I would like to enlist your help with writing this week. As you know, fifth graders will take the state writing test (OCCT) next Wednesday, February 26. In preparation for this test, students will respond to a different passage-based prompt each day this week. We will preview the passages and prompt in class, and then students will have approximately an hour to compose a response (students will have unlimited time on the actual test). Unfinished responses will be homework.
Please ask to see your child's writing each day. All students will bring home their daily writing even if they have finished in class. If your child has not completed his/her response, please give only minor assistance. The purpose of these writing tasks is to build stamina while applying writing strategies students have practiced throughout the year. To this end, I also ask that all responses be hand-written.
When your child has completed his/her writing, please take a few minutes to read over the passages, the writing prompt, and then your child's essay. Discuss strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement. Try to emphasize organization and development of ideas over mechanics and spelling. The biggest hurdle to essay writing in fifth grade is organizing thoughts around a central idea with text-based evidence (not just opinions) that supports each claim.
I will be conferencing with students as they are writing this week but can only meet with a limited number of students each day. Your assistance in providing feedback, therefore, is invaluable.
Thank you in advance for your support at home. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email.