Teaching and Grading Writing Assignments 101

OKAY, so 8 pm is NOT a good time to do a LIVE FB video. So sorry! Thanks to those of you who tried to watch.
Here’s the gist of what I was saying:

Writing assignments:

1. Introduce the assignment at the beginning of the week. Have an example and explain specifically what you are expecting.
2. By Wednesday the student should have a rough draft for you. This makes them begin the assignment and allows you to know if they are on the right track.

Writing: Thursday

3. Thursday: They can have a first draft to you to quickly look through. If there are glaring mistakes, you can point these out at this time. For example: If almost all the words are spelled wrong, say, “You need to check for proper spelling. I see 18 spelling mistakes.” If there are no horrible errors, let them turn it in.

Writing: Friday
4. Friday: Final papers are due.

Grading: Use a rubric. Part one of the grade is for meeting the requirements of the assignment, whether it is an essay, a newspaper article or a personal story. Part two of the grade is for technical skill such as the correct use of capital letters, punctuation and spelling.

Grade at a grade appropriate level. I have seen many moms expecting too much from their children. A fourth grader is going to write at a fourth grade level. An eighth grader is going to write at an eighth grade level.

If you have a child who really struggles with writing, make sure you do a couple of weeks of writing alongside him. Explain why you are writing the way you are, why you are wording things the way you are, why you are using a certain format, etc. Model and teach what you want them to do.

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