I’ve been reading the SCM narration book & have several questions. Hope they make sense b/c I’m up much later than usual canning green beans. 🙂
Are the written narration rubrics for teacher use or are they meant to be used with the child? If with the student, are the rubrics used with “rough drafts” or are they used as a reference to help polish a written narration?
At the beginning of this past school year, I used the beginning writer rubric in Using Language Well to assess dd10’s written narrations (one per week) although she actually started writing some narrations of her own accord the year previous. After a few weeks I tried sharing the rubric with her. She was quite discouraged about the spelling item on the rubric because so many points were subtracted for errors. It began to discourage me after that so we put the rubrics away. I want to use them this coming year, but how should I approach it?
Also, how do you choose which book that your student writes his/her narration each week? Or throughout the week for older students?nebbyParticipant
I’m not familiar with the rubrics but I think they must be for the parent. Especially at such a young age you dont want to discourage her. I wouldn’t criticize written narrations at all for a while. They are about getting her thoughts down, not the mechanics of writing. As to what to narrate, I just try to have them alternate it.Sonya ShaferModerator
You should have two versions of each rubric in the Using Language Well teacher book: one student version and one parent version. The student version does not contain any points system; it is simply a list of reminders to help the student check his work and make sure it measures up to the guidelines he has been studying in the ULW lessons. The teacher version contains the points simply to help you track progress. When you see consistent progress, you can move on to the next rubric. Remember, with the spelling points, stop when you get to 0. The goal is not necessarily perfect spelling before you move on, but progress in that area over time. It’s easy to think you’re not seeing any progress in spelling, but if you have a way to track it you will probably be more objective about that subject.
You can encourage the student to read over his written narration and make any corrections he wants to before giving it to you. The rubric will help him know what kinds of things to look for in his read-over. The goal is that he will develop a habit of looking for those kinds of things in his writing consistently.
As far as which book(s) to assign the written narrations on, that’s up to you. Any of the living history, geography, Bible, science, or literature books could be used for that assignment.
Thank you for the clarification. 🙂 I don’t think I intended to show my daughter the points system, but she noticed that there were two rubrics and asked what the difference was. She has never voiced concern over math scores (we only grade tests) so I didn’t think she would take the spelling points to heart like she did.
Sonya, would you (or would CM) use spelling errors from the child’s writing for spelling instruction apart from dictation? I have read some of Ruth Beechick’s books and she suggests using such words as a personal spelling list for the child. We have tried that some but she will often misspell those same words in writing later. I have hunted up dictation passages containing these words to alternate with Spelling Wisdom exercises. She will spell words correctly during dictation but not in her own writing (letters, lists, written narrations).
My “method” of choosing which book to write narrations has been to look at the week’s workload and any outside activities and assign a written narration for the least busy day. So she might write about science three times in a row then about history the next few times. Is that okay? It feels haphazard to me and I want to spread it out more evenly over the different subjects/living books. She writes detailed and rather lengthy narrations usually.Sonya ShaferModerator
RE misspelled words: A couple of ideas come to mind. First, make sure she is reading her written narration through and correcting anything she finds that needs it before she gives it to you. Then, once she gives it to you, hold her responsible for words that you know she has studied and spelled correctly in her dictation lessons. Make a mark in the margin near the line that contains the misspelled word. She must look carefully and find the misspelled word for herself, then correct it. I wonder if the issue is that she is rushing and not concentrating on the spellings. Don’t circle the word or point it out for her; simply mark which line or section it is in and get her in the habit of taking the time to look closely at her own spelling. But make sure you do that only for words that you know she has studied and spelled correctly when she is focused on it. She is responsible for those.
RE which books: As long as she is doing oral narrations for the other books, I don’t think it’s a problem at this point. Remember that she will be gradually writing more and more of her narrations, so she’ll end up writing them for just about every subject eventually.
Thank you so much. I’m going to write this down in my planning notebook so I can remember!
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