Writing in an educational setting is essential. Writing in a real world setting is also essential. So why is the emphasis of teaching basic writing skills going away. As a teacher in a sixth grade classroom in Utah, I see students who cannot form a complete sentence let alone a solid paragraph. Many students do not capitalize the beginnings of their sentences or end them with proper punctuation marks. Forming a complete thought seems to be a skill beyond many of these students grasp. The instructional unit written for this project goes back to the basics of teaching writing in an effort to improve the ability of sixth grade students.
What I did
It all began with simple observations and then complex frustration when sixth grade students entered the classroom and were unable to write complete sentences or paragraphs. The mechanics of writing had either slipped through the cracks or the students were unable to learn it. It was doubtful the second was the true statement. Beginning in sixth grade and continuing through high school graduation, the emphasis on writing in the Utah State Core Curriculum increases. In grades prior to sixth, students learned basics, but often were not given many opportunities to practice what they had learned. I began formulating plans to improve the review unit in writing to help foster students' abilities in writing. The formulation of these plans led to simple and concise lessons that focus on the basics of writing. Not the basics of writing in the sense of forming letters on the paper, but the basics of good writing in relation to grammar, punctuation, capitalization, complete and complex sentences, and the formatting of paragraphs and sentences to meet to expectation of sixth grade standards.
Why It Is Important
The importance of learning to write well is immeasurable. Not only in school is it important and essential, but the ability to express thoughts in written form is crucial in the college and career fields. Even those who hold manual labor positions at some point will be required to communicate occurrences, ideas, or thoughts in written form. This written form is not the technicalities of forming letters with a pen or pencil, but rather constructing thoughts and ideas in a way others are able to understand. With an understanding for the importance of good writing skills, it is apparent the importance of this instructional unit.
How It Relates to Appropriate Theory for My Discipline
The instructional unit is created using research based teaching theories. As a language arts teacher, it is important to be aware of the theories and practices that are deemed effective and essential in the writing classroom. Writing is best taught through direct instruction using examples, practice, feedback and the revision process. Each of the essential elements in this writing unit are based on these principles of instruction. It is noted that as well as individual work,...