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3rd grade reading and writing

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September 26th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 37
I think I've posted a similar thread on here not very long ago but we're still suffering through the same problem. My 9 yr. old, 3rd grade DS absolutely HATES to write! He likes coming up with stories, if he can dictate and I write or type and he's excellent at proofreading mistakes in his workbook but when it comes to writing something down himself it's like torture. I know that he knows when to use correct capitalization, punctuation, correct verbs/nouns, and can give definitions and examples for adjectives, verbs, adverbs, how to make complete sentences....do I continue to force him to complete his daily workbook assignments? I've tried letting him journal as his daily writing about anything that comes into his head and it still takes FOREVER for him to complete the task. I'm half tempted to let him dictate me stories and make mistakes in them for him to go back and proofread but that's not improving his handwriting at all. How much writing are anyone's 3rd graders doing? Do they enjoy it? How can I make him want to write? Any suggestions/ similar experiences would be appreciated!!
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September 26th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Shery's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,696
I have a third grade son who doesn't enjoy writher either. He is an excellent reader and does great finding grammatical errors and punctiation errors. I think the reason that he doesn't like to write is because he has difficulty with the actual act of writing...pennmanship. Once he starts putting things down, he is good with words and can get it down pretty quickly. He doesn't elaborate as much as I would like, but I am not worried about that right now.
What has helped him with getting through his writing assignments is the 4-square writing method that we use. The grid has 4 squares with a small square in the middle. What is done with the grid changes with each grade. For instance, in Kindergarten the child only draws pictures. The middle picture is what the paragraph would be about and the 4 squares each have a picture in them to support that.
In first grade, the child puts words in the squares instead of pictures. The small square in the middle stands for the first sentence of the paragraph...the opening sentence or main idea. The first three squares contain supporting ideas...one per square. The last square sums it all up....the closing sentence in the paragraph. At this point, you can sit with the child and demonstrate how what he wrote in the squares can be put onto paper to form a complete paragraph. I would sometimes help Carter, my 1st grader last year, with putting it onto paper himself, but didn't make him do it alone. He did, however, do free writing in a journal once a week.
Patrick, being in the 2nd grade then, would take his information from the squares and put it into a paragraph form. This worked really well for him.
My daughter is older, 5th grade this year, and last year started using her 4 square to write 5 paragraph papers. To do this, the square in the middle contains all of the information needed for a short opening paragraph. The first three squares are filled with information needed to write three separate paragraphs to support the main one (the square in the middle). By this age, they have developed the skill to put a paragraph together, so putting all of the information in one square is no problem. The last square is the information needed to sum up the paper...the closing paragraph.
I know that I have made this method sound complicated, but it is very simple...that's what is so wonderful about it. My goal is to get them to the point that outlines replace the 4square grid so that they are functioning without it when writing multiple paragraph papers. I am going to start Madison on the outlines towards the middle to end of this school year.
You can buy the 4square writing books at teacher's marts, however, to begin with..just draw the grid out. I will email you one that I drew out if you need it. I would post it in the subforum here, but I might get in trouble for that .
Let me know.
I hope you find something that works for him!!
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September 27th, 2006, 04:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 37
Shery, what a wonderful idea. I think we'll try that today to see how it goes. I really think penmanship is his issue so I want him to practice everyday to improve!! Maybe I'll even use a combination of pictures and words at this point just to get him interested. Thanks so much!
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September 27th, 2006, 07:12 AM
Shery's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,696
Hi Mindy,
I hope it works!!!!!!!
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September 27th, 2006, 09:40 AM
fka teresarunningmommy
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 47,594
We are having a horrible time with writing here as well. I am going to try this four square method as well. It seems pretty similar to how I learned to write.


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September 27th, 2006, 12:51 PM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 11,318
We had a spell of that in 1st grade. But we just kept with it and he writes like a pro now! Let us know how Shery's advice works out!
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