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Posted on November 21, 2012 4:16 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
Creative Writing
This has been going on for some time. Some of the students in my 7th grade English class cannot distinguish between school writing and everyday speaking. They write like they speak. A lot of my students are African American, and they tend to use Ebonics in their writing. I have been trying to correct their writing errors since the beginning of the school, which was three months ago, but they still continue writing like they are speaking. I talked to the other English teacher at school to see how she deals with this issue if she has it. She said she did not pay attention to the writing errors if students were doing creative writing. I disagree with her. Even in creative writing, students should follow the rules of the language closely. The main problem is almost all of my African American students are failing my class while that is not the case with the other English teacher. Should I reconsider my position on this issue? I feel like my position shows high expectations; but I am not sure any more.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted February 11, 2013 3:08 pm

Iesha Little
Iesha Little
Reps: 34
Have the students brainstorm ideas, and write a rough draft before they write the finished product. Allow students to trade papers with another student in the class and make notes on the paper of errors they see in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Also have the students make suggestions of ways they can make their writing better (e.g. fluency or elaboration). The students can trade papers with three students in the class to get different feedback from their peers. The students could then revise their writing, using their peer revisions as a guideline. The students can do this for many types of writing activities, and eventually only trade on time or make their own revisions. The teacher will still monitor and give feedback as well.
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Solution 2
Posted February 11, 2013 2:30 pm

Rachael Beck
Rachael Beck
Reps: 26
This is an interesting issue since other teachers have disagreed with you. Have the students go through the writing process by having a rough draft before the final draft. When revising the rough draft, have the students trade it three times with each other. Therefore, when the students are writing their final draft they will pick up on the corrections that you and the other students have made. Then occasionally have them write it without getting the revisions, so that you know how much he or she is improving. Also, continue to talk to the students about it and going over grammar as a class.
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Solution 3
Posted December 8, 2012 7:47 pm

Sha'keela McClendon
Sha'keela McClendon
Reps: 141
As an African American student I say do not reconsider your position. Till this day I wish my English teacher back in high school would have corrected me because now as an adult I still sometimes write like I'm speaking. I say stay on top of them about this issue, if they don't learn to correct it now then it will be harder to correct it in the future. Just because other students aren't failing the other teachers class doesn't mean you aren't doing your job. Remind them that their grade drops every time they submit a writing to you with those kinds of errors. If they don't learn to correct their language then that's on them.
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Solution 4
Posted February 11, 2013 12:48 pm

Jessica Eason
Jessica Eason
Reps: 26
A solution for this situation could be to discuss with the students why they will not write using correct grammar. They may not be using correct grammar because one teacher allows it to be accepted. The teacher can discuss with the students a solution as to why they are not doing what she asked. The students do not care even after the teacher has taken points off of their papers so maybe she can give the students a rubric to follow so that they know how the teacher wants it. She could also give examples for the students to look at.
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Solution 5
Posted December 5, 2012 5:04 pm

Jill Graff
Jill Graff
Reps: 104
Each time a writing assignment comes up for the students you need to be very clear on what you are grading for. Have a rubric for them to look at and see what their writing should entail before they turn it in. Make sure that they have seen what good writing looks like vs. bad writing. If you want to grade them on correct grammar make sure that is outlined in the rubric. If you are working on main idea of a paragraph then you should be just looking for that unless specified to them that you are also grading for grammar, which then should show up on the rubric. I've learned after 14 years in the teaching business that when grading writing you can't grade EVERYTHING all the time........sometimes let them write in text if you are just looking for main ideas or thesis statements so they do have some creativity in their writing.
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Solution 6
Posted December 5, 2012 9:36 pm

Savanna Hayman
Savanna Hayman
Reps: 104
I think that you are absolutely correct. Slang has become so popular and readily used that people do not even realize when they do it. Education is to teach students what they do not already know- not to let them use language they already use.
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Solution 7
Posted December 7, 2012 5:16 pm

Laine Vilardi
Laine Vilardi
Reps: 119
I think it is important to get students to love writing first. If they are constantly being told that they are wrong, the will become frustrated and might not want to write for you at all. What I would do is let them write how they write for awhile. In the mean time, I would try teaching a few of the rules you are looking to correct in their writing every week. Once it has been taught by you and students have practiced using them, they become accountable for their work. You could even try giving them activities where they have to make corrections to sentences or short papers with grammatical errors. I think that they world of emails and texting has hurt all students in that they end up writing papers in the shorthand that they use for emails and texts. Once they use those as a means of communication for too long, they end up forgetting the rules of grammar, and also forget how to spell properly. I think it will just take some patience and time, but they will get there!
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Solution 8
Posted February 19, 2013 12:38 am

Danielle O'Donnell
Danielle O'Donnell
Reps: 27
Every teacher will have a different opinion on this issue. It is the teachers job to decide what is important in their classroom. If this teacher feels like a student should always use formal language when writing in school, then, that is what she should teach. I feel that if it isn't working, maybe try a new technique on teaching formal writing. If most the students are failing, there is probably something wrong with the instruction. Using example of Ebonics writing and formal writing would be good to compare and contrast for an activity.
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Solution 9
Posted November 27, 2012 11:13 am

