In an effort to share best practices this page will be a running list of ideas that are just to good not to pass along. Have one of those “ah ha!” moments, feel free to comment. As more of my own are witnessed and practiced I will continue to update this page.
Essay Writing Strategies
Do your students PEE?
This strategy works better with older students and the BBC site outlining each of the steps is a great jumping off point for teaching this strategy. A common practice in England, this is a great way to organize an informational or persuasive essay.
P – Point – Make one, have one, explain one – whatever. Just know where your essay is going.
E – Evidence – Prove your point. Now that you have one support it
E - Explain – Give details. Explain your position, elaborate on your evidence, make your point stronger
Make sure your students win the RACE!
The strategy that is currently being implemented in my school, this one works great on the state assessments for long and short writing assignments. This one can easily be adapted for the illusive math explanations as well. This site gives a great explanation on how to use this one in the classroom.
R – Restate or reword the question. The easiest thing you can do to make sure you on the track for success.
A – Answer the question. Sounds simple but so many students forget to actually answer the question and instead retell the story or make an new point completely.
C - Cite evidence. Making a connection from the text supports to answer and really drives the point home.
E - Explain the answer. The part of the essay where kids tend to lose it, it is so important that they give enough details to truly make a point!
Give your students a RAFT to support their journey through the tumultuous waters of essay writing
The strategy that is currently being implemented in my school, this one works great on the state assessments for long and short writing assignments. This one can easily be adapted for the illusive math explanations as well. North Carolina’s education website has a great lesson on how to use this one in the classroom.
R – Role of the writer – what point of view are you writing from? Define your position
A – Audience – Who are you writing for? What are you trying to tell them
F – Format – what is the format of your essay? What kind of writing are you doing?
T - Topic – what are you writing about? Where is your essay going?
often times you may see this in practice as RAFTS with the S standing for Strong verb. Often times students do not use strong verbs which can take away from their essay writing.