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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
Has anyone any tips for improving English writing? My son has just passed his 11 plus with a very creditable score; his reading age is high and he enjoys reading; his spelling is fine; his comprehension scores are very good but his writing is dreadful! This is not just the presentation but the content and the punctuation. He used to find the actual mechanics of writing very difficult but this has improved quite a lot over the past year so that it is quite legible though still slow. However, his punctuation is dire - he still forgets capital letters and full stops. The content of his writing is always minimal and often sentences don't even make sense. Needless to say he absolutely hates writing. Occasionally we get a glimpse of capability of much better attainment, but these glimmers are a bit few and far between. I am getting a bit concerned about how he is going to cope a secondary school.

Any ideas gratefully received!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:29 pm 
My son was similiar, so I copied a page but without adding punctutaion or paragraphs from a hilarious scene in Harry Potter (white ferret).
I then asked him to read it, with and without punctuation. This made him realise how important punctuation is, and motvated him to make more of an effort, which he did. Later I did a similar exercise, but this time without all the adjectives and adverbs, from a page in a Dr Who book he had enjoyed; worked a treat. Still have the odd lapses, but generally much better, and stories are getting longer too. :) Also uses Thesaurus alot more.
It might also be worth going over when and where to use puntuation, paragraphs etc.


RR


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:51 pm 
What a superb idea. Must have used alot of tippex or what ever the equivalent is these days.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
Thank you RR. Shall certainly give it a go - it is much more likely to capture his interest at least than anything which involves "boring old practice". I had been threatening dicatations!!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:40 pm
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Its funny(not lol sense)how our children struggle with their writing! My son has exactly the same problem...He rushes and then makes mistakes with his punctuation and grammar. Some good tips though will try them.
:)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
There is also a children's edition of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" - quite good, and probably more readable than the original, which sits alongside "A Brief History of Time" on our bookshelves!

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 625
Hi

We have come across many children who have issues with writing, much of which comes from criticism of previous writing.

There are processes that need to be applied. It is no use asking a child to think, plan or write without explaining the processes to them.

The first step is to encourage the child to think about what they are going to write. If it is a descriptive piece ask them to visualise. Discuss with him what he is thinking and how he is going to extend his thoughts.

Show him how to plan his writing. We use bubble planning. Simply draw three bubbles connected vertically and insert the plan of the text. Use connecting lines to insert extended ideas. Do not over complicate the planning stage, keep it as simple as possible.

The child should then be allowed to write freely with no real thought to spelling, grammar or punctuation. These detract from free thought. Explain to him that this first piece of writing is a draft and that when the draft is completed it will need correcting and he should expect this. There may need to be two or three draft copies. Many children just hand in their draft copies as finished work.

Do not expect perfection, there should be mistakes or else 10 year olds will be as clever as 47 year olds.

Explain the importance of adjectives and insist that they are inserted at the appropriate places. Also expect two/three adjectives per noun.

Compare the first draft copy to the final copy so that he can see where improvements have been made.

Do not at any stage criticise the child, only offer encouragement and praise.

Use the following lists

WHAT
WHY
WHERE
WHEN
HOW
WHO

SEE
HEAR
SMELL
TOUCH
TASTE
FEELINGS/EMOTIONS

ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES

Hope this helps

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:29 am 
I have the same problem with my son. He's in such a hurry to get through his work that all punctuation goes out of the window. His problem was solved when a new English teacher introduced a different way of marking. He gives marks for content, ideas, comprehension etc but then a separate mark for punctuation, handwriting and presentation.Therefore he might get an A and a C for the same piece of work.

A light bulb :idea: went on in his little brain when he realised that he can actually get higher marks if he takes his time :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 5:39 pm 
Can I say thanks to Mike. I'm on here looking for ways to improve my daughters writing. Shes not looking to 11+ but needs some support to lift her L3 writing to L4 as her reading/comp is L4b.


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