As the year winds down, many of you are now in preparation for your state testing. Benchmarks are finished and now we are deciding where we go from here? What tweaks in our instruction do we need to make these last few weeks to help enhance our students' writing and boost their overall score?
Last week, our 4th grade students finished their STAAR benchmarks. After going through their pieces, we decided that we needed to do a quick mini-lesson on prompts! We've taught the skills on how to write an expository essay, and our students used their best tools to write their piece on their favorite invention, but we noticed that if they stated the prompt more clearly in their introduction and conclusion their point would be much clearer.
Do your students struggle with restating the topic or central idea correctly? Here are a few samples of modeling how to pick out the topic and main ideas. It only took once, and our students were able to do them on their own.
Sometimes, just a quick tweak in something your students are doing in their piece can make all the difference. I taught the first prompt to the whole group and modeled it written on a chart paper. We developed broad yet distinct main ideas and then wrote the introduction for the prompt. As the week continues, students are using this same strategy to work through their "mock prompts."