sense to see what that recommends and save yourself some time.
Have you searched the English National Curriculum website for info ? How about the TES forum ?
Have a look at these search results from the Literacy Trust: Writing resources
Try googling "VCOP" and see the results (it stand for "vocabulary, connectives, openings and punctuation") and is/was a scheme used heavily in UK primary schools. I've used it in Thailand and it works reasonably well. Gotta get the fundementals right before the kids can start producing best-selling novels ! Also "Big Writing" is another scheme you can search for which will give you some ideas for the more able kids.
I doubt there's one book available on the market at the moment which will satisfy all your immediate needs. I strongly suspect that you'll be doing a fair bit of off-book planning to start with. As Peelie says, start simple and build from there. Your biggest challenge will be engaging them in topics to fire up their imaginations and get them hooked and actually wanting to write.
Well last year I ditched that book and was just giving them assignments similar to what peelie is talking about and it looks like I will be doing the same again. I don't particulary need a book to teach writing but it does make things far far easier. I'm teaching in a English Program HKP so think your suggestions will probably be too difficult for them but shall have a look anyway, cheers.
Here's my suggestion.
Writing books are called notebooks, and I have S's use them in every class when a workbook isn't being used.
Write up 5 or 6 questions on the board from the material that you have taught and that S's have learned or been introduced to.
Get lazy students to come and sit in front of the board with their notebooks to complete the exercise. No completion? No game in the next class. Losing face has it's virtues with kids, but be careful with teens.
Give an example answer for the first question. And then have S's line-up at your desk with their notebooks when they've finished the exercise. This kills the homework/copying scenario.
Mark the notebooks IN CLASS, otherwise S's won't get instant feedback on their successes and mistakes.
But, I've got large classes! So have I, and my end of term tests and exam results tell me that this approach works.
And does my red pen give a damn about anything other than spelling mistakes and the abscence of question marks? Not at all!
Get S's to write out spelling mistakes at least ten times by the way.
Last edited by 999; 28th April 2009 at 14:11.