Let me just take a step back though and take it from PART I of my post on personal essays. On that post I had mentioned how students generated ideas and started coming up with evidence to support their ideas/topic. I really took the time to make sure the body of their essays was well structured before moving onto conclusions. We spend a few days developing. They met with their writing partners, conferred with me, met with an intern (isn't that amazing! - I love Ms. Rojas), etc. I make sure I am NOT the sole source of information in my room. I meet with them on an appointment basis (just post the names of who I will be meeting with on the board at the beginning of the day). Their writing partners are really the 'first' go-to person. This does not mean that if a child really needs to talk to me I reject him/her: I just try to meet with everyone one-on-one at least once in the course of a week.
We then moved to conclusions and as I have been doing throughout the unit, I presented them with 'muletillas' or sentence startes in Spanish (interesting fact: muletillas = crutches because they 'help' the writer get started). The photo below shows you the different ones they could use...but NOT limited to.
|Ways to start a conclusion in Spanish|
As that was being wrapped up, others started revising and editing. See the attached editing checklist below. Finally, the rubric (which was introduced at the beginning of the unit/and posted below as well) was put into good use as some children felt they were ready to publish.
|RUBRIC for personal essays|
To encourage my writers and to try something different, I had several students publish on CHART paper. That way I could use this for future classes and they surely felt 'really important' that their writing was published on giant paper, not just a regular 8 1/2 by 11.
Honestly, sometimes I feel that I am not getting where I want, but this time I am just really enjoying both the quantity and quality of their writing....did I mention they are writing in Spanish?
Let me know how you encourage your young writers. I am looking for ways to make my students want to write even MORE!!!