Most of my posts on here have to do with creative writing. Today's posts is advice for parents. I and one of two testing coordinators at my school. We recently completed our first district writes test. I use the first one to see how my sixth graders are as writers. This first prompt was a persuasive piece. I found that most of my students had little experience with writing persuasive essays. It is sad because they did terrible. However, knowing where they are can help them improve.
I had the students use the same rubric I used and grade themselves. I also had them make a list of things they saw they did incorrectly. Next I conferenced with them. The following day I gave them a copy of a high scored essay and we read it then worked our way backward creating a plan from it.
Students used their old essay and created a plan allowing them to see gaps in their writing. I had them rewrite the essay and turn them both along with the plan back in. I am thrilled to say most of them have improved. At an open house that week one of the parents publicly thanked me for showing their child the step by step process of writing a persuasive essay.
So, what can you as a parent do to help your child? You say you aren't good at writing? As your child for a copy of the rubric. Sit with them and work through the process with them. You can always ask the teacher for help. Most of us are more than willing to help the parent. We want our parents to be involved with their child's work. Help edit, but do not rewrite the paper for them. Your child learns nothing when you do the work for them. The next writing they have to produce will find them struggling just like they did before. Pick a topic from the news and have them write about it. Have them choose a side in an issue and stick to it. Writing is not an easy process, but it is necessary. I am looking forward to doing more with them. They are looking forward to writing more narratives. Who knows, maybe you will see some of them here.