Tag Archives: Writing

Ratiocination

22 Oct

One of the biggest challenges in teaching young students to write is to teach them both the importance of correct spelling and conventions while not letting them get bogged down during the drafting process.

Every writing teacher in my district takes the three-week Abydos writing training. (Formerly known as The New Jersey Writing Project in Texas.). I learned about ratiocination during this training.

We deliberately teach each step in the picture below separately. Then, as students are getting close to publishing, they have very specific steps to follow to improve the conventions in their writing.

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One aspect of this that I find valuable is that the students have work to do even if the conventions are correct. No more, “Yes, I looked at it. Everything is correct.” I can tell at a glance by the colors if the work has been done. Students notice that after every red mark for punctuation, there should be a green mark for an upper case letter. As they circle the word I thirteen times, they notice that they may want to vary the word choice. ┬áThe blue marks tell me that they are aware of spelling mistakes even if they are unsure of the correct spelling.

I find this to be a great strategy that helps students to work independently. In addition, it helps me to assess the writing process!

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