Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Narrative Writing

You are telling a story. Your story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Write it like you would say it if you were telling your best friend!

Your story needs to catch the reader's attention. Give it catchy beginning. Use exclamations, actions, dialogue, a when, a where or describe a character or setting.

To keep the reader's attention use language that helps them make a picture in their own mind.
Use Action!
Use Dialogue!
Use strong verbs and adjectives!
Use figurative language - similes, idioms, hyperbole are the easiest to come up with.

Finish up with a strong ending, describe a feeling or memory, explain about a lesson that was learned. Be original, be creative.

Summary Writing

The Plan:
1. Name It/Verb It/Main Idea - this is how to write your topic sentence.
Name the article, tell what it does (describes, explains, compares, etc.) then state the main idea of the article/reading passage.

2. Outline the topic, important facts and supporting details.
T = topic (main idea)

3. Write a concluding sentence that restates the topic sentence (use synonyms).

Now, put it all together to write your summary.

Remember: Don't copy the article word for word. Don't add extra information that you know from watching the Discovery Channel. Only write about what was in the article.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Test taking strategies for Reading Comprehension

State testing is around the corner (end of April)
Here are the strategies we have been practicing for doing better on a reading comprehension test.

1. Read the questions first.
2. Underline or highlight the key words in the sentence.
3. Read the passage 2 - 3 times.
4. Underline or highlight the key words in the passage that help you answer the questions.
5. As you answer the questions, go back to the passage to check.
6. Eliminate the answers you know are wrong.

Other basic helpful hints:
Get plenty of sleep the night before.
Avoid high sugar foods.
Eat a breakfast high in proteins.
Chew gum during the test to keep you alert (with teacher's permission of course).

What are some other strategies you use?

Monday, February 2, 2009