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 Post subject: speeding up in writing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:03 pm
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Hello again!

My DS (yr 3) is taking a very long time to formulate his ideas and put them onto paper. This is letting him down because he is not putting his great 'wow' words (shudder! I think that means adjectives?), vocab and punctuation down on paper and therefore getting very low marks.

He does seem to have very complicated ideas and - at home - I encourage him to simplify them when we're doing writing together - but I can't be there in the classroom. Can anyone help me, help him. The teacher simply puts a dot about half way down the page and encourages him to get to it, with mixed results.

I'm feeling a bit desperate because this has been going on for a year and a half now with 2 different teachers and I'm at hair-pulling-out stage, so and advice/ suggestions would be very welcome.
:twisted:
Thanks :D

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:46 am 
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Have you tried using mind maps? There's a great book 'Mind Maps for Kids' by Tony Buzan which may help.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:00 am 
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Hi ,

Pheasantchick: Thanks for replying. I have looked at that book and thought it looked very interesting; but wasn't sure if that would just lead to even more convoluted ideas? Is it your experience that it helps DC quickly work out their ideas?

Has anyone else had a similar experience with their DC; and got a 'positive outcome' story to tell?!!! :?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:06 am 
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FB, I really feel for you- maybe we overdid the descriptive stuff earlier :oops: - and am not sure that I can be much help but really want to try! Whilst I wouldn't recommend it as a long term strategy how about a bit of temporary 'cheating' whereby DS has a few stock stories that he's planned out at home (with or without your help) ready to tell ie already basically plotted in his head? That way he will build up confidence in knowing that he can do it, but also see what elements he needs to include, what he doesn't and how to organise his ideas into workable stories that he can get written in the limited amount of time available? Ideas such as a mystery, secret, surprise etc can easily be adapted.
DD has just come down with chicken pox so a bit frazzled here!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:45 am 
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Ourmam: you read my mind! I was just thinking about stock stories/ characters this morning! I'll see what I can work out!! :twisted:

V sorry to hear about the chicken pox. Not fun. Thanks for taking the time to write amongst the calamine applications!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:22 am 
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I think at year 3 my DS struggled to write a sentence but by the exams last year he could easily write interesting well written stories. From year 4 a bit older than your child he wrote a story a week. this used to take him up to 2 hrs, with many mistakes. We would go over them, use a thesaurus to show word alternatives, check spellings and had a list of words he was not allowed to use ie said, went, got, etc which encouraged his use of adjectives. It was a slow build up but from the summer before his exams he was well able to write a good story within 1/2 an hr and all he needed was help to think about alternative words. We made lists of metaphors and similes he could use and lots of connectives. He esp liked metaphors with colour ie green with envy, purple with rage etc as they made sense to him. He has now been give a place at a highly selective grammar school, so don't give up. We used Tutor Master helps you write stories books 1 and 2 for ideas, his tutor came up with some and we used the events around us.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:26 am 
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Copella,

Thank you so much for your words of experience and encouragement. You've no idea how I needed them on this cold Monday morning! :D

In fact, I got him to write a story over the weekend and think I will try and do that every week now. Or perhaps alternate with a comprehension.

Congratulations to your DS on his achievement! I think I might print out your message and add it to my "when I think it's going badly" folder, to help cheer me up and keep me going when I reach a low point in this whole journey! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:25 pm 
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I am pleased it helped. Do not give up. Honestly we used to cry, as in half an hour he could barely write a paragraph, but slowly over time he built up and got how to write a story and that what was important was not only that it made sense but the use of language. My advice is a story a week. We cleared Sunday afternoons, from 2pm onwards so that at 4 when he used to finish there was still time to go out or watch TV and he had the morning to play. Then when he was quicker we would use an hour for him to write check and for us to look at alternative words. By the end neither his tutor or I were making too many changes to his stories. Good Luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Thanks Copella, that's really helpful - and heartening! :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:12 am 
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I home ed my eleven year old and he has just won a place in the top 30 for english at a highly selective indie.
I am a writer myself. I love writing and have always just let it flow. This is how I have taught my DS. I went into a school to read one of my books to the kids and in the Q and A they asked me how I wrote, so I told them that when I start, I rarely know how it will end, and don't plan. The teacher was a bit horrified and said it was NOT how they taught the kids!
Sorry, but this has worked for my son, who was a reluctant writer three years ago and is now a good one. Will write for pleasure now.
My advice, find something your DS really loves and get him to write about that! Mine loves tractors so we went through an incredible number of tractor stories before I could wean him onto other things!


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