Teaching on-demand writing was my most dreaded 50 minutes of 5th grade each day. It was frustrating, agonizing, and filled with tears, crumpled papers, mangled erasers, and very terrible writing. Terrible. We weren’t able to write a single, cohesive paragraph. In fact, we spent the first 9 weeks of school, learning to writing paragraphs. 9 WEEKS. And still, our paragraphs were weak at best.
It was an uphill battle. It was hard. Really hard. My kids came to me unable to write a parapgrah, but in the Spring were expected to take a 90 minute state writing test that required a 5-paragraph essay with a thesis statement, 3 main ideas, supporting details, and conclusion paragraph. Oy! After observing writing at another school, I found our saving grace for the year – 4 Square Planning.