Adam Vandenhouten
Adam Vandenhouten
Reps: 97
I am a Special Ed. teacher in a 7th grade inclusion ELA classroom. The ELA teacher that I work with is wonderful and comes up with creative writing topics for her students. I have seen the same issue that you are talking about here even though we are half way through the year and have learned many of the rules of writing. I have been so surprised at how the students write the way they speak and do not put the rules they are learning into their writing. However, the teacher I am with is much like the other English teacher at your school. If the students are putting forth the effort in their writing and truly attempting to be creative, she most often ignores the spelling and grammar errors unless they are really major. Maybe you could correct some of these grammar issues on their papers so they see their mistakes, but don't grade them as harshly for the work. It is difficult to get students interested in writing in the first place and always receiving bad grades may discourage them.
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raWubu
raWubu
Reps: 97
I like this solution. Students have to start somewhere and maybe this can get the students to have writing goals. If the student is trying then give the student some effort for trying. There is always room for improvement. Rome wasn't built in a day.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 9:57 pm

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Solution 10
Posted December 7, 2012 12:04 pm

BreAnna Sinclair
BreAnna Sinclair
Reps: 118
I believe your high expectations are appropriate. One way to help increase students grades is to have students review a partners paper looking for language and gramatical errors. I would also provide examples of what students should look for. After the students have edited the mistakes found by their peers, they could submit a copy to you. You could then quickly skim the paper and mark errors. The students should then fix the errors you noted before turning in the final copy. To speed up the process, it may be necessary to cut out the student editors. However, there will be more errors for you to mark.
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Solution 11
Posted December 7, 2012 12:29 pm

Selena W Farmer
Selena W Farmer
Reps: 121
I would consider altering the how much is dedcucted based on the use of Ebonics in the students writing. I would discuss the difference in how we speak compared to how we write. With creative writing, since this is a continous issue, I would also discuss the use of dialogue in writing. I would explain that the audience needs to understand what you are writing and if ebonics is a part of the story, I would only use it as part of dialogue between characters, etc. and continue to use trial and error to find ways to help students refrain from using it throughout their writing.
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Solution 12
Posted December 9, 2012 8:48 am

Sarah Hogan Johnson
Sarah Hogan Johnson
Reps: 163
If it is a creative writing assignment, I don't think you should grade them so strictly. If you are constantly focused on grammar and mechanics, you may lose sight of the students' message in the papers. Also, when students write and they are constantly reprimanded for grammar, they are less likely to be excited about writing the next time. Time after time, you will not only have the lack of grammar, but you will begin to see a lack of substance. I would allow the students to write however they wanted in creative writing assignments. However, if it was a research paper, I would explain to them the importance of using proper grammar, mechanics, and spelling. I would teach the students exactly what I meant by this. Only then would I take off points. I would make it clear which assignments were considered creative writing and which were not. I don't think your expectations are too high. I would just use caution when approaching this because you don't want the students to dread writing assignments.
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Jessica Eason
Jessica Eason
Reps: 26
I think you are doing what you should as a teacher. It is important for students to realize how their teacher wants their writing. As a college student, I find it difficult to cater to each teachers specific needs with my assignments, but it has to be done. I think you should continue to instruct them and remind them that you want their creative writing to still be in the correct format which is not their every day slang. I do not think you should let off on their grammar for their creative writing because it is best you teach them now the importance of turning in their assignments the way you want. When the students get to college their teachers may not give them much slack if they do not complete the assignment exactly how they want it to be done. A good strategy to get through to the students may be letting them know it is in their best interest. The teacher could give them real life examples of how important their writing is.
  Posted on: February 11, 2013 12:13 pm

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Solution 13
Posted February 19, 2013 3:01 am

Taylor Bocook
Taylor Bocook
Reps: 35
I think this teacher has a very valid point. In class, we learn that we all have different speaking ways and this is something we are born with. We speak to our friends one way, at school one way, at work another way, at church a different way, etc. I think it is important to be able to separate this languages. I do think that creative writing is a way for students to express themselves, but grammar should always be looked at and fixed. If students are not corrected then how will they know what is right from wrong?
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Solution 14
Posted February 22, 2015 3:26 am

ajybus
ajybus
Reps: 90
I believe your high expectations are fully justifiable. To implement these high expectations and increase students grades I would provide a rubric for the students to look at when completing their writing to know exactly what you are looking for. In addition, I would have students pair up and read their stories aloud to each other. By having students read their stories aloud to each other common grammar mistakes such as slang is more likely to be identified and corrected.
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Solution 15
Posted March 2, 2015 3:37 am

JuMaPa
JuMaPa
Reps: 100
Once again, logic??? Where art thou?? Students cannot write in a language they do not speak no more than you can. Try meekly correcting them, & praising them for correct statements.
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Solution 16
Posted February 24, 2017 4:50 pm

nick morse
nick morse
Reps: 200
if writing an informational piece "slang" should not be tolerated.
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