Friday, November 4, 2011

CRs Got You Down?

I have got a solution for you! While I was grading the latest county mandated test (bleh!), I noticed that my darlings were really struggling with their constructed responses (CRs). Although they have been doing them since 3rd grade, I usually find that 5th graders need a few reminders when completing CRs in the beginning of the school year. However, my reminders did not seem to do the trick this time. You know, the usual "Don't forget to support your thinking with details from the text!" or "Make sure you connect your own thinking to your answer!"

In an effort to help them improve their writing, I stumbled up this site. There are lots of resources for guiding your students through the tedious process of completing CRs. I really liked the revision tools that were tied into the 6+1 writing traits (2 birds, one stone!).

Although I shudder at the idea of giving students a formula, I do believe they need some guidelines to help scaffold them until they are more successful. I will not present these as "rules" for wtiting CRs, but rather suggestions for helping them improve. Hopefully, this and our "Shoot for Three" incentive will get their pencils moving and the wheels turning!

Do you have any lessons or tricks you use to help your students experience more success with CRs? Please share by commenting below!


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