Writing Strategies: Two Strategies to Help Young (and old) Writers. In my teaching experience, writing is one of the most difficult things to teach effectively. Teaching effective and meaningful writing in a virtual setting becomes that much harder. In the classroom, it has taken me many years to develop what I believe to be effective strategies to teach writing. Two strategies I encourage to help struggling writers in the classroom or at home: Writing Circles and Writing Graphic Organizers.
Writing wounded. What exactly does this concept mean? Many educators, as do I, look at writing as the inverse of reading. If you follow the Montessori method, you discover the fundamentals of writing are taught even before many fundamentals of reading. Writing also happens to be one of the subjects I was given the least guidance in during my teacher training. In my experience, writing is one of the most difficult things to teach effectively. At least, I feel that way at the upper elementary ages.
Written language is a code and children need to be taught how to decode it. Early reading skills include phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, decoding and fluency. But as young readers advance, the development of comprehension skills work differently. Skilled reading is an active process; the reader’s mind is constantly processing information extracted from the text.
There are multiple comprehension thinking strategies available to a struggling reader. Often, many or all of these strategies are working together to assist in comprehension. Here is a breakdown of the seven to which have been found most effective..
Skilled Reading: How do we help struggling readers? As readers advance, the development of comprehension skills work differently. Research shows older readers possess specific strategies to construct meaning before, during, and after reading a text. I now know this type of reading to be called “skilled reading.”
The key to skilled reading is being capable of recognizing words without relying on context at all. This is one of the most well replicated findings in all current reading research.
What is it and how does it improve spelling and vocabulary? Word study is the study of changes made over time to words in a given language. This can be achieved through looking closely at the etymology of words, their roots & affixes, synonyms & antonyms and compound words. Word study enriches our vocabulary and can be used as a highly effective aid to spelling!
Upward social mobility: What is it? In this case, leading researchers have divided the population into five categories or quintiles. If you are born in the bottom 20% (experts refer to this as the bottom quintile), upward social mobility is the chance you have to move up to the top 20% (or the top quintile). Another term commonly used for social mobility is inequality.
According to The Brookings Institution, there are multiple layers at work when it comes to our personal social mobility.
Montessori method can be quite confusing to an outsider who is looking in. The classroom approach goes against most things we remember from our traditional schooling. It can look chaotic and unproductive. The teacher might look unprepared and not as responsive to student needs as they should be..
Relationships between humans can be quite tricky to navigate.
As we roll into winter, I am noticing a growing restlessness within many of the kids. This is normal, of course. In the physical classroom, winter months can be a challenge too. I am sure virtual school will add another layer to this, making the next few months even more complex..
Follow the child is a common term you will hear within the Montessori community.
One of Dr. Maria Montessori’s core tenets was the directive to “follow the child.” In the classroom, this means allowing children to experience and engage in activities independently. The inverse is also true: It means resisting the urge to lead the child but instead to create an environment encouraging self-direction.
Freedom with responsibility is defined as a person’s ability to make responsible choices and to then have the discipline to carry them out in society. It is a learned behavior. Dr. Montessori believed the mind developed like this up to the age of about six. She explored the idea of freedom within the crucial text, The Absorbant Mind.