Saturday, January 2, 2010

Writing and Reading Chapter 8:

In response to chapter 8 of this weeks reading. I thought the book did a great job of discussing a number of ways to improve children's writing skills. In the fifth grade class I assist in we focus on building vocabulary and reading, but often skip out on writing sections. Each week we do a creative writing project based off of the reading story for the week. I like how the book gives a direct correlation between reading and writing. One of the ways I learned to write was through reading. Reading helps a person to understand sentence structure and how to build the composition of a story. The book put a nice emphasis on children reading stories and writing about them.

I thought the activities spoken of such as journal with a partner or teacher were great ways of modeling writing for the students. The journal also lets the children write in a free dialogue that might make it easier to compose their thoughts. The collaborative writing section gave me a number of ideas to work with for my student teaching.

The section I would like to use is the Change a Word, Change a Sentence. This is an easy way to show how sentences are structured. It displays the sentence and allows the children to come up with alternate words for the story. This type of activity would help in the classroom because the students I work with cannot write a complete sentence. Having the students both reading the sentence and focusing on how the sentence could be changed is a great way to model sentence composition for this group of students. The difficulty with the special ed group I work with is that a few of them are very poor readers. They struggle to know the basic sight words and have a hard time with decoding and blending. This puts a tough spin on writing. The students who struggle with reading and phonics have a difficult time writing. One way that could make things a little easier for their learning would be to do more modeling of sentences separate from a story. Allowing the children to focus, one sentence at a time. While teaching the students about proper gramar and tenses. I thought the book gave a number of technniques and activities that will be useful in teaching...


  1. I also liked all of the examples in the textbook and I could also relate to more of the writing in the textbook than the reading. This is because the writing that my school is using is in the process of changing and last year I experienced using the new process. Many of the methods that were in the textbook are what we are changing to. I always like your personal experiences in a special education classroom that bring real life to our readings. Thanks

  2. Ryan I really liked the techniques as you did given in the book. I also like how they connected reading and writing together as a whole concept. When I think back to the way I learning, I had a tough time reading for comprehension when I was younger and reading aloud. Once I had more work in reading I feel that my writing also improved. I think this happens the same way for many students.

    There are so many different things that we face as special ed teachers and I think that you really brought that to life in your example above. There are so many different things that kids struggle with in special ed and because of the connection between concepts this can really make their deficits pronounced in many areas and not just one. I like how you thought outside the box and thought of a techniques that may help the kids in your classroom. I hope that you see some improvement with these examples : )

  3. Ryan,

    Good points! I really feel your pain in trying to find ways to help your students learn sentence structure. My 8th grade boys that I work with are having problems even writting complete sentneces. One way that you could teach this would be to ask them questions about their life and have them write a complete sentence. Model it first. I always tell my students to "embed the question" in the answer. See if that works. PUll sentences from the story you are reading and teach a grammar lesson that way. For example, teach them about capitalizing names, places, proper nouns. This is something that EVERY student knows but NEVER does! :-) I see it too many times.

    Hope that helps you out.